Captain Kangaroo

From Academic Kids

Captain Kangaroo was a children's show which aired weekday mornings on CBS from 1955 until 1984, then moved to PBS until 1992. The show was produced and the title character played by the late Bob Keeshan, who based the show on "the warm relationship between grandparents and children."

It had a very loose structure, built around life in the "Treasure House" where the Captain (whose name came from the big pockets in his coat) would tell stories, meet guests and indulge in silly stunts with regular characters, both humans and puppets. The show was live for its first four years, and was in black-and-white until 1966. In 1981, CBS shortened the hour-long show to a half-hour.

In 1997, an All New Captain Kangaroo was attempted, starring John McDonough. Keeshan was invited to appear as "The Admiral", but after seeing sample episodes declined to appear or have any association with it.



Other actors in the show included:

Hugh 'Lumpy' Brannum

Hugh Brannum played the Captain's main sidekick Mr. Green Jeans and other, less-frequently seen characters, such as the New Old Folk Singer, who played a cello as if it were a guitar, and Mr. Bainter, the Painter.

Cosmo 'Gus' Allegretti

Cosmo Allegretti created and performed several of the show's better-known puppet characters, including Bunny Rabbit, who always tricked the Captain into giving him carrots, and Mr. Moose, whose riddles and knock-knock jokes invariably ended with hundreds of ping-pong balls cascading from above and hitting the Captain in the head. Allegretti was also the actor portraying the Dancing Bear and Grandfather Clock characters.

John Burstein

John Burstein joined the show in 1980 as Slim Goodbody, a man wearing a bodystocking which showed the internal organs of the human body painted on it in their appropriate locations.

Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby was a regular on the show in the 1980s; he did a "Picture Pages" segment.


A cartoon starring a funnel-capped shape-shifting boy named Tom Terrific was part of the show in the 1950s and 1960s. Tom had a sidekick named Mighty Manfred the Wonder Dog, and a nemesis, Crabby Appleton. Other cartoons included Lariat Sam.

Regular features

Other regular features included The Magic Drawing Board and the Captain's "Reading Stories" sessions, which introduced kids to stories such as Curious George and Make Way for Ducklings.


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