The cast circa 1961. Left to right: Dancing Bear, Bunny Rabbit, Captain Kangaroo, Grandfather Clock, Mister Moose, and Mister Green Jeans.
"Countin' flowers on the wall
That don't bother me at all
Playin' solitaire till dawn with a deck of fifty-one
Smokin' cigarettes and watchin' Captain Kangaroo
Now don't tell me I've nothin' to do"
—The Statler Brothers, "Flowers on the Wall"
Bob Keeshan was the creator and host of this children's series, which ran weekday mornings on CBS
from 1955 to 1984. The name "Captain Kangaroo" came from the large pockets in Keeshan's signature red jacket. After the show left CBS, it ran until 1990 on PBS
Keeshan's supporting cast included Dennis the painter, played by Cosmo Allegretti, and Mr. Green Jeans, a farmer played by Hugh "Lumpy" Brannum. Allegretti also operated the puppets Mr. Moose and Bunny Rabbit. Other recurring characters included the Town Clown, the Dancing Bear and Fred from Channel One. The show also had animated segments, including Tom Terrific
and Lariat Sam
, Crystal Tipps and Alistair
from The BBC
, and CB Bears
A syndicated revival of Captain Kangaroo
was attempted in 1997, with bearded actor John McDonough in a blue jacket, which later aired on Fox Family.
- Animated Credits Opening: Done with the "Good Morning, Captain" theme song, 1974–84.
- Cool Old Guy: Mr Green Jeans throughout the series, and the Captain himself in the 1970s.
- Cross Over: The Captain appeared on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, and Fred Rogers appeared on the Captain's show.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Dancing Bear is a ... bear who dances.
- Long Runners
- Portal Picture: Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings, a series of British animated shorts featured on the show in the '70s.
- Running Gag: Mr. Moose and the pingpong balls; Bunny Rabbit getting the carrots; the tiny marching band that only the Captain sees.
- Senior Sleep Cycle: Once an episode the Captain has to wake up Grandfather Clock with the audience's help. "All together now. 1-2-3, WAKE UP GRANDFATHER!"
- Many stars, both casts of CBS Shows (The Bob Newhart Show, Maude, Match Game, The Carol Burnett Show) and random celebs (Eli Wallach, Bette Davis, Bob Hope) would start the show saying "Good morning, Captain!"
- The rock band The Statler Brothers referred to the program in their hit song Flowers On The Wall.
- Frank Zappa wrote two compositions, Mr. Green Genes (from his album Uncle Meat (1969)) and Son Of Mr. Green Genes (from his album Hot Rats (1969)), which are shout-outs to the Captain Kangaroo character Mr. Green Jeans. This lead to the Urban Legend that Zappa was supposedly the real son of Hugh Lumpy Brannum, the actor who played this character. Zappa debunked this myth in his autobiography The Real Frank Zappa Book.
- The Smurfette Principle: Deborah Weems as Debbie was the only female cast member.
- Species Surname: Dancing Bear, Bunny Rabbit, Mr. Moose
- The Speechless: Bunny Rabbit, Dancing Bear
- Talking Appliance Sidekick: Grandfather Clock.
- Theme Tune Cameo: The original Theme Song is woven nicely into the "Good Morning Captain" theme.