That's made for you and me?
M-I-C K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E
Hey-there, hi-there, ho-there!
You're as welcome as can be!
M-I-C K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E"
One of the most famous variety shows in American history, The Mickey Mouse Club initially aired on ABC from 1955 to 1959, and has since been reimagined several times.
The main show was made up of several sketches performed by the Mouseketeers, a troupe of child/teen performers led by the adult "Head Mouseketeer" Jimmie Dodd, who was assisted by "Big Mouseketeer" Roy Williams, and Bob Amsberry for the first two seasons. Each day had a central theme, such as Music or the Circus. Interspersed with the sketches were several serials, most famously one based on The Hardy Boys. Several of the Mousketeers later made it big, including Annette Funicello, Don Agrati (a.k.a. Don Grady of My Three Sons), Johnny Crawford (The Rifleman), Paul Petersen (The Donna Reed Show) and Dickie Dodd (a.k.a. Dick Dodd, drummer for The Standells of "Dirty Water" fame; no relation to Jimmie).
Like many classic Disney properties, the show was released as part of the Walt Disney Treasures line. One set includes the first week of the show, while subsequent sets included the serials Spin and Marty, The Hardy Boys, and Annette.
The first revival was The New Mickey Mouse Club, which aired in syndication from 1977 to 1979. The more famous second revival, The All-New Mickey Mouse Club, was produced for the Disney Channel and outlasted the original 1950s version, airing from 1989 to 1996. Like the original, it produced its share of future stars including Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Keri Russell, Ryan Gosling, and JC Chasez.
While the Disney Channel revival was the last to air on television in North America, there's been a couple of international revivals: a one-season run in South Korea in 2015 hosted by Super Junior's Leeteuk, and a Malaysian version hosted by YouTube personality Charis Ow which debuted in 2017 and is still running. There's also an online revival which also debuted in 2017, available through Facebook and Instagram under the new name Club Mickey Mouse.
Not to be confused with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (although "The Mickey Mouse Club March" does play in at least one episode (albeit with ever-so-slightly revised lyrics)).
This show contained examples of:
- Crosscast Role: In the 1990s version, Fred Newman's recurring Lurleen character is an example.
- "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: "The Mickey Mouse Club March" was composed by Jimmie Dodd, who also wrote other songs used on the show.
- Edutainment Show: One of the pioneers of the format, which inspired future shows like Sesame Street.
- Go-Karting with Bowser: The opening shows Mickey celebrating with Pete and The Big Bad Wolf.
- Honorary Uncle: According to Annette, Disney insisted the Mouseketeers call him Uncle Walt. Annette herself couldn't do it, because he was too much of a father figure.
- Revolving Door Casting: Mouseketeers (with the exception of those from the 1970s revival) usually undergo cast changes after every season, with few who remain till the end. For those keeping score, the Mouseketeers who stayed for the entire run of the 1950s series are Annette, Bobby, Cubby, Darlene, Doreen, Karen, Lonnie, Sharon, and Tommy; for the 1990s revival Josh, Lindsey, and Jennifer stayed for the whole duration.
- Right Way/Wrong Way Pair: In a series of shorts hosted by Jiminy Cricket about safety entitled I'm No Fool. Each episode ends with a contest between "You" and "a common, ordinary fool". "You" follow all safety precautions and win, while the fool ignores the rules and gets nothing but Amusing Injuries as a result.
- Rump Roast: Happens to a caveman in "I'm No Fool With Fire", which results in him jumping into a lake to put out his burning rear end.
- Signing Off Catchphrase: The ending theme introduced Mickey's iconic "See you real soon!" catchphrase, with the first word playing off the "C" in "M-I-C".
- Theme Tune Rap: The 1989-1995 version used this to make it feel more "fresh" and "modern" compared to the older incarnations.
- Vocal Evolution: Meta-example, though with quotation marks on "Evolution". Walt Disney reprised his role of Mickey Mouse for the '50s show, but his falsetto voice had clearly worn out due to a combination of rustiness, older age, and years of smoking. Thus, Mickey sounds less energetic and almost monotonous as a result.
The serials contained:
- Alpha Bitch: Laura from Annette, played by Roberta Shore (Francheska from The Shaggy Dog and Betsy in the first three seasons of The Virginian).
- Catfight: One between Laura and Jet that ends with them falling in Jet's pool.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Laura from Annette. She first accuses Annette of stealing her necklace, but when she's proven innocent, she apologizes and the two become friends.