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Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, on YouTube
May 16, 2011 12:02 PM   Subscribe

Over 100 full episodes of the Marlin Perkins-hosted television show Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom (previously) are now available on YouTube. That is all.
posted by cog_nate (52 comments total) 46 users marked this as a favorite

 
We'll stay here while Jim goes in for a closer look...
posted by ALvard at 12:07 PM on May 16, 2011 [31 favorites]


I loved Marlin....thanks!
posted by tomswift at 12:13 PM on May 16, 2011


Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom

What a delightfully confusing name. I spent quite a while trying to parse it into something meaningful. And then I wondered if there really could be more than a hundred episodes of a television show about wildlife in the city of Omaha.

And then I tried the links, and all was revealed.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 12:14 PM on May 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I used to love watching that show when I was a kid. And now I get to introduce my kids to it. Thank you for posting it!
posted by zarq at 12:16 PM on May 16, 2011


Best theme song ever!
posted by digitalprimate at 12:17 PM on May 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I watched this all the time as a kid. It was always a highpoint when Jim had to wrestle an anaconda or punch out a rhino or something. Oh, the laughs!
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:17 PM on May 16, 2011


Marlin Perkins was my imaginary friend when I was a kid. Long time no see... that voice (and the theme song! and the logo!) really takes me back!
posted by vorfeed at 12:17 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh man, this is all kinds of awesome. Thank you!
posted by xedrik at 12:24 PM on May 16, 2011


When I was a kid and there was absolutely nothing on TV on Sunday afternoons except for sports, I would search our four channels (this was pre-cable, of course) for Wild Kingdom, one of my very favorite shows. As I recall, it was never guaranteed to be on at a prescribed time (such is the nature of syndication) and even if it was listed in the TV guide, sometimes it would be pre-empted at the last minute by a local special or even what we called at the time two 15-minute commercials (now known as "infomercials"; back at that time they were always selling classical music albums or artwork). Anyway, here is some interesting behind-the-scenes info about Marlin Perkins and Wild Kingdom.
posted by Oriole Adams at 12:25 PM on May 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


This makes me very very very happy.
posted by JanetLand at 12:26 PM on May 16, 2011


Wiki page on Wild Kingdom, which notes that the episode Desert Spring won an American Cinema Editors award "Eddie" in 1980.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:26 PM on May 16, 2011


I used to love watching this show when I was younger. My dad even taped it when I wasn't around so I could watch it. Thanks for this!
posted by lilkeith07 at 12:27 PM on May 16, 2011


Muuuutuaaal of Omaha is PEOPLE! youcancountonwhenthegoing'srough
posted by entropicamericana at 12:32 PM on May 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


le morte de bea arthur: What a delightfully confusing name. I spent quite a while trying to parse it into something meaningful.

I was going to comment on that, too, to note how odd it sounded having a brand name in front of the show title. Then I remembered that extensive branding is nothing new, going back to the soap operas that were sponsored and produced by Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive and Lever Brothers, going back to the 1930s.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:33 PM on May 16, 2011


Between Wild Kingdom and Wonderful World of Disney, the two channels we got when I was a kid were more than enough on Sunday evenings.
posted by CaseyB at 12:34 PM on May 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


This, combined with ABC's Wide World of Sports, In Search Of, and Creature Double Feature were basically my weekends as a kid.

I'm curious, now that all these episodes are available, can anyone actually find a clip where Marlin waits in the truck while Jim goes out and risks his life?
posted by bondcliff at 12:34 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


le morte de bea arthur: "What a delightfully confusing name. I spent quite a while trying to parse it into something meaningful. And then I wondered if there really could be more than a hundred episodes of a television show about wildlife in the city of Omaha."

That was a pretty common naming format for early US television shows: Texaco Star Theater, Westinghouse Studio One, The Colgate Comedy Hour, etc.
posted by octothorpe at 12:36 PM on May 16, 2011


Memorable Moments in the Wild Kingdom - just listen to the beginning. You just can't deliver the intro to a show about wild animals with that much fervor and genuine enthusiasm unless there is no internet in existence. I loved this guy. Watching him introduce the show, he's so happy he's damn near doing that raised-heel thing while he's talking.
posted by cashman at 12:38 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I watched this all the time as a kid. It was always a highpoint when Jim had to wrestle an anaconda or punch out a rhino or something. Oh, the laughs!

The top row of thumbnails on the Youtube page includes "World of the Shark" and "Tiger Capture." I reckon I can guess exactly how Jim fit into each of these scenarios.

And the appeal wasn't so much in the exploits of the hapless Jim as the contrast with Marlin Perkins, who always seemed to sit back in the study or occasionally, when he went into the field, peer cautiously through some binoculars at Jim collecting saliva samples from wild boars.

However, I just learned a startling thing on the wikipedia page for Marlin Perkins:

Perkins joined Sir Edmund Hillary as the zoologist for Hillary's 1960 Himalayan expedition to search for the legendary Yeti.[1]


Wow! A Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom / In Search Of... mashup!
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:40 PM on May 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh my god yes yes yes.

Between this and the episodes of Reading Rainbow on Vimeo, I can truly re-live my PBS-infused childhood.

(They even have the WHYY bumpers on YouTube to complete it...)
posted by kalimac at 12:41 PM on May 16, 2011


"Here we see Jim wrestling the wild tapir in the Patagonian wilderness..."
posted by jim in austin at 12:45 PM on May 16, 2011


This was the special show for me to watch every week with my grandmother when I was a little kid. *sniff*

But for your viewing pleasure BEHOLD: the animatronic Marlin Perkins.
very creepy
posted by readery at 12:47 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


From Oriole Adams link above:

5. All Was Not What It Seemed
During those early years of Wild Kingdom, most viewers were naive in the ways of wild animals and it never occurred to us to ask “Just how did that baby moose happen to get stuck in the mud pit at the same time a camera crew was nearby?” In 1982, the producers of the CBC series The Fifth Estate (sort of a Canadian 60 Minutes) aired an episode titled “Cruel Camera,” which examined the treatment of animals in the entertainment industry. The show’s host, Bob McKeown approached an 80-something Marlin Perkins for an impromptu interview, asking whether Wild Kingdom had ever interfered with nature for the sake of drama. Perkins (whom most of us still remembered as the mild-mannered man responsible for such awkward segues as “Just like the mother bear protects her cubs, Mutual of Omaha is there to protect your family…”) first demanded that the cameras be shut off, then proceeded to punch McKeown in the face when his request was denied.


And also a link from that link to 25 year old CBC-doc in question: The Cruel Camera

ah, those cherished childhood memories.
posted by philip-random at 12:48 PM on May 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Honey badger gonna care!

Thanks for this. Now a canonical collection of Marlin Perkins parodies would be very welcome...

Here's one: In Search of the Negro Republican

(It was Eddie Murphy's first skit on SNL... can't find the video...)
posted by chavenet at 12:54 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


For a moment I read that Bob McKeown story as being about Bob Keeshan, and thought. "Oh, no -- Marlin Perkins and Captain Kangaroo got into a fistfight? My childhood is ruined."
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:55 PM on May 16, 2011


Between this and the episodes of Reading Rainbow on Vimeo, I can truly re-live my PBS-infused childhood.

Actually, Wild Kingdom was run on NBC. For twenty-five years.
posted by hippybear at 1:01 PM on May 16, 2011


I did not know this show ran into the 1980s... for me it's forever part of the "only-four-channels-five-if-you-adjust-the-antenna-just-right-and-pick-up-that-one-Philly-station-that-shows-monster-movies-on-Saturdays" late-1960s of my childhood.

Thanks for this.
posted by Ron Thanagar at 1:29 PM on May 16, 2011


Marlin Perkins and Captain Kangaroo got into a fistfight

This would be the greatest thing ever to appear on television.
posted by bondcliff at 1:29 PM on May 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Actually, Wild Kingdom was run on NBC. For twenty-five years.

Ehm...can I blame this on the intervening 20 years of cable tv rotting my brain? Please?
posted by kalimac at 1:42 PM on May 16, 2011


And while Jim is being dsimembered by the red-bellied piranha, have you thought about your family's financial security?
posted by Gridlock Joe at 1:45 PM on May 16, 2011


MoOWK is still a staple of Animal Planet, with new episodes still being produced. Quite often, they feature segments from the original series with Jim Fowler offering commentary on the difficulties in shooting them. It is fascinating to hear his stories. Plus, Jim is a genuine bad-ass for doing all that crazy shit back then.
posted by briank at 1:45 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Marlin Perkins and Captain Kangaroo got into a fistfight?

THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!
posted by KingEdRa at 1:51 PM on May 16, 2011


This, combined with ABC's Wide World of Sports, In Search Of, and Creature Double Feature were basically my weekends as a kid.

If they ever found Amelia Earhart cohabiting with a yeti on Easter Island, the footage would have to have a voiceover by Leonard Nimoy. No other option.
posted by gimonca at 1:56 PM on May 16, 2011


I was excited, until I realized that this was not the same thing as Wild America.
posted by dirtylittlecity at 2:15 PM on May 16, 2011


"Here we see Jim wrestling the wild tapir in the Patagonian wilderness..."

My favorite line:

"Look out, Jim!"
posted by honkeoki at 2:30 PM on May 16, 2011


I am reading this post from the safety of the blind.
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:32 PM on May 16, 2011


"Marlin Perkins and Captain Kangaroo got into a fistfight

This would be the greatest thing ever to appear on television."


Only if Mr. Rogers took on the winner.
posted by tomswift at 3:05 PM on May 16, 2011


I watched this a lot when I was a kid. What I remember most was that while they showed a lot of predators attacking prey, they never showed a successful kill. The prey always got away, because they didn't want to show blood and gore on the show, and cute gazelles and zebras getting torn to shreds.

Can't blame them for that, but it did introduce an element of unreality to it all.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 3:19 PM on May 16, 2011


Can't blame them for that, but it did introduce an element of unreality to it all.

And now we have Planet Earth. Which is kind of the opposite of that. And I have heard and read more than one parent complaining about traumatized children after watching that.

It's hard to know where to draw the lines between reality and unreality sometimes.
posted by hippybear at 3:32 PM on May 16, 2011


It's hard to know where to draw the lines between reality and unreality sometimes.

I'd just like to point out that this is a great set up for a brilliant punchline. Unfortunately, my brain is currently half-dead. Time for my afternoon nap.
posted by philip-random at 3:42 PM on May 16, 2011


I always felt bad for the predators who never got to eat.
posted by octothorpe at 3:45 PM on May 16, 2011


>Best theme song ever!

Wild, Wild World of Animals
, which was usually broadcast in the same hour as Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom around these parts, had a much better opening and closing theme.
posted by 2N2222 at 3:46 PM on May 16, 2011


Wonderful post, but a tad incomplete:

Jim Fowler and the animals visit Johnny Carson
posted by evilcolonel at 4:38 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Best theme song ever!

I liked the music for Daktari.
posted by ovvl at 4:53 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I preferred the end credit music from the other nature show, which usually ran back to back with Wild Kingdom in my town on Saturday afternoons.

And then at 5... Dance Fever! Followed by Puttin' on the Hits at 5:30 and Solid Gold at 6!
posted by droplet at 5:34 PM on May 16, 2011


"I'll stay here in the boat while Jim tries to capture the octopus, being careful to watch out for the suckers. Speaking of suckers, have you checked your insurance policies lately? Because Mutual of Omaha might have some solutions for you!"
posted by Relay at 5:50 PM on May 16, 2011


So, my mother was bugging me last night to see if I could find some of the old Marlin Perkins episodes on-line: total, out of the blue childhood nostalgia trip. Hadn't so much as mentioned them in months. As of 7:30, EDT on Sunday, they weren't there. They weren't even on TPB. We came to the conclusion that the tapes must not be extant.

Then this happens.

I must admit that I'm moderately creeped out over here.
posted by fifthrider at 8:12 PM on May 16, 2011


A really fun memory from my youth.... Always remember Jim was doing something intense and physical while Marlin drove the boat or flipped his hair back into place... Thanks
posted by Upon Further Review at 8:48 PM on May 16, 2011


Owl & chimp pandemonium! But Marlin just rolls with it. No re-takes needed - let's just stroll over and see Mr. Aputator the giant snapping turtle!
posted by squalor at 10:55 PM on May 16, 2011


OK, I'm gonna rewatch these. But if all those gazelles that I remember seeing crumple into heaps while being darted from helicopters turn out to be kills instead of "making them sleepy", my parents are going to have a lot of explaining to do.

It's hard to know where to draw the lines between reality and unreality sometimes.

I'd just like to point out that this is a great set up for a brilliant punchline.


Kinda reminds me of some of the ham-fisted segue's into Mutual of Omaha insurance commercials they used to do:

"Just as the mother lion protects her cubs, you can protect your children with an insurance policy from Mutual of Omaha.."
posted by ShutterBun at 6:55 AM on May 17, 2011


OK, just started watching, and maybe it was bad luck, but this was NOT the theme music I was hoping for! All of the episodes I tried seemed to be from 1980-onward.

For those who grew up in the '70s may I suggest this theme music instead. (then watch the individual episodes)
posted by ShutterBun at 7:03 AM on May 17, 2011


Listening to that 70's theme music made me feel like I was back on the couch with my family, still damp from my saturday evening shower, hoping to stay up as late as I could. This commercial was often played during the show. My first exposure to special effects.
posted by UseyurBrain at 9:19 PM on May 17, 2011


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