Mr. Dressup (Ernie Coombs) gravely ill.
September 17, 2001 3:50 PM   Subscribe

Mr. Dressup (Ernie Coombs) gravely ill. "The man known to generations of Canadians as "Mr. Dressup" is in a Toronto hospital following a stroke."
posted by nprigoda (19 comments total)
I was at the end of my emotional rope, this is it for me. Please, world, don't give me any more bad news. Just one week, please?
If anyone finds any information on where to send get well cards, let me know.
posted by nprigoda at 3:58 PM on September 17, 2001

i've always thought that my dad and mr. dressup were separated at birth. my childhood mornings were not complete without mr. dressup, the friendly giant (look up, look way, way up) and chez helene. i can't hear the word tickle without thinking of the tickle trunk.
posted by heather at 4:13 PM on September 17, 2001

nprigoda, I have to agree with you. A world sans Mr. Dressup seems like a sad place for today's children.

heather, thanks a lot! Now I have the Friendly Giant song in my head!! Doo Doo.......
posted by smcniven at 4:22 PM on September 17, 2001

for the complete earworm experience, you can listen to the friendly giant's theme song here.
posted by heather at 4:29 PM on September 17, 2001

btw, the Friendly Giant died last year. I think I liked Mr. Dressup more since the Giant tended to freak me out.
posted by gluechunk at 4:34 PM on September 17, 2001

confession time: in elementary school i remember being part of a group of kids that spread the rumour that mr. dressup had died. one kid was so distraught by this that he was in tears (it wasn't until the next day that anyone informed him that we'd made the whole thing up).

kids can be cruel, no?
posted by juv3nal at 4:37 PM on September 17, 2001

According to the Canoe story, get well cards can be sent to Get Set For Life, c/o Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, P.O. Box 500, Station A, Toronto Ontario, M5W 1E6.

A broken e-mail address is also supplied - I assume it's supposed to be
posted by danwalker at 4:51 PM on September 17, 2001

I remember a rumour about mr dressup's death going around at my school around 14 years ago. People said that he had AIDS so he locked himself in the tickle trunk. Fortunately, this was not true.

The Friendly Giant's gone, Shari Lewis too, Mr. Rogers is retired, and now poor Mr. Dressup / Coombs.

Other than Sesame Street, what is left of quality children's programming that grownups can enjoy too?
posted by melissa at 4:59 PM on September 17, 2001

Frankly, melissa, even Sesame Street has declined quite a bit from what we knew in our youth. If you don't believe me, you can catch some of the old episodes on Noggin late at night. I now record these for my kid. For pity sake, I don't need Sesame Street to "validate children's feelings" by showing Big Bird coping with a natural disaster. ("That makes Elmo want to sing the looting song!")

In short, nobody expects adults to be watching childrens programming, mores the pity. Hey Arnold on Nickolodeon is pretty good from a morals/ethics standpoint but it almost requires an adult for the under 5 crowd. An aquiantance of mine recommends Between the Lions.

Maybe I ask too much, but a lot of shows seem to assume that kids are idiots. Sure, a 2 year old does not know a lot of stuff, but that's no reason to repeat everything 3-5 times.

That being said, I like Mr Dressup better than Mr Rodgers. I hope all works out for the best.
posted by ilsa at 10:55 PM on September 17, 2001

Finnegans Wake

riverrun, past Casey and Finnegan's, from swerve of bike to bend of pipe cleaner, brings us by the commode for an empty toilet paper roll and then on to Him: Coombs (Ernie).

Mr Dressup, opener of the Tickle Trunk, ...
posted by pracowity at 11:07 PM on September 17, 2001

Thanks for finding the address, Dan.
Did anyone get to see him on his Campus Tour over the past few years? I missed out because of exams (where were my priorities?).
posted by nprigoda at 5:18 AM on September 18, 2001

Just to let everyone know, Ernie Coombs just passed on. I'm going to miss him.
posted by nprigoda at 7:10 AM on September 18, 2001

This is rotten.

Dr. Dressup?
Get Set for Life
CBC 4 Kids
posted by pracowity at 8:03 AM on September 18, 2001

Sure, a 2 year old does not know a lot of stuff, but that's no reason to repeat everything 3-5 times.

Two year olds love repetition. We have Tivo, and when my two-year-old likes a commercial, he wants us to play it again at least 20-25 times.
posted by rcade at 8:58 AM on September 18, 2001

Just phoned my boyfriend to tell him the news, and we're both pretty sad about it, as we grew up on the CBC and Mr. Dressup.

my condolences go out to his family, friends and loved ones.

Ilsa, I was thinking the same thing about Sesame Street, but since I haven't watched a full episode in a few years, I didn't know what it was like these days.
posted by melissa at 10:13 AM on September 18, 2001

a lot of shows seem to assume that kids are idiots. Sure, a 2 year old does not know a lot of stuff, but that's no reason to repeat everything 3-5 times.

Actually, young kids find repetition comforting, since it provides order in a confusing world. Novelty-seeking doesn't begin until kids are much older. This is the reason Nickelodeon runs the same "Blue's Clues" episode every day for a week. Read The Tipping Point for more on this phenomenon, there's a whole chapter on it.
posted by kindall at 10:23 AM on September 18, 2001

Mr. Dressup (along with the Friendly Giant) was such an integral part of my childhood. I vividly remember the couch I'd sit on when I watched the show...

I missed him on his campus tours, too...
posted by lumiere at 10:27 AM on September 18, 2001

For anyone that's interested, on the CBC Radio One program
"Ontario Today" is having a phone in to give everyone an opportunity to share their memories of Mr. Dressup. The phone-in is from 1pm to 2pm today. If you don't live in Ontario, you can listen to it on the web at Radio One Ottawa.
I'm going to post this in both of the threads, because some people are watching one or the other, and I want everyone to have a chance to listen and share.
posted by nprigoda at 7:01 AM on September 19, 2001

There will be a public memorial service on Monday, Oct. 15th at 2pm in the Glen Gould Studio. Donations can be made to Save the Children Canada
posted by nprigoda at 10:41 AM on September 19, 2001

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