romper bomper stomper boom put away your vibrating broom
August 30, 2003 7:51 PM   Subscribe

Man, I always thought "Romper Room" was just an Australian thing. Records were released, and if you're quick, grab a Mr. Doo-Bee backpack.
posted by Jimbob at 7:59 PM on August 30, 2003

Do-Bee? Doobie? Uhm....
posted by starscream at 8:02 PM on August 30, 2003

For some reason I hated Romper Room with a passion. People shouldn't smile that much.
posted by madmanz123 at 8:04 PM on August 30, 2003

Dude, you forgot about Canadian Romper Room, which sounds like it was a lot better than these local ones, since we had Paddington Bear cartoons and the host was a serious hottie. I found this while digging around; it's on a page about Leonardo DiCaprio:
The National Enquirer, The Globe and The Star have all sent reporters to check out an apparently true story that Leo had a very serious relationship with a Canadian television host by the name of Fran Pappert in late 1992, and 1993. Fran Pappert was the host and producer of the Canadian version of Ropmer Room, which was shown across Canada on the CTV Television network. The series was produced at CKCO TV in Kitchener, Ontario, and that is where Fran worked. Apparently, when Leo was around 18, he saw Fran on Canadian Romper Room while in northern California, and he wrote her a fan letter, asking for her photo (she is a very pretty blond) and telling her that when he was five years old, he was on the American version of Romper Room in the L.A., and was kicked off the show for being too rowdy! Fran wrote back, and the two began a long correspondence. Then, in 1993, Fran was visiting her sister who lives in Los Angeles and she arranged to meet Leo for lunch. They really liked each other and soon a romance began, despite a 13 year age difference! Eventually, Fran quit her job as hostess of Romper Room and spent most of 1993 with Leo in Los Angeles. Appparently, at the end of the year she realized that she was pregnant, and she ended the relationship, feeling strongly that she would hurt Leo's career, if Leo's fans knew that he had a young baby and an older girlfriend. Fran gave birth to a baby boy in the summer of 1994, and apparently the boy looks a LOT like Leo, with beautiful eyes, dark blond hair, and a charming smile! Apparently Leo is a very concerned and caring father,and is in regular contact with Fran and their son. Fran and Leo are also still good friends. Fran got married to a man named Peter Shannon in 1995, and all three get along well. I thought that dedicated Leo fans should know about this before it is splashed across the tabloids. It may come as a surprise, but shows that Leo is a very caring person, who is capable of being a true friend and wonderful father. Apparently he was present at the birth of the baby, and is a doting dad.

posted by Space Coyote at 8:14 PM on August 30, 2003

My lifelong nickname of "Bee" came from the fact that the first words I uttered were "Do Bee".

This obviously set a certain path to my life. Thanks children's programming!

The less said about the damage done by Rita Moreno's HEY YOU GUYS! screech at the beginning of every Electric Company, the better
posted by WolfDaddy at 8:15 PM on August 30, 2003

We had Miss Jean here in Boston...who I remember as a beautiful but cold bitch who seemed rather kid-unfriendly. Plus, she never *saw* me in the magic mirror, never called my name. I blame many of my adult problems on this childhood affront.

I think the picture in the top far right is Miss Jean, but my memory fails me. Couldn't find much on her...she was a native of Swampscott and dated The Golden Greek.

I actually liked Rex Trailer's Boomtown better than Romper Room.. .there was a horse!
posted by madamjujujive at 8:19 PM on August 30, 2003 [2 favorites]

I was in the mirror. Nyah-nyah!
posted by five fresh fish at 8:25 PM on August 30, 2003

well weren't you special fff!
(you little brat)
posted by madamjujujive at 8:34 PM on August 30, 2003

Despite me never being in the mirror Miss Fran was my first older-woman crush (first of many).
posted by Space Coyote at 8:36 PM on August 30, 2003

I grew up (as I have mentioned before) in the f*cking sticks. I now realize that we had ersatz imitations of well-known childhood archetypes, and now I wonder just how many there were out there. F'rinstance, in Oklahoma the typology was:

Cowboy Show = Foreman Scotty (not the Lone Ranger)
Clown Show = Ho-Ho the Clown (not Bozo)

Sorry, but I can't remember if there was a local equivalent to the "Friendly Neighbor Lady Show" (not Miss Fran). Anybody?
posted by yhbc at 8:44 PM on August 30, 2003

I loved Romper Room when I was a lil romper.

When she called my name though the magic mirror?

Sealed it.
posted by gai at 8:46 PM on August 30, 2003

Romper Room?


Only earlier.

I was born in 1952 and watched Romper Room and Captain Kangaroo. The thing you young'uns ought to consider, though, is how magical the medium was back then. We were weaned on the TV tit, yeah, but it was new...and black and white.

I watched HUNDREDS of episode of Barney with my daughter in the mid-nineties, and unlike most of my friends, didn't feel at all conflicted about it.

She was being socialized by song. And what is wrong with that? Every time a song came on, she would say "Dance!" and we would.

Romper Room Redux.
posted by kozad at 8:51 PM on August 30, 2003

Romper Stomper.
posted by dhartung at 9:02 PM on August 30, 2003

did all my friends have fun at play?

posted by eddydamascene at 9:21 PM on August 30, 2003

yhbc, we had buck barry's buckaroo rodeo [scroll to page bottom] and our own local bozo clone too.
posted by quonsar at 9:30 PM on August 30, 2003

Apparently, Buck was such a pro he wore the cowboy outfit while doing radio.
posted by samuelad at 9:36 PM on August 30, 2003

Buck wore the outfit everywhere, including mass at St. Jude's on sundays. no shit. at least he arrived for mass in his customized caddy (it had chrome "Buck Barry" dealies where the "Cadillac" dealies would ordinarily go) rather than hitch his horse "Thunder" to the end of the pew. Buck was a veteran of radio, television, store-openings and every two-bit small-town celebration parade for miles around. i'm actually stunned i can't find more about him on the web.
posted by quonsar at 9:49 PM on August 30, 2003

I was on Romper Room when I was little. I whacked some other girl in the face while I exuberantly jumped over a brick-shaped sponge.
posted by ArsncHeart at 11:52 PM on August 30, 2003

I'm with madmanz123 on Romper Room. Hated that show. HATED it. Totally summed up the bullshit happyface crap condescending adults of a certain type (often the type that teach kindergarten) always shoved at me.

But I was down with Captain Kangaroo, man.
posted by ursus_comiter at 1:37 AM on August 31, 2003

mr. green jeans was mah homey.
posted by quonsar at 1:46 AM on August 31, 2003

Try not to freak out, but Ronpaa Ruumu was big even in Japan from 1963-79, with the girls and the mirror and the hey hey hey. Midori-sensei seems to have left a lasting impression. (You gotta set EUC encoding manually on the second link if you want to see proper text. Lots of Japanese TV nostalgia on the 60's-80's link on the Geocities site.)
posted by planetkyoto at 1:53 AM on August 31, 2003

Wow, I was on "romper room" when I was a kid. I didn't realize there was more than one of them. I thought "Miss Julie" was the only one. I'll have to tell my mother I'm not as famous as she thinks.
posted by mmoncur at 1:59 AM on August 31, 2003

I used to hate Romper Room.

As a child I had no interest in any TV program that featured live action people.
Romper Room, Mr. Squiggle, Play School, I regarded them all as a poor substitute for even the most shabbily produced 80s Hanna Barbera rubbish.

Cartoons were way more entertaining!

I mean really, what's more fun to a six year old, watching a bunch of mechanical lions transform into a giant robot and whup the crap out of everything in sight, or watching a bunch of other six year olds bounce a baloon on a string?
posted by backOfYourMind at 4:02 AM on August 31, 2003

At least you had mechanical lions boYM. Kids my age had to make do with horrid pseudo Tom and Jerry with incredibly short repeating animation loops. Hanna Barbara got incredibly lame and complacent in the 70s.

... Well that and trippy Seals & Kroft stuff.
posted by ursus_comiter at 7:34 AM on August 31, 2003

Oh, God, quonsar, that brings back memories - Buck Barry once appeared at our elementary school in connection with a TB educational program. I can't believe he actually went to church like that.

If memory serves me, he was eventually replaced by Captain Woody in the early 70s, who bore a startling resemblance to the weatherman. Soon after, the syndicated programs all took over.

TV back then was much more low rent and cheesy. I remember visiting WKZO and seeing the sets for the coffee klatchy show they had in the morning. One of the interesting things about live local TV and even some national programs was that you never knew when someone was going to screw up and drop a coffee cup, even in a national soap opera.

We couldn't get Ch. 13 in Battle Creek so I don't remember Bozo.

And after viewing WOOD's history page, I know why I hate Star 105.7 so much - it's WOOD-FM with a beat. ARRRGH!!
posted by pyramid termite at 8:13 AM on August 31, 2003

They never saw me in the magic mirror either :

romper room wasn't ever as fun or magical as other shows--but i think those walking things came from there--the plastic cups on the rubber strings???

we were Wonderama kids, but Captain Kangaroo was cool too...
posted by amberglow at 8:28 AM on August 31, 2003

In St. Louis, wasn't it Miss Lois? Anybody help me out here? It's hard to remember women from so distant a past, but Miss Lois sounds right . . .
posted by kcmoryan at 9:24 AM on August 31, 2003

For some reason I hated Romper Room with a passion. People shouldn't smile that much.

Me too. And Sesame Street as well. "Quit pandering to me, dammit, I can already count to five!"

But I was down with Captain Kangaroo, man.

Absolutely. Mr Green Jeans was too cool. My first non-conformist hero. I mean, he wore green jeans, while the whole rest of the world wore blue. The man was a total rebel.
posted by Shane at 10:12 AM on August 31, 2003

I heart Q
posted by clavdivs at 10:13 AM on August 31, 2003

Let us spare a moment's silence in memory of Mr. Dressup and The Friendly Giant. And Mr. Rogers, too, though I only watched him as an adult.

Damn, kids television used to be so much better once upon a time.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:32 AM on August 31, 2003

Right on, FFF. "And here's a rocking chair for those who like to rock, and a big chair by the fire for two more to curl up in, and look up... waaaaaaaay up..."

As a (very) wee one, I always loved the Buck Shot Show, as well. Birthday shoutouts, songs and stories, *and* old Hekyll & Jekyll cartoons? Sweeet.
posted by arto at 9:53 PM on August 31, 2003

I don't know about everybody else, but for kids in the Tri-State Area (NY, NJ, PA), it had to be the Magic Garden. Flapper the bird was so hyper that he must have been on crank. On the other hand, I must admit that my first stirrings of hetero lust came from watching the Sour Grapes Girls on the Banana Splits when I was in kindergarten.
posted by jonp72 at 11:54 PM on August 31, 2003

I also remember watching Gunsmoke as a kiddie. It was, on the whole, waaaaaay above my head. I was in love with Ms. Kitty. I didn't know she had something of a... reputation.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:45 AM on September 1, 2003

Did anyone ever watch The Uncle Bobby Show? "Helloooooo boys and girls!"? The powder blue suit? The sideburns? Imagine that being the high point of your life.

I have heard from many sources that he wound up driving a school bus and drinking. Some friends of a friend saw him so occupied when they were in high school. Uncle Bobby saw a bunch of teenaged boys pointing at him and talking to each other about him, so he gave them the finger.
posted by orange swan at 11:21 AM on September 2, 2003

And then there was Tiny Talent Time. Man, I loved that show. I just couldn't understand why my three older brothers hated it so much. And MeFites, if you could have just one wish [snaps fingers], what would it be?
posted by orange swan at 11:26 AM on September 2, 2003

This thread stuck a needle in one of my long forgotten brain cells: does anyone else remember a show called "Barnaby"? It was hosted by an avuncular man in a straw boater. They showed Bullwinkle and Barbapapa cartoons if memory serves.

(One more google later):

Found a very brief reference here, (which also reminded me of Superhost) which lead me here.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 11:41 AM on September 2, 2003

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