Mr. Dressup is nervous
January 23, 2004 9:57 AM   Subscribe

He was an icon. I'm 49 and can remember watching him for years when I was growing up.

It was one of the first attempts at television for a young audience that tried to do more than simply entertain the audience.
posted by mygoditsbob at 10:16 AM on January 23, 2004

I grew up with the Captain, also. I loved his show - it was the thing I looked forward to watching every morning. Between him and Fred Rogers, an era of quality children's programing has passed. Hats off to you, Captain!
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:24 AM on January 23, 2004

Another fragment of my childhood has just slipped away...

Goodbye, Captain, and Godspeed.
posted by konolia at 10:27 AM on January 23, 2004

what Joey said...the other thread put all of those people in mind, and now this.
posted by amberglow at 10:27 AM on January 23, 2004

I was just looking at this thread last night and now this morning we get this news. I watched the show every morning as a child.

On preview, what amberglow said.
posted by wsg at 10:30 AM on January 23, 2004

posted by DragonBoy at 10:36 AM on January 23, 2004

Oh, captain, my captain ...
posted by antifreez_ at 10:38 AM on January 23, 2004

re: the title of the thread

Ernie Coombs TV's "Mr. Dressup" actually died September 19th 2001. Combined with the events of the prior week, I was pretty sure that society was crumbling before my eyes.
posted by KnitWit at 10:41 AM on January 23, 2004

Some of my earliest childhood memories are of the Captain, Magic Drawing Board, Tom Terrific (and Manfred the Wonder Dog), those creepy disembodied hands in the white gloves, and of course Dancing Bear.
Now I'm wondering if Mr Greenjeans is still with us.

Farewell Captain.
posted by reidfleming at 10:44 AM on January 23, 2004

We lived just off route 66 when I was little, and my father's jazz musician and/or college friends, en route from Chicago-St. Louis or the reverse, would often break for a meal or crash space on the weekends. They were, being adults, of little interest until the Monday morning I realized that the Bob who'd enjoyed my Mom's spaghetti and meatballs so much was Captain Kangaroo. I was both thrilled and profoundly disturbed.
posted by cookie-k at 10:48 AM on January 23, 2004

The news brought a tear to my eye this afternoon. I feel that I am now, officially, an adult.
posted by tommyspoon at 10:50 AM on January 23, 2004

KnitWit: I remember that, and I remember feeling the same way. The WTC attack was bad enough, but that felt like the supreme being was just rubbing it in.
posted by Dasein at 11:16 AM on January 23, 2004

Damn, growing up sucks.
posted by tommasz at 11:20 AM on January 23, 2004

First Mr. Green Jeans, now this. Time--she is an unforgiving mistress.
posted by sharksandwich at 11:25 AM on January 23, 2004

I would have guessed he was much, much older. That means that when I was watching him when I was a kid that he was about 10 years younger than I am now. Man, I'm old.
posted by TimeFactor at 11:39 AM on January 23, 2004

Let us pray that it never rains ping pong balls in heaven.
posted by jozxyqk at 11:54 AM on January 23, 2004

I, too, watched the Captain habitually as a kid in the 70s. One thing I distinctly remember about that viewing experience is that Keeshan often seemed edgy, even cranky. Not every show, but often enough that it became part of the show's character for me. He often made little comments almost under his breath or had slightly sharp exchanges with others. Rarely anything really noticable, but I remember wondering what he was like off-camera.

A few times as a seven-year-old I watched the show with my mom and asked her if she thought he was angry about something. She replied that she thought he was sad. She said sometimes people are just unhappy no matter if they're on TV or not. The Captain changed the way I saw grown-ups, and this has stayed with me. I'll never forget the show.
posted by squirrel at 11:56 AM on January 23, 2004

/salute Captain Kangaroo.
posted by rushmc at 12:01 PM on January 23, 2004

Like everyone else, I grew up with the Captain and will miss his passing.

He was a good and decent man and the world needs more like him.

More Captain Kangaroo and Less Barney!
posted by fenriq at 12:20 PM on January 23, 2004

I feel like going to the Museum of Broadcasting to watch some of the shows. No, strike that. I'm sure the memories I have would not be well served by such a viewing.

Sad, sad, sad ; (
posted by ParisParamus at 12:28 PM on January 23, 2004

I feel rather creepy about this coming just after my post from last night. Good bye Captain.
posted by arse_hat at 12:46 PM on January 23, 2004

From the Mr. Greenjeans link:

Hugh Brannun had been the host of his own local New York show entitled UNCLE LUMPY'S CABIN in the early 1950s.

This is a somber thread, but I didn't want anyone to miss that.
posted by Mayor Curley at 12:54 PM on January 23, 2004

In his memory: a Ping-Pong ball avalanche.
What would trigger the ping-pong balls falling on Captain Kangaroo?
posted by thomcatspike at 1:02 PM on January 23, 2004

Who is going to take care of Mr. Bunny Rabbit?

What TimeFactor said.

I always especially liked his gentle voice.
posted by Goofyy at 1:23 PM on January 23, 2004

and who will wind grandfather clock?
posted by quonsar at 1:51 PM on January 23, 2004

What would trigger the ping-pong balls falling on Captain Kangaroo?

Mr. Moose would tell a knock-knock joke, and when Captain K finally got the punchline the balls would drop.

(I think - I really haven't seen it since I was four.)
posted by lilboo at 2:00 PM on January 23, 2004

Oh my.
The Captain debuted on CBS three days after I was born.
I once got an autograph from the creator of Tom Terrific (complete with a quick sketch of ol' funnelhat).
I always thought of him as Walter Cronkite's older brother, though he started playing the Captain at the age of 28...
Look up "positive role model" in the dictionary and you'll see Bob Keeshan's picture.
Godspeed, Captain.
posted by wendell at 2:42 PM on January 23, 2004

cookie-k, thanks for sharing that with us, as Bob was a real person too.
posted by thomcatspike at 3:47 PM on January 23, 2004

A warm farewell from me too, and thanks for the post, machaus. Grew up in the '50s watching the Captain (before I graduated to Annette Funicello).
*doffs hat in respect*
posted by languagehat at 4:09 PM on January 23, 2004

A class act.

We are so often bombarded by the antics of some of the a**holes and creeps who call themselves everything from actors to pundits to journalists et al. Several sports "role models" of late come to mind. Nice to recall someone who always was a role model.

Hats off to someone who gently and graciously touched the lives of millions of us.
posted by charms55 at 6:03 PM on January 23, 2004

posted by bwg at 6:55 PM on January 23, 2004

Damn, mom watched him, I watched, and my kids too... sigh.
posted by LouReedsSon at 8:10 PM on January 23, 2004

30-plus-somethings like me who grew up watching WGN in the Chicago area had a double shock this week. Local TV legend Ray Rayner (whose show came on right before the Captain's did on CBS) also died this week. Sad days...
posted by AstroGuy at 10:53 PM on January 23, 2004

So now what are people going to watch while smokin' cigarettes and playing solitaire 'til dawn with a deck of fifty-one?
posted by backOfYourMind at 7:35 AM on January 24, 2004

Counting flowers on the wall, backOfYourMind; duh!
posted by squirrel at 1:55 PM on January 24, 2004

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