January 23, 2004 by

Bob Keeshan


Categories: Hollywood, Writers/Editors

bkeeshan.jpgRobert James Keeshan, television’s award-winning, walrus-mustachioed Captain Kangaroo, died on Jan. 23. Cause of death was not released. He was 76.
“Captain Kangaroo,” which debuted on Oct. 3, 1955, remained on the air for more than three decades. Wearing a distinctive coat with kangaroo pouch-like pockets, the Captain wandered through the Treasure House, interacting with Mr. Green Jeans, Bunny Rabbit, Dancing Bear and Mr. Moose. The program won six Emmy Awards, three Gabriels, three Peabody Awards and entertained generations of children.
The New York-native was still in high school when he started out in television, working as a page at NBC. He attended Fordham University and served two years in the United States Marine Corps Reserve before taking on the role of the horn-honking Clarabell the Clown on the ”Howdy Doody Show.” In 1952, he played several other clownish characters, such as Corny, the host of WABC-TV’s “Time For Fun,” and the Alpine toymaker on “Tinker’s Workshop.”
After he retired, Keeshan moved to Vermont to work as a children’s advocate. He wrote a regular column for McCall’s, where he criticized television shows aimed at children for being too violent, and published the “Itty Bitty Kitty” children’s book series.
Keeshan was inducted into the Clown Hall of Fame in 1990, and the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 1998.

16 Responses to Bob Keeshan

  1. Valerie

    Hopefully Mr. Rogers will be on hand to guide you through the neighborhood.
    Thanks for the memories of happy mornings and simpler times.

  2. Jean Rosestar

    My childhood is really over. There is nothing that represents my childhood as well as the childhood of many millions of people like memories of Captain Kangaroo.

  3. Don

    As kids, we always thought Bob was much older than he really was. In 1955, he would have been just 28 years old, and a decade or so later when I watched, he was still not yet 40.
    My “big three:” Mr. Rogers, Captain Kangaroo and Sheriff John.
    God bless you, Bob.

  4. Auguster Maul

    As a child I watched and grew with Captain Kangaroo. As I now look back over my life, I see he was a major impact on my growth and development as an adult now. I thank him for the well scripted programing and educational materials. He is greatly missed.
    Auguster Maul Jr.

  5. Jackie

    Like one of the other posters said, this is the end of my childhood! Mr. Keeshan showed the world that it was okay for a grown man to behave like a child! Fare thee well, Captain Kangagroo!!!

  6. Bill

    I remember my mother and I sitting by the Black & White TV in 1956 when I was 5 discussing Grandfather Clock & guessing when he would wake up. Gods speed to you Captain, time matters not anymore.

  7. mark sperling

    weekdays before grade school
    weekends before leaving for littleleague
    the Capts symbolized the childhood I had and the wonderfful experiences I had.
    Mr grenjeans ,bunny and the bannana man ,nothing better.
    I loved you

  8. Kat & Tammy

    You, Bunny Rabbit, Dancing Bear, Mister Green Jeans Tom Terrific and the Land of Chalk Drawings, Mister Moose… What memories from the 50’s when I was a little girl. Then in 70’s, my own little girl was only 2 when we would snuggle up to watch “Cappy Roo” who by then was joined by Bill Cosby and Picture Pages. You will live on forever in our hearts.

  9. Kevin

    I loved Friday’s because that’s the day “the Captain” would play with his electric trains. He had a great Lionel layout and I always anxiously waited for the few minutes he would “play” trains.

  10. gary

    I must say that growing up,the capt. and all the others like db and bunny,mgj,gfc and dennis. plus those darn ping pong balls,i did learn alot watching the shows from 60’s and 70’s and then i grew up……gee i wish i could go back to that wonderful time again….thank you bob and all the others that made my life special…thank you

  11. deron

    Captain,think you for the memories and the wonderfull entertainment you brought to my generation.I wish there were more shows with the same concept and ideas that you provided for me,to carry on to my children… God bless you

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