How Well Do You Remember "Captain Kangaroo"?

R. White

Image: YouTube

About This Quiz

One of the forerunners of children's television, "Captain Kangaroo" brought social etiquette, education, and fun to several generations of children, from the 1950s through the 1990s.

What recognizable garb did Captain Kangaroo wear after 1971?

Before this, the Captain wore a navy blue jacket. Both coats had large pockets for props.

Which International Hall of Fame was Bob Keeshan (Captain Kangaroo) inducted into in 1990?

Clowning is how his career started. He also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (1976).

What year did the "Captain Kangaroo Show" debut?

The show debuted in October 1955 and ran for over 30 years, first on CBS and then on PBS. Other children's shows of the 50s included "Lassie," "Rin Tin Tin," and "Dennis the Menace."

Why is the Captain named after a kangaroo?

The famous red jacket became his trademark. When he passed, many of the show-related items went up for auction in 2013. Some of his coats can be seen on various online bidding sites.

One of the regular characters was Dennis. What was he known for?

The part was played by Cosmo Alegretti, who also provided animation for many of the puppets. He also voiced Grandfather Clock and played Dancing Bear.

What other well-known character did Bob Keeshan play in his career?

Clarabell the Clown was a staple of the "Howdy Doody Show" in the 1950s. Keeshan created the character, who debuted on television in 1948. He played that role for five years.

Which character enjoyed telling bad knock-knock jokes?

Mr. Moose was also known for his silly riddles. When the Captain could not answer the riddle or knock-knock joke, there was always a consequence.

Who made appearances with an abundance of fruit, and played many instruments?

The Banana Man, played by Adolf Proper, was a silent clown from the vaudeville days. He would appear with a variety of musical instruments and fruits. His baggy clothes hid the many props used in the performance.

What prank did Mr. Moose like to play on Captain K?

After Mr Moose told a knock-knock joke or riddle, the ping pong balls would drop after the punchline, if the Captain could not answer it. This was a regular skit in the show.

One of the characters on the show was a rabbit. What was his name?

Bunny Rabbit never spoke. He liked to outwit the Captain. One of the original puppets is housed at The Smithsonian.

Who played Captain Kangaroo's friend, Mr. Green Jeans?

Brannum was a very talented musician who had a successful career. He wrote songs and scripts for a children's show, and worked on children's records with Keeshan before "Captain Kangaroo."

Bob Keeshan wrote a children's book series that featured what character?

Keeshan also wrote children's books, such as "Alligator in the Basement" and "Captain Kangaroo's Get Well Elephant." He also paired with Maurice Sendak ("Where the Wild Things Are") to write "She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not."

Which of these cartoon characters was regularly on "The Captain Kangaroo Show" during its early years?

Tom Terrific was a boy who could transform into anything he wished. He fought "bad guys" with Mighty Dog Manfred. Curious George cartoons were also shown on the show.

What was Bunny Rabbit known for?

Bunny Rabbit always managed to trick the Captain into giving him carrots; quite a feat, since he did not speak. And although he always scolded Bunny Rabbit for eating too many carrots, the Captain always carried them in his pockets.

Which surprising quote is attributed to Keeshan?

Keeshan was fan of spending time with his family, photography, fishing, and sailing. He felt TV interfered with these pursuits.

In 1968, the first African-American character was added to the cast. Who was he?

James Wall, who played Baxter, was originally the stage manager for the show. He was the Captain's neighbor, Mr. Baxter, from 1968-1978.

What was the title of the theme song for "Captain Kangaroo?"

The tune was written in 1934 by Edward White, a British composer. The song was about a locomotive and was originally played for a British children's radio program.

Which famous country star was looking for Dancing Bear so he could perform with her?

In this 1976 episode, Dolly autographs a ping pong ball for Mr. Moose and gives a carrot to Bunny Rabbit. But when she want to invite Dancing Bear to be on her show, she's told that he is in Spain. She settles for The Little Marching Band.

What other children's show host did the Captain and Bunny Rabbit visit?

The Captain and Bunny Rabbit joined the puppets in Make Believe Land. They visited King Friday and Bunny Rabbit's friend, Donkey Hodie.

What Hugh Brannum's (Mr. Green Jeans) nickname?

Brannum had the nickname when he was recording music and sometimes used the name "Uncle Lumpy" for credits. He also used Lumpy Brannum.

Bob Keeshan wanted control when it came to commercials and the products that were advertised. Which company was a strong supporter of the show?

The Captain wanted control of which advertisers supported his show. He often incorporated the products into the show itself. For Colgate, he had a box that played the toothpaste jingle when he turned a key.

A female cast member was added in 1974. Who was she?

Debbie Weems played a local reporter, as well as Phoebe and Baby Duck. In 1977, she also appeared on the children's show "Between the Lions."

In 1957, a major league baseball player visited the Captain. Who was it?

At the time, Aaron played for the Milwaukee Braves and was only a few years into his career. He was on the show to give baseball advice to Mr. Green Jeans.

In rebranding the show in the 1980s for "The All New Captain Kangaroo," the Captain added three new features. Which was NOT one of these additions?

Captain Nemo taught children the importance of ecology and the marine environment. Goodbody emphasized good eating habits and exercise. Picture Pages gave parents and children a chance to discuss early reading and observation skills together.

The Captain and Mr. Green Jeans visited Phil Donahue to pitch an invention. What did it do?

When Phil gets excited about showcasing the "greenwear" on his show, an unexpected thing happens. Plants start sprouting on the clothes during the show.

In the cartoon "Tom Terrific," what did Tom use for a hat?

The funnel was supposed to be a thinking cap. There were 26 episodes created over two seasons.

Who played Mr. Bainter the Painter on the show?

Brannum was often accompanied by the Allegretti as his partner. It was more of an "unpainting" while their brush strokes revealed images.

As the show evolved, what ritual became part of the opening?

This also became the title of one of his books ("Good Morning, Captain"). Celebrity greetings came from Alan Alda, the "Bob Newhart Show" cast, Leonard Nimoy, Mister Rogers, and more!

Kevin Clash appeared on Captain Kangaroo and was also the puppeteer behind what well-known character?

Clash was a part of the staff for the Captain from 1979-1980. In 1980 he had the opportunity to work on "Sesame Street." It's there where his talents emerged and Elmo gained popularity.

What was the original name of the setting for the show?

The Captain had a large ring of keys with which to open The Treasure House. Later the show was set at The Captain's Place.

Frank Zappa wrote a song about one of the characters from the show. Who was it?

After Zappa wrote a song titled "Mr. Green Genes," a rumor began that Mr. Green Jeans was Zappa's father, But it was not true.

Although he did not earn the rank of Captain, in what branch of the military did Bob Keeshan serve?

Keeshan never saw combat and claimed he was "the least aggressive Marine in the history of the Marine Corps." He served in 1945.

In 2014, a book was published that revealed some of the TV industry's trade secrets, and cited pranks and other events occurring on the sets of some famous shows including "Captain Kangaroo." What was it called?

Some scandalous things were written regarding Bob Keeshan and Hugh Brannum's behavior. Author Daniel B. Morgan wrote there were gags that involved exposing body parts to each other.

In 1996, Keeshan made a rare film appearance in a movie starring Tom Arnold. What was the title?

Keeshan played Charles Sender. The story revolved around a very dumb family who take things too literally.

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