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Captain Kangaroo himself, Bob Keeshan, with George Takei and Beaker on Muppets Tonight.

Captain Kangaroo was a children's television series which, in one form or another, ran from 1955 until 1984 on CBS and was later re-run on PBS. Created by and starring Bob Keeshan, the series combined comedy skits with nature lessons, story reading, animated segments, and puppet characters.

Though the series was not designed to follow a specific educational curriculum, elements of the Captain Kangaroo format influenced the development of Sesame Street. This was in no small part due to the fact that many of the key members of the Children's Television Workshop, including Dave Connell and Jon Stone, had previously worked on the series. Episodes of Captain Kangaroo were studied to test children's attention spans and to help develop the CTW model.[1]

When scheduling the first season of Sesame Street, Joan Ganz Cooney and associates deliberately avoided the 8 a.m. timeslot occupied on CBS by Captain Kangaroo, so as not to be in direct competition with what CTW viewed as the only worthwhile network children's show.[2]

Muppet Mentions

  • In the 1980s, Matt Robinson was a staff writer for Captain Kangaroo and reused his script for a Roosevelt Franklin skit, specifically the story of Morty Moot Mope. This time, with a more traditional medieval fairytale setting, Mr. Greenjeans (Lumpy Brannum) plays King Morty Moot Mope, while Dennis (Cosmo Allegretti) is Same Sound Brown (more Pied Piper than hipster in appearance). Captain Kangaroo himself plays the storyteller. Outside of an altered ending and the omission of the spanking motif (replaced by putting in a cage in the zoo), the script is little changed.


  • Muppets Tonight episode 211 includes a cameo by Bob Keeshan. He appears in character as Captain Kangaroo, wearing the red blazer he adopted during the 1970s and 1980s incarnation of the series.
  • In Episode 0068 of Sesame Street, Gordon shows Big Bird some mail and asks who must have just visited the street. Big Bird guesses Captain Kangaroo.
  • In Episode 1052 of Sesame Street, Big Bird reveals he's written his own musical variety show based on the several he's seen on television. He cites examples of Sonny and Cher, Donny & Marie and "the Captain and Kangaroo" (a malaprop for Captain & Tennille).
  • In Sesame Street Episode 1091, when Oscar calls for service on the airplane, he calls out for Captain Kangaroo.
  • In Episode 1134 of Sesame Street, Big Bird mentions having a letter to Captain Kangaroo in his nest area.
  • In Episode 1195 of Sesame Street, Big Bird gives a lesson on heavy and light. Among his examples of light objects are ping-pong balls. Big Bird quips, "Just ask Mr. Moose," referencing the character's propensity to having ping-pong balls rain on the Captain.



  1. Morrow, Robert. Sesame Street and the Reform of Children's Television. p. 66
  2. Ibid. p. 99

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