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.
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.
- 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 Sesame Street Episode 0068, Gordon shows Big Bird some mail and asks who must have just visited the street. In the script for the episode, Big Bird guesses Captain Kangaroo (in the final cut, he guesses Mister Rogers).
- The book Would You Like to Play Hide & Seek in This Book With Lovable, Furry Old Grover? by former Captain Kangaroo staffer Jon Stone features Grover shouting "Mr. Greenjeans," the name of the Captain's chief sidekick.
- In Sesame Street Episode 1052, 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 Sesame Street Episode 1134, Big Bird mentions having a letter to Captain Kangaroo in his nest area.
- In Sesame Street Episode 1195, 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.
- In the 1989 book It's No Fun to Be Sick!, Herry's Mother says that Flossie was watching Captain Koala before her nap.
- In Muppets from Space, Rentro says besides the satellite photo of Gonzo's lawn mower message, his Captain Kangaroo pajamas arrived.
- Pearl Bailey guest starred
- John Canemaker worked on animated transitions and inserts in the 1970s
- Kevin Clash played Kevin the college student, various sketch roles, and built and performed Artie and other puppets (credited as "The Kevin Clash Puppets") in the 1980s
- David Connell was executive producer during the 1960s
- Bill Cosby appeared in regular "Picture Pages" segments beginning in 1980
- Samuel Y. Gibbon, Jr. was an associate producer and writer for the series.
- Margaret Hamilton guest starred
- Doug Henning guest starred
- Hal Linden guest starred
- Jim Martin puppeteered with "The Kevin Clash Puppets" in the 1980s
- Bill McCutcheon played Mr. Homan from 1965-1966
- Jeff Moss worked as a production assistant and later wrote scripts and songs in the 1960s
- Dolly Parton guest starred
- Joan Rivers guest starred in the 1970s, playing Patty Pickles
- Matt Robinson wrote for the series in the 1980s
- Fred Rogers guest starred
- Jon Stone wrote and directed for the series in the 1960s
- Tom Whedon wrote for the series in the 1950s and the 1960s
- ↑ Morrow, Robert. Sesame Street and the Reform of Children's Television. p. 66
- ↑ Ibid. p. 99