Captain Kangaroo

by Michael RichComment — Updated August 3, 2023

10/3/1955 – 12/8/1984 CBS
1955-1969 Black and White
1969-1984 Color

Tom Terrific


Captain Kangaroo Cast

Bob Keeshan as Captain Kangaroo
Hugh Brannum as Mr. Green Jeans
Cosmo Allegretti as. Dennis the Handyman/Mr. Moose/Mr. Bunny Rabbit/Grandfather Clock/Miss Frog/Mr. Whispers/Word Bird/Dancing Bear

Deborah Weems as Debbie
Terry Kelly as Orville the Dragon
A. Robbins as Banana Man
Larry Wall as Mr. Baxter
Stu Kerr as Mr. Scoop Toot

Captain Kangaroo Theme Song

“Puffin’ Billy (The Captain Kangaroo Theme” by (music) Edward G. White and (lyric) Mary Rodgers

Captain Kangaroo Tidbits

Captain Kangaroo taught us good manners, respect and fair play. Mr. Green Jeans taught us to be nice to animals. We learned a lot from that show and had fun doing it.

Bob Keeshan first came to attention as Clarabell the Clown on Howdy Doody. He had been a page at NBC in the early days of TV and was asked to do odd jobs on the show. But they decided it looked bad to have a page running about the set, so they gave him a clown costume. He got paid so little that Buffalo Bob Smith used to slip him $5 after every show.

Just as well that he left Clarabell behind because Keeshan was born to be Captain Kangaroo. His easy manner and quiet morality made parents trust him and kids love him.

Keeshan had high standards for the show. In a time when advertisers wielded heavy influence, Keeshan stood fast against any ads which he felt were inappropriate for children. No cast members ever delivered commercials and he was one of the first to insert “bumpers”, those announcements that separate the show from the ad.

Mr. Green Jeans (Hugh Brannum) would bring live animals on the show and we’d learn their habits. He was something of an inventor too.

Tom Terrific with his sidekick, Mighty Manfred the Wonder Dog, was a popular serialized feature. Tom could turn himself into anything! Cool! Briefly, they gave Tom his own show but he is best remembered as part of Captain Kangaroo.

In 1997 they had a horrible idea. They thought they could have a Captain Kangaroo show without Bob Keeshan. It failed. It deserved to. Bob Keeshan is the Captain – the only Captain Kangaroo.


Hugh Brannum died in 1997 of cancer. Bob Keeshan died in 2004.Captain Kangaroo - Bob Keeshan
Captain Kangaroo – Bob Keeshan

Captain Kangaroo - Tom Terrific - Mighty Manfred
Tom Terrific and Mighty Manfred the Wonder Dog

Captain Kangaroo - Bob Keeshan
Captain Kangaroo – Bob Keeshan

Captain Kangaroo - Tom Terrific and Might Manfred
Tom Terrific and Mighty Manfred the Wonder Dog

Captain Kangaroo Trivia
What word made the ping pong balls drop?Well, this is not a memory loss issue! There was no one word. The punch line or point of the gag made them drop. Usually a knock-knock joke.
Bob Keeshan Trivia
Lee Marvin interview
NOT true
This rumor circulating the Net is not true

Dialog from The Tonight Show interview with Johnny Carson: His guest was Lee Marvin.

Johnny said, “Lee, I’ll bet a lot of people are unaware that you were a Marine in the initial landing at Iwo Jima…and that during the course of that action you earned the Navy Cross and were severely wounded.”

“Yeah, yeah… I got shot square in the ass and they gave me the Cross for securing a hot spot about halfway up Suribachi…bad thing about getting shot up on a mountain is guys gettin’ shot hauling you down. But, Johnny, at Iwo I served under the bravest man I ever knew… We both got the cross the same day, but what he did for his Cross made mine look cheap in comparison.

The dumb bastard actually stood up on Red beach and directed his troops to move forward and get the hell off the beach. Bullets flying by and mortar rounds landing every where and he stood there as the main target of gun fire so that he could get his men to safety. He did this on more than one occasion because his men’s safety was more important than his own life. That Sergeant and I have been lifelong friends. When they brought me off Suribachi we passed the Sergeant and he lit a smoke and passed it to me, lying on my belly on the litter and said, where’d they get you Lee?’ “Well Bob…if you make it home before me, tell Mom to sell the outhouse!”

Johnny, I’m not lying…Sergeant Keeshan was the bravest man I ever knew….. The Sergeant’s name is Bob Keeshan. You and the world know him as Captain Kangaroo.”

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