Molester Mustache, Wholesome Heart

Published: Saturday, January 24, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 23, 2004 at 10:56 p.m.

Captain Kangaroo, whose real name, Bob Keeshan, is unimportant, died January 23. Unless you are a preteen or the child of hippie (no TV) parents, you'll know him from his awesome children's show. The guy wearing that red jacket with stylish white piping, big hairy blonde mustache. yeah, that guy.


Bob Keeshan, aka Captain Kangaroo has left us for the big kids show in the sky.

Cause of death is unknown at this point. Does that mean it was drug-related? Suicide? Maybe a crazed killer pelted him with a barrage of poison ping-pong balls after something scarring happened to him or her while trying to watch Bob's lovely show? One thing to remember about crazed killers: logic, human sensitivity and appreciation for quality programming are not things they possess.

However he passed away, he was 76, right around the national average for years spent alive, so it's not terribly tragic. It is actually a cause for celebration- of a life well spent. Disregarding his personal life entirely, He was a top-notch character who delighted many a small child, including me.

His most memorable schtick was telling knock-knock jokes to Mr. Moose, the moose puppet. Captain Kangaroo would stand next to a waist-high wall and have conversations with a puppet from the deer family, and no questions were asked. What a badass.

The jokes would go something along the lines of:

CK: Knock Knock.

MM: Who's there?

CK: Jesse.

MM: Jesse who?

CK: Je-sseee all those ping pong balls?

The big payoff came in the form of Mr. Moose getting hundreds of ping-pong balls dumped on him from overhead. It was great. I think stoners would definitely ante up for a DVD collection of the stuff.

With great glee, I always tried to tell the knock-knock jokes to my parents. The hilarity would unfold as such:

Very small me: Knock knock!

Reading Dad/Mom paying bills: Uh, who's there?

me: Ping Pong!

D/M: Ping pong who?

me: Ping pong all over YOU!!! Hahahaha! (rolling on the carpet.)

D/M: Oh, OK, I get it. Ha ha.

The show ran new episodes until '84. I don't think my memory was that crystal clear at age 2; they must have had reruns on PBS. All I watched when I was little was PBS, save for the Saturday early morning standouts, and those early afternoon crapfests such as Star Search. And if I could get up freaking early enough on Sundays, I'm pretty certain "Maxi" was not on public television. People say little kids get up early when they're excited about stuff, such as Christmas or whatever, and it's mostly true, but what on earth were those programmers thinking, to put a kid's cartoon on at, like, 6:30 am? Kids don't even have clocks in their rooms, much less alarm clocks to help them wake up for some Barbie-wannabe-sounds-like-a-feminine-hygiene-product show. And that's the way it should be. How many people have a loving relationship with their alarm clocks? My alarm clock shouts at me in Korean every damn morning. We aren't chummy. Children should get up when nature/their bladder tells them to, then scamper into the family room, hoping they beat their sibling(s) there, to sit on the floor and gaze up at adults wearing brightly colored clothing.

Quality programming there, that Captain Kangaroo show. Hello, skankaliscious "Bratz!" Goodbye innocent, cornball, lifetime entertainers.

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