Bob Keeshan

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Bob Keeshan was a television & radio personality best known for his role as "Captain Kangaroo," a long-running children's television show.

Bob Keeshan as Captain Kangaroo, seen here with Mr. Moose.

On March 5, 1982, Keshan joined a panel of celebrities at a Congressional hearing to urge passage of a bill mandating stronger health warning on cigarette packs. Joining Keeshan was Amanda Blake ("Miss Kitty from "Gunsmoke"), and John Forsyth, TV's "Bachelor Father."[1]

An early promoter of public health and avocate for children, in 1983, Keeshan started running anti-smoking ads during the Saturday and Sunday morning showings of his TV show, "Captain Kangaroo."[2] In July 1987, Keeshan testified before congress in favor of a ban on tobacco advertising.[3] Keeshan also spoke out in opposition to the tobacco industry's targeting of children.


Bob Keeshan grew up in Forest Hills, N.Y. and attended Fordham University in New York City. He worked as a network page boy in New York until he joined the U.S. Marines during World War II. Following his discharge, he returned to his page boy job and eventually met Bob Smith of "Howdy Doody" fame. Smith took Keeshan on as an assistant, and from that association was born Clarabelle the Clown, a role Keeshan played for five years. Next, he perfected Corny the Clown, and was signed to do a television program called "Time for Fun." A year later, in 1954, he created Tinker the Toymaker, and produced and performed in the program "Tinker's Workshop. In 1955, Keeshan created "Captain Kangaroo," an hour program which premiered on the CBS Television Network that October 3rd and continued for nearly 30 years,making it the longest-running children's program on network television. Keeshan Associates also produced "Revenge of the_Nerd," a well-received, light-hearted comedy on "The CBS Afternoon Playhouse." Keeshan hosted the CGS Radio Network program "The Subject is Young People," which won two Gabriel Awards, in 1980, and 1981, and also appeared on the CBS News program "Up to the Minute." His hosting duties on "CBS Storybreak," a weekly series presenting original adaptations of literature for young people, began in March 1985.[4]

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