Romper Room and Friends (1953–1994)
"Romper Room" (original title)

TV Series  -   -  Family
7.5
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Children's program that was often franchised rather than syndicated (meaning, local television stations could use their own hostesses in lieu of national hosts if they chose). A typical ... See full summary »

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Title: Romper Room and Friends (1953–1994)

Romper Room and Friends (1953–1994) on IMDb 7.5/10

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Season:

20 | 1 | unknown

Year:

1984 | 1973 | 1965 | 1953
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Cast

Series cast summary:
Nancy Claster ...
 Herself - Host (1 episode, 1953)
Doris Johnson ...
 Herself - Host - Louisiana (1 episode, 1953)
...
 Herself (1 episode, 1953)
Erin O'Hern ...
 Child (1 episode, 1965)
Ross Guidici ...
 Himself - Nebraska (1 episode, 1973)
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Storyline

Children's program that was often franchised rather than syndicated (meaning, local television stations could use their own hostesses in lieu of national hosts if they chose). A typical program featured a group of six to 10 children, ages 4-6, in a variety of games, songs and rhymes and simple moral lessons as guided by the hostess and recurring characters. One of those recurring characters was Mr. Do Bee, an oversized bumblebee who helped teach the moral lessons ("Do Bee a good sport when you lose"). The end always featured the hostess using her "Magic Mirror" to help her greet the show's young audience ("I see Brian and Mindy; oh, there's Jill and Donald," etc.) Written by Brian Rathjen <briguy_52732@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Family

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Details

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Release Date:

10 February 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Romper Room and Friends  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The show originated in Baltimore in the early 1950s. By the late 1950s, more than 100 stations aired either the national program or locally-produced versions of the show; at one point, the show's producers offered to train Romper Room hosts (which were female in many of the markets). See more »

Connections

Referenced in ER: Jigsaw (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Pop Goes The Weasel
Traditional
Heard behind opening and closing credits as Mattel Jack-In-The Box was shown
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User Reviews

Before Barney & Friends THIS WAS THE FUN AND PLAY (and Educational) show.
15 May 2002 | by (Colorado Springs, Colorado) – See all my reviews

This TV preschool of sorts was created by Bert & Nancy Claster and begin on WBAL in Baltimore, MD. In 1953 this was only station that Romper Room was seen. This show however got the attention from the folks at CBS who wanted to bring Romper Room on a national level. The Clasters turned down the offer from CBS, but still wanted to bring Romper Room to all of America, but in their own unique way.

They gave local TV stations the option broadcasting the main version out of Baltimore (Chicago in the 70's and back to Baltimore in 1981) via syndication or producing their "own" local version of Romper Room ie Franchising which many TV stations that brought the rights to Romper Room did.

Nancy Claster trained the local hostess herself, and they all had a college education. The training was one week but intensive. Nancy also did the Baltimore version of the show, and was replaced by her daughter Sally Claster in order to focus on training more Romper Room teachers.

Bert and Nancy also provided the much of the props and set design for the local version as well. It may be local, but was their baby.

Regardless of any version, Romper Room was a show in which children could play games, read stories, and learned about those things that children needed to know about. The "Magic Mirror" at the end of the show was a way that the Romper Room teacher could reach out to the kids that were watching from home, and who could forget the show's popular mascot Do-Bee.

This show held it's ground for three decades, by 1981 due to an increasing demand from TV stations that wanted a syndicated version of Romper Room. To remedy this Romper Room was retitled "Romper Room & Friends" in 1981. The main show was hosted by Molly McCloskey(who did a local version in New York before and after taping the syndicated), and three new characters were introduced; Kimble (think of him as an oversized lost cousin of Cookie Monster), Granny Cat, and a clown puppet named Up-Up. The stations that still wanted to produce Romper Room on a local level still had that option, and cut ins with the new characters were produced so that the local stations were able to insert those characters in their local versions.

Sadly during the 1980's many stations began to drop the show and move on to other things. The show officially ended in 1994. This show had it's minor faults and could be pain to local editors and even local hostess, but this show was a hit with the late Boomers and Generation X'ers. It's truly a gem in the world of Children's television. It will be missed.


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