Good Evening, Captain (1981)

TV Special  -   -  Family
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Cosmo Allegretti ...
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Hugh Brannum ...
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Shawn Stevens ...
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Family

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21 August 1981 (USA)  »

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A touching tribute by a network that couldn't wait to cancel the show.
3 September 2006 | by (Newport Nohwere, Florida) – See all my reviews

This was a special intended to celebrate 27 years of the Captain Kangaroo program. It was surprisingly heartfelt, with lots of clips from the early live and black and white episodes, interviews with the various actors and puppeteers on the show, comments from other children's entertainers, and so forth. As far as I know, it only aired once, but was generally of better quality and more emotional impact than you'd expect in a prime time special that was obviously intended as a space-filler for a dead spot in the broadcast schedule. I remember getting slightly choked up seeing characters and people that I hadn't seen since I was a very little, little child.

Elements didn't work, however, and the clearest memory I have of the show were these awkward bumpers before and after the commercial breaks featuring celebrities from prime time shows uncomfortably giving their best wishes to "The Captain." ("Hi, I'm Joyce De Witt." "And I'm John Ritter, from Three's Company." "We'd like to congratulate The Captain on 27 years, and wish him 27 more years to come!" That kind of thing.) The strangest thing about this, however, was that CBS even made the special, seeing as they couldn't wait to cancel the show. The very next season, the show was shortened to make more room for morning news, then pushed back an hour so that no one other than farmers and pastry chefs could watch it. Certainly no kids did. Then it was pulled from daily broadcast and only aired on Saturday and Sunday mornings, and then it was canceled outright at the end of an abbreviated 29th season. Very shabby treatment for a well-regarded, long-running and iconic show.

Sad.


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