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Friday, June 14, 2013


Mickey Mouse Club
·       variety show for children, with such regular features as a newsreel, a cartoon, and a serial, as well as music, talent and comedy segments. One unique feature of the show was the Mouseketeer Roll Call, in which many (but not all) of that day's line-up of regular performers would introduce themselves by name to the television audience. In the serials, teens faced challenges in everyday situations, often overcome by their common sense or through recourse to the advice of respected elders. Mickey Mouse himself appeared in every show not only in vintage cartoons originally made for theatrical release, but in opening, interstitial and closing segments made especially for the show. In both the vintage cartoons and in the new animated segments, Mickey was voiced by his creator Walt Disney. (Disney had previously voiced the character theatrically from 1928 to 1947, and then was replaced by sound effects artist Jimmy MacDonald.)
1956 cast photo. Front row; L–R: Annette Funicello, Karen Pendleton, Cubby O'Brien, Sherry Alberoni, Dennis Day. Row two: Charley Laney, Sharon Baird, Darlene Gillespie, Jay-Jay Solari. Row three: Tommy Cole, Cheryl Holdridge, Larry Larsen, Eileen Diamond. Row four: Lonnie Burr, Margene Storey, Doreen Tracey. Back row: Jimmie Dodd, Bobby Burgess.
Many of the original Mouseketeers went on to achieve great success, some examples are Annette Funicello, Johnny Crawford, Don Brady, etc.

  • Mickey Mouse Club was hosted by Jimmie Dodd, a songwriter and the Head Mouseketeer, who provided leadership both on and off screen. In addition to his other contributions, he often provided short segments encouraging young viewers to make the right moralchoices. These little homilies became known as "Doddisms". Roy Williams, a staff artist at Disney, also appeared in the show as the Big Mouseketeer. Roy suggested the Mickey and Minnie Mouse ears worn by the cast members, which he helped create, along with Chuck Keehne, Hal Adelquist, and Bill Walsh. -Wikipedia
I must be in great company because I was hooked on the Mickey Mouse Club as I am sure many of you were: one of my highlights of the day Monday thru Friday was to catch the program after school at around 5 pm.  Enough time to get home, get some chores done maybe even my homework, before the program would start. The Mickey Mouse Club was a serious effort at children’s educational television programing.  One of the reasons that the program eventually went away was the lack of sponsorship.  The sponsors were not interested in promoting children’s educational television.
Another major reason for the demise of the program was the inability to reach agreement with ABC for contract renewal.  The original contract with ABC prohibited Disney from broadcasting the program on any other network.  Walt Disney sued ABC and won but never followed through with a return to broadcasting the program.  Eventually Disney even purchased the ABC Network.
I think we can all agree that we all become a reflection of our environment, and that being true, I can say that many baby boomers went on to become quality, respectful and honorable adults due to the exposure to quality programming.  I owned my own set of Mickey Mouse ears, I wonder how many of you did also.  The best is yet to come….

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