I do remember the Captain when I appeared on Wonderama as a very small kid. He was a guest and he was silly behind the scenes and really tried to entertain us. I don't think he hated his job. He didn't come out into the audience, but I did get the impression he liked kids; but he didn't adore them. This was one of these old-time entertainers who tried to be very professional and had his own style of doing things and wasn't about to change. I don't think he would make it in today's audiences, but he was very much an entertainer of his time. He was sort of a cross between Rip Taylor, Soupy Sales, and Mr. Rogers.
Many of you may be too young to remember the show Wonderama. Wonderama was this three hour show back in the 1950s-1970s on Saturday mornings that I don't think anyone could entirely watch from start to finish without losing consciousness. It filled up a lot of blank space on TV and lasted far too long. Think of the Krusty the Clown show except it was a good looking Troy McClure-like person hosting. In fact, this show might have been part of the inspiration of the Krusty the Clown show on the Simpsons. I was in the 1970s version with host Bob McAllister and I was really young back then. I was too young to remember any other host of this show except him.
How did shows like this survive back in the 1950s-1970s? We basically watched almost any show put on back then. The number of shows were far fewer and there were test patterns on the air to fill up time slots since there simply weren't enough shows on to fill up the airwaves. Now we have infomercials and morning news shows instead of test patterns . Believe it or not, this is sort of an improvement.
When you critize Captain Kangaroo or Wonderama, think of the level entertainment back in the early 1970s. There were so few shows on compared to now that crappy shows like Sonny & Cher and Donny & Marie were popular because what else did we have? Happy Days and Laverne & Shirley were loved, but if they put them on today, they wouldn't survive in primetime. I realize how much better it is now. There are a few shows worse too.
I can't understand how kids like Teletubbies and I certainly can't stand Barney. Some of the throw away sitcoms on UPN are just copying old sitcoms, but use a minority cast to make it slightly different.
In my opinion, TV entertainment in general is far better. So when you think of Captain Kangaroo, you have to compare him to other entertainers of his time. He was a standard because we had few choices and the others were about of the same quality.