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Baby Boomers still remember the Micke Mouse Club

Mar 18, 2008
Those who were teens in the 1950's remember with fondness coming home from school in the latter part of the 50's to watch Walt Disney Studios' Mickey Mouse Club. The second television show created by Disney, The Mickey Mouse Club was televised in part to help fund the creation of the Disneyland theme park. From 5:00-6:00 in its first two seasons and from 5:00-5:30 in its last two, U.S. teens were glued to the television.

The idea was that of a variety show hosted by Jimmie Dodd who, incidentally, came up with the brilliant idea for the cast members to wear Mickey Mouse ears. The series featured a cast of young stars who signed on to each episode with the energetic Mouseketeer Roll Call. The most beloved cast member by far was Annette Funicello. The show contained a potpourri of newsreels, talent features, cartoons, musical numbers, and serials, including Spin and Marty, The Hardy Boys, and Corky and White Shadow.

Every day had a unique theme. Monday was "Fun with Music"; Tuesday featured a guest star; Wednesday brought "Anything Can Happen Day"; Thursdays utilized a circus theme, and Friday concluded the week with a Talent Round-up. The tunes were catchy, the kids were wholesome, and the message to teens of the fifties stayed with them through the years.

Though it only lasted four seasons, its fans never forgot it, and it was the Baby Boomers' loving memories of the show that inspired its reruns from 1975 to 1977 and the eventual development of the All New Mickey Mouse Club in January 1977. It, too, continued the idea of themed weekdays remixed to a disco beat. The new show did not catch on with 70's teens, however, and the show quietly faded away.

A 1990's revival did much better. It carried the same title as the 1970's revival, but was nicknamed MMC. Recorded with a live audience in Orlando, the show was known for its mixed race cast. Famous "graduates" of the MMC, which premiered in 1989 and continued in reruns until 1996, included pop stars Christine Aguilera, Britney Spears, and Justin Timberlake.

The original Mickey Mouse Club stands as a excellent example of what programming for older children could aspire to. Wholesome, fun, and educational, modern television producers could take a few lessons from it.
About the Author
Steve Collins is an Author in Encino, CA. A massive Disney fan, he uses a Disney Movie Club to fill the gaps in his collection. Read reviews of Disney Movie Club
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