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Take 5: The tale of 'Captain Kangaroo'

Starting Monday at 7 a.m., CBS premieres "CBS This Morning," which seems like the network's umpteenth iteration to compete with "Today" and "Good Morning America." Of course, for 27 years, CBS had a successful morning show -- the beloved kids' program, "Captain Kangaroo," hosted by genial longtime L.I. resident Bob Keeshan. It enthralled several generations of young viewers each morning until it was booted first to weekends (1982) and then dumped entirely from the network (1984). Here are five things you may not have known about the show:

1. "Captain Kangaroo" premiered Oct. 3, 1955, the same day as that other boomer TV fave, "The Mickey Mouse Club."

2. Guests who appeared on the show over the years included basketball's Earl "The Pearl" Monroe, Carol Channing and Marlo Thomas, left. In the early 1980s, Bill Cosby was a semiregular.

3. A popular urban legend claimed that rock musician Frank Zappa was the son of Hugh Brannum, the actor who played Mr. Green Jeans, the Captain's sidekick. It was based on Zappa writing a composition named "Mr. Green Genes" on his album "Uncle Meat" and a sequel, "Son of Mr. Green Genes," on his album "Hot Rats."

4. "Captain Kangaroo" remains the longest-running children's series on U.S. commercial television. (PBS' "Sesame Street" holds the record.)

5. The show's memorable theme song was entitled "Puffin' Billy," and was purchased from a British stock music production library.

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