Show: Remembering When

Episode: 868-117 Rootie Kazootie.mpg


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Episode Description:

Rootie Kazootie was the principal character on the 1950s children's television show The Rootie Kazootie Club. The show was the creation of Steve Carlin and featured human actors along with hand puppets.

Rootie Kazootie was a boy “keen on sports” who played his “magic kazootie” and wore his signature baseball cap with the oversized bill turned up. Puppeteer Paul Ashley controlled his movements, along with those of the “great Mexican catador” El Squeako Mouse, while Naomi Lewis supplied their voices. Lewis also provided the voice of Rootie’s girl friend Polka Dottie. Frank Milano provided both the actions and voices for their spotted canine companion Gala Poochie Pup and for arch-villain Poison Zoomack, who constantly tried to steal Polka Dottie’s polka dots and the magic kazootie.

Life-sized human characters included host and “chief rooter” Todd ("Big Todd") Russell, and the non-speaking policeman Mr. Deetle Dootle, played by John Schoeopperle in 1950 and by John Vee thereafter.

The show was performed live in front of a studio audience of schoolchildren, who were also active participants. They joined in singing the theme song proclaiming "Who is the boy, who is full of zip and joy? He's Rootie Kazootie!" at the beginning of each show. A regular feature was the "Quiz-a-Rootie" in which audience members received prizes for answering simple questions.

The show first aired locally as “The Rootie Tootie Club” on New York’s NBC affiliate WNBT on October 14, 1950. Since the title character regularly used a magical kazoo, which he called his "Magic Kazootie," the kids began calling him "Rootie Kazootie." Following the kids' lead, the names of the show and the character were changed with the December 26 show.[2] There is no evidence to support the story that the name was changed to avoid potential litigation from the company that manufactured Tootsie Roll. The network began broadcasting it nationally on July 2, 1951.

The dog was originally named “Little Nipper” and resembled the mascot of the show's sponsor, RCA Victor, but was rechristened when that company dropped its sponsorship. Other sponsors included Coca-Cola and Williamson Candy Company, makers of Powerhouse candy bars.

The show aired on NBC until November 1952, and was seen on ABC beginning in December. The last telecast was May 7, 1954.

At the height of the show's popularity its audience was estimated at between 2 and 3 million, and in 1953 fan letters were pouring in at a reported average rate of 32,000 each week. Words such as "yesirootie" and "gosharootie" from the "Rootie Kazootie" lexicon were adopted by schoolchildren.

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SD (Standard Definition) File

File Name of SD Episode: 868-117 Rootie Kazootie.mpg

Total SD Episode Video Runtime (hh:mm:ss): 00:31:42

File Size of SD Episode Video: 1,484,328,714 Bytes

Resolution of SD Episode Video: 720x480

Date SD Episode Video Uploaded: Saturday, January 12, 2013 - 00:38


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