The Mickey Mouse Club (1955–1958)

TV Series   |  TV-G   |    |  Comedy, Drama, Family

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The Mickey Mouse Club (1955) Poster

Mickey Mouse hosts a youth-oriented variety show.


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Hal Adelquist, Walt Disney

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31 May 2014 | redryan64
| Ca$h Cow Roll Call Count Off Now!
AS THE STORY goes, when Mr. Walt Disney need some cold ca$h, with which to help in paying for the completion of his then pet project, his Disneyland theme park in sunny, Southern California, he negotiated with ABC for a deal to bring a second Disney Production to the airwaves. Inasmuich as he already had his weekly DISNEYLAND being telecast for an hour, every Wednesday, another approach would be in order.

INSTEAD OF PRIMETIME, Walt's attention turned to the mid to late afternoon time period; being the province of the kids. Rather than one hour at a crack, Mr. Disney opted for 5 daily shows of an hour each.

IN ORDER THAT the voracious programming appetite of such an ambitious an undertaking would be constantly satiated, it was decided that this show would be of the variety nature. Because music, song and dance would be an important element of this package, singer/dancer/actor Jimmy Dodd was hired to put that part of the show together.

STAFFING THE PROGRAM with young the youthful performers that would be Dodd's charges was accomplished with tryouts (aka "cattle call" on Broadway). A chosen few made he cut; all destined to answer that command of: "Mousketeer Roll Call, count off now!"*

IN ADDITION TO the musical aspect of the show, the running time was filled by other features, such as: the Mickey Mouse Club Newsreel ("Dedicated to you, the Leaders of the 21st Century@!"), Special Guests, Serials (SPIN & MARTY, CORKY AND WHITE SHADOW, THE BOYS OF THE WESTERN SEA, etc.) and let us not forget Mouse Cartoon Time!

ADDITIONALLY, EACH DAY had its own theme. Fun With Music, Guest Star Day, Anmything Can Happen Day (a cheater topic), Circus Day and Talent Round-Up Day. Disney Animator/Cartoonist, Roy Williams was added to the cast to add some gravitas.

AS MUCH AS we hate to say it, being that it is surely a mortal sin to criticize anything that is Walt Disney, we hated all of that musical stuff! We mean, just what young boys want to watch is a lot of singing and dancing! (Well, we got past all that to watch the serial, newsreel, cartoon, etc.

WHEN THE MONETARY goal was reached, Walt Disney unilaterally ended THE MICKEY MOUSE CLUB; which may well be the one and only time when it wasn't the Network giving the ax to a program! And before that event, there was already a third Disney series on ABC, ZORRO starring Guy Williams.

NOTE: * After all of the Mouseketeers had been chosen, Mr. Disney himself spotted a young girl at his daughters ballet recital, whom he thought would be a good candidate for the show. The girl was the Late, Miss Annette Funicello!

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