The Mickey Mouse Club (U.S., 1955-??)

Figure 1.--The "Mickey Mouse Club" was perhaps the most famous children's show of early American television. It appeared on afternoon TV in the mid-1950s. The hosts for the show were the Mouseketeers, who wore caps with Mickey Mouse ears on top.

The "Mickey Mouse Club" was perhaps the most famous children's show of early American television. It appeared on afternoon TV in the mid-1950s. The hosts for the show were the Mouseketeers, who wore caps with Mickey Mouse ears on top.


The Mickey Mouse Club appeared on afternoon TV in the mid-1950s. It appeared at about the same time that Walt Disney became the also very poular primetime "Disneyland" program on Sunday evening.

The Mouseketeers

The hosts for the show were the original Mouseketeers, who wore caps with Mickey Mouse ears on top--Mouseketeers. Annette Funichello is perhaps the most famous of the original Mousekateers. Several of the Mouseketeers went on tomplay in Disney films.


The Mouseketeers led by two adults introduced the various show segments. There were usually four 15 minute segments. It was a mix of cartoons, serials, Mouseketter performances, guest performances, documentaries (often related to Disney activities), and other segments of interest to kids. There were also some serials, some of hich proved very popular.


Occasionally, the shows featured young musicians and singers, even a choral group from Germany once. I dont' recall the name of the choir. It wasn't one of the better known German choirs. The group members appeared to range in age from about 9 or 10 to mid to late teens. All wore appeared to be folk costumes from southern Germany, probably Bavaria. Most of the members were girls, but there was one boy of about 9 on the front row, wearing lederhosen. The other boys wore long trousers. At the end of their performances, the guests would receive Mouseketeer caps!


The show featured cartoons (mostly vintage Disney from the late 1930's to 1940's) with familiar Disney characters, such as Jiminy Cricket, Donald Duck, Pluto, and of course Mickey Mouse. A regular feature was the "Newsreel", a mix of reports about young people throughout the world (mostly North America). The newsreel typically presented activities or outdoor/sports events. Documentaries about animal life, weather, or topics such as aviation also were part of the format. I remember in one of these short features the camera followed a Mouseketeer on a transcontinental flight from Los Angeles to New York on an a "modern" four propeller passenger craft! Another segment offered viewers a science lesson, courtesy of "Professor Wonderful". If you remember the show, "Mr. Wizard", you'll have the idea. Professor Wonderful, though, had a live audience of a dozen or more youngsters, and he would ask several of them to assist in demonstrating a scientific principle.


Many will remember best the serials featured on MMC. "Spin and Marty" featured the fun and friendship of summers on a boys' ranch out west. "Annette" starred Mousketeer, Annette Funicello, and Mike Considine, Spin from "Spin and Marty". A busy young actor, he also starred in a juvenile detective series on MMC, "The Hardy Boys", with co-star and fellow Disney regular, Tommy Kirk. "Clint and Mac" was a sleuth story with a twist: an American boy and an English boy who teamed to catch crooks in London in this multi-part series.


The MMC didn't provide much in the way of costume information as the mouskateers wore a kind of basic uniform complete with mouseketeers. The kids were always scrubbed and proper, but alas never wearing shorts -- even the little ones. It was all very controlled, never anything really interesting. Nothing like the modern kid shows that appeal to the perverse streak in kids. There were some seials that provided insights into contemprary clothing. The vest known was "Spin and Marty." It was set in a summer camp. A spoiled boy (Marty), I think who is English, arrives in a big car and is wearing a short pants suit with kneesocks. (HBC readers differe on this.). He is soon "educated" by his new friends. There was another series called "Clint and Mac". This involved an American and British boy. I think it was set in England, but am not positive. The American boy had a flat-top hair cut and wore a whire "T" shirt with jeans. The British boy wore a school uniform, complere with cap, tie, blazer, short trousers, and kneesocks. I don't believe that it was as popular as "Spin and Marty". Another popular series was "The Hardy Boys Mystery".


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Created: March 20, 2003
Last updated: 1:56 AM 2/11/2010