Keeshan's family says he died in Vermont after a long illness. Keeshan debuted as Captain Kangaroo in 1955, visiting on television each day with his friend "Mr. Green Jeans."
He also visited with puppet animals, like Bunny Rabbit and Mr. Moose, whose jokes usually ended with captain kangaroo being pummeled with ping-pong balls.
The show revolved around the grandfatherly Captain Kangaroo, whose name was inspired by the kangaroo pouch-like pockets of the coat Keeshan wore.
Keeshan says he chose an elderly character because he liked the "potential positive relationship between grandparents and grandchildren."
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