1 9 5 5 – 1 9 5 9 (USA)
The Mickey Mouse Club debuted in 1955 and was an immediate hit with the younger audience. The show typified the Disney approach to everything – each show was an extravaganza, with song-and-dance numbers, cartoons, serial adventures and homilies.
There were adult hosts – guitar player Jimmie Dodd and Roy Williams, a big bear of a man who was a Disney animator – but the real stars were the Mousketeers – a group of 24 children wearing turtle-neck tops with their names printed on them and mouse-ear hats. At the time, every American child watching wished they could have joined that group.
Each day had a song and a special theme: Monday was “Fun with Music Day”, Tuesday was “Guest Star Day”, Wednesday “Anything Can Happen Day”, Thursday “Circus Day” and Friday was “Talent Round-Up Day”.
Running serials, all produced by Disney, included ‘Spin and Marty‘; ‘Border Collie’; ‘Corky and White Shadow’; and ‘The Hardy Boys.’
Jimmie may have been the nominal host, but it was Mickey’s club, and each show featured an animated bit with Mickey talking to young viewers.
Time to twist our Mouseke-dial
to the right and left with a great big smile
This is the way we get to see
A mouse cartoon for you and me
Meeska, Mooseka, Mouseketeer
Mouse Cartoon Time is now here
The memorable series ran in 30 and 60-minute formats daily and on Saturdays, and enjoyed a long run (or re-run) in syndication after its expiration in 1959.
An updated version of The Mickey Mouse Club was produced in 1989 with a new generation of Mousketeers, including Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and Ryan Gosling.
Now it’s time to say goodbye to all our company
M-I-C (see you real soon)
K-E-Y (why? Because we like you)
Billie Jean Beanblossom
Bonni Lynn Fields
Bonnie Lou Kern
Carl ‘Cubby’ O’Brien
Jay Jay Solari
John Lee Johnson
Mary Lou Sartori
Mickey Rooney Jr.