1 9 6 7 – 1 9 9 6 (Canada)
30 minute episodes
The character of Mr Dressup originally appeared on the Canadian children’s series Butternut Square (1964 – 1967) before being spun off into a show of his own, which became one of the longest-running children’s series in Canadian television history.
The format didn’t change much from when Mr Dressup first aired in February 1967, and the blend of education and make-believe remained throughout the show’s run.
The simplicity of the show never waivered – the softly-spoken Mr Dressup (Ernie Coombs) meandered along for half an hour surrounded by puppets like mop-haired eternal 4-year-old boy Casey, his floppy-eared mute dog Finnegan and old Grannylocks as the characters dressed up and played make-believe, told stories, drew pictures, played games, sang songs and discussed the world around them.
Week after week, Coombs dived into his “Tickle Trunk” of dress-up clothes and props and emerged as a rock star, a pirate, or a dragon.
Initially, Mr Dressup was joined by a young lady by the name of Susan Marcus, who eventually ended up working as a writer for the show.
Coombs’ long-time collaborator Judith Larence retired from the show in 1991 and took her creations – hand puppets Casey and Finnegan – with her. But Mr Dressup soldiered on with new puppets, including Grannie and young Annie, Chester the crow, a fluffy pink thing called Truffles, Lorenzo the Raccoon and a character called Tutti Frutti.
After almost 30 years on the air, the final episode of Mr Dressup was recorded in February 1996.
Lorenzo the Raccoon (voice)