1 9 7 2 – 1 9 7 9 (USA)
Between Fanny Doodle, The Cat Came Back song, and Miss Mary Mac, kids learned more than just the zip code for Boston, Mass. (02134).
This half-hour show was like the Stepford Children . . . A Boston-based PBS kids programme in which child prisoners (all wearing matching striped shirts) played boring games, acted nice around each other (and handicapped kids), and generally behaved themselves.
A product of WGBH-TV in Boston, this series was meant to be both educational and fun.
Intended for pre-teens and elementary school kids, Zoom was hosted by an ever-changing cast of seven to ten children and consisted of games, stunts, films, songs, jokes and quizzes, all performed by the cast members themselves.
The topics covered were wide-ranging, from art and science to baking and child safety. Viewers were encouraged to submit letters and ideas to the show, many of which were either read on air or used as inspiration for the show’s various sketches and songs (like the unforgettable sing-along, “Ubbi-Dubbi,” which spawned its own language).
Fans could also request colourful “Zoom cards,” which were educational pamphlets that provided extra information about the topics discussed on the show. The show ran successfully for six seasons. In 1999, WGBH began a new Zoom series, following the old show’s format and starring a new batch of youngsters.
“That’s Zoom, Z-double-O-M, Box 3-5-0, Boston, Mass 0-2-1-3-4. Send it to Zoom!”
“We’re gonna Zoom, Zoom, Zoom-a, Zoom
Come on and Zoom-a, Zoom-a Zoom
Ev’rybody’s doin’ it,
Ev’rybody’s groovin’ it,
Ev’rybody’s havin’ a ball, yeah!”