The power to control time

Today I happened to wonder whatever became of the DJ at my local hometown radio station, and started googling, as one can do these days.  It turns out he’s retired, no surprise there, but then I ran into the name of someone I had long forgotten,  TV personality Captain 11.  Every day when we came home from school we would plop down on the floor in front of the TV and wait for the after school cartoons to come on.  At the appointed time, a ponderous voice would intone:

One man in each century is given the power to control time.
The man chosen to receive this power is carefully selected.
He must be kind.
He must be fair.
He must be brave.
You have fulfilled these requirements; and, we of the Outer Galaxies designate to you the wisdom of Solomon and the strength of Atlas.
You
are
Captain
Eleven. (cue reverb)

Then Captain Eleven, aka Dave Dedrick,  would appear, surrounded by children, (the “crew members”)  and tell the children to “wave one hand, wave two hands, wave both hands and one foot, wave both hands and both feet–by this time the children were jumping up and down–then the Captain would say “freeze” while the camera panned over the sea of children trying to hold still.  Then the birthday kids would get to flip the switches on the “time converter” control panel to start the cartoon.  The camera would focus on one of the spiraling “twirlitzer wheels” then fade to the cartoon.

They were good cartoons in those days too: Bugs Bunny, Warner Brothers, sometimes Mighty Mouse with yet another space theme, “Hi, boys and girls! Here we go, rocketing into a fun-filled, exciting cartoon show. Hold onto your seats as we blast off to visit all of your favorite cartoon stars.” Twice a week we had Batman and Robin, and on the weekends, Rocky and Bullwinkle, with lots of fun sight gags for the kiddies and cold war jokes for the grownups.

There is a clip with part of the opening “One man in each century”
monologue here, as well as the Captains sign-off at the end, encouraging the kiddies to brush their teeth and say their prayers.

I met Dave Dedrick once; I must have been about five years old.  My father was taping an educational video at the KELO studio.  The guy he was talking to said something to him, then my dad turned to me and told me it was Captain 11.  While I was still trying to process that, Dave Dedrick turned around and showed me the Captain 11 set behind a curtain.

2 Responses to “The power to control time”

  1. DailyPUMA Says:

    Fronz the toymaker. And we had really good cartoons as well. They were not mainstream either. I wish I could find them on youtube. One of my favorites was Peter and the Wolf,

    Also the one with the bird who brought back sound to earth. That one my all time favorite cartton. I saw it when I was five years old and it taught me the value of teamwork and non naricissistic behavior (although at five I did not know what narcissism was).

    Another favorite was the one with a guy and a girl from Roman times racing. The guy was a burly guy and the girl was actually favored. However, the burly guy was supposed to carry these weights for the first set of laps around the track, then the guy rolls them and the girl has to pick them up and run with them for the remainder of the race.

    The girl gets way ahead, but as the guy drops each ball, the girl is supposed to pick each one up and continue running so that each ultimately has the weights for the same amount of time. The guy ends up winning because the balls were easier to carry early on in the race than near the end.

  2. Nijma Says:

    The cartoon about the race sounds like a variation on the Aphrodite/golden apple theme.

    I’m not sure I want today’s cartoons telling kids to pray, but it seems we have lost the part about teaching kids values. Play should also teach children the skills they will need to get by in the world.


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