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.
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.