Tuesday, February 26, 2019
Rootie Kazootie was the principal character on the 1950s children's television show The Rootie Kazootie Club.
The show featured human actors along with hand puppets. The show first aired locally as The Rootie Tootie Club on the New York NBC affiliate on October 14, 1950.
Since the title character regularly used a magical kazoo, which he called his "Magic Kazootie," the kids began calling him "Rootie Kazootie." Following the kids' lead, the names of the show and the character were changed with the December 26 show. NBC began broadcasting the show nationally on July 2, 1951.
Rootie Kazootie was a boy "keen on sports" who played his "magic kazootie" and wore his signature baseball cap with the oversized bill turned up. A puppeteer controlled his movements, along with those of the "great Mexican catador" called El Squeako Mouse.
Life-sized human characters included host and "chief rooter" Todd ("Big Todd") Russell, and the non-speaking policeman Mr. Deetle Dootle.
The show was performed live in front of a studio audience of schoolchildren who also were active participants. They joined in singing the theme song, proclaiming at the beginning of each show, "Who is the boy who is full of zip and joy? He's Rootie Kazootie!" A regular feature was the "Quiz-a-Rootie" in which audience members received prizes for themselves and home viewers for answering simple questions.