Mr. Moose could tell some funny knock-knock jokes. From 1955 through 1984, on CBS, The Mooster told thousands of them.
Regardless of the punch line, the knock-knocks and riddles always ended up the same damn way. The joke was delivered, there was a brief pause, then...
Dozens of ping pong balls were dropped on the head of Captain Kangaroo.
The Captain was a bit of a diva. Everyone at the studio knew it, but no one would talk about it publicly. The Captain hated the ping pong bit, because it made him look like a goof. A stooge.
For a few minutes every day, The Captain was pwned by the The Mooster.
And slowly, it began to drive him mad.
Oh, he talked to CBS suits about it. But Mr. Moose had a lot of clout at the studio. Rumor had it The Mooster had Polaroids--the kind no one wanted leaked--of the studio big-wigs.
Just in case.
Mr. Green Jeans sensed trouble was brewing, and tried to intervene. For his efforts, the sidekick was reassigned to an even smaller supporting role on the show.
Remember the New Old Folk Singer?
One Wednesday in early 1984 the final show was taped. Staff and crew still speak in hushed tones about how The Captain's eyes glazed over immediately after the director yelled "that's a wrap." He became unusually quiet. Sullen.
Mr. Moose hung out with a few groupies after that last show was over. Some reported The Mooster and his entourage stayed in his dressing room for several hours after the show, snorting cocaine and playing Twister. Mr. Moose was a player, after all, and it was the 80's. The last groupie left the dressing room some time after midnight, leaving Mr. Moose alone in the dark studio. Drunk, stoned and exhausted.
No one ever saw him again.
People suspected The Captain had something to do with the disappearance, but the police could never prove the allegations. When asked about the missing Mr. Moose years later, The Captain would simply smile and reply: "That's the way the ping pong ball bounces."
It's a sad show biz story, really.