Thank You For The Memories Captain 11
March 7, 1955 ‘Captain 11 first aired on KELO-TV.
At the time, I’m sure no one at the station had any idea the show would eventually become the longest running children’s show in television history. It ran until December 28, 1996.
And the most amazing thing to me is that during that entire time the show had only one host – Captain 11, a.k.a. Dave Dedrick, the mild-mannered weather anchor on KELO-TV.
While there’s no actual count, it’s estimated the show aired more than 9 thousand individual episodes.
For 35 years, the Captain would do a show live every weekday afternoon. Later, the shows were taped Wednesday afternoons for playback the following Saturday.
And who can ever forget the opening to the show -
“Captain 11. Today’s man of the future. 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 11!”
I can remember as a kid, every afternoon after school, grabbing a cookie and sitting down to watch the spinning ‘Twirlitzers’ on the Captain’s time machine – and hoping to someday actually meet the Captain and ‘flip a time converter jewel’ for myself.
And, I’m proud to say, my dream came true – not once, but twice. I got to be on the show once by myself and once with my sister. It seems like it was just yesterday.
And then there was ‘The Wave.’ Who could ever forget the wave? Even though I was all by myself, I would still stand up in the living room and follow along.
The Captain would end every show by having his studio audience wave one hand – wave both hands – wave both hands and one foot – now wave both hands and both feet.
What great childhood memories – thank you Captain 11.
I’d like to close though by quoting one of the Captain’s favorite proverbs. It think it pretty much sums up what Captain 11 was truly all about.
“A man is never so tall as when he stoops to help a child.”
A giant among men – rest in peace Captain 11!