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The Polka Dot Door



A long time ago, when I was 22, my first child was born.  That kid grew up on a little Canadian kid's show called Polka Dot Door, produced by the TV Ontario network.  And Dad, more often than not, sat through those shows with his little one.

Nine or so years later when a brother, and a year after that when a sister came along number one son was moving on to Knight Rider and The Dukes of Hazzard.  But there was a nice overlap where his siblings picked up where he had left off with Polka Dot Door.  And Dad was right there to welcome them.

So you're looking at a Polka Dot Door veteran.  The show began in 1971 and ran to 1993.  I didn't watch the full run but I did get in my fair share.  The formula was pretty simple.  A young male and female host, which seemed to change every week, sang songs, told stories, made crafts and generally did their best stimulate little brains.  The show opened as follows...



Imagination Day!  Oh boy!  You know what happens on Imagination Day?  That's the day Polkaroo visits.  TV Ontario wasn't stupid.  They made Imagination Day Thursday so kids would watch Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to see if he might show up and Friday in case he came back.

But you know something?  There was a strange occurrence every time Polkaroo showed up.  You know what it was?  The male host disappeared.  Yeah, that's right.  For some strange reason he disappeared every single time Polkaroo was on camera.  I think he actually had a weak bladder but you never know.  And Polkaroo wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer.  He didn't talk.  All he did was in a hallow, owl voice exclaim "POLKAROO" when the female host accurately guessed the meaning of his mimed motions.  And this is what happened every time the male host came back...



"The Polkaroo was...here.  And I missed him...again?  Yep every week we laughed at the guy with the bad bladder.  It seemed every Thursday when he rushed to the washroom - or at least we think that was the explanation - the Polkaroo showed up.

Yep, for 22 years the male host never saw Polkaroo.  That's Polkaroo...with a capital pee...on The Polka Dot Door.  I wonder if the kids ever caught on?

And that's what I think of when I think of polka dots, the topic for this week's Theme Thursday.  Check them out and see what other bloggers came up with.

Comments

Brian Miller said…
nice. i have seen this on a couple of tt posts...and i must say i am completely unfamiliar. it fels like i am reading a chapter i skipped in a book. thanks for awakening me.
CatLadyLarew said…
The Polkaroo? Seriously? You Canadians!
Moooooog35 said…
What is wrong with your country?

Oh well..they have awesome strippers.
nonamedufus said…
Brian: The Polkaroo was here...and I missed him?
nonamedufus said…
CatLady: Hey, I wouldn't make this up. Hey, not only is this theme day...but it's "imagination" day, too.
nonamedufus said…
moooooog: We see the Prime Minister about as often as we see Polkaroo...aw, I missed him again.
Kiddie show characters stay in the mind for years... even if we try to expunge them.
The Clever Pup said…
Good take on the theme, my fellow Canadian. But what a baad show. I can still hear the music. Thank goodness TVO grew up a little.
nonamedufus said…
S/L Sudios: Oh, for sure. But shows for pre-school kids have sure changed as I watch my grandkids glued to the TV.
nonamedufus said…
Clever Pup: But it sure entertained them, no matter how simple.
willow said…
Gosh, I loved those little local kids programs. I can think of a few of them myself. Thanks for the memories. Great post.
nonamedufus said…
Willow: Glad you enjoyed it. If Polkaroo shows up again, I'll let you know.
Alan Burnett said…
You wonder whether the kids caught on to what? No, you're not suggesting, you can't be...! Happy TT.
Quirkyloon said…
Ha! Sorry but Polkaroo reminds me of Barney the Dinosaur.

And it just goes to show once again the difference between Americans and the rest of the world.

Barney: a big fat tub of purple.
Polkaroo: a slim polka-dotted... thing.

Even our cartoons are obese in comparison with the rest of the world!

word veri: jecto
Don said…
Oh come on. You don't really think the male host was doubling as Polkeroo do you?! I'll bet you think Santa Claus doesn't really come down chimneys and ride in a sleigh too!
Me-Me King said…
What a hook!

Our local programming was Bozo's Big Top. Bozo was played by one of the evening newscasters. When my kids would hear his voice during the news they would come running in and could not quite figure out where Bozo was. I even caught my son looking behind the TV once.
VE said…
Polkaroo? Is that Roo from Winnie the Pooh's crazy Canadian cousin?
nonamedufus said…
Alan: Nah, I'm not saying that. Of course not.
nonamedufus said…
Quirks: Barney was ahead of his time, with a big ass. Polkaroo was always a little behind.
nonamedufus said…
Don: Santa comes down the chimney? Aw, I missed him again.
nonamedufus said…
Me-Me: That's too precious!
nonamedufus said…
VE: PolkaROO-PolkaROO.
Stephanie said…
New one on me. I loved Sesame Street when my girl was little.
AngelMay said…
Kids are SO easily fooled. I was grown and GROWN before it finally dawned on me that a couple of cats I had once didn't really run away as my mother told me they did. Or...maybe it is just *I* that am easily fooled. Sigh.
nonamedufus said…
Stephanie: Oh Canadians had a whole bunch of kids shows...Polka Dot Door, Mr. Dress Up, Friendly Giant, Razzle Dazzle.
nonamedufus said…
AngelMay: Kids can be fooled, but they usually "get it" at some point.
thinkinfyou said…
I've never even heard of that show. I do miss watching little kids shows too!
The Mistress said…
Imagination Day? I love that:)

~Angela
nonamedufus said…
thinkinfyou: Made in Toronto and aired only in Ontario.
nonamedufus said…
Mistress: Kinda like Theme Thursday!
Baino said…
Haha he's so lame! Thank God for Sesame street. Why aren't kids terrified by a thing like that going around saying little more than 'pokaroo'. Then we have a bear called Humphrey who doesn't speak a word and wears a waistcoat, tie hat and no pants!
idifficult said…
Every day should be imagination day...
JeffScape said…
That, um, creeps me out!
nonamedufus said…
Baino: Oh, believe me, he just mesmerized kids.

A bear with no pants? Yikes.
nonamedufus said…
idifficult: Hadn't you noticed? Around here it is.
nonamedufus said…
JeffScape: Polkaroo creeps you out? Why would an 8-foot tall silent polka dot on legs creep you out?
brookeamanda said…
I LOVED The Polka Dot Door and NONE of my friends remember this show. I had no idea it was Canadian...it came on right after Sesame Street on PBS here in the states.
nonamedufus said…
BrookeAmanda: It was the first Canadian kids show to be syndicated in the States and ran on PBS from 82-88.
Anonymous said…
I was sure I saw one episode when the guy saw the polka roo - I don't remember the hosts or anything but I was positive I saw one episode where he saw the polka roo - anyone else remember this?? I am 34 now, so it would have been probably early to mid eighties.
nonamedufus said…
Anon: Aw, I missed that!
The Mistress said…
Imagination Day? I love that:)

~Angela

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