This Post May Be For Ontarians Only - Macleans.ca
 

This Post May Be For Ontarians Only


 

I don’t know how many people outside Ontario watched Polka Dot Door (it did run in the U.S. for a while). Anyone who did watch it will know why this is the news that might just make Twitter relevant again: Polkaroo has a Twitter feed at twitter.com/polkaroo. Where his messages mostly consist of him saying “Polkaroo!” followed by a link to something. Because he doesn’t say anything except “Polkaroo!” and doesn’t need to — he’s Polkaroo, dang it; he doesn’t have to make speeches. He also offers Polkaroo-related visual material on Tumblr.

The resurgence of interest in Polkaroo has taught me that I wasn’t the only person who took a long time to figure out that the Polkaroo was just the male host in a costume, which is why his voice sounded different depending on who was hosting and why the male host always “missed him again.” It’s still embarrassing that I didn’t get it right away, but at least I know I wasn’t alone.

Here we see why Polkaroo is a Canadian hero: he fought against the space program’s anti-Polkaroo bias and proved that even Polkaroos (Polkari?) can be astronauts. That female host — I’m not sure who she is, though I remember seeing her on the show — seems to have a rather unconcerned attitude to the fact that Polkaroos aren’t allowed into the program.


 
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This Post May Be For Ontarians Only

  1. I used to love that show. parliamint.blogspot.com

    • "used to"???

  2. This made my day!

  3. Having run immediately to Wikipedia for a little nostalgic look back, I'm now reminded that today (Thursday) would have been "Imagination Day"! The day on which Polkaroo would appear.

    Neat little coincidence!

  4. I forget really important stuff, and then it turns out this song has been sitting somewhere in my brain since the 80s. Sigh.

  5. Perhaps I was just a twisted youngster… but am I the only one that thought the cry "Polkaroo" had a slightly naughty connotation.

    • I wouldn't try that if I were you.

      Kangaroos are dangerous when provoked.

    • It never occurred to me at the time, but I did wonder after I saw a very adult oriented performance by Denis Simpson at the Xtra West community achievement awards last year. Very unexpected and somewhat unsettling after being used to seeing him only on the Polka Dot Door…

      • Hello:
        My sister just sent me the articel about the Polka Dot Door. I did the show for seven years, and so many years later, I still get associated with and recognized for it: such is the power of television, and the testament to helping shape minds, vis-a-vis a good show. When I was an immigrant kid from Jamaica, Mr. Greenjeans and Captain Kangaroo, and The Friendly Giant kept me company. I'm beyond happy that I'm a part of the fabric that helped calm and educate children. As an entertainer/actor/writer etc, though it was just one of my professional credits. It's funny how folks attach so much to ownership (I totally get it) to their 'heroes'; some of the professional acting gigs I've done are light years away from Polka Dot Door….such are the grateful opportunities I have been given over the years to be a part of. Thanks so much for supporting all things PDD, and me in particular. I'm humbled and grateful. Long live Polkaroo!
        (One of the)Polkaroo/Denis Simpson

        • Hi Denis, and thanks for all the wonderful memories! I am very happy to have the chance to see you perform last year, and apologize if that did not come across in my post. It was a very enjoyable event (I confess I sang along – loudly!), and it was lovely to hear about all the important advocacy and charity work you have taken on over the years. You are a wonderful performer and a real Canadian treasure!

  6. Songs n stories n so much more, do-de-do-de-do-do, at the Polkadot Door.

  7. Don't sell the Polkaroo short Mr. Weinman – I know people who remember watching this show in places as far away as South Africa. He's not just a homegrown hero – he's an international star!

  8. It was on in Atlantic Canada as well.

  9. Polkaroo!

    • Polkaroo was here an hour ago!?!?!

      I missed him again!

      • Holy crap. LKO IS POLKAROO.

      • Based on the disclosure above about Polkaroo's identity, I can only assume that this means that Lord Kitchener's Own is, in fact, Polkaroo and is trying to cover up this fact by pretending he "missed him again!"

      • I normally hate the laziness of l33t-speak, but really LKO, totally LMAO :^)

  10. Goddamnit, I'm going to have the Polka Dot Door song in my head all day now!

  11. "The resurgence of interest in Polkaroo has taught me that I wasn't the only person who took a long time to figure out that the Polkaroo was just the male host in a costume, which is why his voice sounded different depending on who was hosting and why the male host always “missed him again.” It's still embarrassing that I didn't get it right away, but at least I know I wasn't alone."

    I remember being the only kid in my kindergarten class who knew Polkaroo was just a person in a costume, but it took me another twenty years to find out it was always the male host. Up until then I'd always just assumed there was one guy hired to be Polkaroo for the run of the show. In a nutshell: my fellow kindergarteners were idiots, and you're not alone, Jaime.

  12. Realizing that Polkaroo was the male host dressed up was kind of like realizing that Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy aren't real.

    It was a part of growing up.

    (at least that's what I tell myself to make myself feel better about not realizing the truth for far too long :)

    p.s. I liked when they brought aboard the French cat, Minou? Humpty and Dumpty were also pretty awesome.

  13. For the record, the Wikipedia article on Polkaroo leaves open the question of whether or not Polkaroo was the male host in costume:

    "Since Polkaroo and the male host were never seen together, it's widely believed that it was the host who suited up as the character. Whether this is true or not is unknown; the credits never mentioned who played Polkaroo, and it's just as feasible that it was a stagehand who donned the costume in each episode." (emphasis added)

    Maybe the male host was just on a smoke break.

    • Smoke break? C'mon, back in those days smoking was just part of the show, wasn't it?

      • Perhaps the psychedelic set design was part of an attempt to appeal to both kids AND aging hippies.

  14. One of my favourite episodes showed a bunch of school children autographing the final tippy-top portion of the mast of the CN Tower, before it was hoisted into place by a helicopter. I thought that was so cool.

  15. I watched Polka Dot Door in BC!

  16. Count me as another that didn't figure out the whole male-host-in-costume thing until a good 15 years after I was out of Polka Dot Door's prime demographic.

    I'm following @polkaroo on Twitter, too, have been for a while. How could I not?

  17. Hello all:
    I am bemused reading all these articles about Polkaroo. I did the show for seven years when I lived in Toronto (for those in Toronto, come to the theatre in November-December, and see me in A Yar In the Life Of Frog And Toad, at The Lorraine Kizma Theatre). MY sister sent me the article this morning, and still after all these years, and less hair, and life's trials, I am recognized/appreciated by grandchildren who are teens now (as well as their parents) who watched PDD. I never taped any of my shows (what was I thinking?????!!!). If anyone has a copy of my shows do let me know.
    I'm still acting, and have done so many things far removed from PDD (simulating smoking a joint for example, in Aint Misbehavin', playing a flamboyant Nurse in Angels In America,Hoke, in Driving Miss Daisy, Reverend Sykes in To Kill A Mockingbird, the MC at The Apollo Theatre in Budddy ….roles alternatively comedic androles dramatic) that I am honored to be a part to the pantheon of children entertainers in this country. Long Live Polkaroo…T.V. Ontario, (Ted Coneybear and George Bourne in particular) and all of you, for putting me on the landscape; such is the power of television that although I'm folically challenged and 'older', I'm still a visible…minority. It's great to know you all. Thanks Maclean's for keeping PDD alive and well.
    Blessings and NAMASTE.
    Denis (Simpson)

  18. POLKAROO LIVES ON INDEED!!!!

    I had the pleasure of working with Denis Simpson in "Buddy Holly" at the Vancouver Arts Club, and when I finally put 2 and 2 together, I got so overwhelmed and STARSTRUCK! POLKAROOOOO!!!!!

    You helped raise me, Denis, and I love you so much!

    • Hey Elena:
      Maybe you could be the president of my fan club? I'm the President of yours! With these telecommunications, the world is a small(er) place. I hope you're having the BEST day….see you in the fall.
      Doxox

      • We miss you, Denis. Still president of your fan club and people around the country continue to celebrate you today. Love you so, thank you, and rest happy xox

  19. "That female host" is Carrie Loring, who now sings professionally with Tafelmusik Chamber Choir!

  20. That's my beautiful sister, Carrie! Lovely song.
    The world misses John Arpin, who was the show's masterful
    pianist.

    Elaine Loring