On this day in 1955 Mighty Mouse Playhouse is first broadcast on tee vee.
The character was originally conceived by Paul Terry. Created as a parody of Superman, he first appeared in 1942 in a theatrical animated short titled The Mouse of Tomorrow. His original name was Super Mouse, but after seven films produced with that name from 1942-1943, it was changed to Mighty Mouse for 1944’s The Wreck of the Hesperus, after Paul Terry learned that another character named “Super Mouse” was to be published by Marvel Comics.
Sing along with me:
When he hears this Mighty sound.
“Here I come to save the day”
That means that Mighty Mouse is on his way.
Yes sir, when there is a wrong to right
Mighty Mouse will join the fight.
On the sea or on the land,
He gets the situation well in hand.
In one of his first appearances on Saturday Night Live,
Andy Kaufman does the Mickey Mouse theme song.
Mighty Mouse moved from movie theaters to television in 1955, where the cartoons lived on for decades, inculcating generations of children with the theme song. Again, according to the WikiWackyWoo:
Mighty Mouse was not extraordinarily popular in theatrical cartoons, but was still Terrytoons‘
most popular character. What made him a cultural icon was television.
Most of the short film studios, both live-action and animated, were in
decline by the 1950s, pressured both by the loss of film audiences to
television as well as the increased popularity (and financial benefits)
of low-budget, stylized, limited animation.
Most of the studios cashed out of the short-film production business
and began licensing or selling their back catalogs to television. Paul Terry went as far as to sell the entire Terrytoon company to CBS in 1955. The network began running Mighty Mouse Playhouse in December 1955. It remained on the air for nearly twelve years (and featured The Mighty Heroes
during the final season). Mighty Mouse cartoons became a staple of
children’s television programming for a period of over thirty years,
from the 1950s through the 1980s.
Just pretend it’s Saturday morning and you are a kid again. Here’s some Mighty Mouse for you to enjoy: