Saturday Morning Flashback: Captain Bob

The other day, I was searching YouTube for a video clip and I happened upon a link that brought me back to the days of my youth.  For me, Saturday mornings began not with cartoons, but with Captain Bob.  From 1976 to 1982, The Nature World of Captain Bob aired Saturday mornings on WCVB (Channel 5) and was re-run for several years afterward.  The show featured Brockton native Robert Cottle as the titular captain, and each episode was dedicated to  teaching you how to draw an animal.

Every Saturday, I’d wake up just before 6:30 and quietly ease myself downstairs.  I’d stop off in the kitchen for a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch (hold the milk) and then settle in front of the TV with a drawing pad and colored pencils to eagerly wait to find out what I’d be drawing this week.  I never had much talent for drawing, but whether it was a turtle, shark, cat, seagull or some other kind of beast, Captain Bob always helped me create a readily recognizable likeness.  When my parents woke up later in the morning, the first thing my dad would ask me was “what did you draw with Captain Bob?”  I was always proud to display the results of my latest Saturday session with the Captain.

I found these links on YouTube to the episode about drawing a cat.  The show’s age is given away by the quality of the video, and at one point Captain Bob actually says “if you have a color TV, you can see that the Siamese cat’s eyes are blue.”  Yeesh.  I didn’t think I was that old.  Sadly, the video doesn’t contain the show’s opening sea shanty.  As I sat in front of the TV in the early morning light, that song always brought a huge smile to my face.


~ by schlippo on January 31, 2014.

8 Responses to “Saturday Morning Flashback: Captain Bob”

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  2. Check this video. It has the opening song and shows the shanty.

  3. P.S.– I was born at the end of 1950, so I remember a younger Capt. Bob. The opening scene was him steering his boat to the shanty. I loved the opening too! As I recall, it was around dinner time, as my Mom would tell me that dinner was ready. I said I’ll be coming soon but had to finish my drawing. At that time I lived in central Mass., in a town outside of Worcester. I just LOVED that show and enjoyed the art instruction so much. Thanks for sharing your memories!!

  4. He was also the second and last host/performer of NBC TV’s”Ruff & Reddy Show”.

  5. I was just thinking about this show. My Saturday mornings always started with Captain Bob, as well. I was born in 1983, and so I guess I was watching the last of the reruns. I also had no idea when I was a kid that only those of us in the Boston area got to see Drawing from Nature.

  6. Sisters and I were reminiscing, and one reminded me about how I used to set my alarm clock so I could wake up in time for Capt. Bob … it was on at 6 or 6:30 … we were allowed 2 hours of Saturday morning TV, and this was one of my favorite shows. It was a good memory, sitting there in my quiet house, listening and drawing, eating my cereal … I kept a sketchbook where I drew all my Captain Bob sketches. It was a gentle and calming show, and I liked learning about the animals too. 🙂

  7. […] maybe it’s the old-country sea captains of my family tree, or maybe it’s just fond memories of The Nature World of Captain Bob, but either way, few things read as cozier to me than battening down the hatches near a raging […]

  8. I did the exact same thing every Saturday morning! I loved watching capt bob. Now that I have my one youngsters I was looking for his videos to show ‘em

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