The Polka Dot Door

rewindLately I've done a lot of writing about TVOntario shows from my youth. I've covered Jeremy the Bear, Barbapapa, The Fables of the Green Forest and Dr. Snuggles, but I've yet to cover the granddaddy of them all. The TVO show I watched the most as a kid was Polka Dot Door.

There were certain constants in Polka Dot Door.

  • it was always hosted by a man and woman
  • they always chatted with four stuffed animals named Humpty, Dumpty, Marigold and Bear
  • there was always a time check with the grandfather clock
  • there was always a video that was shown after the camera exited one of the polka dots on the door
  • there was (almost) always a visit from Polkaroo which would only be witnessed by one of the hosts
  • when the host who missed Polkaroo realizes he missed the big guy, the catch phrase "Awww, I missed him again!" would be uttered

I always had fun trying to guess which polka dot on the door would be our path to the video. I also loved the fact we were supposed to suspect the host who missed Polkaroo was in the Polkaroo costume. Sure ya missed him again, wink-wink.

I think I caught this show every day as a toddler. I was desperately searching for video of the opening theme, but I came up empty. I did find a video set to the theme song, however, so this will have to do for now.


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Mom

And always, always 6:00 p.m. every week day for years which meant mom could get dishes done and things cleaned up while it was on.

March 7, 2007 @ 5:56 PM

Anonymous

Polka Dot Door was my all time favourite as a kid. We must be about the same age. We played outside, dinner was done and my sister and I got to watch Dr.Snuggles followed by Polka Dot Door. I will never forget in a million years the day we were driving and Polka Roo was at the local park and my mom would not stop. I relaized many years later it was probably a birthday party but i can still remember being so upset because she wouldn't let us out of the car!

March 7, 2007 @ 6:23 PM

Annemarie

I watched it too & always say "They're like Polkaroo!" when I or others always seem to miss somebody else. I don't remember that spooky purple guy though.

March 7, 2007 @ 6:42 PM

Lori

I just thought of another show. It was on late 80's as i was older and i believe it was on just before 8 in the morning before Dennis The Menace. It was Called The Toothbrush Family....Brush your teeth...round and round.circle .....i can hear it and see it right now! I did quick google search nothing came up but i was in a rush. Will have to check on it tomorrow.

March 7, 2007 @ 10:33 PM

Mike Boon

I remember the toothbrush family very well.

March 8, 2007 @ 8:04 AM

Jenn

What about Romper Room?

You gotta do the Romper Room......

I see Michael and Taryn and Jennifer and Lori and AnneMarie......

March 8, 2007 @ 8:41 AM

Mike Boon

There's not a lot out there about the original Toothbrush Family. They modernized it in 1997, but I can't find any audio, video or images from the version I remember.

It seems these cartoon shorts originated on Captain Kangaroo, but I don't recall it that way. Maybe here in Canada a station licensed the shorts or maybe they found there way onto the Commander Tom show. Damn, does anyone remember Commander Tom from Buffalo?

March 8, 2007 @ 9:01 AM

Annemarie

I remember Romper Room! Another favourite of mine was "House of Frightenstein". *LOVED* it. I think that's where my early love for Hallowe'en & the like came. :)

March 8, 2007 @ 9:24 AM

Mike Boon

Brush Your Teeth,
Round and Round,
Circles Small,
Gums and All.

Moving Your ToothBrush the Round and Round Way,
Will Keep Your Gums Healthy From Soft Tooth Decay,
So Clean Very Carefully 3 Times A Day,

Go Round And Round,
Yeah!!
Round and Round.

March 8, 2007 @ 9:34 AM

Annemarie

Sorry, "The Hilarious House of Frightenstein" & here's the link! http://www.frightenstein.com Too bad Vincent Price is gone. "Edward Scissorhands" was on TV last weekend & it seemed like another lifetime when I had seen it last. Another of my favourites - so sad/funny all @ the same time & I think, always manages to make me shed a tear. I love Johnny Depp.

March 8, 2007 @ 10:03 AM


Annemarie

I see that, lol. Good on ya. Sounds like our childhoods were very similar & we're both Irish!

March 8, 2007 @ 4:38 PM

Lori

I remembered the toothbrush family song and I remember when it was on in 1987 or so before school in a 5 minute spot before Denace the Menace i had watched it before as a much younger child.

Commander Tom was Saturday morning and I remember Bimbo The Birthday Clown for sure! I actually googled it some time ago and found info on it! I also remember the robot...R3CP0 (?), Davey and Goliath and various shows were on during the show and in between was Commander Tom doing things i think. Was there also cartoons during that show: The Popples, Shirt Tales.........or am i mixing things up! I know it had several shows with talking between.
Loved Romper Room for sure! Always waited for her to say my name. I remember the kids turning boxes into firetrucks and running around and I remember the video wall that used to open to watch Paddington.
How about Just Like Mom the Canadian Game Show..........I still remember the commercials for Camp Onadogwan (?) with the kids playing on the rope swing!!!!!!

March 8, 2007 @ 11:05 PM

Lori

Okay I think I am mixing up 2 shows. I just did some quick googling. Bimbo is from Uncle Bobby's World. I can really remember the clown and the song but can't for the life of me remember what else went on. I can alos remember watching Davey and Goliath on Commander Tom......confused.....

March 8, 2007 @ 11:12 PM

Mike Boon

Commander Tom did include Davey and Goliath, but it aired on Sunday mornings. I remember all the other stations had church programming and all we had was Commander Tom.

March 9, 2007 @ 8:07 AM

hanz

hey, that's my video, hehe. (found your site through the links thing on the video page.) i've tried once to find polka dot door videos on youtube too, found none, so i just whipped that up, about a year ago. seems there still arent any on youtube. oh well. man, that animation is pretty bad now that i've looked at it again. nice blog, btw, peace

March 14, 2007 @ 3:56 AM

Lesley

Oh my god, I'd forgotten all about this show! Now I have the theme music running through my head.

But my favorite live kid's TV from that period - well, it's a tossup between The Friendly Giant (look up, look waaaay up) and Mr. Dressup (with Casey and Finnegan of course!)

March 15, 2007 @ 11:42 PM

Mike Boon

I loved The Friendly Giant. The theme songs used to be available on YouTube, but they've been removed.

If I ever stumble upon them again, I'll post them. I loved it when he put out that cozy chair for me by the fire.

Mr. Dressup was awesome too.

March 16, 2007 @ 10:49 AM

Sandi

Wondering if you can help me here. I am trying to remember if this certain memory of mine is a part of the Polka Dot Door OR if it was a show of it's own. The premise.... talking shoes. One was a race car driver I believe. There was a boot that, I think, was Italian and had a mustache. There was a high heel shoe and a sneaker. AND there was a talking house! I've been racking my brain and almost losing sleep over this. HELP! :)Thanks

May 18, 2007 @ 12:22 AM

Toronto Mike

There was definitely a TVO show at this time with a talking boot. It was brown... if I close my eyes I can see it.

I don't remember a race car driver or the fact the boot was Italian...

May 18, 2007 @ 8:49 AM

Nina

oh my god for so many years no one would acknowledge this show until now..it's real! i didnt just imagined it. it only aired for a few years in the US so not alot of exposure..i enjoyed the walk down memory lane.

June 21, 2007 @ 4:27 PM

Toronto Mike

Oh it's real, and it's spectacular.

I think Polka Dot Door still airs in some form - Polka Dot Shorts maybe?

What's that Marigold?

June 21, 2007 @ 4:37 PM

Marigold

Hi,
I actually played Marigold on Polka Dot Shorts for the eight years it was being shot.

It was pretty fun, you can get tapes at TVO. Patricia Ellingson is still the head of childrens, and you can find the Producer, Jed Mackay on myspace under "It's all Meat"

Good luck.


And yes there was a brown boot. it's name was BOOT.

July 25, 2007 @ 4:18 PM

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August 8, 2007 @ 4:44 PM

Sheri

When you guys brought up "the boot" it triggered a childhood memory which forced me to further investigate. The show was "Read All About It" and is definitely THE ONE...I forgot about the shoe and Granny too :) http://www.rickstv.com/tvo/

I had also suppressed memories of that spooky vagrant named Sol in Parlez-moi but thanks to the Ricks TV site, it came flooding back...ahhhhh.

February 9, 2008 @ 3:18 PM

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June 17, 2008 @ 2:15 PM

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June 17, 2008 @ 2:15 PM

Phil

The boot show was called Readalong - Read All About It was the creepy show about the newspaper investigators who solved mysteries (it has really creepy music and a typewriter that would print by itself)

My fav had to be La Linea - the chalk drawing man who made high pitch noises! Or Telefrancais with that crazy talking pineapple!

September 8, 2008 @ 1:56 PM

J

I seem to remember Jeanne Beker was a hostess at one time, does anyone else remember her?

September 25, 2008 @ 2:06 PM

Toronto Mike

I know Gloria Reuben from ER was on the show, but I don't remember Jeanne Beker there...

September 25, 2008 @ 4:16 PM

Cait Messina

Does anyone remember a show out of Hamilton called Albert & Sebastian? It was hosted by Bill Lawrence - later of Tiny Talent Time....

May 7, 2009 @ 11:09 PM

Michael

Gawd!!!! I loathed that show! Talk about the ultimate cornball dork-o-vision. Polka Dot Door is even lamer than Mr. Rogers. Yeech..............

October 16, 2009 @ 10:56 PM

Smidy

I use to watch the show with Bill Lawrence and the puppets
Albert and Sebastian. Waited for Tiny Talent Time Sunday's afternoon at 4:00. I really loved to see all the talent. Watched Captain Kangaroo with Mr. Greenjeans Dancing Bear Mr. Moose and bunny rabbit. I learned so much on that show from Captain Kangaroo.I liked Grampa Schitzel too.Is there any film on that show and the inky dinky song?I know you can go to televisiontunes.com but they don't have Schnitzel house.

August 8, 2010 @ 7:18 PM

Ellie

I loved the Polka Dot Door and Dr. Snuggles. I still have my giant Marigold doll.

September 30, 2011 @ 3:35 PM

Cathrine

I've been searching for Polka dot door toys. I've always wanted them when I was little except I couldn't afford them. To Ellie with the giant Marigold Doll, are you willing to sell it to me for a reasonable cost if it's still in good condition?

October 9, 2013 @ 1:49 PM

Matthew Steeves

What time will you put on the polka dot dot door program again. I live in Victoria B.C.
Sincerely
Matthew

December 23, 2016 @ 3:10 PM

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