The Original Mickey Mouse Club Show

The Weekly Format: Monday

Fun With Music Day

Monday was the day when the Mouseketeers performed. From the folk-ballet dances of the first season, to the slick swing and jazz numbers of the second, to the sparse sets and minimalist approach of the third, this was when the mice shone.

"Ah, fun with music, fun with music, making music is fun!"

After the show's opening animated title song, Mickey's daily solo introduction saw him in a snazzy striped jacket and boater, playing an upright piano, a regular George M. Cohan. Addressing the audience he'd promise "Big doings this week...Adventure, Fun, Music, Cartoons, News. Everybody ready? Then on with the show!".
Monday newsreel segments in the first two seasons featured regular or special newsreels. The former consisted of four to six short clips on various subjects, the latter was devoted to a single topic. The half-hour shows of the third season might feature either a newsreel or a cartoon in this time slot.

"Whether its a song of home or some foreign land..."

Monday's Mouseketeer Segment started off with the day's special song, which varied by season, followed by roll call. This opening was filmed once per season, using the Red Team, then recycled for every Monday show. For the first season, the Mouseketeers danced to Mouseketap, then sang The Merry Mouseketeers, both written by Jimmie Dodd. There was no real set, just a backdrop decorated with musical notes, while the Mouseketeers wore their standard outfit. Yet this simple number had zest and punch to it, helped considerably by the fast-paced music and the Mouseketeers' talent.

For second season Mondays, the predominant theme song was Fun with Music, written by Sid Miller and Tom Adair, with a short downbeat rendition of The Merry Mouseketeers inserted as an echo of the first season. The Mouseketeers wore their new v-neck polo shirts, and also various national-folk costumes for a mid-skit break. The set now included a large background displaying sheet music, a grand piano, and six smaller backdrops each representing a "foreign land". There was very little dancing, and that confined to a few steps at a time, most action being simple movement patterns.

For the third season, the daily opening songs, dances, and roll call, were all replaced by the generic We're the Mouseketeers (Tom Adair and Buddy Baker), seen every day. This had a series of risers as a backdrop set, with a floodlight as a prop. The Mouseketeers wore suit jackets, bow-ties, and for the girls, dresses with pinafores. Less than half the length of the prior season's openings, with a fast tap dance to begin, it suffered from blandness and overuse. It was followed by a quick cut to a Mouseketeer doing a brief spoken introduction to the day's feature.

After the recycled opening came the day's original programming (see below). This usually consisted of two musical numbers, separated by a commercial break. In the first season, the numbers were unrelated. During the later seasons they had continuity, as the writers now devised theme shows. Situational dialogue, usually comical, tied together two or more songs and dances into a single multi-part skit. For the second season these used elaborate sets, which were abandoned for a minimal look in the budget-conscious third season.

  Season 1   (1955-56)  
  Season 2   (1956-57)  
  Season 3   (1957-58)  

"...Music is the language we all understand!"

For the first two seasons, the Serial and Mousekartoon segments would follow the Mouseketeer performance. The serial episodes and cartoons were different every day, with no distinctions for day of the week. For the third season, the show would go right to the closing features.

After the cartoon there would be the usual features: Doddism and/or promotional message, then an Alma Mater variant. At the start of the first season Jimmie's closing messages usually announced the next day's show, but this was dropped midway through the year. Mickey then reappeared for the signoff, promising "a very special show" for tomorrow.

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