The Original Mickey Mouse Club Show

Production Set Stills: Fun With Music Day

Bob Amsberry watches as Bobby, Margene, and other Mouseketeers get ready for another take in a second season Fun with Music Day skit. This particular dance number was called Polka Dot Waltz, part of the Sweetshop 1925 show. Bob played the local sodajerk, a word that has largely vanished from contemporary usage.

The Full Picture

The premise of this show had kids gathering in the local sweetshop circa 1955, then the same kids appeared in flashbacks to 1925 and 1890. Songs and dances appropriate to the two earlier periods were featured, the point of the skit being that the youth of each generation has its own style that seems outrageous to their parents.

About a month after this photo was taken, Bob Amsberry was surprisingly fired. It came as a great shock to him, but even after his weekly salary was stopped, he did get occasional work on the show, and doing voiceovers for animation.

A versatile talent, songwriter, musician, actor, Bob seems to have made a poor impression on Walt Disney, who according to Lorraine Santoli, was after producer Bill Walsh to dismiss him for many months. Not normally regarded as a warm fuzzy kind of guy, Bill Walsh does seem to have sheltered Bob for awhile before giving him the hard word.

Another photo, from the same setup, shows Dennis and Margene taking their places. There have been a lot of emails asking why Margene wasn't kept on for the third year, instead of this or that other Mouseketeer. She certainly was a terrific dancer, with a lively personality that came out well on camera.

The Full Picture

Dennis, on the other hand, seems to have been a pure dancer who didn't care so much for the playacting part of the job. Though he painted a picture of himself in a 1971 interview as being hopelessly naive as a Mouseketeer, his former colleague JJ Solari says Dennis was actually kind of philosophical as a kid and fairly interesting to talk with on the set.

Set stills like these were made for the property department, and were not intended for release as publicity photos. Most set stills are devoid of cast and crew; the photographer was only concerned with capturing the appearence of the stage and the presence of people in the frame was a matter of indifference. Hence, when they do show up, as above, they are often out of focus and poorly lit.

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