The Captain's coat, his keys and hundreds of puppets will be sold on May 21
Credit: Lisa Larsen//Time Life Pictures/Getty

He loomed large to generations of young TV watchers – but turns out he was really only a size 40.

Artifacts from the Captain Kangaroo show, a CBS morning fixture from 1955 to 1984, are going on the auction block May 21, the Los Angeles-based Nate D. Sanders Auctions announced Monday.

The Captain’s trademark navy blue jacket jacket with brass buttons, oversized pockets and gray piping is included in a list of more than 500 items to be sold to the highest bidder. Later, once color TV became popular, the Captain donned a red jacket – also for sale.

On the show, the soft-spoken, mustachioed Captain, played by Bob Keeshan who died at 76 in 2004, hung out with Bunny Rabbit, Mister Moose, an English sheepdog named Phoebe, Mister Green Jeans, Dancing Bear, the Banana Man and Grandfather Clock in the Treasure House, which was overstuffed with items that delighted children every weekday morning. (It later moved to Saturdays.)

Among the treasures being offered, besides Keeshan’s Emmys, Hollywood Walk of Fame star and other personal memorabilia, are artifacts from the TV set itself, including hundreds of puppets and the actual keys to the Treasure House – the show’s bouncy opening theme music wouldn’t stop until the Captain hung up his keys.

“There is literally something for every Captain Kangaroo fan in this auction,” said Sanders in a press release, which also set the price estimates from between $250 and $250,000.

The listing for the Captain’s blue coat, Lot No. 35, reads, in part: “An Eaves Costume of New York label is sewn within, with ‘Captain Kangaroo’ handwritten on it. A piece of tape affixed inside collar area is labeled ‘Zippered Pockets.’ Two zippers run horizontally along the hemline interior.”

As for its condition: “Near fine.” Just like the dear Captain.