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Ernie Coombs was the host of this simple show (1967–06) as Mr. Dressup for 30 minutes. With his puppet friends, originally Casey and his dog Finnegan, he taught pre-school subjects with games, music and simple activities. To add to the fun, Mr. Dressup would always open up his tickle trunk, which contained any costume for any role he wanted.
Although it was a show for children, Coombs never had children on the show, only puppets and occasionally teenagers. This was due to the fact that Coombs disliked being around children himself, and show business has a long history of children doing unpredictable things.
Mr. Dressup is a Canadian icon. Seriously, show some aspect of the program to any Canadian who grew up with a television set in the time period of its airing, and you'll get a boatload of heartfelt memories of watching it.
This show provides examples of:
- Ambiguous Gender: Casey.
- Infinite Supplies: The tickle trunk never ran out of costumes and props even if they were never put back in.
- Long Runners: Nearly 30 years!
- The Voiceless: Finnegan.
- North of the Border Equivalent: Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Justified as Coombs worked with Fred Rogers in an early precursor to both shows.