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Mr. Dressup

Text, audio and video stills by
Steve Cichon

Steve and the Tickle TrunkAs I write this, I wonder how much of my truly bizaare personality can be attributed to the late great Ernie Coombs, known to Canadian Children (and those like me just over the border) as Mr. Dressup. The daily half hour filled with drawing, creating cool stuff out of things that I had laying around the house, Dressing up in costumes, and using funny voices always set my imagination into motion. This is me at the CBC museum... Just inches away from the tickle truck. My wife and I were also able to visit Mr. Dressup's drawing easel, and Casey's tree house (as well as The Friendly Giant's castle).

Mr. Dressup Fans! Mr. Dressup was a 10:30 appointment for most of my childhood... My brother Greg and I would stop fighting the second we heard the piano open on the show (this picture is of us Xmas '79).... And we'd sit together on a big chair and be quiet for the half hour. My sister Lynne soon joined our love for Mr. Dressup too... In true Mr. Dressup fashion, the Cichon kids made our very own Tickle trunk... We drew flowers on an empty beer case box, and stored our dress up gear in it. It seemed that just about every other day, the show ended with either Mr. Dressup or Casey asking about lunch... which then made us start bothering my mom about lunch, too.

Included here are some stills from the Mr. Dressup special that aired on CBC after his death in 2001, as well as some from a Casey and Finnegan episode that I taped in the late 80s or early 90s.

I'm glad that even after his death Mr. Dressup lives on every day on TV (even if without Casey and Finnegan)... It's the finest kids show I've ever seen. It's fun, and spurs kids to be creative and think... without being preachy. Do you have Mr. Dressup memories? I'd love to share them here...

Click here to here the Mr. Dressup Theme
You must be able to play Windows Media Files to hear it.

Click on thumbnails for Larger Pictures...

MrDressup
mrdressupcredits2
mrdressupcredits3
MrDressup
You mean that wasn't really Mr. Dressup's House?
MrDressup
I really thought he lived there!
MrDressup
A Young Ernie Coombs... Boy Dressup.
MrDressupTeenager
Ernie Coombs the Teenager
MrDressupOldSchool
Mr. Dressup and Casey in the late 60s
Mr Dressup 70s
Ernie Coombs during a 70s interview
MrDressupOlder
Mr. Dressup after retirement
Mr Dressup Canada Rap
Though born and raised in Pennsylvania, Ernie Coombs became a Canadian Citizen late in life.
Here Mr. Dressup is rapping on Canada Day. (Really!)
Canada Rap
Coombs came north to Toronto as a puppeteer with Fred Rogers... When he went back to the US, Mr. Dressup was born.
MrDressupTux
Mr. Dressup receives the Order of Canada
Judith Lawrence
Judith Lawrence: The Voice of Casey (and Finnegan, too.)
Judith Lawrence
The puppeteer with the puppets
Mr. Dressup Casey & Finnegan
Mr. Dressup chats with Casey and Finnegan
Mr Dressup &  Fred Penner
Ordered removed by CBC
Here is Mr. Dressup in a guest appearance on Fred Penner's Place (known by the Cichon kids as "the guy who lives in a log"
Mr Dressup
Ordered removed by CBC
Mr. Dressup incognito as a bear
Mr Dressup
Ordered removed by CBC
Mr. Dressup as a bird
 Casey & Finnegan
Ordered removed by CBC
Casey & Finnegan at the Tree House
MrDressupHobo
Ordered removed by CBC
Mr. Dressup as a Hobo
MrDressupSnowman
Ordered removed by CBC
Mr. Dressup as a Snowman
Mr Dressup
Ordered removed by CBC
Mr. Dresssup as a Clown
Mr Dressup in Kitchen
Ordered removed by CBC
Mr. Dressup! Finnegan says he wants LUNCH!
 tickletrunk
Ordered removed by CBC
Lets see what I have in the Tickle Truck...
Tickle trunk
Ordered removed by CBC
In retirement, the Tickle Trunk was one of the souvenirs Coombs kept.
MrDressup, Casey & Finnegan
Ordered removed by CBC
Cleaning up after a project
Wizard
Ordered removed by CBC
As a Wizard
Casey & Finnegan
Ordered removed by CBC
Casey & Finnegan
Casey & Finnegan
Ordered removed by CBC

Ordered removed by CBC
Casey and Finnegan
mrdressupPicnic
Ordered removed by CBC
Mr. Dressup, Casey, and Finnegan have a make-believe picnic.
Glue
Ordered removed by CBC
Mr. Dressup was always careful with glue. He's making Leaf Cards here.
mrdressupGlue1
Ordered removed by CBC
Using Elmers on this project, but the first time I saw a Glue Stick was when Mr. Dressup used it.
mrdressupTickleTrunk
Ordered removed by CBC
After making cards, Mr. Dressup busts open the Tickle Trunk
mrdressupMustache
Ordered removed by CBC
I always liked the way Mr. Dressup said "MOOOSE-taache"
mrdressupMustache1
Ordered removed by CBC
I also liked how he always moved the mustache around after putting it on
 Card Store
Ordered removed by CBC
With the cards he just made and a smart looking jacket, Mr. Dressup opens a card store
Casey & Finnegan
Ordered removed by CBC
Casey & Finnegan
mrdressupcasrdstore2
Ordered removed by CBC
Mr. Dressup at the Card Store
Cleaning up
Ordered removed by CBC
Once finished playing, Mr. Dressup puts the Card Shop Owner jacket away in the tickle trunk.
mrdressup
Ordered removed by CBC
Mr. Dressup at the Drawing Easel
mrdressup
Ordered removed by CBC
What can I draw on the Water? How about a duck?
MrDressupDrawsmore
Ordered removed by CBC
Mr. Dressup Draws some more

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