Growing up in the Bay Area

RIP Captain Cosmic

January 9, 2009

If you grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area in the '70s and '80s then more than likely you remember Bob Wilkins, who passed away Wednesday at age 76 from Alzehimer's disease complications. Bob was not only the cigar-chomping host of the on-way-past-your-bedtime horror movie program Creature Features on KTVU, but also the beloved kiddie-show host Captain Cosmic. It's his Captain Cosmic persona of which I have the fondest memories. I was a devoted viewer from the beginning when the good Captain, with his trusty robot 2T2, started showing old (but new to my 7-year-old self) 1930s Flash Gordon serials. He then progressed on to Japanese sci-fi fare like the The Space Giants and everyone's favorite, Ultraman.

As Captain Cosmic, Bob Wilkins rode the wave of late-'70s Star Wars mania to introduce legions of Northern California kids to shows that you just couldn't see anywhere else, and that, like it or not, had an indelible impact on our adult selves. Somewhere, possibly at my parents' house, my Captain Cosmic official fan club membership and secret decoder card still exists. Here's a video clip of Captain Cosmic that is certain to bring back memories (after the jump).

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