MOTHER's Newsworthies: John Burstein, Hugh Brannum and Morris Udall

Learn how John Burstein educates children using his Captain Slim Goodbody talents; Hugh Brannum promotes water conservation; and Congressman Morris Udall works to conserve our natural resources.

| July/August 1982


John Burstein created the character Slim Goodbody,  to educate children about how their bodies function. Slim Goodbody performs songs and skits ranging from why children need to brush their teeth to how the circulatory system operates. 


Brief: John (Slim Goodbody) Burstein 

Twice a week children watching Captain Kangaroo's Wake-Up morning television program witness a song and dance routine that stresses the benefits of maintaining a healthy body and developing good eating habits. The performer of those skits is Slim Goodbody, one of the most active and effective health crusaders in America today.

Actor John Burstein created the Slim Goodbody character eight years ago, while working with youngsters at the Floating Hospital in New York. Dismayed by the fact that most children know nothing about how their bodies function — let alone about how to care for them properly — John began composing stories and songs to entertain and educate the youngest generation. Soon afterward he designed the unique "body suit" costume that has now become his trademark.

Slim has since starred in an eight-part award-winning public television series entitled The Inside Story — which has been seen by millions of youngsters — and produced numerous records and books instructing children in matters ranging from why they need to brush their teeth to how their hearts and blood circulatory systems operate.

Currently, John is producing a children's stage presentation which he'll take on tour to major theaters and auditoriums across the country. The show will feature life-sized puppets, films, and the eventual triumph of Captain Slim Goodbody over the evil character, Sludge ... who — given free reign — would despoil the universe with junk food and its wrappings.

Although John Burstein admits that Slim Goodbody was created as a vehicle by means of which the performer could demonstrate his many talents — composing, acting, writing, dancing, and gymnastics — John is also truly excited by the potential he sees in children, and is glad to be teaching them. Burstein hopes his positive adult role model (and his insistence that good nutrition can be fun) will prove to be of lifelong benefit to the youngsters he entertains.

Brief: Hugh Brannum 

Another popular children's folk hero (who, it just so happens, is also connected with the Emmy Award-winning Captain Kangaroo series) is Hugh Brannum, better known to millions of Americans as Mr. Green Jeans.

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