SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — 65 years ago on Saturday, one man of the century put on a suit embroidered with the number 11 and was promoted to the role of captain.
Captain 11 premiered on KELOLAND Television on March 7, 1955. When the popular children’s television show signed off in 1996, it would be marked as the world’s longest-running children’s TV show.
A coin toss, a man named Dave Dedrick, a fresh uniform and some pinball machine parts would be the start of a show that would impact generations across KELOLAND.
Our studios in downtown Sioux Falls would become the gathering place for children from South Dakota, northwest Iowa and southwest Minnesota. All the while, the Captain would head across the viewing area to make appearances at fairs, festivals and parades.
He was kind. He was fair. He was brave. He fulfilled those requirements; and the Outer Galaxies designated him the wisdom of Solomon and strength of Atlas.
In a KELOLAND.com Original Digital Documentary, we look at the man who was Captain 11, how the show came about and the lasting effect of the most recognizable character in KELOLAND.
When Dedrick signed off he said, “If I were to leave a legacy, it would be that on some future day, each of you might sit down with a child and say, ‘Once upon a time, there was a man.'”
Watch Captain 11 | Once Upon A Time There Was A Man in the player above.