SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — If you were a kid in KELOLAND decades ago, you may have been a part of a certain crew.

The Captain’s crew, that is.

Saturday marks 65 years since Captain 11 signed on the the air in KELOLAND.

The “man of the future” first appeared on television sets in KELOLAND on March 7th, 1955.

Dave Dedrick wore several hats throughout his broadcasting career, but perhaps his most notable one had the number 11 on it. The character was first portrayed by a man named Jim Lange at a sister station in Minnesota in the 1950s.

That would be the inspiration for the debut of Captain 11 in KELOLAND in 1955.

Dedrick won the role by chance against a colleague.

“I always think God knew what he was doing when he chose that coin to flip in Dave’s favor because he embraced that role. He really did,” Former KELO-TV Anchor Doug Lund said.

Former KELO-TV anchor and current voice of KELOLAND Doug Lund first watched Captain 11 as a 9-year-old boy.

Years later, the two would not only become co-workers, but friends.

“I never let him forget that he was my idol and he was until the day he died,” Lund said.

While the idea for Captain 11 didn’t originate in KELOLAND, Lund says Dedrick made the role his own.

“They tried to follow the format that they did in Minneapolis, just read letters from kids and run cartoons. Dederick thought, ‘Let’s try something different.’ He said, ‘We need to get kids more involved.’ He said, ‘How about birthdays? Invite kids to come down and have birthdays on Captain 11.’ That soon spread to everyone that wanted to be part of his crew could come down to the studio and be part of Captain 11. It just caught on like wildfire. Pretty soon he’s making personal appearances as Captain 11 all over our viewing area, which is pretty vast as you now,” Lund said.

Lund remembers the days when kids packed the studio, eager to be on TV and see the man in the blue uniform.

“He’d bend down to talk on the same eye level with these kids, you know? And that was what I think set him apart from other kids hosts around TV at that time,” Lund said.

When Captain 11 signed off for the final time in 1996, it was the longest-running children’s shows in the world.

“He had fans and still does to this day,” Lund said.

Dedrick died in 2010 at the age of 81.

“I wish I could tell you how much it meant to guys like me and kids who grew up with Captain 11, just to have him there as a maybe a babysitter if you would. For the early days of television you can’t imagine just how neat it was to have someone that lived maybe 50-60 miles away or just down the street from you who was this big star and you had access to him. And he lived it up and he played it to the hilt, but he was genuine. He was real,” Lund said.

The Captain’s crew members can still remember his famous advice to this day.

“Remember, gang to mind mom and dad, eat everything they tell you to eat, brush your teeth, and say your prayers. That’s the most important part. So long, crew. Nice being with you.”

It’s no surprise the man of the future is standing the test of time.

For more Captain 11 memories, watch Reporter Michael Geheren’s Captain 11 digital documentary