Remembering 1970’s PBS Kids Show “Zoom”

ZOOM was a PBS kids show produced in Boston and syndicated nationally. There were two runs of it, most recently from 1999 to 2005. But it’s the original 1972 to 1978 version that burned holes in my evolving brain.

The cast changed each season, but it was always multicultural and there was usually at least one kid who looked like s/he’d never had a haircut.

The sometimes wacky, frenetic style of the show gave a pretty clear indication that the adults involved were fans of the show Laugh-In, which was in its heyday at the time.

ZOOM even had their own language, Ubbi Dubbi, which is somewhat like Pig Latin but harder to figure out if you don’t know the trick. There’s lots of Ubbi Dubbi out there, here’s an example.

By 2000, in the second run of the show, they had to do Ubbi Dubbi rap. has a decent one page fan’s history of the show. Another site has a collection of sound samples of Zoom (and other 70’s kids shows and commercials). And of course there’s Fannee Doolee.

To send us out, here are the closing credits from Season 3.


Actor, nerd, poet, producer, writer mikl-em made his name short so you wouldn't have to. In addition to his blog you can find his writing in "Hi Fructose" magazine and witness him almost life-sized in various plays at The Dark Room Theater in SF's Mission district.

He tends to write about theater, humor, San Francisco culture and history, and stuff that's just plain weird. He thanks Scott for sharing the keys to the Laughing Squid virtual HQ and promises to uphold whatever it is that the mirthful cephalopod would prefer to be uplifted.