2015 marked a whopping sixty years since the original Mouseketeers first performed for the world, and Disney was not about to let the occasion pass without properly recognizing it. They reached out to all of the living cast members and put together a reunion. And when they were reunited, what were they to do but perform a song?
Aside from the performance, Disney pulled out all of the possible stops for the once in a lifetime occasion. When cameras were rolling, cast members discussed their time on the show and reminisced over some of the most infamous props used on set. Fans were treated to a truly spectacular gathering that marks the end of an era in entertainment.
Cubby O’Brien After the Mickey Mouse Club
When the show had finished filming its third season, Cubby continued to tour with his fellow Mouseketeers for several live appearances. He also made the decision to continue his work as a drummer, which he’d been doing since a young age, and follow in his dad’s footsteps. Cubby was the man behind the drums in 6 Academy Award shows over the years. He made several appearances on The Carol Burnett Show, and toured Nevada with Spike Jones’ band.
Later, he devoted his time to Broadway, working up to 8 shows per week for just a couple years short of a decade, including the hit show “Annie Get Your Gun.” To this day, Cubby still dabbles in Mouseketeer appearances, but is mainly focusing on his drumming.
Little Karen Pendleton was one of nine of the original Mouseketeers that stayed throughout the entirety of the show’s first run, from 55’-59’. Being that she and Cubby were both adorable and close in age, the two were often paired together for skits. After filming for The Mickey Mouse Club wrapped up, Karen went back to school and decided to pursue a life outside of the entertainment industry. Pendleton settled down and was married in 1970 and three years later, gave birth to her daughter. In 1985, she and her husband of fifteen years ended up getting a divorce.
But two years before the divorce, something else happened that would forever change the course of Karen’s life. She was in a terrible accident that left her paralyzed from her waist down, but she didn’t let the tragedy get the best of her. Pendleton went back to school and obtained her bachelor’s degree in psychology. She then got involved with some shelters for battered women and advocated for the disabled in California.
The Return of the Mouseketeers
In January of 1977, The Mickey Mouse Club was brought back to life and appeared to have an entirely fresh perspective to present to the world. The new cast members were much more diverse, and in keeping with the times, disco was incorporated into the theme song. Aside from the audio and cast updates, the visuals on the sets were also much more vibrant, filled with bright colors, much unlike the original show’s monochrome artwork.
Unfortunately, the reboot was short-lived and ran for less than a year before its cancellation. Many of the over 30 stations that originally aired the show continued to play the reruns for a couple years following its discontinuation.
New Decade, Fresh Faces
In 1989, The Mickey Mouse Club was once again rebooted with a brand-new cast. Producers wanted to tailor the show to suit the tastes of teens of the era, so they made it into a 90’s-themed compilation of future mega-stars like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. In fact, the show was even given an updated title: The All-New Mickey Mouse Club.
Cast members no longer wore the iconic mouse ears, but instead graced the stage in letterman jackets and other popular 90’s apparel. This time, the remake lasted a lot longer, remaining on the air until 1995. The show may have been discontinued again, but not before launching several of the cast members into super stardom. Who is your favorite star to emerge from The Mickey Mouse Club?