From Annette to iCarly: The Torch Is Passed to a New Iteration

icarly annette

What Goes Around, Comes Around
There's a good chance that if you know the young lady on the left, you won't know the young lady on the right, and vice versa.

They do have a lot in common. Both are pop culture icons, both symbolize energy and charm, and both helped put the organizations they've worked for on the map.

The Mouse that Roared
Baby Boomers will recognize Annette Funicello, the real reason for watching Disney's Mickey Mouse Club during its four year run on afternoon TV in the mid-1950's.

World War II's boom children were crazy about all the Club's Mouseketeers but it was Annette who captured the heart of the generation.

The Big Cheese
The Mickey Mouse Club (MMC) lured a huge share of the 70 million baby boomer kids, providing a cross-promotional platform for every piece of the burgeoning Disney empire.

With MMC on the TV schedule, other Disney programs like the Wonderful World of Disney, Davy Crockett and Zorro could be pitched to loyal adolescent viewers five days a week.

In fact, profits from the Mickey Mouse Club program, reportedly, helped Walt Disney stash enough cash to fund the launch of Disneyland.

Annette's curly brunette locks and perfect smile were, literally, money in the bank.

New Mouse in the House

miley cyrus

If Annette was the first reigning queen of the Disney's TV dynasty, Miley Cyrus is its current monarch. Her Disney-Channel hit show, Hannah Montana, is viewed by an average of 4 million people each week.

She released two albums which debuted at #1 and, last year, Forbes found a place for her on their list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.

What Annette was for Disney in the mid-1950's, Miley Cyrus is today.

But now there's a new icon in town.

In the Nick of Time
Today's generation of kid's will recognize the photo of Carly (of iCarly) above, known off-screen as Miranda Cosgrove. She's causing quite a stir of her own.

iCarly is Nickelodeon's monster hit show about kids doing their own variety show on the web.

Last May, 6.5 million viewers tuned in to see a special iCarly episode, making it that week's top show among all cable sports and entertainment programs. And that includes the NBA Playoffs that iCarly was up against.

Look out Disney Channel. Led by iCarly, Nickelodeon, this spring, was the top-ranked basic cable network with kids.

Though only six months younger than Miley Cyrus, Miranda Cosgrove -- and the iCarly powerhouse franchise -- is the fresh face that seems poised to give the Mouse a run for his money.

Take that Hannah Montana!

Bonus Material:

Who is iCarly's Walt Disney?

Walt Disney himself crafted and shepherded the first episodes of the Mickey Mouse Club. And rumor has it that he was the voice of Mickey Mouse in the show's intro.

So who's the brains behind iCarly?

Answer: Dan Schneider, better known as Dennis Blunden on the ABC sitcom, Head of the Class (1986 - 1991)

He's also the creative force behind a string of other children's TV hits, such as: Zoey 101, Drake & Josh, What I Like About You, The Amanda Show and Kenan & Kel.

That's Dan sitting at the stone-age PC in the photo.

head of the class

Mouseketeer Roll Call - Life After Hanging Up the Ears

Darlene Gillespie
In 1997, received probation for shoplifting charges. In 1998, sentenced to two years in prison for a check-kiting scheme. Indicted on fraud charges in 2005.

Cheryl Holdridge
After MMC, played a variety of roles on TV, including Wally's girlfriend on Leave It To Beaver. Died 2009.

Bobby Burgess
bobby burgess
Spent many years as a lead dancer on the Lawrence Welk Show.

Doreen Tracey
Frank Zappa's publicist, amateur weight-lifter, 1976 centerfold model for Gallery magazine.

Cubby O'Brien
cubby o'brien
Drummer for Lawrence Welk Show, Carol Burnett Show and the Carpenters.

Karen Pendleton
(Pictured with her daughter)

Semi-paralyzed in a 1983 auto accident. Later earned a Masters Degree in Psychology. Most recently reported to be the Director of Independent Living in her hometown.

Lonnie Burr

Ph.D in English Literature, extensive entertainment career as an actor, director, writer and producer.

Other Apocalypzia posts about Children's TV and Books:

1950s Children's TV Shows. Baby Boomers Beware..!

Fun with Dick and Jane: The Monocultural Garden of Verse