Romper Room

Were you a “Do-Bee”? Romper Room was among the first regular television programming created for young children. First aired in 1953, the show was developed by Bert and Nancy Claster, who previously booked variety shows at the Hippodrome Theater.

With a studio of well-scrubbed children on a set designed to look like a classroom, Miss Nancy recited nursery rhymes, led the group in songs, read books, and always ended the program by naming children at home she saw in her Magic Mirror.

The Clasters franchised Romper Room, ultimately being seen in 140 cities and in 35 countries around the world. A pioneering educator, Nancy Claster trained local hostesses around the country — more than 500 in all. Eventually, local programs were replaced by a single recorded show that was syndicated nationally. Nancy Claster served as host for the local Romper Room until 1964, when she retired and the program was hosted by her daughter, Miss Sally, who hosted until 1980.

Bert Claster passed away in 1984. Nancy Claster died in her Baltimore home in 1997 at age 82.