Mickey Mouse Club, History And Facts. Why? Because We Like You

Left: Mickey Mouse Club title card. Right: Anette Funicello in the '70s, holding a picture of herself from her Mickey Mouse Club days. Sources: Wikimedia Commons; IMDB

The Mickey Mouse Club was a '50s TV institution that gave us Mouseketeers a shoutable theme song, a yearning to wear Mickey Mouse ears, and Annette Funicello. When ABC first aired the children's show, the network could not have known that this offshoot of Walt Disney's empire -- freshly expanded with the 1955 opening of Disneyland -- would not only thrive in the '50s but live on in several reboots. Then there's the Disney Channel, Disney Plus -- it all started with 39 kids wearing turtleneck sweaters with their first names across the chest, and mouse ears. Those big round mouse ears.