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March 12, 2005

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I loved ZOOM. I don't remember thinking about the ethnic makeup of the cast, because when I was a kid there weren't many black kids on tv anyway. And what was the deal with the ubi dubi language? I was never able to figure that out.

Is The Electric Company next?

Danny, this is fascinating stuff. Am learning more about you. I cannot imagine that you can't find out where Nancy etc. are. Surely! Put out a call to the great cybersphere. You've been a writer much longer than me. I only started writing when I was sixteen. And it was for myself, quietly, in my bedroom on my new typewriter my mother had bought me. You wrote for the real thing!

I felt about Joe the way you did about Nina. Those cards brought back memories stored on some of my most deeply filed chips. I'LL TRADE YOU ANYTHING FOR THAT JOE CARD. And Nancy. And that conversation about the blacks and the whites! I remember it. I love your blog! And I still speak Ubb-Dubby flubbue-ubbent-ubbly.

Jill, you're in luck—when I found my Zoom cards I saw that I have only one duplicate card: Joe. It's yours! Meanwhile, since I wrote this yesterday I found a great 30-minute "This American Life" segment by Dan Gediman who was hired to be on the original cast of "Zoom" but was fired right before they started because they decided they needed another girl! He was so distraught that he lied about it for decades. Go to:

http://www.thislife.org/pages/archives/archive98.html

and scroll down to the show called "Truth and Lies at Age Ten." The piece includes 1998 interviews with Tommy, Jon, and Joe whose last name is Schrand and he's a child psychiatrist in New York!

Uboh muby Gubod!

By the way, I did love "The Electric Company" too although I was a little old for it when it started (the same year as "Zoom"). I remember Rita Moreno, Morgan Freeman (!), and Judy Graubart, whose grandfather was the main rabbi in my great-grandparents' shtetl in Poland, My great-grandfather brought the Graubarts over to America and I got to meet Judy when I was in New York with my grandparents in 1972. Remember her as Jennifer of the Jungle? Where is SHE today??

Danny,
As recently as last year Judy Graubart was doing projects with:

Food for Thought Productions
147 West 46th Street
Third Floor
New York, N.Y. 10036

Also, there's an interesting "jump the shark" (I don't always agree with them, but it's interesting) analysis of The Electric Company at:

http://www.jumptheshark.com/e/electriccompany.htm

I love your blog so much. It's hard not to feel some guilt as a brother though, learning so much about you, after the fact, on the web!

You know, try as I might, I can't remember any of my childhood media crushes. I think I'm a relatively average and mentally healthy kind of guy, so I assume that there must have been a Nina in my childhood, but I can't even think of a show that had girls on it.

Oh, wait, Winnie on "Wonder Years." Nevermind.

Winnie Cooper was definitely a Nina! I also liked Becky Slater on that show, played by Winnie's (Danita McKellar) real-life sister Crystal. Okay, I was in my late 20s when "The Wonder Years" was on which is kind of creepy, I know, but that show so perfectly evoked what it was like growing up in the 1960s and 70s. Winnie and Becky reminded me of so many girls I knew at that age!

I think that I am the only child of the 60s/70s who never saw "Zoom." My wife still holds me in contempt for never having seen it.

someone needs to make a zoom site telling us about original cast members and what they're doing now.

i loved zoom when i was a kid. especially the cool projects the guest kids did. like that kid who baked a fish in a lump of clay over a campfire.

the weakest one was the one in which another kid made a giant balloon guy out of trash bags and tape, and inflated it with the household vacuum cleaner. do you think the writers of 'the a-team' got the idea for the trash bag episode from watching that episode of zoom? (murdock makes a balloon out of trash bags to escape from the 'bin'.)

for the most part, i`ve always thought zoom was and still is the coolest show ever created! my life was centered around zoom. i had a huge crush on nancy, i do mean a mega crush. the old zoom really rocked, though i`ve never watched the new zoom but why should i, i`m 40! if i missed a show it would blow my entire day. i wonder what lucky guy married nancy? i wanted to be a zoom kid, but never got a chance, to bad. i was at a futures and options trade show and some guy told me he was a former zoomer from the old days, i drilled him but he failed to reveal which kid he was, little did he know i knew them all by name and face, for the life of me i couldn`t place him. may zoom rock forever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This brought back great memories! I was a major fan of the show growing up. My adult ZOOM story: 10 years ago I produced a theatrical spoof of Zoom in a skanky little basement theatre in NYC. After one performance this distinguished looking older guy came up to me and introduced himself as Christopher Sarson, the original producer/creator of Zoom. He had heard about my little show and flown in from God knows where to catch it. And by some weird twist of fate, he was accompanied by the now-very-grown-up David, who just happened to have been my favorite Zoom kid. I don't know that I'd have recognized any of the other former Zoom kids as adults, but I knew who this guy was the very second I saw him. I'm not easily star-struck, but I have to admit that it was kind of a major thrill to meet him after idolizing him as a child.

My older brother was friends with Nina in high school. All I know about her is that she was legally blind around the time she graduated.

Oh my God, anonymous, really?? Can you supply any more information?

hi, i just wandered in here after fdoing a google search for Judy Graubart.

i'd been watching some ELECTRIC COMPANY clips on youtube & i remembered my lifelong crush on her (although i thought her name was "winnie" all this time).

i loved ZOOM too, especially those mailing instructions!
i'll probbaly still be able to chant that when i'm in the bursing home!

i hope everyone is happy & healthy...especially Judy Graubart!!!!

Does anybody remember a short piece in a zoom
episode featuring a family that lived in a dome house on the fringe of a hippie commune?
or am i insane....b.

I loved zoom!
I can't believe how much I was addicted, I never missed a single episode.
Joe was my crush, I still love that hairdo.
I googled zoom and found this website and think this is great!
I am a proud speaker of Ubbi Dubbi and have taught my own daughter, we use it in public when we don't want anyone listening.
Ubi lubove zuboom ubevuben nubow!
Rubemubembuber; cubome ubon uband zuboom!

I, too, was a Zoom fubanubatubic. My whimsical move to Boston from Kentucky as an adult probably was influenced by my past obsession with the show. I choreographed Zoom-like dance numbers for me and my friends, and we soooo wanted those rugby shirts.

Anyway, does anyone remember Bernadette, a later cast member?--the Chinese girl who did the freaky move with her arms, that I still do from time to time, when appropriate. She was my favorite.

And one time my cousin and I were at Disney World in the gameroom in the basement of that A-shaped hotel that the monorail runs through. There was a caricaturist whose drawings were projected on a big screen as he drew them, and as we were watching, he drew a girl and wrote "Tish" next to it, and my cousin and I got all excited because we realized it was Tish from Zoom. My cousin ran over and shrilly gushed how much she loved Zoom and how exciting it was to meet a real Zoomer, and Tish just gave her a cold shoulder.

I found some old clips on youtube.com. Seeing them brought back a lot of memories from the year I was 9, during the first season. I had the most enormous crush on Nancy, a huge one. I too wonder what happened to her.

That's amazing that you mentioned Nina in such romantic terms.
I was 17 when the show debuted, and although I was impossibly much too old for her, I was also fascinated by her. I even wrote a song for her, a couple years later.
So, I thought I was the *only* one who was in love with her!
Interesting.

I was a total ZOOMfreak. I've acted with local and regoinal theatre companies since I was a kid, so I was incredibly jubbilubbous of the kids from Boston. In fact, I tried to convince my parents to move to Massachusetts so I could be a ZOOMer...Lori was one of my favorites, but my major crush was Danny. I was certain that if I was on the show, we'd be best buds, boyfriends, or whatever...
There is actually a book available from WGBH about former ZOOMers(the Public TV station that produced ZOOM)and a VHS of "best of the 70's" ZOOMbits. Was it really 30-somthing years ago?
BTW...I learned that Danny is married and a father of five...sigh...oh well, I wish you well my former TV squbeeze...

BTW, Jamie...I also remember Bernadette. I was the first kid in my school that could do the "arm thing". My cousin and I were talking about it last week at a party (we're both 45) and completely blew away our friends...they all remembered Bernadette and "the move" but could never figure it out...heh heh...they still can't do it. ZOOM rules!

Danny -

Youll be pleased to know that I encountered the actual Nina. I was growing up in Texas and, like you, had the same deep longing for her poetic, lank-haired beauty. I then enrolled in my freshman year at Boston University, and, during the week of orientation I saw a familiar face at the student center. I went up to her and said "aren't you Nina from Zoom?" She said, in her heartbreaking way, "yeah". I said "I used to watch that show all the time!". She said, "Cool. Take it easy", and walked away. I never saw her again. So that's it, but you could check around Boston University class of, roughly 1982......

Hi - After a lengthy ZOOM nostalgia quiz at PBS.org I was able to obtain this information:

Joe is a child psychiatrist.

Tracy is the promotions director for a CBS radio station in Texas.

Nancy worked at WGBH as a production assistant and now works in men's retail sports wear .

Jon is a playwright in New York.

Tommy heads the video department at MIT.

Kenny is in the Air Force.

Oh,

and Bernadette sings with the Boston Symphony Orchestra's Tanglewood Festival Chorus and produces/hosts tv programs.

Man...I was hooked on Zoom for the same reasons...I spoke ubbi-dubbi...and much later in my life Nina's song actually described a relationship in my own life as I graduated college - right from March to May part. If she graduated BU in '82, she would even be my age...sigh...

Does anyone have her complete lyrics?

Does anyone remember a cast member named Martha? What was her last name?

I remember Nina's song now that you've reminded me of it. But indelibly burned into my brain is the musical number "The Cat Came Back". The cast outfitted in classic cat-burglar style - close-fitting black slacks and black, long-sleeved t-shirts - and at one point Nina, oh my, slinking toward the camera, eyes fixed straight at me, and her hushed voice "The cat came back the very next day...

Check out Youtube for some great ZOOM video clips including "The Cat Came Back"!
BTW...I am the proud owner of the original ZOOMCatalogue and ZOOM LP...the only record and book published by and for ZOOMers...dug it out of my parents' attic...
Howie

Danny,

Zoom was one of the best shows. I used to watch it with Jana Goldstein,and I kind of remember the Debbie Becker episode!!! Wow, I can still talk the ubidubie too! I guess that is something to still be proud of right. I don't care how old we are...I wish it was still on! LOL!! I have to check out youtube.

Arlene

I loved Zoom too. But for a different reason. To be a "true" member of Zoom you had to be barefoot. I came home from school, took my shoes and socks off and joined in every afternoon. Looking back it was a rather ingenious way to say "you belong". After all, on that other channel, you had to buy mouse ears to be a member of that group. To bad the 1999-2005 version of Zoom didn't have the barefoot Zoomer's, its just the right thing to do.

I too share your love for Nina. I loved the show, but when Nina was on, I was completely entranced. Didn't care what she was saying or doing...as long as she was on screen.

I watched the show as a kid. I had my favorite zoomers. Nancy, Joe and later Lori and Danny. The show was so much fun to watch. I never missed the show and even sang the theme song with them. One of my favorite Zoom guests was when one of the kids on The Waltons invited Zoom to a filming of the show. I would love to see that again. Zoom will always be special.

I don't know why I decided to google Zoom 1972. I was 12 and Ninas song was so beautiful to me and described by broken 8th grade heart so perfect. The second part of the song was "He was my lover he was my friend. He said he'd stay with me until the end but now that he's gone and left me alone I'll think about him everynight at home. I'm all alone". Thats as far as I remember. Amazing this came out of a 13year old. What was going on in her life? If anyone else can fill in the blank I'd appreciate it. Cheers

loved zoom I watched it all the time I really was in love with neil , he was on withdanny edith bernadette mike do ya remember them

I grew up in the city of boston and knew a fair amount of the Zoom kids, I even tried out for the show (threw an invisible ball around), I didn't make it.
But because of where I lived I knew kids that were on it and kids who were guests. It is a shame that WGBH never was able to successfully recreate that show. It was a huge part of my life. And the kids were normal. I loved the "Zoom Guests" segment, especially the kid who cooked fish in mud pancakes.

Here's my Joe story. He and I were alternating the role of the Artful Dodger in the play Oliver in Boston. One week, he had for some reason not been able to make it, so I was doing all the shows.

The night before one performance, word got out the ZOOM creators were coming to scout for talent. I was thrilled. Apparently the word made it to Joe's family though, and his parents whisked him to the theatre just in time for the performance. The rest, as they say, is history. I hated that show... :-)

Here's my Joe story. He and I were alternating the role of the Artful Dodger in the play Oliver in Boston. One week, he had for some reason not been able to make it, so I was doing all the shows.

The night before one performance, word got out the ZOOM creators were coming to scout for talent. I was thrilled. Apparently the word made it to Joe's family though, and his parents whisked him to the theatre just in time for the performance. The rest, as they say, is history. I hated that show... :-)

Danny, thanks so much for this blog. I was a huge ZOOMer back in the day. I thought it was the coolest show ever. In fact, Nancy was my first crush. I was totally mesmorized by her. I begged my mother to move us to Boston so I could get on the show and be with my new girlfriend. So, my mother quit her job and we relocated to Boston. I met nancy and we've been happily married ever since.

Meanwhile, back to reality. My mother told me to get over it, cause we ain't moving to Boston. So I had to admire Nancy from afar. It's amazing how even after 35 years, I still remember "The Cat Came Back", "The Rock Island Line" and "You Gotta Have Friends". The fish in the mud pancakes was one of the coolest/strangest things I had ever seen. I even taught my former youth group how to play "Categories" and "This is my sign". Thanks Danny and to all my frubends that posted their replies on this blog, it's been a great trip down memory lane.

I almost forgot. I still can do the Bernandette's awsome arm thing......LONG LIVE ZOOM!!!!!!!!!!!

I had a big crush on Nina. What memories.

In 72 I was 13 so I also was in love with
Nina. In my area ZOOM was on at 6 right
after a show called Hodgepodge Lodge or
something like that.
I think it's amazing after 35
years people are thinking about and discussing ZOOM (and Nina) on a daily basis.
They should get together for a reunion (Those dorky Bradys have done it enough!) I'd love to see Nina again!

I used to be friends with all the Zoom kids. Really. I had a really close friend who was the girlfriend of Nina's brother, so I ended up spending a great deal of my Jr. High life with the Zoom kids. There was Joe (who I was, like most of the females in the television audience, terribly in love with). He was in love with Nina (of course), and kind of tolerated me because Nina had (obviously) a string of older boyfriends. What sublime chemistry that show had. How I wished I could have been like Nina!

Nina never really wanted to hang out with us much. She had better things to do than to hang out with her brother's girlfriend and her entourage. I remember that we used to play "Narnia" (the books were all the rage in the 1970s) as well as bunch of inappropriate party games. A wholesome bunch, they were not, but they were, in retrospect, normal kids.

Once we got in some trouble at Joe's house: some kind of problem involving Johnny Walker Red (though I don't think that anyone at the party actually drank the stuff). Joe's mother called my father (as well as all the parents of all the kids who were at the party) to alert them that someone had been drinking her booze. My father was enchanted because Joe's mother was the narrator of a WGBH storytelling show called "The Spider's Web" (Joe was on it once in a while with her).

It was a magical time. We called it "the golden age of parties."

I found some old clips on youtube.com. Seeing them brought back a lot of memories from the year I was 9, during the first season. I had the most enormous crush on Nancy, a huge one. I too wonder what happened to her.

That URL is for the girl I always had a crush on, Bernadette. She's doing real well and check that link for her websight! Come one and Zoom Zoom!

http://www.bernadetteyao.com/

That URL is for the girl I always had a crush on, Bernadette. She's doing real well and check that link for her websight! Come one and Zoom Zoom!

http://www.bernadetteyao.com/

I had two friends in the 5th or 6th grade who got their play produced on ZOOM around the same time as you. It was called "First Class or Coach?" and was a comedic skit about airplane travel. ZOOM sent each kid a $1 bill as payment! Whoa! Did the program send you any payment for your story?

i am quite the Zoomer,as fine as nina is
i was and allways will be a tracy fan i the she has this way about herself,as if she was always in control of the part she played and that was herself,i mean sometimes you get caught into feeling like being an actor/actres ,and not just playind the part,anyway my vote is for all the cast of the 70's but mostly tracy schulman,but no pics of the gang or info where are they now, although the is some by kriste,thanks
a little is alot compared to none
ok guys ,chow
myko

Dar's a car.
Whar?
Over dar.

And my brother and I found our favorite word: snowbomobobibiuble.

My sister & I watched ZOOM as kids,& one day my sister wrote in to the show,{don't know who she wrote to},but nonetheless,in a short time,they sent a ZOOM card to us containing a pretzel recipe...we tried it,& it was pretty good.On a very recent note,I contacted a former ZOOMER about another ZOOMER,& didn't exactly get the response I was looking for although this person was nice in response,& answered truthfully,which is all that matters.Hopefully one day,I will get the answer I am looking for.

We all had a crush on Nina. My older brother wrote the 13 year old equivalent of a pornographic letter to her. Not surprisingly he got no response. I once wrote in for a Zoom card but got a letter back saying they had no more. What they sent me was a postcard with directions of a method of cooking fish by burying it in sand and putting a fire over it or something. I think it was featured in a episode.

I remember an episode with a great tree house that had electricity and a few rooms. The kid actually could live in it.

http://www.wgbhalumni.org/reunions/2006/photos/07.html Seems to be a current photo of Bernadet and Nina.

Tracy from season one is on Facebook www.facebook.com/tracy.tomson

I thought I was the only person to remember that song by Nina. I still sing the parts I remember, though I wasn't even 8 when I first heard it. Does anyone remember all the lyrics?

Nina's Facebook page:
http://www.facebook.com/people/Nina-Lillie-LeDoyt/1406295834
(all on one line as address,of course).

I see Joe (Shrand) displayed among her Friends there,he has a gray beard!

Looking elsewhere on the web you can even get her phone number but I think we millions of former boys with crushes honor her best by leaving her and her husband in peace!

Nina, that girl of ZOOM was realy preatty.I think that was the main reason I watched that show.I liked looking at her. Very nice face & lips,everything about her.Good things just dont last.Such as life.

OMG! As a California suburban kid of the Seventies whose only cultural advantage was turning right on a red, I SO envied the Zoom Kids of NYC. To me, they set the gold standard for Hipper Than Thou. Currently residing in the Where Are They Now Files.

I just love the way you describe Nina :) She is beautiful yeah... But you know, every generation has its crush, that one girl that simply all kids like...

Back around 1972 (or so)I was in a production of Oliver with Joe, he as The Artful Dodger and me as a lowly workhouse boy. In fact my father played Mr. Bumble and my mother and sister were in the chorus parts. The kid had a lot of talent. Lot of fun, miss those days.

I remember a group of Zoom kids that were handicapped .I haven't made time to look them up on the internet,but they were a nice group of kids too.

I currently work for Joe (Now Joseph Shrand MD.) He's on the board of directors at the PEG Access center I run. An excellent guy, bright and witty as they come.

Through him I met Tommy, who works in the film department at MIT (and has done a few documentaries). A really cool guy who a few years after zoom started the legendary Boston band Unnatural Axe.

They're coming up on the 40th anniversary of the original cast.

OMG. As soon as you mentioned Nina singing that song, all the words came back to me as clear as a bell.

I was like 9 when Zoom came on - and I thought the 13-year-olds were SO MATURE!! I thought Nina was like a grown woman, and I believed that she had had a 6-month love affair with some boy who left her.

Yeesh.

I remember that song so well that Nina sang. I think I even wrote to her to get a copy of the lyrics....I wish I could hear a recording of it now.

Nina was my favorite ZOOMer. I remember being disappointed about 2 things:
1. She was only on one season.
2. I really though she was on the road to stardom and she would have a string of hit records and would become a rock or folk artist with sold out concerts.

I remember crying about 2 things:
1. That, due to my geographical residence (one of the rules in casting was that you needed to live within a half hour of Cambridge, Massachusetts), I could not ever audition for or have any chance of getting on ZOOM, though it was my dream
2. When they sang the "So long. It's been good to know you...." song and the old ZOOM cast members would leave the others behind

Believe me! I was an avid fan and wish there was more online about the cast members' current whereabouts.

I believe Nancy Tates is presently Nancy Walker.

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1378305982&ref=pb

what do you think?

The URL to Nina's reunion pic changed. Here it is now...

http://wgbhalumni.org/2007/01/01/reunion-2006-vii/

Wayne - You are right about Nancy. I knew her when I lived in Boston in. She told me about being on Zoom - I was already out of college when Zoom came on but vaguely remembered there was such a show from WGBH/PBS. She married Donovan Walker and has 2 daughters who would be adults now. They lived in the South End of Boston where I lived until a couple of years ago. I had not seen her for some time before leaving. She is a beautiful woman.


WOW!!! I can still remember the crush I had on Nancy.She was the only reason I watched it.

I am 48 years old. I still remember every word of the theme and the address at the end. I loved that show, I remember trying to make a pair of water walkers like the ones they made on the show. it didn't work and I loved doing it anyway. Now as for the not so great stuff you mentioned..I never noticed. I wish my daughter had a Zoom.

I remember Nancy in one of my lectures at BU. (I asked her if she was going to smoke, she said yes - and so I moved my seat.) Ironically, she was my favorite Zoomer but non-smokers had no rights in the early '80s.

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