ZOOM’s 40th Reunion

Cast members of WGBH’s original ZOOM show (1972-1980) met recently with series creator Christopher Sarson in Marshfield MA for an evening of stories, music and lobsters (paid for by viewers like you).

Despite their current ZOOM Rap subjects like “trips to the doctor,” “mortgage payments,” and “the kids,” the Zoomers still keep in touch and manage to get together now and then.

ZOOM's 40th Reunion Party, August 11, 2012, Marshfield MA

Left to right Nina, Christopher Sarson, Nancy, Tracy, Leon, Ann, Joe and Tommy White.

92 thoughts on “ZOOM’s 40th Reunion

  1. Zoom was so great for me when I was a kid growing up in a small, homogeneous town in Missouri. I remember telling my mom that when I got older, I wanted to look exactly like Bernadette. She had to break the news to me that as a little blonde girl, that probably wouldn’t happen. :)

    For some reason, the skit I remember most is the one where they were putting popped popcorn kernels on their shoulders and reaching out with their tongues to grab each one and eat it. My parents couldn’t figure out why I insisted on eating popcorn like this for several months!

    Good memories.

  2. I absolutely loved Zoom! The show was such a delight with a sparkling cast of highly talented children. I used to get so excited when the Zoom kids would sing, “Let’s roll out the barrel and find out what’s inside today!” They’d sing this sprightly ditty as the opening to reading viewers’ letters on the air. There was also one Zoom episode where one of the kids was making an ice cream cone snowman.I thought that was so adorable.

  3. hello my name is thomas brown and i am deaf use sign language i enjoyed watch i was 9 to 12 years old that was best year since 1972 to 1974 so, i got dvd with closed captioned but show with english/subtitles i like 1970’s style zoom was real cool and shirt color was cool too!

    still support zoom
    take care-thomas brown

    • I agree Thomas! That was the best yrs of zoom and I remember I used to get a little scared when they did the skit “the Cat Came Back”.. does anyone remember that?

      • Loved doing the show, first as talent coordinator (circa 73-74) under Chris and Bruce and then as Exec in ‘76
        It was a wonderful show and an honor to have been a part of it. Glad to hear about the 40th
        Susheel Bibbs

  4. In 72, I remember an episode where they took a penny, some vinegar and salt, and made the penny look new.

    And another when they took a string, put it on top of an ice cube, added salt, and made the string stick to it.

    I was also in love with Sesame Street, The Electric Company, SCTV, and Captain Kangaroo.

  5. I was 9 years old in 72 and was madly in love with Nancy and Tracy, especially Nancy. I miss being a little kid, best time of my life.

  6. Loved the show, great memories. Why is it that they just don’t make kids like us 70’s kids anymore (including mine). My favorite episode was when they featured kids making a tree house. That summer my friends and I gathered wood from all over the neighborhood invaded our dads nail supply and built our own tree house. Best summer ever!!!

    My favorite zoomer was the Asian girl… I just don’t remember her name.

  7. I was nine years old when season one was on the air in Chicago. I had such a crush on Tommy. I even named my second kitty cat after him. So nice to see this reunion picture of them as “grown-ups”. LOL.

  8. It’s so great to see a picture of the ZOOM cast! As a young child growing African American in Chicago it was great to see a show with kids of all kinds just being kids. It was wonderful all the original ideas that were in the show and how me and my friends lived for new stuff from zoom and tried to get shirts. Nancy was my crush before I had a crush lol. We need more shows like this now without adults messing it up.

    • I remember Zoom from the 1972-73 season. It used to come on KCET Channel 28, Los Angeles.

      Ubbi dubbi. Come on and Zoom, Zoom, Zoom! I still remember a cartoon sketch when kids went Trick Or Treating. They knocked on the door an a witch appeared. The kids said ” Eeeeek!” “A witch!” The witch began laughing like a maniac and dragged the kids inside and slammed the door. The end.

  9. How incredibly fun to see this! I was the Contributions Editor (selected all the segments to do on the air from our thousands of letters from kids). I loved working with the Zoom kids in the studio to do these segments for the viewing audience. It was an ingenious idea that Chris Sarson cane up with— to use TV to get kids active and creative! Glad you had a reunion wish I had known about it!

  10. Definitely had a crush on Tracy, but Ann wasn’t far behind. The slightly dark studio and the kids in socks were surreal but it all somehow worked. Other children’s shows had perfect looking kids and bright lights, the zoomers were kids everyone could relate to.

  11. This was my favorite show, growing up in Brooklyn NY. The kids were great/relatable, the songs, videos, activities, etc. I loved it all. (Getting mail back from the show when you wrote was also amazing.)

  12. Hubi, frubends. (Sorry, had to do it).
    Just wanted to say that this show was so important for me when I was a kid in the seventies.
    I grew up in a very small, very white, town in New Hampshire. The word diversity was not even in my vocabulary… until the sixth grade. That year I got not only my first Male teacher, but he was the first Jewish person I ever knew.
    At Christmas time that year he told my class that Christmas was not his holiday, but if we wanted to give him a gift, it had to be something we made ourselves.
    I just happen to have had a book about Zoom. And the book had a recipe for Challah in it. I had never made bread before. But I tried it. Nailed it!!!.
    He really appreciated the bread, and the fact that I honored both of our traditions.
    So, anyway… I looked up Zoom tonight because I want to make some Challah. I know I can find hundreds of recipes online, but I want THAT one. Anyone know where I can find that book?

  13. I had a big crush on Tommy.. the sparkly eyes and cute nose, ha ha. Nina was so cool; I admired her greatly even as a kid. The imagination was delightful, not at all pedantic.

    • We need a reunion and updates on all zoomers .I used to live for that show. Any zoomers out there in this group?

  14. I grew up loving this show! I’m 54 now and still remember “Write Zoom, z double o m box 350, Boston, Mass 02134! Send it to Zoom!” Also, learned what a SASE was (Self Addressed Stamped Envelope) and collected my Zoom cards for years! Donna was my favorite!

    • YES! Loved it as well! There was a little blonde girl named Edith in Season 3, I believe….I wonder where she is now……I wish there were more shows like this for kids today!

      • Many years ago, while shopping at the Burlington Mall, a woman approached me and said that she remembered me from WGBH. That woman turned out to be Edith from Zoom. As best that I can remember, she was happy and doing well.

  15. I loved that show Zoom as kid. I knew one cast member, his nickname was Red, but his real name is name was David O’Brian. What he been up to since the show? You guys look great. Sincerely, Maria Saia Martin

  16. I lived for Zoom.

    It aired during a very different time, the early to mid 70s, when a cultural shift was taking place. Moms started to go back to work, families were splitting up, and the innocence of the 60s was disappearing.

    For so many of us, Zoom was the ultimate escape for urban kids whose lives weren’t the way life was depicted on the Brady Bunch, and Zoom had a cast of kids who weren’t California perfect, and somehow made us feel like we were fine just the way we were.

    Watching the reruns, there is a bit of a melancholy vibe to it all, and that realism is what made it work. Kids weren’t patronized, they were valued and heard.

    Listen to City Child. For me, that haunting beautiful melody perfectly captures the vibe of Zoom, and those chilly autumn evenings in NY sitting in front of the TV, watching kids with a very peculiar accent sing, dance, and ‘rap’.

    A pure treasure.

    • The best memory for me was the day they tie dyed cloth napkins. I remember going around the house and tie dying the curtains, tablecloths, and more.

  17. Wow! I loved ZOOM, the original cast was my age. It was a great break from daily afternoon sitcoms and reruns. It was creative and made me ponder things as I sat and polished off several bowls of cold cereal. Kids living in an eastern city, a bigger city, not much different than myself and the kids in po dunk Puyallup.

  18. How bout a complete box set with a scrapbook? I have the one put out about ten yrs ago with clips and a small book. The fans would love the whole ball of wax! Zoom represents my childhood!

  19. Wow!!! It’s GREAT to see this cast photo. I hope PBS does a ZOOM Reunion Special featuring the casts of the 70’s. I had a crush on NANCY – I thought she was soooo talented. Plus she had a great precocious personality. God bless them all. I’d like to know what happened to Luis and Andrae who were members of two different casts. THANK YOU FOR THIS PIC!!

  20. I do the arm thing too, and my kids hate it so I do it more! I loved that show as a kid. Come on and zoom zoom zooma zoom :)

  21. Wow! I watched Zoom on PBS ch13 in Dallas. I loved the show. I had such a crush on Tracy. I was so angry when she was no longer on the show that I wrote an angry letter to the show, but I don’t think I mailed it. That is what I remember the most. However, reading these other posts brings back other cool memories. Enjoyed the reunion picture! Tracy is still cute.

  22. It’s so good to see you all. I grew up watching Zoom. Being a black kid growing up in New Jersey, it was nice to see Nancy and Kenny and Leon, and everyone together having fun. I also had a crush on Nancy, I also wanted to wish Nancy a happy birthday ❤ on July 20th but I didn’t know where, so I’ll do it now, this is a great photo. God bless you all and thanks for the memories.

  23. Hi. I was soo in Love with Nancy when I was little, watching the show. It’s really good seeing Nancy again. I can see that it looks like you’re using a cane now. Good to see you Nancy. Cane & all. Thank for posting your picture. You’ve put a smile on my face.

  24. I loved this show growing up in the suburbs of Boston. With my two sisters and our friends we would reenact the shows and we each got to be our favorite character. Of the girls, we all fought over being Ann. Great memories!

  25. I grew up watching zoom in the 70’s and it was my most favorite kids show!
    Did you know they had different kids for each season?
    I sent a picture I drew, but they never shown it on TV.

  26. This is definitely a show that needs to be released on video. Not just the “best of”. But the whole series needs to be brought back. The remake just doesn’t hold a candle and lacks the charm of the original. Just find out who holds the license and bombard them with requests.

    • I agree totally! Why are they not releasing the complete episodes? Its probably either for legal reasons, or god forbid, they recorded over the original video tapes (they used to do that back then to save money). Bring back Zoom!

  27. Hi…what a nice photo…Tracy certainly was my favorite sooner too…Leon I didn’t know (2years older) but he was kinda kewl..went to my school…in Dover, what I wanna know is how come of all these local Boston kids not even a single kid…has that Boston dialect?

    • Oh, but some did. Tommy, David, and Maura all had great Boston accents, and Nancy had a bit of one. (I directed the first three seasons.)

      • Hey James, I was a huge Zoomer during the first 3 or 4 seasons. I am also a fan of your work on Zoom. What memories can you share regarding the production of the shows. How much input did the cast members have regarding the content of the shows, songs. Etc. Were the kids easy to work with? How about their parents? Was it true that the parents signed very long contracts preventing their children from performing on other shows? Thankx!!!

    • it began in march & it ended in may, i remember the hour & i remember the day, i remember how long it’s been since he went away, so Lord please bring him back to me, today, right away…

      “The city is the grossest place, ii’d rather live in outer space!”

      Twinkle twihihihihinkle – little little cat …how, oh how i wonder just where you are at….

  28. Where is Bernadette? She was my favorite. I was so proud when I learned to do the arm-fan-thingy, like she did in the opening credits. Lol.

  29. My husband David O’Brien was “Red” on Zoom in the 70’s. I would LOVE to be able to connect him with his cast mates. Can you help?

    • Try Christopher at:

  30. Oh My God, I can’t express in words the joy and happiness that came flooding through when I found this photo. I was Googling where are you guys now. I loved, loved, loved Nancy. My other favorites Leon, Joe…well, truly all of you. The Cat Came Back, my favorite. Bring back my childhood, please! I am just smiling. Where is Bernadette?

  31. An absolutely wonderful time in my preteen/teen years. I wouldn’t eat dinner or be disturbed when that show was on! Best friend gave me a “Zoom Back to the 70’s” dvd for my 53rd b-day. Best gift EVER! And, all the best to the cast members!

  32. What a great photo!
    I’m a singer songwriter
    Currently recording an album
    But way back in 72, 73
    I was still just a boy
    & just starting to write songs
    And boy did I have a thing for Tracy
    I used to be glued to the set
    I wrote one of my 1st songs about that
    Little girl a song called Tracy
    It was about how I thought it was our destiny to meet
    And be together
    Kind of hallarious
    What a lonely little kid
    Can talk himself into
    She does look kind of the same
    Nice to see Nina, joe, nancy, ann and tommy in the photo too!
    I loved all the kids in the first 2 casts
    It really brought back a very innocent time in my life

  33. Ok, I will admit that Tracy was my favorite Zoomer, although I loved them all. I even went so far as to name a beloved pet after her. A little yellow duckling that I got one Easter. She grew into a beautiful and elegant white duck that lived long past her life expectancy.


  35. I am a Canadian who absolutely loved Zoom and watched it religiously each week on PBS Detroit.
    It is so nice to see that 40+ years later, you are all still looking fantastic!!!
    Thank you so much for posting, Tommy…what great memories this one photo conjured up for me!!!!

  36. I just discovered and watched the old Zoom opening and closing songs on YouTube and remembered every word and every cast member, can’t believe it, I loved that show! Thanks for the memories :-)

  37. I absolutely loved Zoom! So refreshing to see and know that you guys stay in contact with one another. While I liked all of the Zoomers,my favorite was Nancy. She was so talented. Would love to know what the original and second season cast are up to these days.

    • When i was a kid i loved watching Zoom….i fell in love with Nancy and all my life i wonder were she was…until i Google her and it was good to see her agin.

  38. What a sweet treat to come across this picture. I watched the show regularly and still have my collection of Zoom cards I sent away for.

  39. I wish I could see reruns of the show on TV to show my granddaughter. I loved the it! I never missed a show. Thank goodness for YouTube. Thank you!

  40. It is such a wonderful thing to see all of the kids I grew up with on TV as happy adults who still brought smiles to my face.

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