ZOOM’s 40th Reunion
Reading Time: < 1 minute
Learn about ZOOM’s 50th reunion here.
From Tommy White
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.
Left to right Nina, Christopher Sarson, Nancy, Tracy, Leon, Ann, Joe and Tommy White.
I loved Zoom. My favorite Zoomer was Mora. It was such an influence on me. Even my brother, who was sixteen years old, watched it with me.
It’s amazing I grew up watching this show as a kid I loved it I’ve often wondered what happened to the cast members.
We’ve posted the two sessions of the ZOOM 50th reunion here: https://www.wgbhalumni.org/2022/01/08/zoom-at-50/
Thank you so much for this updated information.
Such wonderful nostalgic memories…Love!
Much appreciated, Jay! Thank you very much for posting! Viewing ZOOM was a huge part of my childhood, representing the best times of my life.
I’m from the first generation of Zoom fans, (1972) and remember watching that first episode and being in wonder of all the amazing things the Zoomers did. My friends and I were enthusiastic letter writers, and collected the Zoom cards (sadly long lost).
My earliest memories are watching Tommy, Joe, Nancy, Jon, Bernadette, Jay, etc etc. They become household names. We were all especially proud since we lived in the Boston ‘burbs just like the Zoomers. They were one of us.
My teen daughter grew up learning the “Bernadette Arm Thing” and knowing the Zoom song. “Oh Mom!” with an eyeroll, as I sing it at any given time.
Cheers to all and Happy 50th!
Need a broadcast reunion. Man I’d give anything for a zoom card from back in the day. Love from middle Tennessee. You made a crappy childhood bearable.
Thank you! I’m Joe!
Don’t miss the great article in the Boston Globe celebrating ZOOM’s 50th anniversary!
Thank you, Jay…This is an amazing article and wonderful pictures.
So many warm and heart-touching memories.
Loved Zoom as a kid, and I still mystify my (now teenaged) kids with Bernadette’s arm swing trick! Also remember loving the videos sent in by kids – especially remember the one where a kid used sheets of styrofoam and old metal Venetian blinds to make waders that let him walk on water. Thanks to everyone involved!
I’m Joe! Thanks for remembering ZOOM as we approach our FIFTIETH anniversary !!!
As probably read in my previous posts, I was a big fan of Zoom back in the day. I am now a psychotherapist, and so you can imagine my delight when I discovered that the book on my professional shelf “Outsmarting Anger” was written by you. Talk about a half-century of synchronicity!
I was 12 when Zoom premiered. I grew up in Randolph and had a crush on you. So great to see you all
A trip down memory lane! I watched the show from beginning to end, and in a sense Zoom was ahead of its time. There was a sense of authenticity in the show that got us ordinary kids hooked that really contrasts with the idealized glitz and glamour portrayed by Hollywood. The acting was pretty cheesy in retrospect, but it felt true to life, but it’s all part of the charm.
As an afterthought, do you know what some of these kids are up to now? I especially loved Danny, Mike, Tom Schultz and Arcadio so I definitely hope they’re doing well, and it’s always fascinating to see childhood heroes all grown up. Looking forward to a full reunion.
Loved Zoom so much!! I was 7 years old in ’72 and still have vivid memories from the show… Ubbi Dubbi, Fanny Dooly, SASEs, ZoomDo’s. And the videos that people sent in! The teenage boy who slept in his treehouse and made himself scrambled eggs when he woke up, or the ballerina who performed in the Nutcracker, or the young girl who helped out in her family’s hair salon. They were such a fantastic glimpse into other worlds and made a deep impact on me. I even ordered the Zoom album (think it was $5) and was so excited when it arrived; knew all those songs by heart in no time. Thank you to all the people involved in Zoom!!! Really great memories.
Thank you for bringing back happy memories! I remember watching this show as a shy 7 year old in ’72-’73. My family and I were first-time immigrants from Mexico and we were very poor, didn’t speak English and knew no one in Chicago, but we had an old black and white TV. I watched this show once a week and it helped me learn English. And I slowly overcame my shyness. Bernadette was my favorite. I wanted her to be my friend. I loved her long hair, mostly because my mom wouldn’t let me grow mine long and because they had an episode were she taught us how to do the arm thing! I used that to make friends. I went to school and shared how to do it. Thanks Bernadette! Today my family and I speak English without an accent, I became a leader in my High School and University (no longer shy) and we set up roots in our own house with a color TV, haha. And I have long hair now! It’s amazing how much this show positively contributed to my life just because I could relate to these great kids! Thanks again!
They were great kids! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Christopher Sarson televised a ‘Zoom Reunion’ with all of the Zoomers?
What a Wonderful Wish!
When I was little, my brother had the ZOOM activity book. I read it over and over, and I always wanted to watch the TV show. It was before cable, and we lived in Germany anyway, so ZOOM was always out of my reach. The show had been off the air for years when we got back to the US, but I never forgot about y’all.
I remember searching the Net for the show decades later, and all I could find was the reboot. Those were different kids, and it wasn’t the show I used to read about. Y’all were the ones I thought I was supposed to grow up to be like.
When the pandemic started, everybody started using the Zoom app, and I remembered that semi-mythical TV show I’d never seen. A few weeks ago, I discovered a YouTube channel that has full episodes! I’ve been binge-watching them since then.
You might think it’s weird, me watching them forty years too late… but at long, long last, I finally got my wish. It makes me feel like a kid again. I’m getting to see what I missed.
Thanks for being part of that show, I love it.
Your story is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing.
I AM 60 YEARS OLD AND WOULD LOVE LOVE LOVE A ZOOM REUNION – why doesn’t WGBH or PBS do a box set – those childhood memories are awesome – love you Zoomers and Zoom fans :)
It woud be a big hit but you would have to bring Christopher back from New Zealand where he has been living for several years.
Hello Michael & other commenters: Does any one recollect whose brilliant idea it was to have Allistair Cookie as a host for MonsterPiece Theatre, home of classy British drama?
In reply to Paul Gay’s Comment on ZOOM’s 40th Reunion, the idea of Joe imitating Alistair Cooke’s intros to Masterpiece Theatre wasn’t brilliant, but thanks for the compliment; it was low-hanging fruit in the first cast of ZOOM in 1972. Joe’s partly-English background made his AC intros to the ZOOMplays a natural. From 1971-1974 I was the first EP of Masterpiece Theatre as well as ZOOM, so it was easy enough to pitch the idea to Alistair and get his OK.
One of the extraordinary things about ZOOM is that I worked with 21 10-12 year olds, and we still have a googlegroup of all 21 of us — a dozen of us are still active. We’re currently talking with GBH about plans for some sort of celebration next yer, the 50th Anniversary!! (By the way, Joe is now a prominent child psychiatrist in Massachusetts.)
A 50th anniversary celebration would be amazing!
Sure would love an updated book/video of where the zoomers are today.
I concur. That would be wonderful!
A 50th anniversary celebration would be amazing! I hope you are successful with this endeavor.
Michael, I am convinced we can bring our Zoompapa back to Boston. Half a century later we are still in touch, and half a century later continue to feel like family. To all the Zoom fans, you are family as well. Who are you? What do you do? Let’s hear from you. We need YOU!
Zoom taught me the power of respect, and that power remains today. In a world where anger and division appear so prevalent, now and fifty years ago, Zoom let everyone know that it doesn’t matter what color you are, what gender you are, what religion, socioeconomic ranking, none of it mattered when you could just have fun with someone else, learn from someone else, recognize that we have so much more in common than need divide us.
Thank you to WGBH and all our fans who believed in us then, and continue to believe in us now.
I’m Stephanie! I am a Talent Development Specialist.
If you and Michael could convince Zoompapa to return to Boston, that would be awesome!
I wish you the best!
That’s what zoom is for! We can zoom a ZOOM reunion. Hmmmm.
BTW I have visited our Zoompapa in New Zealand. An incredible country enhanced even more by an incredible man.
What a great story Jessica. I too remember watching on my B&W TV as a curious and shy 7 year old and loved all of the different kids on the show and even asked my Mom if I could tryout so that I could become friends with all of them. I wish there was a simply-done show like this that was on TV for kids today. I feel like the show would be very good and very timely for our society right now. Bring back Zoom!
I’m 57, and I can still do that arm trick!!
I remember her showing everyone how she did it!!
Bless you and I hope you’ve had a great life!!
I remember one episode early on where one of them went out into the woods and made a tea out of leaves they picked (sassafras, perhaps?). The autumn scenery was gorgeous and they had the most beautiful guitar and violin music in the background. Vivaldi, maybe? If anyone remembers that episode or any details about the tea or music, I would love to know. Thanks!
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Bernadette???She did that funny thing with her arms in the intro? I do know that as a young adult she worked at ‘GBH! I met her! Lovely young woman :)
I remember that, I got to look it up and show my little girl.
She was my favourite too. https://www.bernadetteyao.com/
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.
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.
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!
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.
Me too-serious crush on Tracy! (female here). She was so cool.
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.)
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?
any body know what happened to luiz?
I vaguely recall hearing long back that he returned home. He was Dominican.
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?
are there any ore reunions ? would love to keep in view of how you’re still doing.
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.
I worked at GBH in the 80s and 90s and would also find myself singing the song (to myself) whenever I had to write a return address on an envelope or tell someone how to contact us.
02134. It was such a pity when they moved to a different zip code!
Nina is still a beauty! One of my first crushes! :)
Nina was the coolest person to me then.
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
David is married and lives in Lynchburg, Virginia. He is a pastor at Blue Ridge Community Church (www.blue-ridge.org) and ministry leader of Celebrate Recovery. We have 4 children & 5 grandchildren.
He is an awesome husband & loves the Lord!
I remember Zoom from my childhood and looking it up now to show my 14 yr old son. I was surprised to see it look so different from what I remembered (which was all-black leotards).
Great to hear!
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.
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.
Are any zoomers in this discussion?
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!
Great suggestion! I’d buy it.
Write zoom…z oo m…box 350 Boston,mass02134!!! Cant believe I found this
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!!
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 :)
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.
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.
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.
My favorite was Andrea. Loved Zoom.
I totally loved this show growing up ! My favorites were Nancy and Jay . Thanks for posting this picture
Wasn’t there an Ethyl on Zoom?
No, but Fannee Doolee drives a Flivver that ZOOMs on Ethyl
There was a cast member named Edith.
Hey, James, good to see your name. I live in NYC now. Watching ZOOM when I lived in Palo Alto, I knew I was moving to Boston and decided I had to work at WGBH when I got there… where we met and briefly worked together, then knew each other again when we both lived in LA. I have many fond memories of you.
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!
I would like to hear from this amazing 40 reunion of they are the best television history.
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.
I really liked this this show. As a kid from small town Arkansas, I really related to the kids on this program.
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!
Zoomer not sooner…
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! How goes it with you?
Just fine. I spend a lot of time in Europe. Still playing bluegrass. How’s by you?
Living on Nantucket. Local theater and some video
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!!!
I chose Tommy, David, and Maura partially because they were really Boston kids. Remember you well
EVERY boy in my class had a crush on Nancy!
“Dot dot dot . . . and it ended in May.”
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….
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.
They had different kids for the different seasons of Zoom. So the girl you mentioned was probably from a different season.
I do that arm thing ! Didn’t think anyone remembered! Haha
Bernadette was my favorite. I also loved when she did the arm thingy during the intro.
I’d like to see a full fledged reunion. Maybe WGBH could also do a scrapbook. Would be nice if all ZOOM alumni would participate.
You can find her on Facebook at Bernadette Yao. She’s a jeweler and sound therapist. I’ve bought her jewelry; you can find it on Etsy.
She has a Facebook presence
I grew up watching this show in the 70″s glad everyone’s well!
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:
His wife on this thread wrote,
“David is married and lives in Lynchburg, Virginia. He is a pastor at Blue Ridge Community Church (www.blue-ridge.org) and ministry leader of Celebrate Recovery. We have 4 children & 5 grandchildren.
He is an awesome husband & loves the Lord!
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?
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!
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
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.
I WAS SO HAPPY TO SEE THIS PHOTO. I WATCHED ZOOM IN THE EARLY 70’s. I LOVED EVERYONE, HOWEVER, I WAS MOSTLY FOUND OF NANCY. I LOVED THE MUSICAL SKIT “THE CAT CAME BACK” MY MOTHER CALLED NANCY “HER LITTLE GIRL” AND I ALWAYS THOUGHT OF NANCY AS MY BIG SISTER. :) OH– AND TRACY– YOU HAVEN’T CHANGED A BIT. YOU LOOK EXACTLY THE SAME :)
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!!!!
OMG!!!! That’s my generation. My brothers and I grew up watching Zoom. Good memories of my childhood….
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 :-)
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.
I’m emotional, I remembered luis(not in photo) and tracy then they all started coming back to me thanks for all the memories.
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.
Loved the original show! Never could figure out how to speak in that “subby dubous” language thingy!
I loved this show and yes, was in love with Tommy, lol. Blessings to you all.
Ubby Dubby! I wrote to the show and they sent me a postcard how to speak it. I can still speak it today!!
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.
Loved your show! And Fannee Doolee!
i used to watch zoom with my son who is 43 now and it was such a fun informative show…thanks for the update
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!
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.