TV URBAN LEGEND: Leonardo DiCaprio was kicked off the set of Romper Room when he was a kid on the show.
Romper Room was a children's show aimed at very young children that began in 1953 and lasted until 1994!
It was a pretty basic concept, where a female host would play games and teach lessons to a group of young children. It was meant to be fun AND informative.
The novel concept for the show was that it wasn't just syndicated, it was actually FRANCHISED! This means that many different markets had their own distinct version of the show, including their own host.
There was also a syndicated version starring Nancy Terrell as "Miss Nancy," which aired in markets that did not have their own unique Romper Room version....
In any event, there is a popular legend that says that Leonardo DiCaprio was kicked off of the set of Romper Room for acting out when he was a child and on the show.
First off, despite plenty of people claiming that they have video of the episode, I have never seen any video of it. People typically just try to pass off episodes from the correct era (1979) that has a kid who at least sort of looks like a young DiCaprio (that being said, I used one of those videos as the featured image as, well, what else should I have used?).
Anyhow, the story was part of DiCaprio's legend early on. Here is a People Magazine spotlight on DiCaprio from 1998 that states, "But after a most inauspicious show-business debut—he was booted off the set of Romper Room at 5 for being disruptive—"
DiCaprio seemed to confirm the story when was on The Late Show With David Letterman in 1995...
However, note that DiCaprio doesn't actually say that they kicked him off of the set of the show. He just says he was "fired" from the show.
In an interview with Ingrid Sischy a year earlier, DiCaprio described the situation this way, "My mom got me on Romper Room when I was five — it was my favorite show. But they couldn’t control me. I would run up and smack the camera, and I’d jump around and do my little flips and routines. I wish I could get that tape now."
See how he just tells the story as him being disruptive, not being kicked off the show?
Socoro Serrano was the host of the Los Angeles version of Romper Room at the time (so she would be the host when Leo would have been on the show) and "Miss Soco" specifically notes that they never kicked kids off of the show. She explained that if they had a rambunctious kid, they would simply make a point to move the kid to a different part of the stage and not film him or her...
Serrano brought that point up specifically to debunk the Leo story.
When you couple it with the fact that Leo himself never seemed to make the specific "I got kicked off of the set of Romper Room" version of the story, I think it is safe to say that this legend is...
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