5.21.2007

Unanswered Questions: Canadian TV

This week in Unanswered Questions, I have decided to focus not on one horribly ill-conceived children's show, but several. After all - you guys are too good to me. You deserve it. Now, I could go the easy route and post a couple of pictures of Fred Penner with smarmy questions like "where the hell did that Log lead to, anyways?" but no. That would be too easy. Instead, I have decided to delve into the world of unloved, unwatched, and (natch) un-renewed television shows of the 80's and early 90's. So sit back and get ready for a trip down memory lane (actually, I guess it's more like 'How the Hell did that show get the Go-Ahead' Avenue). And if you don't remember some of the shows listed, it's okay. I watched A LOT of television in my formative years.

"Kids Can Rock and Roll"Oh Buddy Goodfellow, Ace Manners, P.J. Styles. For three rockstars, you sure did live pretty clean-cut lives. Where was the episode about wrecking a hotel room? The urban legend about the groupie from Tampa? The heartwrenching story about your original drummer, Joey Handshakes, choking on his own vomit on the Kideo tour bus? Oh yeah, that's right. You guys totally blew. I went to a birthday party when I was 9 and the kid's stepdad pulled out a guitar and was was like "ARE YOU KIDS READY TO ROCK AND ROLL?!?!" and started into a messy verse from "Dr.Feelgood" and we were all like "Derek? Where's the clown? Didn't you say you were getting a clown?" and looking back, let me tell you. If I was back at that party and had to pick between a performance by Kideo or Derek's drunk stepfather, I would go for Motley Crue Stepdad. Why? Less embarrassing.

"Marie-Soleil"Ah, bonjour! Voici Marie-Soleil, Fergus, et Clune Samuel! Le plus-terrible programme de la television! You wanna know why my French is so bad? Because Marie-Soleil was a crock of shit. How could you learn anything from a woman speaking ONLY in French, a dog-puppet speaking ONLY in English, and a clown speaking ONLY in...hand gestures? This show was all over the place - Clune Samuel was clearly a girl. Secondly, Fergus looked like he was made from a sock and 2 golf balls 5 minutes before the show went to air. Thirdly; Marie-Soleil, I know that you're from Quebec. But come on. Could you have made this show any more anti-Anglophone? The only person who speaks english looks like he's been up all night snorting coke, and you made the only other human a mute as if he was to say "Je suis rather be silent than parlez englaise".

"Size Small Island"Now, Size Small Island wasn't that large of a blip on the Canadian Television radar (Hell, I used to make fun of the show as a 5 year old). It was about a family that lived in the mountains I guess? There was Miss Helen, Oliver, Grandma Gussie, Tex, and one very special friend who gave me nightmares on a regular basis. That's right, Friend Record. A giant piece of vinyl who sang songs and tapped 2 wooden spoons together. A giant anthropomorphisized record. With spoons. How did this show get 2 spin-offs again?!?

"Take Part with Lois Walker"She had a green box puppet that collected her mail. What was this show.

"Readalong"TVO had some golden years, didn't they? Dear Aunt Agnes, Harriet's Magic Hats, Timothy Pilgrim, Math Makers. And of course, Telefrancais. But my personal favorite was Readalong, featuring Boot. Okay, come on. What is with all the anthropomorphisized puppets on 80's era YTV and TVO? At least Friend Record had a name that wasn't simply "Giant Record". Boot's name was 'Boot'. And Boot taught me to read. And Boot taught me to be scared of Noreen Young, the puppeteer who created Boot, Granny, all the puppets from Under the Umbrella Tree and Today's Special. Why did all the puppets look like they were melting?!? SOMEBODY TELL ME!!!

"Gigglesnort Hotel"I used to watch Gigglesnort Hotel everyday at lunchtime on YTV. It was about a guy who ran a hotel and there was a dragon that lived in the furnace. All in all, it was pretty dullsville. Aparently, it had been on for YEARS and I was just watching the final run of it, so I can't imagine how weird it was back in the day. But I will tell you this (and my friend Anna-Sophia can attest to this, as she used to watch the show too) there was this character on Gigglesnort who was just a lump of clay and the owner used to mould his face around (like make his eyebrows raised or his ears extra big). Which isn't necessarily weird. But whenever his face was fixed, the whole time the clay person would moan and scream in this horrible muffled way!! Like, the guy was killing him or something! Hello!! I was like 4 years old! How would you have taken that!?!?
Also, again, puppets that looked like they were melting.

6 comments:

Taylor_Blue said...

Take Part and Read along were my favorite shows growing up...it's amazing to see them here...

The Mayor said...

Oh yeah, Readalong was the shit. Remeber the haunted house? That used to scare me a little bit. Also, remember when Boot got a new girlfriend named Dynamite Dyna and Pretty got jealous? Those were the days.

Hayley said...

mr twister was my grade 9 and 10 english teacher.. and my grade 10 volleyball coach.. i tell NO lies

Graeme said...

Wow. I don't know you, but you just made my day. I have never been able to remember the name of the show "Gigglesnort Hotel," although I also had vaguely disturbing memories of the guy moulding the clay face and the face screaming! I have been searching for clues off and on for over a year now (once again, off and on, I haven't been dedicating my life to this), so thank you so much for posting that memory! Now, with this and the Waterville Gang safely back in my memory, I can go on with my life.

Anonymous said...

Interesting, the show with Marie soleil was set up, for children who were hearing impaired and for English and French speaking children to learn or to improve either language. Obviously you weren't paying attention, I remember it well and enjoyed watching it.

The Mayor said...

^ AHAHAHAHAHA Anonymous!!! Of course I wasn't paying attention - I WAS FUCKING 4 YEARS OLD.