Thursday, April 25, 2013

Classic Nick Wed – You Know You’re Addicted To Real C/N When...

Classic Nick Wednesday

You Know You’re Addicted To Real C/N When...

April 24, 2013

I had no idea what to post until now so hope yall like this.

- (For those with on-screen search) You still search for “Pinwheel”, “The Tomorrow People”, “YCDTOTV”, “Today’s Special” and various other Classic Nick shows.

- You ever wished you could jaunt, or had any other TP special power.

- You’ve ever wanted to go to London to search for the Lab or the Tomorrow People.

- You always talk in rhyme because Muffy does.

- You know the real meaning behind “Hocus Pocus Alamagocus”.

- You can name all of the original cast of the TP. (I can yay!)

- You know that TP is the short form for “The Tomorrow People”.

- You didn’t like the remake version of the TP. (90’s version)

- You’ve started naming your pets, or children, after Classic Nickelodeon characters.

- To this day you are still afraid to say, “I don’t know” or “water”.

- When you do you look up and duck.

- You spend your free time searching eBay and iOffer for Classic Nick stuff. (videos, games, books, etc.)

- You did, or still, have a crush on Jeff from “Today’s Special”.

- You actually know which one is Plus and which one is Minus.

- You ever tried any of the experiments on “Mr. Wizard’s World”.

- You remember watching music videos in between each show (this was BEFORE Nick Rocks.)

- You remember when Nick use to show more than just those crappy cartoons all through out the 90’s.

- You remember the “put another nickel in, in that nickelodeon” song that they use to play in between shows.

- You sit around thinking of ways to update “Pinwheel”, “Today’s Special” and “YCDTOTV”.

- You’ve ever done the “Hobo Bug Giggle Dance”.

- After watching the “Pinwheel Songbook” and hearing Ebenezer sing about his “lovely weeds” you’re out and about with your Mom or your friend. While they are looking at different plants and mention something about weed control and you break out into song…

“Weeds how I love my lovely weeds
I attend to all their needs
They’ve my buddies they’re my weeds
Weeds when you’re troubled my heart bleeds
All my care and whoa received
When I’m caring for my weeds”

- While you’re singing this they just look at you and laugh b/c they actually know the song and know that this is nothing unusual for you. (Guess that would make them a fans too huh?)

- You have a sound box collection just like Jake did on “Pinwheel”.

- You campaign to have national Les Lye (Ross) and Don Herbert (Mr. Wizard) days.

- You knew that Don Herbert was Mr. Wizard’s real name.

- You still have a crush on Christine (Moose), or Kevin/Alistair, from “YCDTOTV”.

- You have a “Double Dare” NES game. – And still have the system to be able to play it on!!!

- When you saw Marc Summers on “Unwrapped” you wondered why he wasn’t behind a podium reading off questions and why no one was covered in goop.

- You’ve ever built your own “Double Dare” obstacle course.

- You’ve ever walking into a cafĂ© and ordered a Barth Burger.

- You’ve ever made green slime.

- You actually used it on your friends.

- You campaign to have “show and tell” day at work so that you can take in different parts of your Classic Nickelodeon collection and “show and tell” about them.

- You knew when, “it was just the introduction to the opposites.”

- You’ve ever said, “Duhhh I heard that.”

- You remember, “Who got you last.”

- You remember when “Pinwheel” was lunchtime entertainment.

- You know the significance of “Dare”, “Double Dare” and the “Physical Challenge”.

- You wanted to live on your own tiny planet with a talking rose like “The Little Prince”.

- By the end of the 80’s you could name the two shows Dave Coulier was on.

- You remember when you saw Dave Coulier on “Full House” and said, “Hey that’s the guy from “Out of Control!”” (I actually did that.)

- Your toughest lessons as a preschooler came from “Today’s Special”.

- When you meet someone named Jeff, Jodie, Sam or even Muffy you immediately start to sing the "Today's Special" theme song in your head so that you can remember their name. (This happened to me recently and it did help!)

- You go on Facebook and search for all your favorite CN shows then join every page and fan group you can find for it.

- When you can’t find a page or group for your particular show you start your own.

- You spend hours on eBay and iOffer hunting down your favorite CN shows.

- When you can’t find what you want you start hunting down private collectors and buy your shows through them. (I have done this several times and it was worth it!)

- You create a list like this to celebrate in your obsession!

- You start a CN Yahoo group, website and Facebook page / group, etc.

- You still write fan letters to your favorite CN stars.

- While watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade you start to wonder what a CN parade would look like then start designing the floats and giant balloons. (Guilty)

- Every year on Halloween you dress up like your favorite CN character / cartoon.

- To celebrate Half-O-Ween in May (like Christmas in July) you dress up like your favorite CN character / cartoon.

- You hang out at or ride every roller coaster named in “Wild Rides” hoping that you’ll run into Matt Dillon.

- You program your cell phone to play a different CN theme song for every person on your contact list.

- You wonder if Smitty is still looking for the Admiral Byrd.

- You’re still hoping that Ebeneezer will full fill his life long goal to be on the front page of the "The Daily Noodle".

- If you’ve ever sat and wondered if Silas the Snail is still trying to get to the other side of the garden, or if he’s ever going to make it to the snails' convention.

- When you see the new Energizer battery commercial it reminds you of the “Livewire” opening credits.

- You stayed home to mourn the deaths of Don Hebert (Mr. Wizard) and Les Lyle
(You Can't Do That On Television).

- You're still sending in your submissions to Kids Writes.

- You often wonder if Plus and Minus ever finished their game of "Gotcha Last".

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Classic Nick Wed. – You Can't Do That On Television

Classic Nick Wed. – You Can't Do That On Television
April 16, 2013

There is no way I could ever write something worth of the all time classic You Can't Do That On Television. So instead I’m just going to post the link to my favorite episode, Cosmetics –

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Classic Nick Wed. – Curious George

Classic Nick Wed. – Curious George
April 10, 2013

Curious George is known in many different countries by many different names.  In Spanish-speaking countries he’s known as "Jorge el Curioso". In Germany he’s known as "Coco". In Finland people know him as "Utelias Vili" while those in Norway call him "Nysgjerrige Nils". Italians call him "Curioso come George" in Denmark he’s "Peter Pedal". in Sweden he’s "Nicke Nyfiken" and in Israel "Choni Ha'Sakran". But no matter what name he goes by Americans know and love him as “Curious George”, the sweet little monkey who love to explore the world around him. 

The books, written by Hans Augusto Rey and Margret Rey, he is featured as a curious brown monkey named George, who is brought from his home in Africa by "The Man with The Yellow Hat" to live with him in a big city but George wasn’t “born” with that name.

When the first story, “Cecily G. and the Nine Monkeys” was published in France in 1939, George was named Fifi can you imagine calling him that now I know I can’t. Then in 1941 in the United Kingdom, George was originally called "Zozo", apparently to avoid using the name of the then King George VI for a monkey.

The series was written and drawn by the team of Hans Augusto Rey and Margret Rey. The couple fled Paris in June 1940 on self-made bicycles, carrying the Curious George manuscript with them. At first only H. A. Rey was credited for the work in order to distinguish the Reys' books from the large number of children's books written by female authors. Later, Hans Rey was credited for the illustrations and Margret Rey for the writing. The Reys produced many other children's books, but the Curious George series was the most popular. The books have been re-edited continuously in the six decades since the first volume came out. The current United States publisher is Houghton Mifflin Harcourt of Boston.

"Original Adventures" Curious George appeared in 1941. This book begins with George living in Africa and tells the story of his capture by the Man with the Yellow Hat, who takes him on a ship to "the big city" where he will live in the zoo. The second book, Curious George Takes a Job (1947), begins with George living in the zoo, from which he escapes and has several adventures before the Man with the Yellow Hat finds him and takes George to live at his house. The remaining stories tell of George's adventures while living at the house of the Man with the Yellow Hat.

For those of us who were/are Pinwheel fans (which aired from 1979-1990) you may remember Curious George as one of the “Pinwheel Cartoons” but then beginning in 1980 there was a series of animated TV films featuring George and “The Man”, which were then adapted into books themselves this series was produced and co-written by Alan Shalleck. Then on September 4, 2006 a new Curious George TV series debuted on PBS Kids as part of PBS Kids Preschool Block. Then in 1984 two stop-motion animated shorts were made from Curious George stories with puppet-figures by noted animator John Clark Matthews (who later used a similar technique for his films of Frog and Toad).

On February 10, 2006 an animated film was released featured Will Ferrell as the voice of the originally unnamed Man With the Yellow Hat who is now referred to as "Ted". Some believe they chose the name “Ted” from an open-the-flap book titled "See the Circus," which was published January 1, 1956. H. A. Rey illustrated a man who looks very much like the Man with the Yellow Hat wearing a blue and white polka-dotted kerchief. The caption for the page reads, "Ted has a tricycle, so very small, He cannot ride it, because he's so tall. If you want to find out WHO the rider will be, Just open the flap, and then you will see." Opening the flap reveals two monkeys riding a tricycle.

Today Curious George is a staple among young readers everywhere and with an increasing growth in popularity he can be seen in everything from books, to clothing and to stuffed animals. There has also been a live touring show (which is no longer touring) and a video game that was released on February 2, 2006, published by Namco and developed by Monkey Bar Games, a division of Vicious Cycle Software.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Classic Nick Wed. – Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids

Classic Nick Wed. – Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids
April 3, 2013

While Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids never aired on Nickelodeon it is a true classic and deserves it's time in the spotlight and it was one of my favorite cartoons as a little kid growing up in the 1970's. - Forgive me, this is very long but worth the read, I learned a lot while writing this.


Fat Albert began life as a character in comedian Bill Cosby’s (Picture Pages) stand-up comedy routine "Buck Buck," as recorded on his 1967 album Revenge. The stories were based on his tales about growing up in inner city North Philadelphia. When Cosby teamed up with veteran animator Ken Mundie in 1969 Fat Albert became a real animated character for a one-shot prime-time special entitled Hey, Hey, Hey, It's Fat Albert. The special, which aired on NBC, was a hybrid of live-action and animation.


The music for the special was written and performed by jazz pianist/keyboardist Herbie Hancock in 1969 and was released on the Warner Bros. album Fat Albert Rotunda. For the animated portion of the special, it was necessary to develop the actual appearance of each of the Fat Albert Gang's characters. For this, Ken Mundie relied on animator Amby Paliwoda, a former Disney artist. Paliwoda not only created all the Gang's characters, but also painted a "group portrait" which was eventually shown on the front page of TV Guide magazine shortly before the showing of the special. The Fat Albert gang's character images were primarily created by the artist Randy Hollar with the assistance of one-time Disney animator Michelle McKinney, under the direction of Ken Brown.

When the time came to bring Fat Albert to Saturday mornings NBC refused because the series was too educational (a quality that is seriously lacking in to days animated series) so Bill Cosby and a new production company, Filmation Associates, then took the property to CBS where it premiered on September 9, 1972 as Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids. It lasted for 12 non-continuous years then spent another season in first-run syndication from 1984–1985 and produced three prime-time holiday specials for Halloween, Christmas, and Easter. The series was rerun on NBC Saturday mornings and on the USA Network in 1989.

==Educational Lessons And Songs==
Fat Albert was honored and noted for its educational content, which included Cosby earning a Doctorate in Education. In every show's opening Cosby would playfully warn:

"This is Bill Cosby comin' at you with music and fun,
And if you're not careful you may learn something before it's done.
So let's get ready, OK? (Fat Albert voice) Hey, hey, hey!"

During each episode, Fat Albert and his friends (aka The Junkyard Gang), dealt with an issue or problem commonly faced by young urban children, ranging from stage fright, first loves, medical operations, and personal hygiene to more serious themes (though toned down for younger children) including vandalism, stealing, racism, smoking, being scammed by con artists, sexually transmitted diseases, child abuse, kidnapping, drug use, gun violence and death.

At the end of most episodes (with some exceptions in the case of particularly serious themes), the gang would sing a song about the theme of the day. This sequence, similar to those seen in other Filmation shows including The Archie Show, has often been parodied. The musical sequence was dropped during the Brown Hornet/Legal Eagle years.

==Revamps And Renames==

In 1979, the show was re-titled The New Fat Albert Show and featured a new segment titled "The Brown Hornet" detailing the adventures of a larger-than-life African-American crime fighter in outer space whose design resembled a caricature of Bill Cosby, who also performed vocal talents on the character. In 1984, the show was syndicated and renamed The Adventures of Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids. The lack of network restrictions allowed the producer to delve into more mature subject matter. A notable episode ("Busted") featured the kids having an inadvertent brush with the law and given a Scared Straight!-style tour of an occupied maximum security prison, even contained utterances (by the jail's inmates) of the words "damn" and "bastard" (Cosby had appeared in the beginning of the episode advising viewers that those words would be used as part of the story's dialogue to realistically depict jail life). Another notable episode, "Gang Wars", featured a child being shot and killed. Another new segment was added: "Legal Eagle", a crime-fighting eagle with a pair of bumbling police squirrels. Production of new episodes ceased in 1985.

==Characters – The Cosby Kids==

"Fat" Albert Jackson (voiced by Bill Cosby) is based on Cosby's childhood friend Albert Robertson. The main character in the series, he is the heart and soul (and often the conscience) of the Junkyard Gang. Though depicted as being obese, he is shown to enjoy sports, often playing in different games with the rest of the gang. Civic-minded and wise beyond his years, Fat Albert works hard to maintain integrity in the gang and with others.

Mushmouth (voiced by Bill Cosby) is a chinless, slack-jawed simpleton wearing a red knit hat and a blue scarf who always speaks in virtual Ubbi Dubbi, tantamount to an overdose of Novocain in the mouth, which Cosby would later use in the "Dentist" monologue from his 1983 film, Himself.

"Dumb" Donald (voiced by Lou Scheimer) is a lanky but dimwitted fellow. He always wears a green long-sleeved jersey three sizes too big, and a pink stocking cap covering his entire face except his eyes and mouth.

William "Bill" Cosby (voiced by Bill Cosby) is a character based on Cosby himself. Like the others, Bill is an all-around good athlete, but more often he spends his time trying, though not always successfully, to keep his little brother Russell out of trouble. Like Fat Albert, Bill is usually the voice of reason in the gang, although at times a little more stubborn. He also acts as Fat Albert's second-in-command.

Russell Cosby (voiced by Jan Crawford) is Bill's younger brother (based on his real-life brother—whom he often talked about in his routines) and the smallest and youngest of the Junkyard Gang. He always wears a heavy jacket, boots and an Ushanka winter hat regardless of the weather. Russell has a penchant for making blunt observations (much to his older brother's consternation). His catchphrase is "No class."

"Weird" Harold (voiced by Gerald Edwards) is a tall, skinny, beady-eyed kid who always wears a beige dress blazer, a brown sock on one foot and a red sock on the other, and is usually clumsy. (In the film adaptation, he is called "Old Weird" Harold, like he was in Cosby's stand-up routines, rather than Weird Harold.)

Rudolph "Rudy" Davis (voiced by Eric Suter) is a sharp dressed, smooth talking, somewhat antagonistic huckster whose smart-aleck attitude gets him into trouble more often than not. Hi's poor attitude and dismissive demeanor is often the catalyst for a typical plot's conflict. But inside he has a good heart and often learns his lesson. He wears an orange flat cap, purple vest, pink tuxedo, regular bell-bottom jeans, and boots. Rudy's personality in the Fat Albert movie is much different as he is portrayed as a shy, kind-hearted, gentleman who falls in love with the female lead Doris (Kyla Pratt).

Bucky (voiced by Jan Crawford), as his name indicates, has a large overbite. He is shown to be really fast and flexible.

==Other Characters==

Miss Berry, The Brown Hornet (Voiced by Cosby), Stinger (voiced by Lou Scheimer), Tweeterbell (voiced by Erika Scheimer—daughter of Lou and Jay), Legal Eagle (voiced by Lou Scheimer). Margene (voiced by Erika Scheimer), Dennis and Pee Wee (voiced by Erika Scheimer)

The Three River Blockbusters are the Junkyard Gang's main rival when it comes to competing in sports such as baseball and football. The Blockbusters stole the title of being champions in a competition called "buck buck". (They make an appearance in the film adaptation featuring totally different members and the leader, dubbed as Crips, voiced by Catero Colbert credited as Lead Teen)

==Theme Song==
A cover of the show's theme song, performed by Dig, is included on the 1995 tribute album Saturday Morning: Cartoons' Greatest Hits, produced by Ralph Sall for MCA Records.

As of 2013, Fat Albert is seen Saturday mornings on Retro Television Network (RTV), and weekdays on Bounce TV, both of which are digital networks. It can also been seen weekdays on Angel Two (ANGL2) and on Kids & Teens TV (KTV).

On January 15, 2013, Bill Cosby posted the following on his Facebook page, "I’m telling you there are people at work, who I think, will make Fat Albert happen again. And it will be loved by all generations to come.", hinting that the series might be brought back once again. No further word has been given yet

==DVD Releases==
In 2004, Urban Works acquired the rights to the series, subsequently releasing several Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids DVDs including a two-volume collection featuring 24 episodes from the original animated series, as well as all the Fat Albert specials to coincide with the theatrical release of the feature film adaptation of Fat Albert. In addition Urban Works released a Greatest Hits four-disc box set and a five-best episodes set via Ventura Distribution. In 2008 Urban Works lost the distribution rights and as a result all of Urban Works' DVD releases are now out of print.

In 2008, Classic Media acquired the rights to series and stated at the time that they intended to release the entire series on DVD. Unfortunately this never happened as they only re-released The Fat Albert Halloween Special and The Fat Albert Easter Special on DVD via distribution partner Genius Products.

On April 6, 2012, it was announced that Shout! Factory had acquired the rights to the series (under license from Classic Media) and planned to release a complete series box set on DVD on July 31, 2012. The release was postponed but is now scheduled for June 25, 2013.

On September 4, 2012, Classic Media re-released all three-holiday specials together in one collection entitled The Hey Hey Hey Holiday Collection on DVD in Region 1.

==Film Adaptation==
In 2004, Twentieth Century Fox released a film adaptation of the series titled Fat Albert. The film stars Kenan Thompson (Kenan & Kel) as Fat Albert. 

In the film, Fat Albert and the boys’ journey into the real world after jumping out of a television in order to help a lonely girl (Kyla Pratt) with her issues. Fat Albert enjoys being in the real world but after a meeting with his creator, Bill Cosby (portraying himself) he is informed that if he and the others don't return back to the television, they will turn into celluloid dust.