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Happy 20th Anniversary, 'Dinosaurs'! Where Are They Now?

by Chris Harnick, posted Apr 26th 2011 12:50PM
DinosaursIt's been 20 years since Baby Sinclair first uttered the words "Not the mama!"

Yep, it's OK to feel old now.

On April 26, 1991, the world was introduced to the Sinclair family on ABC's 'Dinosaurs.' The sitcom lasted for four seasons and 65 episodes (58 episodes aired during the first run; the remaining aired in syndication) before ultimately ending with the extinction of dinosaurs. (Inevitable, we suppose.)

While 'Dinosaurs' was a sitcom, the show broke the mold by not having a studio audience or a laugh track. Brought to life by a cast of experienced Henson puppeteers and seasoned voice actors, 'Dinosaurs' is heralded as one of the most ambitious sitcoms ever.

Celebrate the 20th anniversary of the premiere of 'Dinosaurs' with a walk down memory lane after the jump.

The 'Dinosaurs' cast featured many notable sitcom players and voice actors.

Baby Sinclair became a voice of a generation (for a time), spawning merchandise from dolls to T-shirts. The character was voiced and partially moved by Kevin Clash, the voice of Elmo (and Splinter for the first two 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' films). Clash is also the Muppet captain and co-executive producer of 'Sesame Street.'

Stuart Pankin provided the voice of Earl Sinclair, the patriarch of the family. Pankin went on to provide voice work on 'Animaniacs,' 'Batman Beyond' and 'Duckman.' The actor also booked guest appearances on several of TV's most popular shows, including 'Mad About You,' 'Boston Legal' and 'Curb Your Enthusiasm.' Bill Barretta did the bodywork for Earl. He later went on to create Pepe the King Prawn, Johnny Fiama and Bobo the Bear on 'Muppets Tonight.'

Jessica Walter voiced Fran Sinclair, the mom of the family. The veteran actress later returned to the spotlight as Lucille Bluth on 'Arrested Development,' and can currently be seen on TV Land's 'Retired at 35' and heard as the voice of Malory on 'Archer.' Fran's body was done by Tony Sabin Prince, who also worked on the Henson Company's 'The Country Bears.'

Sally Struthers of 'All in the Family' provided the voice of Charlene, the teenage daughter. After 'Dinosaurs,' the actress voiced a character on 'TaleSpin' and appeared on 'Still Standing' and 'Gilmore Girls.' Charlene's body was done by Michelan Sisti, the same actor who performed Michelangelo in 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' and 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Secret of the Ooze.'

Jason Willinger voiced teenage son Robbie, and post-'Dinosaurs' lent his vocal talents to 'A Goofy Movie.' Leif Tilden did Robbie's body, and went on to play gorillas in 'George of the Jungle,' 'Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls' and 'Buddy.' 'Law & Order: SVU' star Christopher Meloni voiced Robbie's recurring friend, Spike.

Florence Stanley voiced Grandma Ethyl Phillips, mother of Fran. Stanley was an accomplished stage and screen actress when she joined the sitcom, having appeared on Broadway as Yente in 'Fiddler on the Roof' and costarring in 'Barney Miller.' Stanley also provided the voice of Thelma Griffin in 'Family Guy.' She died in 2003 at the age of 79.

Tell us: Did you watch 'Dinosaurs'? What's your favorite 'Dinosaurs' episode?

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NOT DA MAMA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

May 07 2011 at 1:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I loved the show can't beleice it has been 20 years. Is there a place I can watch it

May 04 2011 at 12:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I absolutely loved this show. Baby Sinclar was my favorite..."AGAIN!"
I had a plush toy of him that talked and a McDonalds toy of him too. I have the dvd set of the entire series. Looking at it now...its nothing like what I remembered. I was really young and didn't understand it much. Now I can see the humor and the morals they were trying to share. They don't make good shows like that anymore. I miss the TGIF days! "I'm the baby...Gotta Love Me"

May 02 2011 at 2:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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May 02 2011 at 3:50 AM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply

Absolutely loved this show - just recently bought the boxed set DVD.

My favorite...the show about Robbie going off to spit seeds at rival dinosaurs in Operation We Are Right...which the newscasters shorted to W.A.R.

Satire at it's best.

May 01 2011 at 2:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kathi MacDonald

My kids loved this show....I'm the baby, GOTTA LOVE ME!

April 29 2011 at 1:41 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Centurion Agency

Love,love,love this show bought it for my dad on dvd - we used to watch it together when it was on ahhh want wonderful memories:)

April 29 2011 at 9:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Larry OKC

Mommy Dearest: the toy you mentioned wasn't available at Burger King (it was a McDonalds happy Meal promotion. I worked there at the time and still have the Happy Meal display.

I also had a pull-string "talking" Baby Sinclair that I bought immediately when they became available (didn't want to make the same mistake I did with ALF). Unfortunately, I was robbed a few months ago and the Baby (w/original box) was one of the collectables they took.

April 28 2011 at 10:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

As I started reading your post all the characters started flooding back into my memory. My family still quotes some of the old episodes at each other. 20 years wow, maybe TV Land could bring it back?

April 28 2011 at 1:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

jojojojo! holy Meloni!!! I'll never forget this .... it was one of my fav shows!!!

April 27 2011 at 9:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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