The point of this edition of The Five, besides giving me yet another chance to talk about cartoons, is to examine those weird quirks that set certain cartoon characters apart from their constituents. That is to say, something beyond the usual bulging eyes, springing hair, unraveling tongues, mallet-induced head lumps and stars and birdies that twirl about the head whenever they crash through a wall. I'm interested in quirks and traits a character possesses that no other character does. Some of these are easy: Fred Flintstone's "Yabba Dabba Doo!," Bugs Bunny's various catchphrases like "What's up, doc?" and "Of course you know, this means war!," so I tried to delve a little deeper and come up with some oddities only incredible nerds like myself would notice.
Maybe this will make more sense if I just jump right into it:
The intention was to air Grey's in that slot for a few weeks, help it get an audience, then move it to another slot and bring BL back to Sundays at 10. Of course, we all know what happened: Grey's ratings surpassed those of BL, rendering William Shatner and James Spader temporarily homeless. And the audience just kept steadily building until it became the top-rated show on television.
In the free time I have between watching TV, reviewing TV shows, previewing upcoming shows on DVD, and posting articles about television in general, my thoughts tend to wander . . . to television. And women (because, you know, I'm a man and men are pigs). During these wanderings I've come to question a few things about what we see on the magic picture box that I can't seem to find any answers for. So, I come to you, the smart and beautiful readers of TV Squad, for answers to five of the queries that have come to mind.
1. How can Dora the Explorer walk upright with such a huge head? Have you ever seen a picture of her? Her oval-shaped head is enormous! I'm surprised that it doesn't wobble uncontrollably like a bobble-head doll. I guess the reason she wears that talking backpack all of the time is for ballast. If she doesn't wear it she probably ends up toppling over to one side or the other.
The Simpsons receives plenty of well-deserved praise, but I think people take for granted the great music in the series, all composed by the great Alf Clausen. Clausen worked on several other TV series as well, including, funny enough, ALF. His contribution adds a great dimension to the show, so I thought it would be cool to use this episode of The Five to talk about our favorite musical moments from The Simpsons. Here's a few I like:
Jasper sings the theme from A Summer Place: This is possibly my favorite Simpsons moment of all time, or a least in my top five. During the episode when Homer is telling his family how he was once in a popular barber shop quartet, there's a scene where they're auditioning new singers. Jasper chooses to sing the theme from A Summer Place, which doesn't actually have words, so he just keeps singing the words, "theeeeeme, from a suuummer plaaaaaace...." It cracks me up every time, but unfortunately I think that segment is cut out when the episode airs in syndication.
Okay, kids, for this addition of "The Five" we're going to talk about those voices we love so much. I'm going to focus entirely on television announcers, but I'm expanding the topic to include anyone whose job in television is (or was) centered around their vocal cords. That's why you won't see Mel Blanc or Daws Butler on my list, though they most certainly would have been on it otherwise. Everyone on board? Okay, let's do it:
Here's a fun game to entertain yourself at home. Take any random object around the house and imagine its molecules combined with that of a man. Then speak in a deep announcer voice and make up a TV show about it. For example:
He's half man, half spatula. Despite the cruel world that shuns him he fights a battle against the forces of evil in his underwater helicopter. He is Spatula Man.
For this edition of The Five we're talkin' about our favorite hybrids. Here's five of mine. As always, share some of your own.
This time around we're giving a shout out to our favorite two-headed television personalities. Here's some of mine:
Biff and Chip Oblong (The Oblongs): I didn't hate The Oblongs when it aired on Adult Swim, but I didn't think it was that great, either. Lately I've been catching reruns of the series on TBS and now I really like it. Crazy how your mind works sometimes. The show is based on the book Creepy Susie by Angus Oblong, which is hilarious and worth checking out. Biff and Chip were the eldest son/sons of Bob and Pickles Oblong, and a constant source of torment for their brother Milo. They were voiced by twin comedians Randy and Jason Sklar. Jonathan has a nice synopsis of the show here.
It's the TV Squad Presidents' Day Blow Out Sale! Everything must go! We've got a warehouse full of lava lampshades, knee whitening kits, puppy dehydrators, hand-knitted welding masks, helium-powered baby goggles, and aisle after aisle of Mrs. Picklebutton's Homemade Mayonnaise-Flavored Waffle Syrup. Did I mention free giraffe rides for senior citizens?
Anyway, I listed five of my favorite television appearances by presidents in puppet or animated form. Hail to the chief and all that. If you think of others, please share. Taft would have wanted it that way.
Today's post is brought to you by the number 5.
We've all grown up with Sesame Street, right? We all know who Kermit, Bert, Ernie, Big Bird, Cookie Monster, and Grover are, but what about those Muppets who, while not as popular, are still a vital part of the human/Muppet mix who populate the popular street? Or are no longer a part of Sesame Street at all? There's way more than five, I can tell you that, but here's five of my favorite "second tier" Muppets from Sesame Street. Some are gone, some are just forgotten. Grab a bowl of Cheerios and your footy jammies and share some of your own memories in the comments. Now let's do it:
Joseph Barbera returning to Tom and Jerry to direct a brand new short got me thinking about all my favorite episodes of Tom and Jerry from the past. The famous duo starred in a ton of cartoons together, so I had to leave a few out. At any rate, here's five of my faves, friends. Grab a stick of dynamite and join in the fun:
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