Following the incredible popularity of the novelty record "The Chipmunk Song", this animated series about the singing rodents was created. Manager David Seville spends his days taking care ... See full summary »
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1961  
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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
Shepard Menken ...
 Clyde Crashcup 2 episodes, 1961
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Storyline

Following the incredible popularity of the novelty record "The Chipmunk Song", this animated series about the singing rodents was created. Manager David Seville spends his days taking care of his young chipmunk charges, Alvin, Simon and Theodore, as they regularly get into one type of trouble after another. Included in each episode was a cartoon featuring inventor Clyde Crashcup and his assistant, Leonardo. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

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4 October 1961 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the Clyde Crashcup segments, Crashcup's assistant Leonardo never speaks out loud. His only speech is whispering into Clyde's ear. See more »

Quotes

Alvin: [On cue from Dave] Ladies and gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure...
[whips out his harmonica]
Dave Seville: [reacting to that, whispering] No Alvin! You're supposed to introduce the great inventer.
Alvin: [to Dave] Oh.
[Puts his harmonica away]
Alvin: Ladies and gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to introduce the great inventor, Thomas Alva...
Dave Seville: [Interrupting] No!
Alvin: Alexander Graham...
Dave Seville: No!
Alvin: Wilbur and Orv...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Dead Talk Back (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

 
And to think, it all started with a Novelty Christmas Record!
12 February 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

REMEMBERING the old adage about "Striking while the Iron is Hot", Songwriter Ross Bagdasarian inked a deal to give form, faces and anthropomorphic life to his Chipmunks on the TV Screen via the animated half-hour series. THE ALVIN SHOW (Bagdasarian Films, Ltd./Format Productions /CBS TV Network, 1961-62)hit the Tiffany Network in the Autumn of 1961.

MR. BAGDASARIAN, who was probably much better known to the public under his Stage Name of David Seville,* was capitalizing on the big-time popularity of his "Chipmunks Singing Group"; consisting of Simon, Theodore and Alvin, who had the number one (that's # 1!) Popular Record Hit, "The Chipmunks' Christmas Song". The decidedly 'novelty' record shot to the top of the Charts in December of 1958;making an annual re-visit every year at the Christmas Holiday Season. This was followed up with some other hit records and the all important Record Album, which is a 33 1/3 RPM collection of many song recordings.

THE comic format followed was not unlike that which had been used by folks such as Hannah-Barbera Productions in such successful cartoon half hours as HUCKLEBERRY HOUND, RUFF 'N REDDY, QUICKDRAW McGRAW, THE JETSONS AND (yabba-dabba-doo!) THE FLINTSTONES. In order to establish a format for animated short cartoons which would mixed 'Funny Animal' characters with their 'Human ' Straight-Man counterparts, the production team's writers made the rodent trio into, not pets**; but rather sort of adopted wards of mentor, the animated David Seville.

TYPICALLY an adventure would involve some family-type of spat and follow the events that were undertaken when the Chipmunk/Child Figures go off disobeying the Dave/Parental Symbol; or the yuk-yuks generated when the kids put something else over on adults. As we recall, most often the Chipmunk Cartoons would wind-up or at least feature a song from The Quartet (Now concentrate, Schultz! That's 1 Man + 3 Chipmunks = 4, the number needed for a quorum). This should be no surprise, being that their origin is in the records business. Also as to be expected the songs were Bagdasarian's own compositions; which included not only existing Chipmunk 'standards, but also some original songs (such as Ross' first Hit Parade Top 10 ranking, "The Witch Doctor".

SPEAKING of music, the show had its own original score. In addition to the aforementioned opening theme song ("It's the Alvin Show, the Alvin Show, you're positively gonna love the Alvin Show…..), there was bright, peppy and fresh incidental music that was easily recognizable and judiciously used throughout the three cartoon shorts that made up the program.

APPERAING in each show as a 2nd Banana Sort of back-up feature, the series was presented chronicling the adventures of CLYDE CRASHCUP, a madcap inventor. Quite original and cleverly amusing, we actually looked forward to Clyde's appearances as being the high-point of the show.

BEING tall, thin, scraggly haired and mustachioed, this eccentric genius possessed a distinctly high pitched nasally voice; with which he would always announce his latest brainstorm to his diminutive, nearly mute and cherubic assistant, the bespectacled Leonardo. This routine of Crashcup's doing all of the 'mike' work, with the much shorter and silent Leonardo only occasionally whispering back in the boss' ear is an astoundingly close approximation of the format that would be followed by comic magicians PENN & TELLER some 35 years or so in the future. (Sounds silly, maybe; but, just take a look-see sometime and let us know what you think.)

DEMONSTRATING a distinctly adult appeal (No Schultz, not the "X" Rated variety!), as well as making it at the same a mark of distinction, was not only the manner in which the wacky inventor would announce his new ideas, but also the nature of his inventions. Remembering that he is not a discoverer, but rather an inventor; Clyde would abruptly shout from a dead silence something such as "That's it, Leonardo! I'll invent NOISE!" The list was long and varied, but the essential point was that he was INVENTING some Natural Phenomenon, rather than some Rube Goldberg-type of kooky contraption.

IT was a great demonstration of how some complex ideas can have such a simple genesis. We give it an overall rating of ***1/2, that's Three Stars, Schultz, with or without our overalls!

NOTE * Some years later, it was Ross Bgdasarian. Jr. who masterminded, wrote and voiced "ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS" (Bagdasarian/Ruby-Spears/National Broadcasting Corporation, 1983-91), as well as some other Chipmunk Specials, both to Television as well as Direct to Video.

POODLE SCHNITZ!!


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