"The Electric Company," aimed at children ages 7 to 10, was designed to teach basic reading concepts to its young viewers. Skits featuring the show's regulars, cartoons, vignettes, and regular features revolved around sound clusters (such as -ly, sh-, oo-) and punctuation marks. On occasion, a fun song was played with the audience challenged to supply the lyrics during the second sing-through. Through the years, different features were added including "Love of Chair" (1971-1973, a spoof of "Love of Life"), "The Adventures of Letterman" (added in 1972), cartoon segments featuring Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner (1973), and Spider-Man (1974).Written by
Brian Rathjen <email@example.com>
Many characters on the show had "pun names." Fargo North, Decoder, is a pun on Fargo, North Dakota; it is also a sly reference to the show's education method, using the "decoding" style of reading education. Easy Reader's name was a pun on Easy Rider (1969). J. Arthur Crank's name was a pun on the movie mogul, J. Arthur Rank, although the character was a combination of Oscar the Grouch and Archie Bunker. Chef Julia Grownup was a parody of the well-known chef, Julia Child. Dr. Doolots was a pun on Doctor Dolittle (1967), although the character was based on Groucho Marx. In one sketch (which is included on the "Electric Company" DVD set), Skip Hinnant played a character named Early Gibbons, a parody of the then-popular outdoorsman and natural foods advocate, Euell Gibbons. And the teen musical group, The Short Circus, was a pun on "short circuit," in keeping with the show's title, The Electric Company (1971). See more »
During the song "Apostrophe S" (sung by Lee Chamberlin), after Lee sings "the hat is Jim's and that's that", a white-sleeved arm appears briefly at the bottom right of the screen. See more »
When I was a child, I remember watching The Electric company with my friends and family. The actors were amazing, and the skits were unforgettable. I adored Morgan Freeman's cowboy sketches! Jim Boyd's character, the inimitable 'Crank', remains my personal favorite to this day. I loved Luis as 'Yankee Doodle'. In all of the historical skits, he looked like he was having as much fun as the viewers! Luis is an amazing talent, and I've been taping all of his movies just to see him in other roles. Rita, Judy, Lee and Hattie were all wonderful, too! Skip Hinnant is also very talented and funny: When he was in a scene portraying a Romeo type character, and Rita was the angry director screaming at him, he muttered "The things I do for art," and then
slammed himself back against the wall when she glared at him! I couldn't stop laughing!!! I also enjoyed him as "Roy the Toy Boy".
My favorite sketches are: "Boris the Boxer" (Jim plays a toothless boxer who has been hit in the head quite a bit, and throws punches when he hears a bell), "Greedy Greg Grabbed The Green Grapes" (Jim again), the "--ing" song (sung by Brenda, who was 'swing-ing' and 'sitt-ing' on a bee that was 'sting-ing' her), "Pandora the Brat" (Rita Moreno), "Nitty Gritty" (Hattie), "The Galloping Saddle" (Morgan and Jim), "Springing From A Sponge", "Yankee Doodle" "The Mad Conductor" ("YAGA! Are you trying to turn me into a little bowl of pasta???" Luis yells at Jim, who can't seem to play the right note on his tuba), "Grouch" (Morgan introduces the sketch, where two cavemen, Jim and Luis, are busy pounding rocks. Luis tries to show Jim something, and he growls: "GRRR!" and then pops Luis on the head with the stone hammer. "OUCH!!!" Luis cries... the scene repeats itself several times before it dawns on them that they have created a new word! Vaudeville music strikes up, and they dance around (with the dazed, confused look that only Jim can effect!) chanting "Grouch! Grouch! Grouch!" LOL!!! I still howl with laughter whenever Jim pulls that face!), and "Skunk In The Trunk", where Jim opens a trunk and discovers "...a pretty little kitty---with BAD BREATH!!!"
As an adult, I still love this show (maybe TOO much!) and I would recommend it to people of any age who like to laugh and have fun. Life is too short to frown all of the time! Let Electric Company "turn you on" and "bring you the power"... of laughter and positive vibes!
I give this show 10/10 stars.
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