A kids show host, Rainbow Randolph, is fired in disgrace while his replacement, Sheldon Mopes, aka Smoochy the Rhino, finds himself a rising star. Unfortunately for Sheldon, the business of kids television isn't all child's play.


Danny DeVito


Adam Resnick
2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Robin Williams ... Rainbow Randolph
Edward Norton ... Sheldon Mopes / Smoochy the Rhino
Catherine Keener ... Nora Wells
Danny DeVito ... Burke Bennett
Jon Stewart ... Marion Frank Stokes
Pam Ferris ... Tommy Cotter
Danny Woodburn ... Angelo Pike
Michael Rispoli ... Spinner Dunn
Harvey Fierstein ... Merv Green
Vincent Schiavelli ... Buggy Ding Dong
Craig Eldridge ... Husband
Judy White Judy White ... Wife
Tim MacMenamin Tim MacMenamin ... Danny
Bruce McFee Bruce McFee ... Roy
Glen Cross Glen Cross ... Jimmy


Fired in disgrace, kids show host Randolph Smiley finds himself out on the street, while his replacement Sheldon Mopes, finds himself on the fast track to success with a new hit show as the proud purple rhino Smoochy. But things take a turn for the worst when Sheldon finds out that some of the people that he works with, and some he doesn't know he's working for, are all in it for the money. Meanwhile, Randolph is slowly turning insane with his only thoughts focusing on killing Smoochy and getting back to his life of luxury. Written by MonkeyKingMA

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It's a kids show... with gangsters, bribery and corruption! See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sexual references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Singer Henry Rollins auditioned for the part of Spinner. Rollins details the first audition with Danny DeVito on his spoken word performance DVD Henry Rollins: Up for It (2001), part of which consists of throwing a chair at DeVito. See more »


While Buggy Ding Dong is looking through the scope of the sniper, his eye is blue, but a close-up shot moments later reveals that his eyes are brown. See more »


Buggy Ding Dong: Hey, sorry I'm late. I fell asleep at the bus station. Scuse if I smell like piss. You know how it is.
Marion Frank Stokes: God help us.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The theatrical version of the movie was 1 hour and 49 minutes. The deleted scenes were being included on the DVD release. Deleted scenes on DVD includes: Angelo's Announcement: Angelo Pike making the announcement during the opening of The Rainbow Randolph Show. Sonny & Gordon & Ben Franks: Sheldon talks to Sonny and Ben. Sheldon wanted animals from Sonny for the fans of his show but, there were some issues going on. Ben offers Sheldon a bride by giving the $100 bill. Tinpan Takashi: Frank Stokes offers Merv Green to take Takashi to KidNet Studios after Smoochy being framed as a Nazi. Merv Threatens Stokes: Merv Green threatens Frank to get Takashi to replace Smoochy's time slot. Angelo and Randolph on the phone: In Times Square, Rainbow Randolph talks to Angelo that he didn't kill Spinner and wanted to go back to his apartment. Angelo told him to go to the old biscuit factory at the underground so he doesn't get caught by cops. Last Nappy Time Song: The song played during Spinner Dunn's funeral. Extended Merv Green's death scene" In the extended version of the scene, the blood splatters and passes Tommy's face and splashes to the wall. Buggy in the bathroom: Before the ice show incident, Buggy went to the bathroom, turns on the sink, sits on a toilet and takes out heroin (a.k.a. smack). Which way did he go?: Sheldon removes his ice skates and continues chasing Burke. Nora was following him. Angelo pike arrives. Tommy and the gang asks Angelo which way did Smoochy go. Boom! Boom!: Sheldon and Nora leaves the area. Burke and Frank were killed by Tommy's gang. See more »


References West Side Story (1961) See more »


Written by Fred Ebb and John Kander
Performed by Liza Minnelli
Courtesy of MCA Records
Under License from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

User Reviews

Dated already. Has good moments but fails to come together
10 February 2004 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Rainbow Randolph is the top draw of daytime children's television; that is, until he is caught by the FBI taking cash in exchange for getting children onto the show. With the sleaze hurting the studio, the execs look for the cleanest replacement they can find - enter one Sheldon Mopes aka Smoochy the Rhino. Sheldon's clean cut approach rubs some of the execs up the wrong way as they try to push the usual marketing stuff through. While he makes enemies within the studio, Rainbow Randolph is fuming and planning to destroy Smoochy and get his show back.

I really wanted to love this simply because I am one of the few people in the UK who will have bothered to see this film since the collapse of FilmFour and poor US box office pretty much meant it barely reached video stores here. However the overall film doesn't really manage to do what it sets out to do. The plot seemed interesting to me a few years ago when it was first released in the US, but since then it's topical edge has been lost and what is left is a basic dark comedy. Within this there are a handful of good moments but generally it just doesn't work out; the jokes are dark to be sure, but it has far too few laughs - and not for the want of trying. The film throws in violent gags, slapstick gags, outrageous gags and so on, but too many of them slip by without eliciting laughter.

The plot is looked at to provide humour simply on the basis of how `unusual' and `darkly comic' it is, but it doesn't manage to provide laughs - but it does do enough to hold the interest. It has far too much going on and far too many characters to adequately control. As such it loses focus and, when it ended, I was unsure what it had been trying to accomplish but knowing for sure that it had failed. Too much is unstructured and the script would have done better to lose a lot of characters (who only exist to drive the plot occasionally) and focus on the main strands.

The cast is impressive but largely poor I'm afraid to say. Norton is a powerhouse and is one of my favourite actors as a result, but here he can't carry the whole film. His performance is good but only on the one level - when it goes beyond the comedy hippy, he loses it. Likewise Williams just tries to swear and shock to be funny - his best moments are the more serious moments where he is falling apart but the film doesn't allow him time to do it. Keener has good timing and a good role and she is worth watching here, as is Stewart, although he has little screen time. DeVito is OK as actor and his direction is good in terms of interesting shots and frames, however he can't bring it all together. Small roles from the Schiavelli and the dreaded Fierstein don't really add a great deal - and don't even get me started on the Irish mob caricatures!

Overall I have been interested in this film for about two years and had forgotten it by the time I chanced upon it in the video store. It had some good ideas and some potential but it was lost and the result is a film that is fragmented, unsure of it's self and, sadly, not very funny in either the dark sense or the laugh-out-loud sense. Missed by most of the UK and seen by me - and I think the majority are right on this one.

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UK | Germany | USA



Release Date:

29 March 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Death to Smoochy See more »


Box Office


$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,266,463, 31 March 2002

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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