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Who is the voice of the OTHER talking sheep in "No Girls Allowed"?
8 July 2007
My daughter is watching "Jakers"---which we love ourselves---and all of a sudden we hear ANOTHER talking sheep who has the vocal personality of Johnny Carson! We love Mel Brooks' voice performance as Wiley the sheep---and one day we would like to find out exactly HOW he got involved in a children's series based in Ireland in the first place. And Joan Rivers Shirley the Sheep character was a great addition. But then in "No Girls Allowed" there is the other voice, and the voice credit is not listed!!! Not many people do good Johnny Carson imitations so we guess it is either Rich Little or John Byner. But we need to know for sure WHO it is and WHY the voice wasn't credited. Need to know!
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Hilarious episodes with surprise cameo!
19 February 2007
This pair of episodes ranks with the best of the entire series. What just tickled me was the out-of-nowhere live-action insert of the fisherman in "Hooky." It is a credited appearance by John Laurie and film director Jim Jarmusch, apparently stock footage from Laurie's short-lived IFC series "Fishing With John." I've never read how this appearance was agreed upon, except that I guess Laurie and Jarmusch are fans of "Spongebob" and Stephen Hillenburg and co. were fans of "Fishing With John." If anyone has any background on this, do share! And finally, I love the use of Sam Spence's NFL Films macho, adrenaline-laced music as a background to the anemic antics of the moth-eaten duo of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy!
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Fish - Extra Dry
19 February 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Bravo/IFC was a client of the company I worked for in the early 90s, so I saw each of these episodes as they were completed. I had to say I couldn't make head or tails of what John Lurie was trying to do in this series, until I saw the Willem Dafoe episode. They had me hooked as they experienced the hardships of ice fishing, but when they froze to death at the end, I just fell over laughing and said, "Ah! THIS is what the series is all about!" Then I went back and watched them all over again. It goes without saying that this show is not for everyone, but it must have a diverse following: stock footage from the Jim Jarmusch episode made it into the "Hooky" episode of "Spongebob Squarepants!"
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Boohbah (2003– )
I'm still trying to figure it all out. That CAN'T be good....
13 January 2007
I watched this how with my daughter when she was 2 1/2, and by the time we got to the end she looked as dumbfounded as me. I never thought I'd see anything that would make Teletubbies look like Hamlet, but this surely does.

Hard as I tried, I was unable to find ANYTHING redeeming or educational about it. Thinking I was missing something, and the target audience must surely be infants (although I'm not sure why anyone would put an infant in front of a television), I went on the website, and found to my dismay that the target audience is three to six-year-olds. HUH???? Please tell me this is a joke.

Let's think about this a minute. Sesame Street, Dora, Blues Clues, Clifford, Boobah. As Big Bird says, "One of these things is not like the others".

I am a preschool teacher and have been for many years (in fact, my Masters' thesis had to do with children's video) and I can tell you with a great deal of assuredness that none of the children in my class would find Boobah entertaining because there isn't enough content to stimulate them. The characters are one-dimensional, non-verbal, and in the case of the creepy little Boobah critters themselves, downright pointless. How is a child going to learn anything from characters who do nothing but spin around and fart? Let's give our children more credit than that.

From my own personal experience, watching my daughter's face when the show went off really says it all. She's six now, and she never asked me to watch it again. It has become a joke in our house now.

"Want to watch Boobah? I know how much you love it!" "NOOOO!" she screams and runs out of the room laughing.

Out of the mouths of babes.
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Olive, the Other Reindeer (1999 TV Short)
A Surprise Favorite
10 December 2006
My wife, 5-year-old daughter, and I ran across this special last year. Seeing Drew Barrymore's name gave me some pause, as she had recently flashed David Letterman while giving him a birthday dance, so I wondered if this special was actually going to be suitable for family viewing, and not some subversive story with a Christmas theme. Well, I definitely over-thought this one: "Olive" was absolutely wonderful, and unexpectedly charming (a very rare commodity these days). Her voice work was heartfelt, and a truly eclectic list of other voices, ranging from Joe Pantoliano to co-producer Michael Stipe (whose experience in cartoons includes his hilarious appearance on the funniest "Space Ghost" episode ever-#17, "Hungry") keeps this story light and humorous. The animation style was appropriate to the story and, apparently, to the source material (I have not yet seen the book). I recommend it!
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Prom Night (1980)
Still Waiting For The All-Star Tribute to "Slick"
20 March 2006
So there we were, Professor Marvel, CaptainLouisRenault and I, in our halcyon days, knocking around Times Square, ready to laugh at another badly-made horror film that, in 1980, were proliferating faster than "Disco Sucks" t-shirts. And for the most part, "Prom Night" fit the bill. It had the obligatory starring role by Jamie Leigh Curtis; Canada filling in badly for the U.S. (we got to know the bad graphics like those that appear on the sign for "Alexander Hamilton High"--apparently Alex got around); the pacing, which was precisely the same throughout the whole movie, with no alteration; and the poor photography (at that time, all Canadian films were technically unsophisticated: scenes were lit the same whether it was an interior or exterior, night or day; shots began with the establishing-shot pan that moved at EXACTLY the same speed no matter what was happening or how close to the climax you were). And yet, "Prom Night" stands out for one reason alone: the character "Slick," played by one Sheldon Rybowski. Here were the same too-cute teeny-bopper slasher-fodder, most of whom deserved to be slashed, and here comes a chubby, geeky kid with a van, ready for lovin'. You just HAD to admire his chutzpah-which is something for a good Catholic boy to say. Anyway, the movie only was alive while "Slick" was...alive. Mr. Rybowski, so far as I know, has never gotten the credit he deserves for raising this film out of the ordinary. So I raise my...well, SOMETHING...and say, "Mr. Rybowski, I salute you."
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