Remember that one day when you could wake up without an alarm? When you would get your favorite bowl of cereal and sit between the hours of 8 and 12? This is a blog dedicated to the greatest time of our childhood: Saturday mornings. The television programs you watched, the memories attached to them, and maybe introducing you to something you didn't realize existed. Updated every weekend.
In 1984, political
cartoonist Mike Peters wanted
to branch out and begin his own daily comedy strip. He always imagined it based
on a dog that acted like a real dog, unlike the anthropomorphic Snoopy over in Peanuts,
because he found he could relate to a dog. Mother Goose and Grimmwas
centered on Mother Goose who lived in a shoe (combining the fairytale Mother Goose
Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe) with her dog, hyperactive yellow Bull Terrier
Grimm (named after the Brothers Grimm),
dimwitted Boston Terrier Ralph, and belligerent purple cat Attila (named after Attila the Hun). They lived
in a world populated by a mix of fairy tale creatures and normal humans. The
strip is steeped in pop culture, often spoofing or referencing things that are
big at the time and notable fictional characters. When the muse descends, the
strip could abandon its core cast and continuing story in favor of stand-alone
one-panel gags. The strip debuted on October 1stand is distributed by King
Features Syndicate to over 800 newspapers.
Mother Goose and Grimm debuted on CBS on September 14, 1991. It
starred real-life husband and wife Charlie Brill and Mitzi McCall as Grimmy and
Mother Goose, respectively, with veteran voice actor Greg Burson as Attila. Wang Film Production
Company and Cuckoo’s
Nest Studios handled the animation and duplicated Peters’ style perfectly;
making it seem like the show jumped right off of the newspaper page. Peters
himself designed the series’ opening of Grimmy trying to elude overzealous dogcatcher,
Sven Rottweiler (Hal Rayle, impersonating Arnold Schwarzenegger), which was
directed by producer Phil Roman.
Ron Grant composed the
Mother Goose and Ham.
Each episode was broken up into two segments with Evanier
writing most of them. Gordon
Kent and Earl Kress
penned the remaining ones. The strip’s sarcasm was toned down in favor of more
traditional cartoon slapstick, particularly centered around Grimmy’s
fascination with household appliances (a trait shared by his creator) and his
love of fire hydrants and garbage, as well as 4th wall-breaking
humor reminiscent of Garfield. A
recurring gag in the end credits featured Peters’ wife Marian performing a variety of
imaginary functions on the show (like choreographer) with a corresponding
nickname (like “Flash Dance”).
Grimmy at the mercy of neighborhood bullies.
Along with the normal (exaggerated) ordeals of a dog’s
life, Grimmy sometimes had to deal with a gang of neighborhood bully dogs on
top of the dogcatcher. A major recurring character on the show was Mother Goose’s
neighbor Ham (Eddie Deezen), one of the Three
Little Pigs (actually numbered four including a sister, all voiced by
Deezen) that was constantly afraid of the Big Bad Wolf (Gregg Berger) coming for them.
A silent fish named Lassie (named after the
dog) was Mother Goose’s other pet.
despite duplicating nearly all the components of Garfield and Friends, the actual success of the series was not as
easily duplicated. The show struggled through its 13-episode run, although it
did bring in respectable enough ratings to be brought back for a second season
of reruns. CBS conducted research on its failings and determined that kids were
put off by the title, believing it to be just “nursery rhyme” stuff. They
changed the name to simply Grimmy for
the second season complete with a new opening. The name change did the series
no favors and it was permanently cancelled by March of 1993.
“Puppy Love Story / Brotherhood of Ham” (9/14/91) – Grimmy falls for a
dog he met in the park that ends up being a cat. / Ham alerts his brothers to a
wolf sighting in town, however it turns out he’s given up pig eating for real
“Expensive Taste / Lassie Swim Home” (9/21/91) – Mother Goose wins the
lottery but Grimmy ends up eating the ticket. / Grimmy takes Lassie for a walk
and ends up losing him while trying to prevent some cats from eating him.
“Funny Business / The Boogie Man” (9/28/91) – Needing to pay for
destroying Mother Goose’s garden, Grimmy gets a job as a court jester’s
assistant. / NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE.
“Grimm Encounter / The Grocery Grabber” (10/5/91) – While camping,
Grimmy encounters alien dogs. / NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE.
“Ham Alone / Sheep Thrills” (10/12/91) – Ham is worried that the wolf
is after him and holes himself up in Mother Goose’s house. / Mother Goose writes
an updated version of Little Bo Peep starring
“Hero Worship / Search for Soap” (10/19/91) – Grimmy tries desperately
to meet his hero, Carl the Wonder Poodle, only to discover he is a she. / After
Grimmy accidentally destroys the TV, Mother Goose stops at nothing to try and
get to watch her favorite soap.
“The Fur Flies / It’s a Flea Country” (10/26/91) – Getting a chance to
enter Attila in a cat show, Mother Goose tries to ensure Grimmy doesn’t scare
the fur off him. / While Mother Goose tries to teach Grimmy a trick to beat
Jack Sprat’s dog, his fleas drive him nuts as they go camping.
“Bone of Contention / The Sweeper Creeper” (11/2/91) – When two bully
dogs steal Grimmy’s food, he ends up in a museum trying to feast on a dinosaur
bone. / Grimmy and Attila find themselves at the mercy of Mother Goose’s vacuum
“The Wickedest Witch / Motel Mutt” (11/9/91) – A wicked witch turns
Mother Goose into a frog as payback for all her stories making witches look
bad. / Grimmy tries to fight getting a bath while one of his fleas checks into
a motel to get away from his nagging wife
“Pussycat Pooch / Open All Night” (11/16/91) – NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE.
“Getaway Grimmy / Tail of a Puppet” (11/23/91) – Overhearing a phone
call, Grimmy and Attila believe Mother Goose wants to get rid of them. / Being
pursued by the dogcatcher for not having a leash, Grimmy uses a puppet with a
leash on his tail to fool him.
“The Egg and Us / Hyde and Go Seek” (11/30/91) – When Humpty Dumpty
falls off a wall, Grimmy, Attila and Ham have to find a Dr. Gleep to fix him
up. / Grimmy accidentally drinks some of the formula Dr. Jekyll left behind on
his last visit.
“Trash Night Trouble / Mirror Monster” (12/7/91) – NO SYNOPSIS