|Squishington, Molly Coddle and Mr. Bumpy.|
The claymation series was set in the bedroom of a human child known only as “The Boy” (Scott McAfee, played in live action on an actual set). At night, when The Boy was asleep, things in his house would come to life and have their own adventures and fun. Amongst them were Mr. Bumpy (Jim Cummings), a sock-eating green monster that lived under The Boy’s bed; Squishington (Rob Paulsen), a blue blob-like creature that resided in the tank of the toilet, was a neat-freak and a bit of a coward; and Molly Coddle (Gail Matthius), The Boy’s sister’s rag doll who had been abused to the point of falling apart and repaired using a mixture of mismatched parts. Disrupting things were their nemesis, the Closet Monster (Cummings), who in the daylight was a pile of dirty clothes and hangars, and Destructo (also Cummings), a toy robot that acted like a policeman and had it out for Bumpy.
|The dreaded Closet Monster.|
Pontac and Bleiman pitched their idea to ABC, who immediately ordered two full seasons before it ever aired. Securing a proprietary interest in the show allowed the network to impose some restrictions on the creative process, such as turning Squishington blue instead of brown (considering where he lived, after all) and ensuring nothing dangerous was depicted that the young target audience could imitate and potentially be hurt by. Despite the restrictions, Pontac and Bleiman were able to bring their vision to screens largely intact.
|Toast gone bad.|
Bump in the Night debuted on September 10, 1994, however the characters were actually seen a year prior. Bumpy, Squishington and Molly were all featured in a series of commercial bumpers throughout ABC’s Saturday schedule. When the show actually aired on Saturday afternoon, it became a huge hit for ABC and was quickly moved to the morning schedule. During the summer hiatus between seasons, the show was doubled-up into an hour-long rerun block until the second season premiered to equally high ratings.
Most of the episodes featured two story segments and a musical segment dubbed “Karaoke Café” in which the characters would sing a song usually relating to the episode’s themes. A couple of the stories themselves were done as musicals. Most of the songs were original compositions in different styles of music, but one episode did feature Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out.” Music for the show, composed by Jim Latham, was performed by Wayne Boone, Kevin Konklin, Eric Ferry and Ray Brinker. To save on production time, some of the first season segments were reused in the second season between new ones. Writers for the show included Mark Zaslove, James Iver Mattson, Elizabeth Stonecipher, Jeremy Cushner and Robin Quinn. Zaslove also served as the story editor.
|The Shout! Factory release.|
Bump in the Night might have continued into a third season, but Disney’s purchase of ABC in 1996 led to a massive expulsion of non-Disney Saturday morning programs in favor of their own programming. In 2001, Anchor Bay Entertainment released several VHS collections containing various episodes and the Christmas special. In 2003, Shout! Factory released Night of the Living Bread on DVD; a collection featuring various segments from the show. NCircle Entertainment re-released it in 2007, along with the Christmas special by DHX Media. In 2010, Shout! released the complete series as an online exclusive. In 2016, Mill Creek Entertainment acquired the license and re-released the complete series in an all-new set.
Originally posted in 2014. Updated in 2017.