When you’re a kid, things seem odd. Not necessarily scary, but just strange. You don’t have the experience necessary to process certain things correctly. So they stay in your head until you reach the age when you can look back and say, “Oh, that’s what that was!” For example, for years I remember being fascinated with the opening to The Electric Company which showed the characters disolving into the actors who played them. When I watch today I realize it’s a simple camera trick. Remember the classic Electric Company? Ah,Â the good old days.
Here are five of my biggest WTF moments when I was growing up, five shows and or episodes which just seemed….weird…and never left my head!
Ah, classic Nickelodeon where have you gone? I have mentioned this before but it deserves another mention. This little show was on for six straight hours during the week when I was a kid, when you’re a kid, a show being on all afternoon was a looong time, and I had no idea what I was looking at whenever I watched it. It had strange puppets and weird animation, it was just freaky. In reality it was a decent show and they just re-aired episodes back to back. I did like the closing theme to this show, it will never go away! and was always happy when it ended at 2pm and Today’s Special finally came on.
#4.”The Smurfs”, Smurfs turn evil!
How do you take an episode of the Smurfs, the lovable little blue guys, and make it downright scary? The episode is called “The Purple Smurfs” and involves a virus making its way among our lovable friends. When Lazy is bit by a purple fly he contracts a disease which makes him purple, and evil. The disease spreads like a zombie plague and turns all the Smurfs into nasty little creatures who make annoying noises. Even Papa Smurf is not immune, in fact it almost looks like the episode is going to end with the Smurfs not being cured! But dumb luck wins out and all the Smurfs are restored to normal. But for awhile there the lovable Smurfs were downright creepy!
#3 “New Zue Revue”
Words cannot effectively describe this one. This was a kid’s show which was unintenionally strange. If you ever saw it you know what I mean. It was a simple show, in a small town lived a bunch of friendly people. Like most kids show there were costumed puppet characters. That’s where the weirdness kicks in. The full size characters were Freddie The Frog, Henrietta Hippo, and Charlie the Owl. I don’t know if it was the costumes or the voices, or both, but this show was just weird and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t stop watching. It was a good show, don’t get me wrong, just odd. It’s hard to desctibe so check it out!
#2 “The Muppet Show”, Muppets turn into chickens!
Man this haunted my nightmares for years! Roger Miller was the host of this one which aired in the 3rd season, but that isn’t what made this so odd. There is an outbreak of Cluckitis which turns the Muppets into chickens! What was with strange illness’s on these shows? Anyway, that’s exactly what happens, a Muppet sneezes and turns into a chicken. By the end everyone is chickens! I don’t know why, but this has bugged me for years, it was always in my head and I wasn’t even sure if I had really seen it or it was some bad dream I had. I guess things just seem different when your little and I was only 5 or 6. How could Kermit becoming a chicken not be a tad, odd. By the way in the end Roger Miller explains the effects are temporary.
#1 “It’s Your Move”, The Dregs of Humanity
It says something when you never forget an episode of a short lived TV series from 1985. Many people think Jason Bateman went from Silver Spoons to The Hogan Family. Well he actually had a stop along the way, this corny little show. Jason Bateman was Zack Morris years before anyone heard of Saved By The Bell. In this episode, Jason Bateman’s character creates a ficitious band for a school concert. How does he do that? He steals four skeletons from the biology lab and dresses them up! Then controlled by strings, and disguised by special effects, the skeletons perform for the school and are a huge success! The band becomes a sensation, so much so that the only out is for Bateman to arrange for the band to die in a car accident. Yeah, this was a weird one. At least the car accident was off screen. To bad the skeletons were not!Â I am leaving out a lot but you get the idea. This series was cancelled after barely a season, but I never forgot this episode. WTF????
Well there you go. Five strange moments that I never forgot, even at my advanced age