Here Comes Garfield
Written byJim Davis
Directed byPhil Roman
StarringLorenzo Music
Sandy Kenyon
Henry Corden
Hal Smith
Hank Garrett
Gregg Berger
Angela Lee
Theme music composerDesirée Goyette and Ed Bogas (music and lyrics)
Lou Rawls and Desirée Goyette (vocals)
Country of originUnited States
Production
Executive producerJay Poynor
ProducersLee Mendelson and Bill Melendez
EditorsChuck McCann
Roger Donley
Running time24 minutes
Production companiesUnited Media
Mendelson–Melendez Productions
Release
Original networkCBS
Original releaseOctober 25, 1982 (1982-10-25)
Chronology
Followed byGarfield on the Town

Here Comes Garfield is a 1982 animated television special based on the comic strip Garfield by Jim Davis. It was the first half-hour Garfield TV special. It is directed by Phil Roman and features Lorenzo Music as the voice of Garfield the house cat, as well as the voices of Sandy Kenyon, Henry Corden and Gregg Berger.

The special was first broadcast October 25, 1982 on CBS. It was a Nielsen ratings success and was nominated for two Emmy Awards. It was accompanied by a soundtrack album and a children's book adaptation and has been released on VHS and DVD.

This is the first of twelve Garfield television specials made between 1982 and 1991.

Plot

Garfield and Odie are outside harassing a neighbor's dog when the owner, Hubert, angrily calls the pound to capture them. When the dogcatcher arrives at the scene, Garfield flees, but Odie is too stupid to flee and is captured. Garfield decides to go home, but he is unable to tell Jon Arbuckle that Odie is in peril. Garfield soon realizes how boring life is without Odie around, so that night, Garfield decides to rescue him from the pound. Although Garfield successfully makes it to the pound, the dogcatcher captures him and later puts him behind bars. Garfield learns from another cat, Fast Eddie, that Odie is going to be euthanized the next day.

During the night, Garfield has a series of flashbacks of all the good times that he and Odie had playing together. The next day, Garfield tearfully watches the dogcatcher taking Odie down the hall to be euthanized. Meanwhile, a girl arrives at the pound for a pet and chooses Garfield. Garfield himself manages to see his chance to escape and when the cell finally opens, he runs out the cell and past the girl. The rest of the animals later flood out of the cell after Garfield. Garfield rescues Odie from the dogcatcher by biting his hand. Garfield, Odie, and the rest of the animals escape from the pound by knocking down the door on the dogcatcher trying to stop them from escaping.

As the animals run to freedom, Garfield and Odie return to Jon's house, where they knock down its front door while Jon tries to fix it. Jon bets that Garfield and Odie were having fun during the night "singing on the fence, chasing cars," while he sat home and was worried himself sick about them, and Garfield and Odie are bemused and indicate this is correct. At breakfast time, things return to normal as Garfield derides Odie's begging at the table, but decides to try it himself after seeing Odie get a steak from Jon. All Garfield gets from Jon is a plate of bacon and eggs, in which he angrily throws back in to Jon's face, admitting: "I'm only human".

Voice cast

Soundtrack

Lou Rawls performed for the Here Comes Garfield soundtrack, inspired by Bill Cosby's Fat Albert cartoons.
Lou Rawls performed for the Here Comes Garfield soundtrack, inspired by Bill Cosby's Fat Albert cartoons.

A soundtrack album for Here Comes Garfield was released on LP and cassette on Epic Records in 1982.[1] It featured songs from and inspired by the television special, composed by Ed Bogas and Desirée Goyette and performed by Goyette and Lou Rawls.[1] Some of these songs were released in re-recorded versions on the 1991 Am I Cool or What? album.

Track list

  1. "Here Comes Garfield" (Lou Rawls)
  2. "Move Me" (Desirée Goyette)
  3. "Foolin' Around" (Lou Rawls and Desirée Goyette)
  4. "Long About Midnight" (Lou Rawls)
  5. "Big Fat Hairy Deal" (Lou Rawls)
  6. "Up On a Fence" (Desirée Goyette)
  7. "Life Is Just a Roller Coaster" (Lou Rawls)
  8. "So Long Old Friend" (Desirée Goyette)
  9. "Together Again" (Lou Rawls and Desirée Goyette)
  10. "Here Comes Garfield (Reprise)" (Desirée Goyette)

Production

Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz advised Jim Davis on the animation in Here Comes Garfield.
Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz advised Jim Davis on the animation in Here Comes Garfield.

Here Comes Garfield was Garfield creator Jim Davis' first television special, coming after his 1980 book Garfield At Large topped The New York Times bestsellers list.[2] For the opening sequence, Garfield dances to the theme song. In 1981, Davis was working in a California studio on how to convincingly depict this, as in previous comics, the fictional cat always walked on all four feet. Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz was in the same studio that day, and redrew Davis' work, advising him, "The problem is, you've made Garfield's feet too small. Little tiny cat feet".[3] Peanuts TV special producers Bill Melendez and Lee Mendelson also produced Here Comes Garfield, a consequence of the two comics sharing the same syndicate, United Media.[4]

Lou Rawls, who had just completed a USO tour at army bases, joined the Garfield franchise with this project, and finished recording the soundtrack in the summer of 1982. He explained his decision, "I figured if Bill Cosby could do Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids and live forever on the earnings, why can't I do Garfield?"[5]

Besides her contribution to the music, Desirée Goyette was also the performance model for Garfield's dance during the title song.[6]

Broadcast and release

Here Comes Garfield was first aired by CBS,[7] on October 25, 1982,[8] along with the 1966 Peanuts special It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.[9] It was viewed by an audience of 50 million people.[10] This was considered a good rating, leading to speculation CBS could launch a successful series of Garfield specials similar to the Peanuts specials.[9]

Ballantine Books published a 64-page illustrated book adaptation in September 1982.[11] In July 2004,[12] Here Comes Garfield was released on the DVD Garfield as Himself, along with Garfield on the Town (1983) and Garfield Gets a Life (1991).[13]

Reception

At the 35th Primetime Emmy Awards in 1983, Here Comes Garfield was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program and Phil Roman was nominated for the Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animated Programming.[14] In 2004, DVD Talk critic Randy Miller judged the Garfield as Himself specials to be "quite enjoyable," highlighting "a daring dog pound rescue".[13] The DVD debuted 35th in sales.[12]

References

  1. ^ a b Osborne, Jerry (2010). Movie/TV Soundtracks and Original Cast Recordings Price and Reference Guide. p. 260.
  2. ^ Schmidt, Hans C. (2014). "Davis, Jim". Comics through Time: A History of Icons, Idols, and Ideas. ABC-CLIO. p. 987.
  3. ^ Hall, Tina (2013). "Jim Davis". The Damned Book of Interviews. Crossroad Press.
  4. ^ Perlmutter, David (2014). America Toons In: A History of Television Animation. McFarland & Company Publishers. p. 215.
  5. ^ Johnson, Robert E. (August 30, 1982). "Former Soldier Lou Rawls Now Entertains Armed Forces". Jet. p. 64.
  6. ^ Mesterius1 (July 16, 2015). "Evening Magazine segment on "Here Comes Garfield" (October 25, 1982)". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-21. Retrieved October 31, 2017.
  7. ^ Hoffmann, Frank; Ramirez, Beulah B (1994). Fashion & Merchandising Fads. Routledge. p. 96.
  8. ^ "Garfield on Tube". The Evening News. Newburgh, New York. October 24, 1982. p. 16E.
  9. ^ a b "Nielsen Ratings". Beaver County Times. November 7, 1982. p. 5.
  10. ^ Taft, William H. (2016). Encyclopedia of Twentieth Century Journalists. Routledge. p. 92.
  11. ^ Davis, Jim (September 12, 1982). Here Comes Garfield. Ballantine Books.
  12. ^ a b "Top DVD Sales". Billboard. July 24, 2004. p. 59.
  13. ^ a b Miller, Randy III (June 29, 2004). "Garfield As Himself". DVD Talk. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
  14. ^ "AWARDS & NOMINATIONS". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 27 October 2016.