Histeria!
Histeria logo.jpg
Title card
Created byTom Ruegger
Voices ofFrank Welker
Tress MacNeille
Jeff Bennett
Laraine Newman
Luke Ruegger
Cody Ruegger
Nathan Ruegger
Maurice LaMarche
Billy West
Cree Summer
Paul Rugg
Rob Paulsen
Nora Dunn
Theme music composerRichard Stone
John Philip Sousa
ComposersRichard Stone
Steve Bernstein
Julie Bernstein
Tim Kelly
Gordon Goodwin
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes52
Production
Executive producerTom Ruegger
ProducerTom Ruegger
Running time30 minutes
Production companyWarner Bros. Animation
DistributorWarner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution
Release
Original networkKids' WB
Audio formatDolby Surround
Original releaseSeptember 14, 1998 (1998-09-14) –
March 31, 2000 (2000-03-31)

Histeria! is an American animated series created by Tom Ruegger and produced by Warner Bros. Animation.[1] Unlike other animated series produced by Warner Bros. in the 1990s, Histeria! was an explicitly educational program created to meet FCC requirements for educational/informational content for children.[2][3]

Histeria! aired on Kids' WB from September 14, 1998 to March 31, 2000, and continued to air reruns until August 30, 2001.[4] The show was presented as a Saturday Night Live-style sketch comedy, with its cast often filling the roles of historical figures. It was to be WB's most ambitious project since Animaniacs. Like the aforementioned series, 65 episodes were originally going to be made,[citation needed] but due to being $10 million over budget,[citation needed] only 52 episodes were completed before production of the series was canceled in March 2000. Due to the high production costs, footage from previous episode was often re-used and re-timed to match newly recorded audio, as well as several non-educational segments being used as filler. More recently, the show was aired on In2TV, first from March to July 2006, and then returning in October of that year. In January 2009, all of the episodes were taken off the site.

Summary

Like other animated series produced at the time by the Warner Bros. animation studio, Histeria! derived most of humor from its slapstick comedy and satire, with the distinction of combining historical figures and events. Episodes would commonly feature a large cast of children and typecast adults in comedic skits and song parodies, e.g. the cause of the American Civil War sung to the tune of The Brady Bunch theme.

Characters

The hosts

The Kid Chorus

Others

Most of the recurring real-life historical figures in Histeria! were portrayed as caricatures of real-life celebrities from the modern era. The intent was to make analogies to contemporary individuals in terms of personalities and attitudes.

Episodes

Series overview

Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 46 September 14, 1998 (1998-09-14) July 17, 1999 (1999-07-17)
2 6 September 20, 1999 (1999-09-20) March 31, 2000 (2000-03-31)

Season 1 (1998–99)

No. Title Original air date
1"Inventors Hall of Fame – Part I"September 14, 1998 (1998-09-14)

Wraparounds: The Hall of Fame presents Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, J. Robert Oppenheimer and Thomas Crapper.

  • Alexander Graham Bell is introduced to the modern telephone system.
  • With Loud Kiddington's help, Thomas Edison gets an idea of inventing a light bulb.
  • J. Robert Oppenheimer and Toast discuss the Manhattan Project: an atomic bomb.
  • Alexander goes crazy about the modern telephone system and seeks Thomas Watson's help.
  • Mr. Smartypants introduces the inventor of flushing toilets, Thomas Crapper, but gets interrupted by network censor Lydia Karaoke, who thinks that the segment is too gross for children's TV.
2"The U.S. Civil War – Part I"September 15, 1998 (1998-09-15)
Abe Lincoln provides a monologue, and gives a Histeria! version of the Gettysburg Address. The Histeria! gang also listens to The Hits of the 1860s and The Emancipation Proclamation Hoedown.
3"The Attack of the Vikings"September 16, 1998 (1998-09-16)
The gang sing about being a Viking, play "See It/Don't See It", and Meet the Vikings with Bill Straitman.
4"The Wild West"September 17, 1998 (1998-09-17)
The Histeria! gang present The Billy the Kid Show, sing about the gold rush, meet the Earps, and learn about the Pony Express.
5"The American Revolution – Part I"September 18, 1998 (1998-09-18)
The gang listen to George Washington give his monologue, visit Molly Pitcher, and attend the Showdown at York.
6"The Know-It-Alls"September 21, 1998 (1998-09-21)
The gang meet René Descartes; a talk show discussing the age-old question "Which came first: the chicken or the egg?", and Miss Information appears on a Dating Game-style show with history's greatest inventors, philosophers, and geniuses lined up as potential suitors.
7"The Renaissance"September 22, 1998 (1998-09-22)
The gang meet Leonardo da Vinci, see masterpieces of the Renaissance, and explore the book formerly known as The Prince.
8"The U.S. Civil War – Part II"September 23, 1998 (1998-09-23)
The gang dive back into the Civil War and sing about it, Lydia Karaoke learns why "Damn the torpedoes!" should not be censored, and a visit to Abe Lincoln's Tall and Geeky Shop.
9"Really Oldies But Goodies"September 24, 1998 (1998-09-24)
It is a musical trip to Egypt as the gang sing about mummies, slaving on the pyramids, and see the Egyptian musical "Cats".
10"The American Revolution – Part II"September 25, 1998 (1998-09-25)
Histeria! takes another look at the American Revolution as the gang listen to George Washington sing a duet with his wife, attend the Boston Tea Party, and see Midnight Line.
11"A Blast in the Past"September 26, 1998 (1998-09-26)
The gang spew their guts at a Roman vomitorium (despite Lydia Karaoke's best efforts to warn viewers that bingeing and purging is not allowed on TV), listen to the Big Fat Twin Babies sing, and meet Romulus and Remus.
12"China"September 28, 1998 (1998-09-28)
The gang take a pop quiz and join the Confucius Group again.
13"Tribute to Tyrants"September 30, 1998 (1998-09-30)
The gang meet Attila the Hun and hear more from Miss Information.
14"The Montezuma Show"October 2, 1998 (1998-10-02)
The gang visit the Sacrificial Well, stop in on The Order of the Eagle, and browse the Inca Shopping Network.
15"Great Heroes of France"October 7, 1998 (1998-10-07)
The gang meet Joan of Arc and sing the Invasion song. Napoleon sells the Louisiana Purchase to make up for the money lost by his shopping addict wife, Josephine.
16"The Terrible Tudors"October 8, 1998 (1998-10-08)
The gang play Name Thy Cure, and tell the tale of the Tudors.
17"The Wheel of History"October 9, 1998 (1998-10-09)
The gang spin the Wheel of History and visit four places in history.
18"When Time Collides"October 10, 1998 (1998-10-10)
The gang look at the United Nations and honor more great women in history.
19"Around the World in a Daze"October 14, 1998 (1998-10-14)
The gang explore explorers exploring the world, Columbus and Magellan.
20"Histeria Satellite TV"October 16, 1998 (1998-10-16)
Tune in to Histeria! Satellite TV for looks at various points in history.
21"General Sherman's Campsite"October 17, 1998 (1998-10-17)
In this parody of the 1980s CBS kids' show Pee-Wee's Playhouse, Pee-Wee Herman is a gray-suited man-child, General William Sherman, who plans to burn Atlanta and turn the tide of the Civil War in favor of the North with the secret word of the day, "Total War". In the meantime, the Histeria! kids pester Harriet Tubman (voiced by CCH Pounder), who think her Underground Railroad is an actual train line, and Lydia Karaoke briefly interjects to complain about the line "War is hell".
22"Return to Rome"October 23, 1998 (1998-10-23)
The gang take a day and look at how Rome was built and sing about it.
23"The Russian Revolution"October 24, 1998 (1998-10-24)
The gang take a look at Stalin and the Soviets.
24"Inventors Hall of Fame – Part II"October 30, 1998 (1998-10-30)
The gang once again dig into the Inventors' Hall of Fame to honor Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and others.
25"Megalomaniacs"October 31, 1998 (1998-10-31)

The gang take a look at some of the big bad guys of history.

Note: Two versions of this episode exist: a sketch about Custer's Last Stand — in which the kids mistakenly believe Custer is running a custard stand — replaced a sketch depicting the Spanish Inquisition as a game show called "Convert or Die", hosted by Tomás de Torquemada after a complaint from the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, who claimed the sketch "[taught] children to reject Catholicism". The "Convert or Die" sketch has since been restored when the show aired online on In2TV.
26"Hooray For Presidents"November 6, 1998 (1998-11-06)
The gang meet President Lincoln again and explores even more presidents.
27"The Thomas Jefferson Program"November 7, 1998 (1998-11-07)
Thomas Jefferson leads the fun when the gang learn handwriting from John Hancock (played by Chit Chatterson), and make a flag with Betsy Ross.
28"More Explorers"November 13, 1998 (1998-11-13)
More from the Confucius Group and learn why one should never explore without the Discoverer Card.
29"Super Writers"November 21, 1998 (1998-11-21)
Ernest Hemingway and Mark Twain join forces to bring writing to the world, in typical Histeria! style.
30"History Of Flight"February 6, 1999 (1999-02-06)
The gang meet the Wright Brothers and park in the No Parking Zone.
31"Presidential People"February 13, 1999 (1999-02-13)
A heavy musical look into the lives and doings of more presidents.
32"Writers of the Purple Prose"February 20, 1999 (1999-02-20)
Famous writers Samuel Butler and William Shakespeare and see Mary Had A Little Lamb 2000.
33"Histeria Around the World I"February 27, 1999 (1999-02-27)
The gang learn the complete and unabridged history of Greenland, Antarctica, and New Zealand and play "Ask Me If I Care".
34"When America Was Young"March 6, 1999 (1999-03-06)
Daniel Boone and Benedict Arnold star in their own shows depicting the Revolutionary War and the western frontier.
35"Loud Kiddington's Ancient History"March 13, 1999 (1999-03-13)
The gang see the First Wheel, sing about the names of the gods, and see an Olympic Moment.
36"Super Amazing Constitutions"March 20, 1999 (1999-03-20)
The Constitution gets a Histeria! overhaul and the gang meet Andrew Jackson and fire when they see the whites of their eyes.
37"Better Living Through Science"March 27, 1999 (1999-03-27)
The gang take the Road of Invention to see that what goes up, must come down and witness great moments in medicine.
38"The Dawn of Time"April 3, 1999 (1999-04-03)
Histeria! takes a scientific twist and looks at the dawn of time, which only the World's Oldest Women know much about, including dinosaurs.
39"Music"April 17, 1999 (1999-04-17)
Histeria! looks at music and wonders "Music to Whose Ears?" with Mozart. Plus, Big Fat Baby and twin sing a jingle.
40"World War II"April 24, 1999 (1999-04-24)
Histeria! introduces the Freedom League and learns why there is nothing to fear from Franklin D. Roosevelt.
41"The Teddy Roosevelt Show"May 1, 1999 (1999-05-01)
Histeria! meets Teddy Roosevelt and explores the Canal of Doom.
42"Communuts!"May 8, 1999 (1999-05-08)
A twisted Histeria! look at communists, including raps from Winston Churchill and Will Rogers.
43"Americana"May 15, 1999 (1999-05-15)
A patriotic look at American lifestyles now and how they used to be, and a visit to Berry Ding Live.
44"20th Century Presidents"May 22, 1999 (1999-05-22)
A Histeria! look at President Nixon and John F. Kennedy, along with the Watergate scandal, then Rally At The Beach with Pepper!
45"Histeria Around the World II"June 5, 1999 (1999-06-05)
The show looks at the Great Woman World Leaders Therapy Group and the Pastry War, along with another round of "Ask Me If I Care" with Gandhi.
46"Histeria Goes to the Moon"July 17, 1999 (1999-07-17)
The gang sets foot on the moon with Neil Armstrong and Apollo 11.

Season 2 (1999–2000)

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Original air date
471"Return to China"September 20, 1999 (1999-09-20)
More historical sketches regarding China are shown, such as the construction of the Great Wall of China and the Cultural Revolution. Plus, Yin and Yang are presented as superheroes.
482"France"September 24, 1999 (1999-09-24)
The gang meet Nostradamus and a man named Louie. Napoleon also appears as the butt of many size jokes. The Tennis Court Oath is also explored.
493"North America"October 1, 1999 (1999-10-01)
It is a wild look at North America. Stops include Canada, Klondike Acres and Mayberry. That is to say, the Histeria! version of Mayberry.
504"Heroes of Truth & Justice"January 17, 2000 (2000-01-17)
Histeria! takes a march with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and boycotts buses, and attends the trial of the century with Socrates.
515"Euro-Mania"March 24, 2000 (2000-03-24)
It is off to Europe to witness the Renaissance and a scrapple at the chapel, with another round of "Ask Me If I Care" with Charlemagne.
526"Big Fat Baby Theatre"March 31, 2000 (2000-03-31)

The episode takes a look at random moments in history through the eyes of Big Fat Baby.

Note: This episode ends with the cast and crew of Histeria singing "Auld Lang Syne" a cappella over a live-action photo montage of the people who worked on the show.

See also

References

  1. ^ Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 285. ISBN 978-1538103739.
  2. ^ Mifflin, Lawrie (December 2, 1996). "Broadcasters and Producers Make Time for Children". The New York Times. USA. Retrieved May 10, 2011.
  3. ^ Robertson, Virginia (September 1, 1998). "Warner Bros.' Histeria!". Kidscreen. Retrieved November 25, 2011.
  4. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 897–898. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  5. ^ Lee, Helen (October 11, 1998). "Histeria! proves history can be fun". Archived from the original on October 21, 2012. Retrieved October 19, 2006.