KaBlam!
KaBlam.jpg
GenreComedy
Musical
Variety
Slapstick
Created by
  • Robert Mittenthal
  • Will McRobb
  • Chris Viscardi
Starring
Opening theme"Two-Tone Army" by The Toasters
Ending theme"Skaternity" by The Toasters (season 1)
"Everything You Said Has Been a Lie" by The Toasters (seasons 2–4)
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons4
No. of episodes48 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
Running time24 minutes
Production companies
DistributorMTV Networks
Release
Original networkNickelodeon
Original releaseOctober 11, 1996 (1996-10-11)[2][3] –
January 22, 2000 (2000-01-22)
Chronology
Related shows

KaBlam! (stylized as KaBLaM!) is an American animated sketch comedy television series that ran on Nickelodeon from 1996 to 2000.[4] The series was created by Robert Mittenthal, Will McRobb, and Chris Viscardi. The show was developed as a fully animated showcase for alternative forms of animation that were more common in indie films and commercials.[5] Each episode thus features a collection of short films in different innovative styles of animation, bridged by the characters Henry and June, who introduce the short animations and have adventures of their own in between.[6]

Although SNICK aired many Nicktoons not part of its block, KaBlam! was the only Nicktoon created for SNICK. The show became TV-Y in 1997 (when the U.S. content ratings were put to use), until later that year when the rating was changed to TV-Y7 due to the U.S. content ratings having accidentally rated the show TV-Y by mistake.[citation needed] The show was a critical and commercial success.[citation needed] The show was last aired as a part of Nickelodeon's 'The Splat' programming block on October 8 and 9, 2016.[7]

Production

The segment creators include David Fain, Tim Hill, Steve Holman, Emily Hubley, Mark Marek, Mike Pearlstein, Mo Willems, and Cote Zellers.[5] The theme song and all of the original background music on the show was provided by the Moon Ska Stompers, a band that consists of King Django, Victor Rice, and members of The Toasters and The New York Ska-Jazz Ensemble. The bulk of the soundtrack was 30-second instrumental clips of songs from The Toasters' album D.L.T.B.G.Y.D., while the theme song itself is a shortened version of the Toasters song "2-Tone Army". Tracks from the Associated Production Music library were also utilized.

KaBlam! was the first show to be spun off of All That. It was pitched to Nickelodeon in 1994 and aired two years later. The pilot episode, "Your Real Best Friend", was created in 1995 and finished in 1996[citation needed]. One of the shorts, Mo Willems's The Off-Beats was initially produced as standalone short films for Nickelodeon; but after it was nominated for a cable ACE award, more segments were produced for KaBlam![8]

The show began production in 1995 and premiered on October 11, 1996. The show ran for four seasons, totaling 48 episodes. The final episode was broadcast on January 22, 2000.

In 2010, Mark Marek, who created the Henry and June shorts, co-created the Warner Bros. Animation-produced cartoon, MAD. Julia McIlvaine, who voiced June, has appeared in a few episodes.

Episodes

Main article: List of KaBlam! episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
113October 11, 1996 (1996-10-11)January 31, 1997 (1997-01-31)
213September 19, 1997 (1997-09-19)January 2, 1998 (1998-01-02)
311September 4, 1998 (1998-09-04)March 19, 1999 (1999-03-19)
411March 26, 1999 (1999-03-26)January 22, 2000 (2000-01-22)

Season 1

The first season began with regular cartoons in their regular order. Sniz & Fondue, Action League Now!, Prometheus and Bob, and Life with Loopy. The Off-Beats was also another regular cartoon that occasionally filled in for "Life with Loopy" or Prometheus and Bob. Other cartoons such as Surprising Shorts, Angela Anaconda, and once, The Louie and Louie Show aired. This is the only season in which a Sniz & Fondue short is included in every episode. Henry and June frequently had random short plots when the screen was shown on them and barely had one main plot, unlike future episodes. They had one whole plot in Comics for Tomorrow Today and What the Astronauts Drink. The opening animation starts out with a hawk crashing into the camera while the camera pans through a forest, dives underwater and travels to Egypt where Egyptians dance and the Great Sphinx swipes at the camera. The camera then heads to outer space showing two kids in a ride, the planets, stars, asteroids, and flying saucers. After the United States Capitol is destroyed by two saucers, it then pans to Godzilla destroying a city. It then pans to an open street comic book store and lands on the KaBlam! comic book, featuring the Flesh, Stinky Diver, Sniz, Fondue, and Loopy on it. The book is then opened by Henry and June. After they dance, the episode starts. At the start of the theme, a voiceover of a man shouts "Wake up the masses!". As soon as he finishes, another man (Bert Pence) continues by saying, "Assume the crash position. Hold on tight, take a deep breath for a new kind of cartoon show. It's KaBlam! Where cartoons and comics collide. Now to take you inside and turn the pages, here are your hosts, Henry and June." The ending theme for most of the first season is Toasters song Skaternity (performed by the 'Moon Ska Stompers').

Season 2

After seven more episodes of The Off-Beats, and one last episode of Surprising Shorts, they were officially taken out of KaBlam! One-time shorts were brought in such as Randall Flan's Incredible Big Top, The Girl with Her Head Coming Off, and The Adventures of Patchhead which did return in season 3. The Brothers Tiki appeared twice in season 2. Henry and June are now drawn differently and their voices are deeper. The opening theme to the show is barely changed. When the camera pans on the KaBlam! comic book, it is clearly seen that the cover is different. In place of the original characters, Thundergirl, Stinky Diver, Prometheus, Bob, Loopy, Sniz, and Fondue are seen. Also, Henry and June dance the macarena and then arm-in-arm, whereas in season one; it was just a bunch of random dances. The ending theme to the show is dramatically changed. Instead of Skaternity, it is "Everything You Said Has Been a Lie" by The Toasters (also performed by the 'Moon Ska Stompers'). After this season, the rating for KaBlam! went up from TV-Y to TV-Y7 for the remainder of the show's run.

Season 3

This season featured the last four episodes of Sniz & Fondue. JetCat and Race Rabbit are introduced and become minor shorts that appeared from time to time. The Adventures of Patchhead makes its second and final appearance. A music video for a song by James Kochalka called "Hockey Monkey" also appears once. Henry and June are drawn a little differently and their voices are slightly deeper. The opening theme is shortened and Henry and June have their own main plots now. In the episode "You May Already Be a...KaBlammer!", Lou Rawls is featured and voiced by the actual provider. The opening theme had a number of changes. After the camera comes up out of the water, it goes directly to the White House scene. After the Godzilla scene, the camera pans toward a school rather than the comic book stand. As it enters the classroom, the camera scares off a bird that was perched on a window. The camera pans by a teacher and through a number of students. It stops as it hits a student reading a KaBlam! comic book. On the cover of the comic book, it shows a child who is ecstatic. Henry and June then open the comic book, dance, and the episode starts. The announcer's line as he introduces the show is slightly changed. Instead of saying "Hold on tight, take a deep breath for a new kind of cartoon show", he says "Hold on tight, take a deep breath for a cartoon cramaganza!" The ending theme is not changed. This was also intended to be the final season until Nickelodeon renewed the show.

Season 4

All the shorts (except Action League Now! and Angela Anaconda, which both spun off into their own shows) come to an end in the final season. Life with Loopy and Prometheus and Bob air their last seven episodes while JetCat and Race Rabbit air their last one and three episodes, respectively. Music videos by They Might Be Giants appear twice; they were Why Does the Sun Shine? and Doctor Worm. One-time cartoons still appear: Fuzzball, Garbage Boy, Emmett Freedy, Stewy the Dog Boy, The Little Freaks, and The Shizzagee. One-time shorts are included in nearly every episode, excluding "A Nut in Every Bite!", "The KaBlair! Witch Project", and "Now With More Flava'". In every episode, Henry and June have their own main plot. In the episode "Sasquatch-ercise", Richard Simmons is featured and in the episode "Now With More Flava'", John Stamos and Busta Rhymes are featured; however, the stars did not voice their characters. The opening and ending themes are unchanged.

Shorts

Regular shorts

Some of these shorts air more frequently and consistently than others.

Henry and June

The animated hosts of KaBlam! who turn the pages of a comic book (changes with each episode) to reveal the next cartoon or alternative animation, as well as being involved in subplots of their own between the shorts. These shorts were directed by Mark Marek.

Characters

Sniz & Fondue

Main article: Sniz & Fondue

Began: Season 1 Ended: Season 3

A pair of ferret roommates who often get on each other's nerves. Sniz is the younger kid ferret that is very hyperactive, and quite a troublemaker of the duo, while Fondue is the older teenage ferret, who is the nervous, yet intelligent one. There is also Snuppa and Bianca, Sniz and Fondue's roommates. From mid-1997 (around KaBlam's second season) until Sniz and Fondue ended production in late 1998 (around KaBlam!s third or fourth season). Due to its production company going to work on a television adaptation of Watership Down as well as creator Michael Pearlstein leaving the show out of frustration, Sniz & Fondue was taken off of the KaBlam! roster after season 3, although it still appeared in the intro. The show was created by Michael Pearlstein. The pilot "Psyched for Snuppa" was produced in 1992 by Stretch Films and Jumbo Pictures, and was directed by John R. Dilworth, creator of Cartoon Network's Courage the Cowardly Dog. Unfortunately, John R. Dilworth, Jim Jinkins, and David Campbell were only involved in the pilot, but later all had no involvement with the rest of Sniz & Fondue when it became a part of KaBlam!. Reasons were that Doug creator Jim Jinkins and David Campbell have officially moved their jobs to Disney when they purchased Jumbo Pictures, and John R. Dilworth would later work on other projects, such as creating Courage the Cowardly Dog for Cartoon Network in 1999.

Action League Now!

Main article: Action League Now!

Began: Season 1 Ended: Season 4

Filmed in "Chuckimation", in which the characters/props are moved by unseen hands or thrown from off-camera (interspersed with occasional stop motion animation). Action League Now! featured a group of superheroes, played by custom-made action figures, who fight crime in suburbia despite being total idiots. The four superheroes are The Flesh, Thundergirl, Stinky Diver, and Meltman. Considered to be the most successful KaBlam! short, it briefly became a spin-off series in 2001. Action League Now! is the only short to have a new episode with every showing of KaBlam! and it served as the centerpiece of KaBlam!. All of the characters on the shorts were voiced by personalities from radio station WDVE in Pittsburgh. The show was created by Robert Mittenthal, Will McRobb, and Albie Hecht

Life with Loopy

Began: Season 1, ended: Season 4

The life of a preteen boy Larry and his strange experiences with his imaginative and adventurous younger sister Loopy. The characters were animated with stop-motion puppet bodies, but their heads were created with metal and their features were magnetic. The show was created by a British-born Stephen Holman, who previously created Joe Normal for MTV's Liquid Television, and later created Phantom Investigators on Kids' WB.

Characters

Prometheus and Bob

Began: Season 1, ended: Season 4

Also known as The Prometheus and Bob Tapes. A stop motion segment featuring the camera-recorded mission logs of Prometheus, an alien who comes to Earth attempting to teach a caveman, Bob, everyday things. From the use of fire to the act of ice skating, the result is usually a failure by the mischievous third cast member, who was a simple monkey. The show was created by Cote Zellers.

The introduction, done in a mock government format, describes the events as having occurred "900,000 years ago".

Characters

The Off-Beats

Main article: The Off-Beats

Began: Season 1, ended: Season 2

A series that centers on a group of unpopular friends and their main rivals, a popular clique known as "The Populars". It originally aired during Nick's commercial breaks as stand-alone shorts to promote the premiere of KaBlam!,[citation needed] and it was also released on a 1996 Rugrats videotape, "Tommy Troubles". The show was created by Mo Willems, who later created Sheep in the Big City for Cartoon Network. The show was taken off the KaBlam! roster after season 2 because Mo Willems wanted to move over to Cartoon Network. However, The Off-Beats officially ended as a whole with a half-hour Valentine's Day special premiering in 1999, which was the last episode of the Off-Beats produced, as Mo Willems finally left Nickelodeon in 1999, and moved to Cartoon Network to create Sheep in the Big City in 2000.

Other shorts

There were also various They Might Be Giants music videos for the songs "Why Does the Sun Shine?" and "Doctor Worm". In addition, there was a music video of "Hockey Monkey", created by James Kochalka and performed by The Zambonis. These were a mixture of live-action by Jesse Gordon and different animation styles, all produced and directed at The Ink Tank.

Cancelled spin-off film

A live-action Prometheus and Bob film was announced in 1998 to be directed by Harald Zwart, produced by Amy Heckerling and Twink Caplan and written by Joe Stillman, but was scrapped due to a lack of interest.[9][10] According to Cote Zellers, Chris Farley and David Spade were both considered until the former's death, and much of the script was reused for Gulliver's Travels.[11]

Shorts from KaBlam! have appeared at the beginning of theatrical releases. An episode of Action League Now! titled "Rock-A-Big Baby" was shown before the Nickelodeon film Good Burger. Angela Anaconda appeared before Digimon: The Movie.

The Henry & June Show

A television special called The Henry & June Show was produced and aired on Nickelodeon in 1999. The first segment, "A Show of Their Own" aired, featured Henry and June with a studio audience and musical guests. The next segment was "Be True to Your School", where Henry and June attend school, and try their best to tackle hard subjects like "How to Look Your Best". It was never shown again after it premiered.

Blocks

A number of blocks were hosted by Henry and June for various Nicktoons including:

During the promos, Henry's hair looked slightly different in some shots, along with it being a different shade of green. June's cardigan was cherry-red instead of light red/dark orange, and the dots weren't visible. Also, their eyes were blue and green in every shot, instead of being black or blue (or green) and black.

Television airing

KaBlam! was first premiered on October 11, 1996. The show ran for four seasons, totaling 48 episodes. The final episode was broadcast on May 27, 2000. Reruns continued to air on Nickelodeon until 2001. In 2002, Nicktoons was launched, and the channel began airing reruns of the program, though not all episodes were aired. During commercial breaks, various shorts from the show would play, not including any shorts involving Henry and June or music videos. In August 2005, Nicktoons changed its appearance and schedule, and canceled many shows in the process, including KaBlam!. After the show was canceled, the "KaBlam! Presents:" shorts would continue to be shown, until 2008 when the channel did away with all of their in-between shorts, for more commercial space. The program would only be seen one more time in June 2008 for Nicktoons Network's "100 Greatest Nicktoon Moments" marathon although it was never shown when Nick had a marathon of the first episodes of each Nicktoon on Thanksgiving Day 2007, despite having Henry and June on the cover of the now-defunct Nickelodeon Magazine; it has also been removed from Nickelodeon's 1990s-oriented block for five years. The show would not rerun until October 8–9, 2016 when The Splat would spotlight the show.

Internationally, a French-language dub has been broadcast in France on television channel Game One (see Télévision Par Satellite), and other dubs of the show are on other Nickelodeon channels around Europe. It also was shown in the United Kingdom from 1997 to 2000. In Poland, it aired from 1999 to 2001 on Fantastic. The show was aired in Estonia as well. The show is aired on YTV in Canada.[citation needed]

Home media and streaming

The show has only one episode "Won’t Crack or Peel" (3D broadcast version) was ever released on VHS as part of a promotion with Tombstone Pizza. There is no DVD release. The show would additionally not be included on a streaming service until VRV added KaBlam! on August 28, 2018.[12] As of June 2021, select episodes of KaBlam! have been made available to stream on Paramount+.[13] and on Amazon Prime Video through a Paramount+ subscription.

See also

References

  1. ^ Known as Games Animation for seasons 1-2.
  2. ^ Hall, Jane (October 7, 1996). "A Nick Off the Old Block". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 6, 2017.
  3. ^ "Kablam!". TV.com. Retrieved April 6, 2017.
  4. ^ Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 332. ISBN 978-1538103739.
  5. ^ a b "1997: The year of drawing dangerously". Variety. 1997-11-18. Retrieved 2009-07-26.
  6. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. p. 463. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  7. ^ "KaBlam! On the Splat".
  8. ^ http://mowillemsdoodles.blogspot.com/2007/01/popular.html. ((cite web)): Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ Hindes, Andrew (1998-09-18). "Nick sets 'Bob' toon feature". Variety. Archived from the original on 2008-09-30. Retrieved 2009-07-26.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  10. ^ Dunkley, Cathy (March 20, 2002). "Zwart banks on Lion pic". Variety. Retrieved July 13, 2021.
  11. ^ Neilan, Dan (April 11, 2019). "Nickelodeon's long-forgotten Prometheus And Bob deserves a second look". The A.V. Club. Retrieved July 13, 2021.
  12. ^ "VRV - Home of Your Favorite Channels".
  13. ^ "KABLAM!". Paramount+. Retrieved March 24, 2021.