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The Alvin Show
Title card from The Alvin Show.
  • Comedy
  • Musical
  • Sitcom
Created byRoss Bagdasarian Sr.
W. Watts Biggers
Chet Stover
Joe Harris
Based on
Alvin and the Chipmunks
  • Ross Bagdasarian Sr.
Written by
Directed by
Voices of
Theme music composer
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes26 (104 segments)
Executive producerHerbert Klynn
ProducerRoss Bagdasarian Sr.
Running time25:40 per episode (7 minutes for The Chipmunks and Clyde Crashcup each, 3-4 minutes for both musical segments each)
Production companies
Original release
ReleaseOctober 4, 1961 (1961-10-04) –
September 12, 1962 (1962-09-12)

The Alvin Show is an American animated television series that aired on CBS in the early 1960s. This was the first series to feature the singing characters Alvin and the Chipmunks. The Alvin Show aired for one season, from October 4, 1961, to September 12, 1962[1] and was originally sponsored by General Foods through its Jell-O gelatin and Post Cereal brands. Although the series was created in color, it was initially telecast in black and white. It was later rebroadcast in color from 1962-65 for Saturday mornings on CBS and again Saturday mornings on NBC in 1979.[2][3]

The series rode the momentum of creator Ross Bagdasarian Sr.'s original hit musical gimmick and developed the singing Chipmunk trio as rambunctious kids–particularly the show's namesake star–whose mischief contrasted to his tall, brainy brother Simon and his chubby, gluttonous brother Theodore, as well as their long-suffering, perpetually put-upon manager-father figure, David Seville.[4] The animation was produced by Herbert Klynn's Format Films. The pilot episode, an early version of the fifth episode "Good Neighbor", was written and produced to sell the show to CBS.[5] The actual show featured a re-worked version, which aired as part of the fifth episode. With producer Fred Calvert (who would later work on The Thief and the Cobbler) calling them in, the opening sequence was animated by Bobe Cannon and assistant animated by Iwao Takamoto.[6]

Each episode consisted of a Chipmunks and Clyde Crashcup segment, both of them seven minutes long. Following each segment was a musical number with Dave and the Chipmunks. Most of the songs came from the first three albums that had already been released by the time the show premiered (Let's All Sing with The Chipmunks, Sing Again with The Chipmunks, and Around the World with The Chipmunks). By the second half, all the songs from the new fifth album, The Chipmunk Songbook, were also featured. In addition to the non-album Alvin for President, three song segments were created that were never officially released on any album or single. They were Clementine, Maria from Madrid, and Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair.

The show was followed in 1983 by another Chipmunks series, Alvin and the Chipmunks which aired on NBC.


CBS reran the series on Saturday mornings after the show's prime time run ended in 1962.[7]

In the mid to late 1960s, the individual show segments were culled together and sold as a syndication package under the title Alvin and the Chipmunks. The original episodes began airing under the Alvin and the Chipmunks title on NBC Saturday mornings in 1979 for a short period.[7][8]

Ross Bagdasarian Sr. died of a heart attack on January 16, 1972, seemingly bringing to an end any further Chipmunk productions. Years later, his son, Ross Jr., picked up on a disc jockey's joke and produced the album Chipmunk Punk in 1980.[9] The success of Chipmunk Punk spurred renewed interest in a new animated series by Ruby-Spears, which launched in September 1983 on NBC and was titled Alvin and the Chipmunks, with Ross Jr. taking over for his father as the voices of Alvin, Simon, and Dave Seville. His wife, Janice Karman, voiced Theodore, as well as The Chipettes, who are the Chipmunks' female counterparts.[7] The show ran until 1990, with episodes after 1988 produced by DIC Entertainment. (Eleven episodes were produced by Murakami-Wolf-Swenson in association with DIC; these were strictly for a syndication package that included all of the Ruby-Spears produced by episodes.)

To coincide with the new series, Viacom Enterprises distributed reruns of The Alvin Show to local (mostly independent and future Fox) stations; the rerun package was also carried nationally over superstations WGN and WTBS at various times beginning in September 1983 and ran for mostly a few years on half of the markets. However, some stations continue to run the show at various times as late as 1993. Prior to its superstation runs, The Alvin Show was picked up in a few markets such as Detroit, New York, Cleveland, and in international markets such as in Australia and Brazil among others. The show made its way to Europe in the United Kingdom when the BBC (now BBC One) began broadcasting the program as well.[citation needed]

In 1981, Clyde Crashcup made an appearance during a dream sequence in A Chipmunk Christmas. During recent network airings of the special, the sequence has been cut out, due to network time constraints concerning commercial ad time.

In 1990, The Alvin Show versions of the Chipmunks and Clyde Crashcup reappeared in an episode of The Chipmunks Go To the Movies titled "Back to Alvin’s Future" (a spoof of the 1985 movie, Back to the Future).

A majority of the songs and clips from The Alvin Show were featured in the Alvin and the Chipmunks Sing Along Songs VHS releases that were released in the mid-1990s. The songs, however, were slightly remixed to sound more modern. The only song that kept its original broadcast soundtrack was "Alvin's Orchestra" in the 1993 Sing-Along video Ragtime Cowboy Joe. The Bagdasarian closing logo from the show was also remixed in the 1994 Sing Along video, Working on the Railroad.

Nickelodeon picked up US broadcast rights to The Alvin Show on March 7, 1994, after the last of a few independent stations pulled the show. The prints from the syndicated reruns were digitized and the Nickelodeon logo was added to several spots in the opening theme. The show aired as part of Nickelodeon’s morning lineup for most of the next year.[citation needed]

During this time, as well as for sometime after the full episodes stopped airing, the individual Chipmunk and Clyde Crashcup cartoons and musical segments were inserted into episodes of Weinerville. In 1996, Nickelodeon stopped showing The Alvin Show segments altogether and no television station has aired them since then.[citation needed]

Voice cast

Episodes (1961–1962)

26 episodes each were produced for the Alvin and the Chipmunks and Clyde Crashcup segments, along with 52 musical segments.

# The Chipmunks Musical Segment 1 Clyde Crashcup Musical Segment 2 Original air date
1 Stanley the Eagle Oh Gondaliero Clyde Crashcup Invents Baseball I Wish I Could Speak French October 4, 1961 (1961-10-04)
2 Sam Valiant, Private Nose August Dear Clyde Crashcup Invents the Bathtub Alvin's Orchestra October 11, 1961 (1961-10-11)
3 Squares Swanee River Clyde Crashcup Invents the Wife The Magic Mountain October 18, 1961 (1961-10-18)
4 Ostrich The Brave Chipmunks Clyde Crashcup Invents the Baby Yankee Doodle October 25, 1961 (1961-10-25)
5 Good Neighbor The Little Dog (Oh Where Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone) Clyde Crashcup Invents Electricity Old MacDonald Cha Cha Cha November 1, 1961 (1961-11-01)
6 Fancy Japanese Banana Clyde Crashcup Invents Music When Johnny Comes Marching Home November 8, 1961 (1961-11-08)
7 Alvin’s Alter Ego The Pidgin English Hula Clyde Crashcup Invents the West Chipmunk Fun November 15, 1961 (1961-11-15)
8 Sam Valiant, Real Estate Working on the Railroad Clyde Crashcup Invents the Stove Stuck in Arabia November 22, 1961 (1961-11-22)
9 Camping Trip Good Morning Song Clyde Crashcup Invents Jokes I Wish I Had a Horse November 29, 1961 (1961-11-29)
10 Overworked Alvin Witch Doctor Clyde Crashcup Invents Flight The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late) December 6, 1961 (1961-12-06)
11 Dude Ranch Home on the Range Clyde Crashcup Invents First Aid Alvin for President December 13, 1961 (1961-12-13)
12 Jungle Rhythm Lily of Laguna Clyde Crashcup Invents Egypt Row, Row, Row Your Boat December 20, 1961 (1961-12-20)
13 Bentley Van Rolls Swing Low, Sweet Chariot Clyde Crashcup Invents Self-Preservation Comin' Thru the Rye December 27, 1961 (1961-12-27)
14 Good Manners Bicycle Built for Two Clyde Crashcup Invents Physical Fitness Ragtime Cowboy Joe January 3, 1962 (1962-01-03)
15 Little League Buffalo Gals Clyde Crashcup Invents the Chair While Strolling in the Park One Day January 10, 1962 (1962-01-10)
16 Hillbilly Son Spain Clyde Crashcup Invents the Bed Pop Goes the Weasel January 17, 1962 (1962-01-17)
17 Alvin’s Cruise Alvin's Harmonica Clyde Crashcup Invents the Telephone If You Love Me (Alouette) January 24, 1962 (1962-01-24)
18 Lovesick Dave Coming 'Round the Mountain Clyde Crashcup Invents the Time Machine The Three Blind-Folded Mice January 31, 1962 (1962-01-31)
19 Eagle In Love Sing a Goofy Song Clyde Crashcup Invents Do it Yourself Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star February 7, 1962 (1962-02-07)
20 Theodore’s Dog Clementine Clyde Crashcup Invents the Shoe Maria from Madrid February 14, 1962 (1962-02-14)
21 Haunted House Whistle While You Work Clyde Crashcup Invents Glass My Wild Irish Rose February 21, 1962 (1962-02-21)
22 Alvin's Studio Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair This is Your Life, Clyde Crashcup! The Band Played On February 28, 1962 (1962-02-28)
23 The Whistler The Alvin Twist Clyde Crashcup Invents the Boat The Man on the Flying Trapeze March 7, 1962 (1962-03-07)
24 Sir Alvin Git Along, Little Dogies Clyde Crashcup Invents Crashcupland Down in the Valley March 14, 1962 (1962-03-14)
25 Disc Jockey Funiculì, Funiculà Clyde Crashcup Invents Birthdays Polly Wolly Doodle March 21, 1962 (1962-03-21)
26 Eagle Music On Top of Old Smoky Clyde Crashcup Invents Self-Defense America the Beautiful March 28, 1962 (1962-03-28)

General Foods was the show's main sponsor; as such, Dave Seville and The Chipmunks appeared in several humorous half-minute commercials for Jell-O and Post Cereals.

Home media

Other than the two VHS releases from Buena Vista Home Video, both of which featured 11 songs from The Alvin Show, up until recently, the show has never been released on DVD. However, on September 8, 2009, Paramount Home Entertainment released the first episode of the show, along with two "modern" specials. A future "Complete Series" DVD set of the series has not been planned and never will. In 2014, "The Brave Chipmunks" musical sequence was released as a bonus feature on The Chipmunk Adventure Blu-ray and DVD combo pack. In 2015, three complete episodes (#01, #04, and #10) were released together as The Alvin Show on Blu-ray and DVD.[10]

International broadcast

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Syndicated stations

This article needs to be updated. Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (July 2022)

Further reading


  1. ^ Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 24. ISBN 978-1538103739.
  2. ^ Woolery, George W. (1983). Children's Television: The First Thirty-Five Years, 1946-1981. Scarecrow Press. pp. 14–15. ISBN 0-8108-1557-5. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  3. ^ Paietta, Ann; Kauppila, Jean (1994). Animals on Screen and Radio: An Annotated Sourcebook. Scarecrow Press. p. 294. ISBN 9780810829398.
  4. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 75–78. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  5. ^ "Story: Alvin Show Pilot Board". 18 November 2021.
  6. ^ Takamoto, Iwao (2009). Iwao Takamoto : my life with a thousand characters. University Press of Mississippi. pp. 99–100.
  7. ^ a b c Gitlin, Martin; Wos, Joseph (2018). A Celebration of Animation: The 100 Greatest Cartoon Characters in Television History. Lyons Press. p. 125. ISBN 9781630762797.
  8. ^ "Television Programs". The Daily News. Retrieved July 26, 2022.
  9. ^ Kaplarf, Eliot (1983). "Chipmunks Off The Old Block". Observer-Dispatch. Retrieved July 26, 2022.
  10. ^ "The Alvin Show DVD news: Update about the Alvin Show |". Archived from the original on 2016-01-30. Retrieved 2016-01-23.