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The Classic Electric Company Memories Thread

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Xerus, Jul 25, 2018.

  1. fuzzygobo

    fuzzygobo Well-Known Member

    John Korty did another cartoon of a photographer taking a class picture.
    "Cheese!", he says, trying to get 30 cutout heads to smile.
    After a few false starts, the photographer builds up a huge sneeze, and when he finally lets go, his camera, tripod and lights all get blown away with him in the explosion.
    "Sneeze!" says the class, flashing toothy grins.
    Looks like South Park a generation early.
    Xerus likes this.
  2. fuzzygobo

    fuzzygobo Well-Known Member

    In a similar skit, Rita is the customer in a sandwich shop. The special is an "and" sandwich, featuring every ingredient under the sun. It takes both Luis and Jim to lug it out (foam rubber gets heavy, you know). Rita looks the sandwich over and asks for the salami.
    Jim (with toothpick hanging out of his mouth): "Lady, there ain't no salami!"
    Rita: "Well, forget it!"
    Meanwhile the sandwich falls on Jim and buries him.
    Xerus likes this.
  3. fuzzygobo

    fuzzygobo Well-Known Member

    Cullen, thanks for starting this thread. I'm digging reminiscing about all this great stuff. And other things I haven't thought about since these clips aired.
  4. Xerus

    Xerus Well-Known Member

    You're welcome. Besides Sesame Street, The Electric Company was the next show that brought me joy as a kid. And I love how Sesame Street animators like Cliff Roberts, Fred Garbers, John Korty, John and Faith Hubley, and many more also did stuff for TEC.
  5. Xerus

    Xerus Well-Known Member

    I really loved this animation by Carmen D'Avino. About beautiful fire hydrants.

    Mary Louise and fuzzygobo like this.
  6. fuzzygobo

    fuzzygobo Well-Known Member

    Do you know what we haven't touched on yet, but was so cool? Any skit in the haunted house.

    Two of them Jim Boyd bookends nicely.
    In Season 1, he appears like Thing from the Addams Family, just a hand reaching out of a box on a table, spelling words beginning with y.
    Yes, Yet, Yell, and You.
    When he spells out yell, he actually lets one out, same with you. It was supposed to be scary, but I loved it. Forever more when this clip aired, I always jumped out of my seat when the yelling started, but I wouldn't have it any other way. After "You!!!" (and he points his finger at you) he lets out this evil, sinister laugh, but I loved every nanosecond.

    A few seasons later, same haunted house, same spooky organ, same thunder. Jim is in his Wolfman getup ( great makeup job!). Extreme closeup of his face. All around him are spooky noises. "Me scared?" A crash of thunder, "ME SCARED!!!" Then he runs panic-stricken for cover.

    No matter how scared any of the grownups acted in these skits, I couldn't get enough of them.
  7. fuzzygobo

    fuzzygobo Well-Known Member

    Cullen, you just keep me digging up memories. This can get addictive.

    Back at the restaurant, Bill Cosby is the customer and Rita Moreno is the waitress. She brings out a big plate of meat loaf and Jello (Cosby was a shill for Jello, pudding, and Pudding Pops for decades) which he wolfs down.
    Meanwhile there's a sign on the wall, "Watch Your Hat And Coat". He's paying so much attention to the sign, he didn't notice someone swiped his table.

    Stolen Jello gets you 5 years minimum in jail. Not even Rudy Giuliani can get you off.
    Xerus likes this.
  8. Xerus

    Xerus Well-Known Member

    I remember those ones. Actually, in the "Me Scared," clip, Jim was dressed as a hairy caveman holding a bone. But he was still in the haunter house.

    And there was another skit with the spooky hand. We see the haunted house and Lee Chamberlain's voice going, "It's so scary in here!" Then it showed the same hand coming out of the box and Lee cried, "Mommy!" The hand brings out a letter V. Then started spelling out words like VERY, VISIT, and VELVET, while Lee read them. Then she asks, "Say, who are you?" The hand points, ducks back down, and takes out the last word showing it was a VAMPIRE. Lee cries, "VAMPIRE?! AAAAAAH!" and we hear footsteps running away while the hand waves goodbye.
    fuzzygobo likes this.
  9. Xerus

    Xerus Well-Known Member

    DON'T BRING THOSE THINGS: We see a classroom with students and Rita Moreno playing the teacher and she noticed all the stuff in the room like a chimney, a parrot, a and a phone. She was telling her students about bringing crazy stuff to school. Rita opened the door and it showed a big live elephant, which one of her students brought in. And she started to sing....
    "There are certain things you shouldn't bring to school.
    Like elephants, that's the golden rule.
    Don't bring those things. Don't bring those things!"
    "I didn't mind the day you brought your chimney.
    I didn't mind the day you brought your phone.
    But there was the day you scared me, by Jiminy!
    When you brought in a man made out of bone!"
    Rita went into the closest and took out a skeleton on a hook and returned it to one of her students. Then continued to sing....
    "There are certain things to school you shouldn't bring. Like pillow cases filled with balls of string.
    Don't bring those things. Don't bring those things!"
    "I didn't mind the day you brought your front door.
    I didn't mind the day you brought your bird.
    But why did you have to bring your daddy's lawnmower?
    Mowing grass in class is just absurd!"
    Rita took out a lawnmower and returned it to another student and started to sing again....
    "There are certain things you shouldn't bring to school.
    Like window panes, electric trains, or jewels.
    Don't bring those things. Don't bring those things.
    DON'T BRING THOSE THINGS!" she ended in a loud voice.
    The students understood and apologized. And they said to make it up to her, they brought her a pet.
    "Oh, how sweet," smiled Rita. "You saved up your allowances to get me a pet." But the pet turned out to be Paul the Gorilla. "I don't think I was really clear about my teaching." said Rita horrified.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
  10. Xerus

    Xerus Well-Known Member

    I remember there was also a cartoon version of this. A man goes to a restaurant and sees a sign that says, "WATCH YOUR HAT!" It even whispered it to the man. The man hung his hat on a hook under the sign. Then sat down at a table while the waiter brought him some soup. Then the man saw the hat fall off the hook, while the sign whispered, "WATCH YOUR HAT!" The man got up and hung it back on the hook. But he didn't see that a hand reached out from under the table and stole his soup. The man found his soup gone. And as his back was turned, the WATCH YOUR HAT sign opened up like a door, and it showed a robber wearing a mask stealing his hat. The sign whispered, "WATCH YOUR HAT!" again and the man found his hat missing. As he stood there puzzled, the hand from the table returned the soup. The man turned around and was surprised to see his soup back. Then the sign opened up again and the robber returned the hat to the hook. The man turned around and found his hat back. Then realized he had to watch both his hat and soup. He poured the soup into his hat and started eating it like that, for he found a way to watch both his hat and his soup at the same time.
  11. fuzzygobo

    fuzzygobo Well-Known Member

    Really? I could swear he was the Wolfman. Still can't hold a candle to Morgan Freeman's Dracula.
  12. fuzzygobo

    fuzzygobo Well-Known Member

    I also loved the 30 second shorts from the first season of Rita, loaded down with shopping bags, getting various foods from various vendors.
    Through Noggin, YouTube, and the DVD sets, they covered just about them all.

    Great Raposo scores, slapstick comedy, and the occasional innuendo.

    Fruits- Rita gets apples, oranges, and bananas. She asks for one more banana, but has no room to carry it, so in her mouth it goes.

    Same with ice cream and hot dogs.
    Freud would have a field day.

    "If It Swims We Have It", she picks up a fish.

    Heroes- two assistants carry out a 6 foot sub. Around the country, you might call it a sub, hoagie, or grinder, but the Noo Yawker in me will always stand by heroes.

    One that has yet to resurface is PIZZA! Rita's eyes light up at the sight of a pie. A mechanical man is holding a whole pie in each hand . She takes a pie, folds it up, and takes a huge bite while taking it with her.
    There are a few places (notably Lombardi's, in business since 1905) that only sell whole pies, you can't buy slices.

    That's why there's a Famous Ray's on every corner.
    Xerus likes this.
  13. Xerus

    Xerus Well-Known Member

    Another popular cartoon series on TEC was the monolith series. Where we see constant monoliths in space, and they crumble revealing the sound of the day.

    fuzzygobo likes this.
  14. Xerus

    Xerus Well-Known Member

    LEMON AND LIME: Does anyone remember this skit? We see an ice cream parlor run by Jim Boyd. Then Lee Chamberlain comes in and asks for a lemon and lime cone. Jim scoops out a lime cone and hands it to Lee saying, "Here's your lime." Then Jim scoops out a lemon cone and gives it to Lee saying, "Here's your lemon." Lee looks at both cones in her hands saying, "I think you misunderstood, I wanted lemon and lime" "Did I give you a lime and lemon?" asked Jim and he switched the cones in her hands so it would look like lemon and lime in her view. "No," said Lee, "I wanted one lemon and lime cone." Jim took the lime cone and placed it on top of the lemon making it a double dip cone with the second cone still on top. "No," said Lee, "I wanted one cone with the lemon and lime mixed together." Jim got the idea, sort of, as he took both cones and put them on the dirty counter and started squishing the ice cream together with his bare hands until it was one messy blob. Then he put the blob back on a cone and gave it to Lee. A horrified Lee goes, "That is not lemon and lime. THAT'S DISGUSTING!" And she threw the cone in the trashcan and rushed out the door. Then Morgan Freeman came in wanting a lemon and lime cone. Jim went into the trashcan and retrieved the messy cone, picked off the bits of dirt and trash from it, and offered it to Morgan. Morgan looked silently at the cone with disgust and left. Jim decided to eat the cone himself, not caring how it was made or where it had just been, and just replied, "Lemon and Lime."
    fuzzygobo likes this.
  15. fuzzygobo

    fuzzygobo Well-Known Member

    Another time, Jim was dressed like a thug, with a toothpick hanging out his mouth, hat on sideways, just begging for trouble.
    He goes into a butcher shop (Luis is behind the counter), where the special today is chops.
    After Luis shows him lamb chops, veal chops, and pork chops (they all look like stringy strands of fat and gristle) Jim threatens to beat him up if he doesn't see more chops.
    Luis raises his arm like a Samurai warrior and splits the counter in half.
    Luis: "I forgot, the karate chops came in on Tuesday!"
    Jim beats a hasty retreat, and Jackie Chan would be proud of Luis.

    So would Chuck Norris. 8)
    Xerus likes this.
  16. fuzzygobo

    fuzzygobo Well-Known Member

    During the first season, Jim's face was not seen on camera (except for one split second when he punched a time clock).
    He voiced Lorelei the Chicken and Paul the Gorilla, but his hands got a lot of exposure.
    Thanks to the magic of chroma-key, where other cast members looked tiny as a giant pair of hands moved various letters and objects around. It looks like it might be Jim's hand (or maybe Morgan's) squishing a sundae on top of a sundae in Hattie's song.
    Xerus likes this.
  17. fuzzygobo

    fuzzygobo Well-Known Member

    It took a lot for any TEC skit to freak me out (Sesame Street, with many Muppet skits with Beautiful Day Monster, compensated for that) but one did.
    Morgan Freeman dressed up as Christopher Columbus deploring the problems facing the world in the 1970's (smog, air pollution, noise pollution, etc.).
    There's a sign on a brick wall,
    "Don't Fall Off The Edge Of The Earth". Morgan walks past the wall, and takes one step too far and plummets to his doom, screaming his head off.
    On his way down, he passes the smiling sun from the Sesame Street "Un family- SUN" skit.

    A century later, I wonder if the same thing happened to Galileo.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018
  18. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I was looking at some of the old Muppetzine articles (archived at Tough Pigs), and noticed in the news section of issue 7 (from 1994), it was said that there were plans to release four Electric Company videos as well as maybe get it rerun again.

    Anybody know if those home video releases came out back then? I'm guessing they didn't but I could be wrong (I recently did a google search for "electric company vhs" but don't think I found any info).
  19. fuzzygobo

    fuzzygobo Well-Known Member

    Cullen, I'll share something with you that's been dormant for 47 years.
    During the first season, Judy and Skip were often paired together. Morgan and Lee were often paired together.
    Even Bill Cosby and Rita were paired together quite often.
    So my 3-year-old brain used to think everybody in these pairs were married to each other. How great is it this kids show had three couples working together to teach us to read?

    Some things only make sense when you're three.
  20. Xerus

    Xerus Well-Known Member

    Yeah, that was pretty intense. I remember after that skit, we see Crank in his apartment holding a globe. He was telling us not to worry, for that skit was just meant to be funny. The Earth is actually round like a globe and there is no edge to fall off of. Then Christopher Columbus steps into Crank's home and told him how he fell off the edge just now, but Crank just assured him there's no edge of the Earth. Christopher felt relieved, but then stepped through an invisible hole on the floor and started screaming again. While Crank looked puzzled at the normal looking floor.

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