KaBlam!

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KaBlam!
KaBlam.jpg
Season one title card
FormatAnimated sketch comedy
Created byRobert Mittenthal
Will McRobb
Chris Viscardi
StarringJulia McIlvaine
Noah Segan
Mischa Barton
Rick Gomez
Mo Willems
Danielle Judovits
Opening theme"Two-Tone Army" by The Toasters (Credited as 'The Moon Ska Stompers')
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of episodes48 (List of episodes)
Production
Running time24 minutes
Production company(s)Flying Mallet, Inc.
(season 4)
Nickelodeon Productions
Broadcast
Original channelNickelodeon
Original runOctober 7, 1996 (1996-10-07) – January 22, 2000
 
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KaBlam!
KaBlam.jpg
Season one title card
FormatAnimated sketch comedy
Created byRobert Mittenthal
Will McRobb
Chris Viscardi
StarringJulia McIlvaine
Noah Segan
Mischa Barton
Rick Gomez
Mo Willems
Danielle Judovits
Opening theme"Two-Tone Army" by The Toasters (Credited as 'The Moon Ska Stompers')
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of episodes48 (List of episodes)
Production
Running time24 minutes
Production company(s)Flying Mallet, Inc.
(season 4)
Nickelodeon Productions
Broadcast
Original channelNickelodeon
Original runOctober 7, 1996 (1996-10-07) – January 22, 2000

KaBlam! (stylized as KaBLaM!) is an American animated sketch comedy that ran on Nickelodeon from 1996 to 2000. It features a collection of short films in several different styles of animation, bridged by the characters Henry and June, who introduce the shorts and have adventures of their own in between. 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 American content ratings were put to use), until later that year.

Production[edit]

The segment creators include David Fain, Tim Hill, Steve Holman, Emily Hubley, Mark Marek, Marc Weiner, Mike Pearlstein, Mo Willems, and Cote Zellers.[1] The theme song and all of the original background music on the show was provided by the Moon Ska Stompers, a band composed 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. Some of its shorts were originally stand-alone shorts during Nickelodeon commercial breaks. The pilot episode, "Your Real Best Friend", was created in 1995 and finished in 1996. In 1996, The Off-Beats, one of the many shorts on the show, were released on a Rugrats videotape entitled "Tommy Troubles."

The show began production in 1996 and premiered October 11. The show ran for four seasons. The last episode was broadcast on May 27, 2000. Reruns continued to show 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 cancelled, 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 hasn't been shown since then, not even 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.

A French-dubbed version has been broadcast in France on television channel GameOne (see Télévision Par Satellite), and other versions of the show are on other Nickelodeon channels around Europe.[citation needed] It also was shown in the United Kingdom from 1997 to 2000, and in Poland from 1999 to 2002. The show played on YTV in Canada.[citation needed]

Episodes[edit]

SeasonEp #
Season 113
Season 213
Season 312
Season 49

Season 1[edit]

Season 1 started off 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". Other cartoons such as Surprising Shorts, Angela Anaconda, and once, The Louie and Louie Show aired. This is the only season where there is a Sniz & Fondue short present 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 theme to the show starts out with a hawk crashing into the camera while the camera pans through a forest, goes underwater and travels to Egypt where Egyptians dance and the Great Sphinx swipes at the camera. The camera heads up to space where two kids in a ride, the planets, stars, asteroids, and UFOs are seen. After the United States Capitol gets destroyed by two UFOs, 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 (Burt 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 to the show is a quirky, upbeat tune similar to The Toasters song Skaternity.

Season 2[edit]

After 7 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. Instead 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 the Skaternity soundalike tune, many trumpets, trombones, and saxophones are heard, along with a drum beat. Though the instruments changed, the tune is still upbeat. Afer this season, the rating for KaBlam! went up from TV-Y to TV-Y7 for the rest of the run.

Season 3[edit]

After 4 more episodes of Sniz & Fondue, its production company began working on a TV adaption of Watership Down, ending its run on KaBlam!. 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 instead of the comic book stand. The camera scares a bird off that is perched on a window as it enters a classroom. It 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[edit]

All the shorts, (except Action League Now! and Angela Anaconda which both spin off into their own shows.), come to an end in the final season. Life With Loopy and Prometheus & Bob air their last 7 episodes while Jetcat and Race Rabbit air their last 1 and 2 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 Dogboy, 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 theme is not changed, along with the ending theme.

Post production[edit]

After various re-runs, KaBlam! was removed by Nickelodeon's schedule in 2001, with the rest of season four and two seasons left unaired. In the same year, Action League Now! became a short-lived series, but made up of replayed KaBlam! shorts and only two new shorts. Shortly after the cancellation, Henry and June were retired as the hosts of Nick's U-Pick block, only for it to return later with live-action hosts. KaBlam! later returned to airwaves when the sister network of Nickelodeon, Nicktoons, was launched in 2002. Although the show had its re-runs aired, many episodes were not aired on the station due to either copyright issues or Nickelodeon's standards and practices. The show continued to run on Nicktoons until 2005, when Nicktoons was re-vamped as Nicktoons Network. The final time it was shown was in the 2008 "100 Greatest Nicktoons Episodes" marathon, and has not been seen since. In 2010, Mark Marek, who created the Henry and June shorts, created the Warner Bros. Animation produced cartoon, MAD. Julia McIlvaine, who voiced June, has been in a few episodes.

Regular shorts[edit]

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

Henry and June[edit]

The animated hosts of KaBlam! who turn the pages of a comic book (changes with each episode) to reveal the next cartoon, as well as being involved in subplots of their own between the shorts.

Characters[edit]

Henry, in his 1996 appearance.
June, in her 1996 appearance.
Mr. Stockdale
Henry's mom
Jimmy McGee

Other characters[edit]

Sniz & Fondue[edit]

Began: Season 1 Ended: Season 3

A pair of ferret roommates who often get on each other's nerves. Twelve-year-old Sniz is the younger kid ferret that is very hyperactive, and quite a troublemaker of the two, while thirteen-year-old 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 TV adaption of Weinerville, Sniz & Fondue was taken off of the KaBlam roster after season 3.

Action League Now![edit]

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.

Life with Loopy[edit]

Began: Season 1 Ended: Season 4

The life of twelve-year-old 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 cardboard. The show was created by Stephen Holman.

Characters[edit]

Prometheus and Bob[edit]

Began: Season 1 Ended: Season 4

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

Characters[edit]

The Off-Beats[edit]

Began: Season 1 Ended: Season 2

A group of unpopular friends who deal with constant problems, many caused by their main rivals, a popular clique known as "The Populars." The short was the first of the regular shorts to end most likely due to Mo Willems going over to Cartoon Network to work on Sheep in the Big City. It originally aired as stand-alone shorts in between Nick's commercial breaks, and was released on a 1996 Rugrats video, "Tommy Troubles", most likely to promote the premiere of KaBlam!.

Characters[edit]

Other shorts[edit]

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.

Film[edit]

A live-action Prometheus and Bob film was announced in 1998 to be directed by Harold Zwart and produced by Amy Heckerling, but apparently fell through due to lack of interest.[2]

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[edit]

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 again shown after it premiered.

Blocks[edit]

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 sweatshirt 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.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "1997: The year of drawing dangerously". Variety. 1997-11-18. Retrieved 2009-07-26. 
  2. ^ Hindes, Andrew (1998-09-18). "Nick sets 'Bob' toon feature". Variety. Retrieved 2009-07-26. 

External links[edit]