|Format||Children's television series|
|Created by||Chuck Jones|
|Starring||John Levin, Kerry McLane, Pamelyn Ferdin, Jerelyn Fields, Barbara Minkus|
Henry Mancini ("The Groon")
|Country of origin||United States|
|Running time||60 minutes per episode|
|Original channel||ABC (1971)|
Sponsored by the Kellogg's cereal company, Curiosity Shop was broadcast Saturday mornings from September 11, 1971 to January 6, 1973. The program featured three inquisitive children (two boys and a girl) who each week visited a shop populated with various puppets and gadgets, discovering interesting things about science, nature and history. Each hour-long show covered a specific theme: music, clothing, dance, weather, the five senses, space, time, etc.
The executive producer was legendary animator Chuck Jones, who contributed two new animated characters to the show:
- Professor S. I. Trivia, a bespectacled "bookworm," lived in a dictionary and was always on hand to supply a definition to a word the children didn't know.
- Monsieur Cou Cou was a French-accented bird, whose catchphrase was, "That's right!" He always tried to catch Prof. Trivia with a nosedive before the worm invariably dodged the bird just in time, repeatedly causing him to ram into the dictionary and get his beak stuck in it.
Noted screenwriter Irving Phillips provided some scripts and animation art for the show, including an animation of his long-running syndicated comic strip "The Strange World of Mr. Mum." Animations of Mell Lazarus's comic strip Miss Peach, Johnny Hart's comic strip The Wizard Of Id, and Virgil Partch's cartoon Big George! were also presented on the show. Abraham "Abe" Levitow, late of Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Local 839, animated most of these short segments.
Henry Mancini composed the program's theme music.
Barbara Minkus made a regular appearance as Gittle, a witch who magically appeared whenever someone said a phrase that included "which."
Darwin, a chimpanzee, made his home in a treehouse on the show.
A seal named Eunice lived in a waterbed--literally a water tank shaped like a bed.
Puppet characters 
- Flip, an orange hippopotamus with a jive-talking voice.
- Baron Balthazar, a bearded, derby-hatted little man who would spin tales, in animated form, about his adventures and inventions back in his homeland, "Downtown Boslia." (The cartoons were originally a series, produced in Prague, called "Professor Balthazar.")
- The Oogle, a marsupial-like creature with a beak-like mouth, a hayseed-style hat, and a demeanor of clownish confusion and disillusion.
- Onomatopoeia, a multi-legged furry beast that spoke in sound effects. Partially inspired by an alien in a PROFESSOR BALTHAZAR episode.
- Eek A. Mouse.
- Woodrow the groundhog, who often yelled "Qui-e-e-e-e-e-t!" when things got out of hand and woke him from his slumber.
- Nostalgia, a chronically forgetful but sweet-tempered elephant.
- Hermione Giraffe.
- Aarthur the Aardvark.
- Ole Factory the Bloodhound.
- Halcyon the Hyena.
Inanimate characters 
- A talking computer with tape-reel eyes who satisfied the children's curiosity about any subject and presented educational movies, tapes, cartoons, vocabulary series, etc., on his screen-mouth.
- Hudson, a gravelly-voiced rock who told stories of prehistory.
- Granny TV, a rocking antique television set who presented classic film comedies by Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Will Rogers, or the like.
- Mr. Jones, a tape recorder that played the prerecorded voice of Chuck Jones, the only means of communication between the children and the legendary animator.
Shirley Jones appeared on the show's pilot, "The Curiosity Shop Special," which featured all four children. It was on this pilot that the first song from Multiplication Rock, "Three Is a Magic Number," would make its debut.
- Los Angeles Times http://articles.latimes.com/2000/nov/01/local/me-45133
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (December 2007)|