|Also known as||Kids Show|
|Genre||Puppetry, Black comedy, Adult animation, Satire, Surreal humor, Post-modern, Toilet humor|
|Voices of||Jim Tozzi|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||16 (and 1 pilot) (List of episodes)|
|Location(s)||New York City, New York, USA|
|Running time||21-23 minutes|
|Original run||March 11, 2005– May 19, 2006|
The show's format is that of educational PBS children's television shows such as Sesame Street and The Electric Company (e.g. use of stock footage, puppetry, and clips of children being interviewed), parodying the format with adult-oriented content. In addition to general controversial comedy, it satirizes politics, religion, war, sex, and culture with black comedy.
Every episode begins with a disclaimer, which reads:
"Wonder Showzen contains offensive, despicable content that is too controversial and too awesome for actual children. The stark, ugly and profound truths Wonder Showzen exposes may be soul-crushing to the weak of spirit. If you allow a child to watch this show, you are a bad parent or guardian."
Wonder Showzen was created by John Lee and Vernon Chatman and pitched to the USA Network in 2000, but after a few minutes of viewing, executives there quickly concluded it did not fit the network's programming style. However, Viacom was re-branding MTV2 and made Wonder Showzen part of its new programming lineup. It aired as part of Sic 'Em Fridays, along with Dirty Sanchez and Wildboyz. The pilot was named simply "Kids Show". The Wonder Showzen theme song is still 'Kids Show'. Reruns of the show also air on MTV and Comedy Central.
MTV released the first season of Wonder Showzen on DVD March 28, 2006. The second season of Wonder Showzen premiered on March 31, 2006 and had its season-two finale starring Clarence on May 19, 2006 on MTV2. This season was released on DVD October 10, 2006, with an easter egg that featured an animation contest. The grand prize was announced as the winner's animation appearing on "the next DVD", but the creators later said a third season was unlikely, and MTV afterward canceled the show. A return is even more unlikely as the creators of Wonder Showzen went on to produce the animated series Xavier: Renegade Angel.
It aired in Canada on MTV2, the United Kingdom and Ireland on MTV Two, MTV and TMF, Australia on MTV, Germany and Italy on MTV Entertainment, Latin America on MTV Latin America and in the Baltics on MTV Networks Baltic.
- Vernon Chatman (Chauncey/Clarence/Various Voices)
- John Lee (Wordsworth/Him/Various Voices)
- Alyson Levy (Sthugar/Various Voices)
- Jim Tozzi (Various Voices)
- Evan Seligman
- Taylor Bedlivy
- P.J. Connaire
- Jacob Kogan
- Michael Samms
- Trevor Heins
- Miles Kath
- Jasmina Lee
- Mike Gibbons
- Alexandra Rose
- Frankie Scapoli
- Ryan Soos
- Brianna Simpkins
- Miles Williams
- Pierce Gidez
- Madison Rose
- Ameerah Moore
- Jon Glaser – As Mr. Story in episode 101.
- Flavor Flav – As himself in episode 101, The full "Storytime with Flavor Flav" was cut from the broadcast version of the episode. It still appears however on the Season One DVD.
- Dick Gregory – As Mr. Sun in episode 103.
- Amy Sedaris – As Miss Amy in episode 106.
- Christopher Meloni – As the Cooties Spokesman in episode 107.
- Chris Anderson – As Koby Teeth in episode 104
- Madison Rose - As herself in episodes 106 ("History") and 109 ("Patience")
- Will Ryan – As the voice of "Letter P" in episode 201.
- David Cross – As T-Totaled Timbo in episode 203, Hostage in episode 206, and Junkyard Jessip in episode 207.
- Judah Friedlander – As Crickey in episodes 203 and 207.
- Jon Glaser – As Dr. Rawstein in episodes 203 and 207.
- Darlene Violette – As Bettsy Beth Bethanie in episodes 203 and 207.
- Amy Poehler – As Miss Mary in episodes 203 and 206.
- John Oates – As himself, singing in the song, "War doesn't solve anything" in episode 206.
- Devendra Banhart – As himself, singing in the song, "War doesn't solve anything" in episode 206.
- Rick Springfield – As himself, singing in the song, "War doesn't solve anything" in episode 206.
- Corin Tucker – As herself, singing in the song, "War doesn't solve anything" in episode 206.
- Todd Barry – As Barold Q. Mosley in episode 207.
- Zach Galifianakis – As Uncle Daddy in episode 207.
- Will Oldham – As Pastor Pigmeat in episode 207.
- Heather Lawless – As Permanently Pregnant Peggy in episode 203 and 207.
- Barbara Ann Davison – As Cousin Grandma Pervis in episode 203 and 207.
- Chris Anderson – As Mr. Corn in episode 203
- Beat Kids – One of the children, most often Trevor, leads a journalistic segment with mostly offensive, humorous questions, ridiculing interviewees at a given venue. The segment appears in almost every episode.
- What's Jim Drawing? – Appeared in episode 202 and 206.
- Horse Apples – A segment in episode 203, which later expanded into an entire episode in 207, that parodies Hee Haw and redneck comedy. The latter episode featured several guest actors.
- Funny/Not Funny – A series of clips, often depicting violent or macabre images, airs with a chorus of children yelling either "funny" or "not funny".
- So Now You Know – A parody of "The More You Know", Where kids say questions and a computer shows their answers. It appeared twice on season one and once on season two in episode 205.
- Q&A – A series of children each answer a single question.
- Breaking News – Features the news reporter.
- We Went To... – Children narrate an ostensibly educational trip while old stock film airs.
- Clarence's Movies – Clarence the puppet interviews people on the street on a common theme, usually antagonistically or obnoxiously, which is often reciprocated by violence or threats.
- Story Time – A special guest reads a story to the children. Guests have included Flavor Flav (as himself although it was unaired), Jon Glaser (as Mr. Story), David Cross (as a hostage), and Amy Sedaris (as Ms. Amy).
- Mr. Body – A cartoon segment that parodies the Slim Goodbody character from the Captain Kangaroo television series.
- D.O.G.O.B.G.Y.N – A cartoon chronicling a dog with the ability to aid in child birth; part of the title comes from a short form for "obstetrics and gynaecology".
- Tyler, The World's Most Perfect Child – A young boy with a disturbingly well-mannered demeanor, who often forms statements about how perfect, wonderful and special he is.
|Title||Original air date|
|Pilot||"Kids Show"||Unaired for US|
|Unaired pilot episode produced in 2000 for the USA Network. The Letter N becomes depressed and self-loathing and goes on a quest to find herself.|
Season 1: 2005
|Title||Original air date|
|1||"Birth"||March 11, 2005|
|Altered version of the pilot episode. The gang tries to help out the depressed Letter N.|
|2||"Space"||March 18, 2005|
|Chauncey and his friend Kaitlin go into outer space. They confront God after the Earth is destroyed during their trip.|
|3||"Ocean"||March 25, 2005|
|The gang go on a quest to find a bottle of pure liquid Imagination.|
|4||"Diversity"||April 1, 2005|
|Letters and Numbers have a war over who is better, while two members of the schism fall in love.|
|5||"Nature"||April 8, 2005|
|Chauncey must save the day when Mother Nature gets a sex change operation.|
|6||"History"||April 15, 2005|
|Number 2 comes to visit the gang in Number 1's place and becomes suicidal when no one likes her.|
|7||"Health"||April 22, 2005|
|When Wordsworth comes down with a case of the cooties, Him uses it to his advantage and sells Wordsworth's encrusted sores as snack treats.|
|8||"Patience"||April 29, 2005|
|Season 1 Finale. An episode which tries the viewer's patience, consisting of a first act, and then after realizing how little sense the first act made, the first act in reverse to "undo what has been done", and then a third act occurring quickly by editing it for more time by putting another highlight for this show in the end.|
Season 2: 2006
|Title||Original air date|
|1||"Body"||March 31, 2006|
|The gang convinces the overweight Letter P to get liposuction.|
|2||"Time"||April 7, 2006|
|Chauncey's future self from two minutes into the future causes havoc for Chauncey in the present time.|
|3||"Knowledge"||April 14, 2006|
|Middle America visits the show and the gang falls in love with his Stupid. They let him take over Wonder Showzen, turning it into "Horse Apples." (First episode that has two "Beat Kids" segments).|
|4||"Justice"||April 21, 2006|
|The gang revisits the old days of America with slavery.|
|5||"Science"||April 28, 2006|
|Chauncey and Him climb into Wordsworth's brain to help him face his fears and become a man.|
|6||"Cooperation"||May 5, 2006|
|The gang goes to war with a bootleg version of Wonder Showzen. The "peace settlement" is that the show be divided 60-40, thus the final act has several separate bits with full sound going on at the same time.|
|7||"Mathematics"||May 12, 2006|
|An entire episode of "Horse Apples" instead of the episode originally shown in previews for this week.|
|8||"The Clarence Special Report on Compelling Television"||May 19, 2006|
|Season 2 Finale/Series Finale. Clarence challenges New Yorkers to produce compelling television.|
|DVD Name||Region 1 release date||Additional Information|
|Season One||March 28, 2006||Auditions and Outtakes, Storytime with Flava Flav and Flavor Flav, Special Guest Commentaries by… Gordon Lish, Dick Gregory, and others!, Sneek Peek Cartoon, Locker Poster, PFFR Music Video.|
|Season Two||October 10, 2006||Clarence, Kids and Puppets Outtakes, Guest Commentaries on select episodes, Unaired Cartoon, Easter Egg, 1st Wonder Showzen storybook.|
A giftset containing Seasons 1 and 2 was scheduled for release on December 12, 2006, but it was canceled.
Wonder Showzen was considered very controversial from critics and audiences, despite positive reviews.
- Wonder Showzen's page on MTV2.com
- Interview with the Onion AV CLub
- Wonder Showzen's Animators
- Rotten Library
- Official website
- Wonder Showzen at the Internet Movie Database
- Wonder Showzen at the Big Cartoon DataBase
- Wonder Showzen animated shorts from Augenblick studios (requires flash).
- New York Times review