Hip Hop Harry

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Hip Hop Harry
Hip Hop Harry1.gif
Created byClaude Brooks[1]
Gelila Asres
Written byMorgan Wood
Directed byBrian Campbell
ComposerFrench Spencer
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes26
Production
Executive producersClaude Brooks
Martha Ripp
Gelila Asres
ProducerJosh Zaretsky
Production locationsSunset Gower Studios, Los Angeles, California
CinematographyBart Ping
Terry Clark
EditorEvan Finn
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time22–30 minutes
Production companyHip Hop Harry Productions
DistributorAllumination FilmWorks
Release
Original networkDiscovery Kids
TLC
Retro Television Network
Original releaseSeptember 26, 2006 (2006-09-26) –
July 14, 2008 (2008-07-14)
External links
Website
Hip Hop Harry performing at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on the UCLA campus

Hip Hop Harry is an American children's television show that aired on Discovery Kids and TLC as part of the Ready Set Learn block from 2006 to 2008, as well as several Retro Television Network affiliates, as an E/I-compliant program. Similar to PBS Kids series such as Barney & Friends (the setting of the show bears resemblance to Barney in nature), Kidsongs and Sesame Street, Hip Hop Harry is a live-action program aimed at younger children ranging from about 2–7 years old.[2] The program uses age-appropriate hip hop music and dance to teach social, educational, physical and creative skills.[3]

In 2017, Harry was featured in the YouTube web series Hip Hop Harry Toy Review.[4]

In 2020, Hip Hop Harry had a resurgence in popularity on social media following the Killing of George Floyd and the ensuing protests. Clips of the "Hip Hop Harry Dance Circle" portion of the show first resurfaced on Twitter when director and author Matthew A. Cherry posted a short video in response to reports that all four of the officers involved in the murder had been arrested.[5][6] The video went viral and many across social media continued to post various dancing clips from the show in celebration of victories in the fight for police reform and racial equality.[7]

Synopsis[edit]

The show takes place in a learning/play center house known as "Hip Hop Central", where Hip Hop Harry and his kids learn, play and dance. In between, the kids learn about the main topic of the episode. After they have learned about the topic, they sing and rap the song "I Love to Learn." Then, the kids and Hip Hop discuss what they've learned via questions/answers and watching recaps from the day's episode via a push-button monitor. Each episode ends with the "Hip Hop Harry Dance Circle", where the kids circle up while one of them dances in the center as they shout, "Go! Go! Go! Go! Go!". Even Harry dances in the circle too (thus, the kids shout, "Go, Harry!"). But before they dance, they do a warm-up dance called, "The Harry". After the kids come together to move in the middle, the credits roll.[8]

Physical appearance[edit]

Hip Hop Harry is an anthropomorphic rapping yellow furry bear with a red shirt, blue hat, baggy blue jeans, a gold chain with an "H" in the middle and white sneaker shoes with an "H" on each side. He also wears a blue and red wristwatch. The character's appearance is in the general style of hip-hop fashion. His birthday is January 22nd, as noted in episode 5.

Cast[edit]

  • Emily Tajod - Voice of Hip Hop Harry (baby - 1 years old)
    • David Joyner - Hip Hop Harry (In-suit performer - 48 years old).[9] Lily Green -Hip Hop Harry (toddler - 4 years old)
    • Penelope Yammer - Hip Hop Harry (kid - 6 years old)
  • Ryan Andres - Told jokes in the episode "Finding Your Talent".
  • Kelli Berglund - Kelli helped plan a surprise party for Pinky in "Do Your Part."[10]
  • Kendra Bracy - Introduced her grandmother from Trinidad in one episode.
  • Colton Burton - Colton was one of William's best friends in real life and refused to count the pilots, he did not appear in an episode of Hip Hop Harry without him.
  • Kiana Contreres - Kiana played a supporting role in the episode "Get Involved," cheering her sister's Double Dutch team to victory.
  • Jake Deanda - Jake was one of the main kids to meet Katie in "Making New Friends."
  • Savannah DeJesus - Savannah appeared in "Fancy Footwook" and "Rain Makes Rainbows" with her sister Sophina.
  • Sophina DeJesus - Sophina was an aspiring gymnast who enjoys working with her sister, Savannah.
  • Kelly Dolan - played Pinky.
  • Jeremy Washington - played Riddles.
  • Hayden Harrah - Hayden appeared less frequently than other members of the cast, but was a big help during "A B See".
  • Jay Jay Harris - Jay Jay is shown in "Pajama Party" and "Just Give it a Try" to be resistant to try new things. He and Riddles got along very well. After a good bongo drum performance, Hip Hop Harry commented that Jay Jay may one day be on a salsa record.
  • William May - He appears in several episodes. In "Hip Hop Big Top" he was concerned about being unable to dance with a brace on his leg. With encouragement from Hip Hop Harry and his friends, he realized he could still be a part of the circus.
  • Veronicaa Miller - Veronicaa was shown to discover a talent for singing in "Finding Your Talent."
  • Katie Petitte - The new girl in "Making New Friends." She takes a hip hop dance class near the end of the series.
  • Davide Schiavone - Dancer
  • Elizabeth Small - Her zipper served the finishing touch in "A B See."
  • Scott Thomas - Scott appears in several episodes. He was featured in "Never Give Up", when he wanted to quit basketball because of a bad day at practice. Hip Hop Harry gave him some encouragement and Scott realized that he should never give up.
  • Megan Woo - Megan loved animals and wishes to be a veterinarian when she grows up.
  • Tyler White - A young breakdancer with a talent for windmills and the strongman in Hip Hop Harry's circus.
  • Mail Carrier Carla - played by Valerie Sheppard, who appears in the episode, "Dream It! Achieve It!"

The cast performed Move Those Feet at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on April 25th to 26th, 2009 on the Target children's stage on the campus of UCLA.

Episodes[edit]

Season 1 (2006)[edit]

Season- # Episode Name Original Air Date Kids In Episode Summary
1-1. Fancy Footwork (Series Premiere) September 26, 2006 Sophina, Savannah, Jay Jay, Scott Savannah and Sophina, who are sisters, compete against each other in a dance competition. But they learn that in reality, they're on the same team.
1-2. When I Grow Up September 27, 2006 Savannah, Jay Jay, Scott, Megan Megan has trouble deciding what she wants to be when she grows up; Harry and the gang learn about different jobs.
1-3. Words Have Power September 28, 2006 Sophina, Davide, Scott, Megan When Sophina gets mad at Davide, she uses bad words and then learns a lesson about carefully choosing your words. Meanwhile, Megan learns that the best birthday gift to give to somebody is one you make yourself.
1-4. Making New Friends September 29, 2006 Jake, Veronicaa, Katie, Davide The kids try to make a new girl named Katie feel comfortable by involving her in their activities.
1-5. Do Your Part October 2, 2006 Kelli, Kendra, Colton, William Kelli throws a surprise birthday party for Pinky.
1-6. Never Give Up October 3, 2006 Sophina, Davide, Scott, Megan Scott is discouraged when he doesn't make any shots during basketball practice, so Harry gives Scott a few tips. The kids learn about what happens underwater.
1-7. Be Creative October 4, 2006 Sophina, Davide, Scott, Kelli Harry and the gang have a costume party at Hip Hop Central. The theme for it is a Marching Band costume party. Scott learns how to be creative about the fact that you can use other things for costumes.
1-8. We Have Five Senses October 5, 2006 Jake, Veronicaa, Davide, Elizabeth The kids are challenged to perform an activity that uses all five of their senses.
1-9. Wildlife Wendy October 30, 2006 Jake, Veronicaa, Davide, Elizabeth Wildlife Wendy teaches the kids about birds.
1-10. Air Air Everywhere October 31, 2006 Kelli, Kendra, Colton, William William has a homework assignment to prove that air surrounds everyone.
1-11. Pajama Party November 1, 2006 Jay Jay, Kiana, Savannah, Tyler Harry and the kids throw a pajama party; Wildlife Wendy teaches the gang about nocturnal animals.
1-12. Rain Makes Rainbows November 2, 2006 Sophina, Scott, Jay Jay, Megan, Savannah The kids are sad about not being able to play outside when it rains, but Hip Hop Harry encourages them not to be sad and helps them learn that rain makes rainbows, and invents a musical way to put them all in order.
1-13. Dream It, Achieve It (Season Finale) November 3, 2006 Elizabeth, Hayden, Veronicaa, William Hip Hop Central wins a reading contest. Special guest appearance by Brutha.

Season 2 (2007–08)[edit]

Season- # Episode Name Original Air Date Kids In Episode Summary
2-1. My Favorite Things (Season Premiere) April 23, 2007 Kelli, Colton, Kendra, William William and Kendra share their favorite possessions; William learns how wrong it is to lie.
2-2. A-B See April 24, 2007 Elizabeth, Hayden, Veronicaa, William The kids find things that begin with each letter of the alphabet; Hip Hop Harry teaches Elizabeth that when you have a problem, let your friends help solve it.
2-3. Peas in a Pod April 25, 2007 Kiana, Tyler, Savannah, Jay Jay Farmer Fran teaches the kids about farm life.
2-4. Make Your Dreams Come True April 26, 2007 Sophina, Davide, Scott, Megan A professional gymnast, a veterinarian, and a children's band visit to explain the concept of hard work.
2-5. Finding Your Talent April 27, 2007 Ryan, Veronicaa, William, Elizabeth, Katie Veronicaa has trouble deciding what her talent is.
2-6. Get Involved September 10, 2007 Kiana, Tyler, Jay Jay, Savannah Kiana feels left out, but Hip Hop Harry encourages her to get involved in things that other people do.
2-7. I Like to Move September 11, 2007 Kelli, Hayden, Sophina, Scott The kids learn about exercise and try new ways of exercise with help from Ms. Kellee.
2-8. Just Give It a Try September 12, 2007 Ryan, Veronicaa, Elizabeth, Jay Jay The kids make hand puppets for a puppet show, but Jay Jay worries if his will be any good. So Hip Hop Harry encourages him to just try it out because something good might come out of it.
2-9. Grandma Brooks September 13, 2007 Kiana, Kendra, William, Tyler The kids create a Hip Hop Center Carnival. Also, Kendra's grandmother visits Hip Hop Central.
2-10. My Music is Your Music September 14, 2007 Jay Jay, Ryan, Veronicaa, Elizabeth Hip Hop Harry helps the kids appreciate different styles of music; Elizabeth and Pinky have a short-term savings plan that inspires long-term goals.
2-11. You Can Dance February 23, 2008 Katie, Jake, Veronicaa, Davide Katie can dance ballet, but she needs to take classes with the other kids to learn hip-hop.
2-12. Hip Hop Big Top June 9, 2008 Kendra, Kiana, William, Tyler The gang has a circus at Hip Hop Central; William thinks he can't help because he's wearing a boot on one of his feet, but Hip Hop Harry tells him not to worry about that.
2-13 Fun Memories (Series Finale) July 14, 2008 Scott, Jay Jay, Elizabeth, Kendra, Kiana The kids are worried they'll never see each other again. Hip Hop Harry encourages them to not be sad because school is out, but rather to use their memories to remember their friends, wherever they may be.

Reception[edit]

Common Sense Media rated the show a four out of five stars.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ TH, Special to. "Hip Hop Harry teaches multicultural roots of black history". Washington Times Herald. Retrieved 2019-11-11.
  2. ^ Williams, Victoria (2008-06-27). "'Hip Hop Harry' takes stage at Sesame Place". nj. Retrieved 2019-11-11.
  3. ^ "Interview with Claude Brooks, Founder and CEO at Hip Hop Harry". USAWeekly.
  4. ^ "Hip Hop Harry". YouTube. Retrieved 2019-11-06.
  5. ^ "George Floyd Death: All Four Ex-Officers Involved Now Charged, In Custody". 2020-06-03. Retrieved 2020-06-21.
  6. ^ "https://twitter.com/matthewacherry/status/1268613732998901762". Twitter. Retrieved 2020-06-21. External link in |title= (help)
  7. ^ "How 'Hip Hop Harry' went from kids' show to soundtrack for a 'movement'". The Daily Dot. 2020-06-16. Retrieved 2020-06-21.
  8. ^ Terrace, Vincent (2009). The Year in Television, 2008: A Catalog of New and Continuing Series, Miniseries, Specials and TV Movies. McFarland. pp. 205–206. ISBN 978-0786443918.
  9. ^ Blavity. "Blavity News & Politics". Blavity News & Politics. Retrieved 2019-11-11.
  10. ^ "Celebrities Who Starred In Kids' Shows". J-14. 2016-02-09. Retrieved 2019-11-11.
  11. ^ https://www.commonsensemedia.org/tv-reviews/hip-hop-harry/user-reviews/adult