Lamb Chop's Play-Along

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Lamb Chop's Play-Along!
Genre Children's television series
Written by Lan O'Kun
Bernard Rothman
Directed by Michael Watt
Stan Jacobson
Presented by Shari Lewis
Opening theme "It's Lamb Chop's Play-Along!"
Ending theme "The Song That Doesn't End"
Composer(s) Bob Golden
John Rodby
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 4
No. of episodes 85
Production
Location(s) Chicago, Illinois, USA
Running time 26 minutes
Production company(s) Paragon Entertainment Corporation
WTTW Chicago
DreamWorks Classics
Distributor NBCUniversal Television Distribution
(on behalf of DreamWorks Classics)
Release
Original network PBS (USA)
Original release January 13, 1992 (1992-01-13) – September 22, 1995 (1995-09-22)
Chronology
Related shows The Charlie Horse Music Pizza

Lamb Chop's Play-Along! is an American half-hour preschool children's television series that was shown on PBS in the United States from 1992 to 1995, and in reruns until August 29, 1997. It was created and hosted by puppeteer Shari Lewis, and featured her puppet character Lamb Chop.

Production[edit]

PBS commissioned the show from Shari Lewis in May 1991, and the show premiered in January 1992.[1] This marked Lewis' return to television after about 15 years (following the BBC version of The Shari Lewis Show in 1975). Lamb Chop's Play-Along was shot at the CBC Studios in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

The series honoured Lewis's father, college professor Abraham Hurwitz - "the official magician of New York City".[2]

Ellensburg Daily Record explains: "each half hour is filled with jokes, games, songs, and tricks".[3]

Philosophy[edit]

Shari Lewis said her goal for the audience is "participation, not passive observance". She said: "our goal is, don't just sit there - come play with me".[3] She wanted to "attack the shorter attention span of today's children with a fast-paced show using colorful electronic effects". She said in an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer: "I know that when children watch TV, they go into a stupor. Parents think (their children) are interested, but what they really are is [bored]".[4]

Lewis testified that making smart content for children was not that hard to produce and should be done with increasing frequency. She said that if children are challenged, they will be productive members of society.[5] She said, "I don't care if you tack a prosocial message at the end of the show. You have not done a quality show".[6]

Synopsis[edit]

Appropriately, Lamb Chop is a sheep; other characters are puppets of other farm animals, including Charlie Horse and Hush Puppy.

Cast[edit]

  • Shari Lewis - Host/Lamb Chop/Hush Puppy/Charlie Horse
  • Pat Brymer - head puppeteer
  • Gord Robertson - Buster the Bus, featured puppeteer
  • Norma McKnight - additional puppetry
  • Bonnie Martin - Big Lamb Chop
  • Mark Gamez - Big Charlie Horse
Lamb Chop's playmates
  • Brian Ito
  • Amanda McAdam
  • Sabrina Sánchez
  • Emma Pollard
  • Annick Obonsawin
  • John Creery
  • Bryan Robinson
  • Ramon Choyce
  • Phillip Boutte
  • Jade Schwartz
  • Talia Gilboa
  • Darren Doran
  • Jason Guadalajara
  • Zack McLemore
  • Katie Orm
  • Toni White
  • Caroll Spinney
  • Kevin Yee
  • Rachel Sandor-Gough
  • Zack Moses
  • Emily Harrison
  • Andrew Francis

Episodes[edit]

86 half-hour episodes produced.

Season 1 (1992)[7][edit]

  • Air Charlie (January 13, 1992)
  • Stop Biting Your Nails (January 14, 1992)
  • Too Sick to Go to the Circus (January 15, 1992)
  • The Bully (January 16, 1992)
  • Hiccups (January 17, 1992)
  • Charlie's Magic Show (January 20, 1992)
  • Lamb Chop Works Out (January 21, 1992)
  • The Charlie Newspaper (January 22, 1992)
  • Robin Hoof (January 23, 1992)
  • Charlie's Toothache (January 24, 1992)
  • The Baseball Show (January 27, 1992)
  • The Planet Yzarc (January 28, 1992)
  • Maurice (January 29, 1992)
  • Charlie Horse Western" January 30, 1992)
  • Runaway (January 31, 1992)
  • The Lemonade Wars (February 3, 1992)
  • Have I Got A Girl For You (February 4, 1992)
  • Lamb Chop's Make-over (February 5, 1992)
  • The Ring (February 6, 1992)
  • Charlie Horse's Birthday (February 7, 1992)
  • Switcheroo (February 10, 1992)
  • Hail to the Chief (February 11, 1992)
  • Obedience School (February 12, 1992)
  • Going Going Gone (February 13, 1992)
  • The Chicken Show (February 14, 1992)
  • Lamb Chop's Allowance (February 17, 1992)
  • Talent-Less (February 18, 1992)
  • On Thin Ice (February 19, 1992)
  • Bigger is Better (February 20, 1992)
  • Lamb Chop: Star (February 21, 1992)
  • The Lamb Chop Show (February 24, 1992)

Season 2 (1993)[7][edit]

  1. So Long Freddy (3 acts) (February 8, 1993)
  2. Shari Makes a Beanstalk (February 9, 1993)
  3. School Daze (3 acts) (February 10, 1993)
  4. The Circus (1 act) (February 11, 1993)
  5. I'm Back! (2 acts) (February 12, 1993)
  6. Shari Tells the story of Tikki Tikki Tembo (February 15, 1993)
  7. Farnsworth (3 acts) (February 16, 1993)
  8. A Cat By Any Other Name (3 acts) (February 17, 1993)
  9. Born To Dance (3 acts) (February 18, 1993)
  10. Super Angelo (3 acts) (February 19, 1993)
  11. I Write The Songs (1 act) (March 8, 1993)
  12. United We Stand (3 acts) (March 9, 1993)
  13. Lucky Puppy (3 acts) (March 10, 1993)
  14. The Wallet (3 acts) (March 11, 1993)
  15. Trading Bases (March 12, 1993)
  16. Return to Zarc (March 15, 1993)
  17. Fear of Biking (March 16, 1993)
  18. Segnorita Lamb Chop (March 17, 1993)
  19. Forget It (March 18, 1993)
  20. Little Red Riding Hood (March 19, 1993)
  21. Chicken Pox (March 22, 1993)
  22. The Guys (March 23, 1993)
  23. Get Up & Dance (March 24, 1993)
  24. Trading Bases (4 acts) (March 25, 1993)
  25. When You Grow Up (3 acts) (March 26, 1993)
  26. Lamb Chop's Cold (March 29, 1993)
  27. Musical Chopsticks (3 acts) (March 30, 1993)
  28. Principal Swanson (3 acts) (March 31, 1993)
  29. Gold Diggers (3 acts) (April 1, 1993)
  30. The Story of How Baby Lamb Chop Learned to Walk (April 2, 1993)
  31. Peer Pressure (3 acts) (April 5, 1993)
  32. Toulouse La Chop (3 acts) (April 6, 1993)
  33. Anchor Desk (3 acts) (April 7, 1993)
  34. The Dark (3 acts) (April 8, 1993)
  35. Lamb Chop's Lullaby (April 9, 1993)

Season 3 (1994)[7][edit]

  1. Horse of a Different Color (2 acts) (January 31, 1994)
  2. Monopoly (3 acts) (February 1, 1994)
  3. TATTLETALE! (3 acts) (February 2, 1994)
  4. Sooo Mad! (3 acts) (February 3, 1994)
  5. Lamb Chop's Pet (3 acts) (February 4, 1994)
  6. Togetherness (3 acts) (February 7, 1994)
  7. What A Mess (3 acts) (February 8, 1994)
  8. Buster and Butch the bully (February 9, 1994)
  9. Busted-up Buster (3 acts) (February 10, 1994)
  10. Lamb Chop practicing violin (February 11, 1994)

Season 4 (1995–1997)[7][edit]

  1. Charlie Horse tells a lie (3 acts) (September 11, 1995)
  2. Shari's Favorite? (3 acts) (September 12, 1995)
  3. Lamb Chop's Art embarresses Charlie Horse (3 acts) (September 13, 1995)
  4. A Yo-Yo for Hush Puppy (3 acts) (September 14, 1995)
  5. Lamb Chop's Glasses (3 acts) (September 15, 1995)
  6. Counting on Your Knuckles (aka. Mother's Hubbard) (September 18, 1995)
  7. Your Mitt or Mine (September 19, 1995)
  8. Fighting Fair (September 20, 1995)
  9. The Job (September 21, 1995)
  10. Sea Creatures (September 22, 1995)

Segments[edit]

Introduced in Season 1[edit]

  • At Home with Lamb Chop
  • Comedy Barn
  • Knock! Knock!
  • A Baby Lamb Chop Story
  • Betcha
  • Riddles
  • Funny Little Poem
  • Animals from the San Diego Zoo
  • Tongue Twisters
  • Story Time
  • Sing a Little Sing-Along Song
  • Playtime With Emma
    • More Playtime With Emma

Introduced in Season 2[edit]

  • BUSter the Bus
  • Alphatoons
  • Something Unusual
  • A Baby Shari Lewis Story
  • A Teddy Bear Tale
  • A Baby Hush Puppy Story

Introduced in Season 3[edit]

  • Any Kid Can Draw
  • Take a Look at a Book
  • BUSter's Brain Busters
  • Magic is the Thing for You
  • You Can Do It

Introduced in Season 4[edit]

Production notes[edit]

WTTW jointly distributed it with Paragon Entertainment Corporation to PBS stations across the country. The rights to the show are currently owned by Universal Television on behalf of DreamWorks Classics.

Theme songs[edit]

Both the opening and closing theme songs were written by Broadway composer Norman Martin. Other songs were written by Square One TV songwriter, John Rodby. Two versions of the opening song with different lyrics have been used; one involves bouncing, the other strength. The ending theme song is "The Song That Never Ends", as sung by the children and puppets while Lewis frantically attempts to stop them.

An instrumental version of the show's theme song was used for a most recent show of Mallory Lewis and Lamb Chop.

Critical reception[edit]

The show received a rating of 8.0 based on 128 votes, at TV.com,[8] and score of 7.8/10 at IMDb based on 407 ratings.[9] Greensboro News & Record said of this show, "she (Lewis) made the sort of mischief that gave a vicarious thrill to millions of children watching at home".[10]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Recipient Result
1992 Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Performer in a Children's Series Shari Lewis Won
1992 Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design Molly Harris Campbell Nominated
1992 Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Children's Series Bernard Rothman, Jon Slan, Richard Borchiver, Shari Lewis Nominated
1992 Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Children's Series Bernard Rothman, Shari Lewis Nominated
1993 Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Performer in a Children's Series Shari Lewis Won
1993 Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Children's Series Shari Lewis, Ken Steele, Bernard Rothman, Mallory Tarcher, Lan O'Kunx, Aubrey Tadman Won
1993 Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Direction Carl Gibson Nominated
1994 Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Performer in a Children's Series Shari Lewis Won
1994 Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Children's Series Richard Borchiver, Shari Lewis, Bernard Rothman, Jon Slan Nominated
1994 Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Children's Series Mallory Tarcher, Ken Steele, Steve Edelman, Bernard Rothman, Lan O'Kun,
Shari Lewis, Aubrey Tadman, Tibby Rothman, Jeremy Tarcher, Michael Lyons, Kimberley Wells
Nominated
1995 Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Performer in a Children's Series Shari Lewis Won
1995 Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Pre-School Children's Series Shari Lewis, Bernard Rothman, Jon Slan, Richard Borchiver Nominated
1995 Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Children's Series Bernard Rothman, Shari Lewis, Mallory Tarcher, Ken Steele, Lan O'Kun, Aubrey Tadman Nominated
1996 Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Performer in a Children's Series Shari Lewis Won
1996 Daytime Emmy Outstanding Pre-School Children's Series Jon Slan, Richard Borchiver, Shari Lewis, Bernard Rothman Nominated
1996 Daytime Emmy Outstanding Writing in a Children's Series Mallory Tarcher, Shari Lewis, Aubrey Tadman, Ken Steele, Tibby Rothman, Lan O'Kun, Bernard Rothman Nominated

Syndication[edit]

Reruns of the first 26 episodes were broadcast on Qubo's digital channel, which is partially owned by Classic Media. In 2012 Kids & Teens TV started airing the series.

External links[edit]

References[edit]