My Dad the Rock Star
|My Dad the Rock Star|
|Created by||Gene Simmons|
|Voices of||Lawrence Bayne
Stephanie Anne Mills
|Country of origin||Canada
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||26|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Original release||September 1, 2003– July 5, 2004|
My Dad the Rock Star is a Canadian-French animated television series created by KISS frontman Gene Simmons. The series was a Canada-France co-production between Nelvana and Carrere Group for the Canada-based channel Teletoon. The show focuses on Willy Zilla, an ordinary teen boy just trying to be a normal person despite being the son of a flamboyant, rich, lively celebrity rock star named Rock Zilla.
Gene Simmons wanted to create a cartoon series with a loud rock star for his kids. The idea of the cartoon started off when Gene's son, Nick in his kindergarten days, brought in a picture of Gene drooling blood and spitting fire for a project of what his parents do, which may have influenced the character of Willy Zilla.
Before becoming a series, it became a book called "My Dad the Rock Star: Rebel without a Nose Ring" in 2001. Because Gene loved Nelvana shows, he called them for a cartoon idea. It was originally supposed to be about the band KISS itself but it was later changed to a family of rock-star parents which were based on Gene's family. Rock Zilla is actually a fictionalized version of Gene Simmons himself counting his signature "long-tongue". Willy is based on Gene's son, Nick and Serenity was based on Gene's daughter, Sophie. Crystal was also based on Gene's wife, Shannon Tweed, who being Canadian, helped Gene to get Nelvana to make the show. Gene served as the executive producer and creator while the rest of the production was done in Canada.
The series went on hiatus after the episode "Blind Date" until it was announced that the show ended, despite popular ratings, possibly for Gene to continue his music career. Also, there was an unaired episode that showcases Alyssa's true rapping skills, named "Silent Springs' Most Wanted" (which is a reference to the movie Malibu's Most Wanted), but it tragically never got the chance to air. It was not revived in time to air a third season.
- Joanne Vannicola - William "Willy" Zilla - Rock and Crystal's son and Serenity's little brother. Willy never had a normal life when he was on tour with his family until he came to Silent Springs. Throughout the series, Willy gradually becomes more comfortable in who he is and accepts his new, more "normal" lifestyle. Willy aspires to be a musician like his father and grandfather (see below), and has inherited their musical talent. Willy's music of choice is jazz, and plays the trumpet in the school band. He realizes that he was living a normal life the whole time.
- Lawrence Bayne - Rockford Amadeus "Rock" Zilla - The main character. Rock has loved rock n roll since birth. Even though Rock is the father of the family, he is very immature and behaves like a teenager. His own father is a famous classical cellist who still does not quite understand him. When not getting carried away, Rock thus strives to listen to his son's point of view and concerns.
- Don Francks - Nigel "Skunk" Fanshawe - Ex-driver of the Zilla tour bus, friend/manager of the family. Skunk is from England and has a long two-toned ponytail, hence his name. Skunk is often the voice of reason for the Zilla's. He uses the tour bus, permanently parked on the mansion's grounds, as his apartment.
- Sarah Gadon - Alyssa - Willy's sarcastic best friend, and eventually girlfriend. She is an environmental activist.
- Martin Villafana - Quincy - Willy's other best friend. Prefers to be called "Q". His father is an accountant.
- Kathy Laskey - Crystal Zilla - Serenity and Willy's mother. Crystal is a pink-haired spiritualist.
- Stephanie Anne Mills - Serenity Zilla - Willy's older sister and Rock and Crystal's daughter. Serenity is the stereotypical teenage girl: spoiled, boy-crazy, egotistical and ditzy. She picks on Willy and easily gets lost in the mansion.
- Rob Stefaniuk - Robert "Buzz" Sawchuck - Lloyd's son and Willy's school bully. Although brutish and violent, Buzz often speaks in the manner of a Shakespearian actor, making long-winded speeches and monologues. Buzz has a crush on Alyssa, which is not reciprocated.
- Jim Millington - Principal Malfactor - A strict disciplinarian, with a particular dislike for Willy. He once tried to have music class removed from school, and to have Willy expelled. Both times, he was foiled by Rock's intervention. Bears an uncanny resemblance to Ed Sullivan.
- Dwight Schultz - Mr. Kant - The Zilla's next door neighbour. He utterly despises Rock for all the chaos he causes, but has a soft spot for Willy. He has a cat and dog, Helga and Henderson, who are friends with Mosh.
- Mosh - The Zilla's lovable purple-and-green pet Komodo dragon. Meant only to be a stage gimmick for Rock's performances, the family could not bear to send him away when it didn't work out, and so adopted him as the family pet.
- Ms. Zachwiss - A strict teacher at Willy's school.
- Scoop - A reporter who harasses Rock Zilla, it's revealed that years ago Rock was about to be interviewed by Scoop until he accidentally ate a mint from his table. This upset rock so much that he refused to go onstage causing an uproar. Scoop was fired for this, destroying his career because no one would hire him.
- Lloyd Sawchuck - Buzz's father and the head of the school board. Also a loyal fan of Rock's music, and has all his albums.
Teletoon air dates in parentheses:
1. Welcome to Silent Springs (09/01/2003)
- Rock and his family move to Silent Springs. Willy disguises himself as "Willy Zillowsky" but he is forced by Buzz to steal Rock's solid gold record.
2. Zilla's House of Horrors (09/08/2003)
- Willy hears Buzz claim that the house is haunted due to being built on a graveyard. A spooky ghost chases Willy through the manor, before eventually being revealed as Rock in a Halloween costume.
3. Mr. Zilla's Opus (09/15/2003)
- Rock reveals to everyone in school that Willy is his son, when he becomes the schools new band teacher. *Note*: "Mr. Zilla's Opus" is a parody of Mr. Holland's Opus.
4. High Infidelity (09/22/2003)
- Crystal opens a Psychic Wellness Centre next to Willy's school earning Willy some ribbing over his flakey Mom.
5. Angela D'Angelo (09/29/2003)
- When Willy meets a new student named Angela, she invites him to a pre-date with her parents who dislike Rock Zilla due to his wild on stage antics.
6. The Candidate (10/06/2003)
- Willy plans to be the candidate for class representative, proposing a new wall be built around the playground, but Buzz keeps stealing all of his plans and bullies everyone into voting for him. Willy eventually wins even with the chaos caused by asking his parents to act normal.
7. Willy Unplugged (10/13/2003)
- Willy is going to play his trumpet at the school talent night, but when Rock finds out, he tries to "help" by adding over-the-top theatrics to Willy's show. Alyssa and Q try to get in on Willy's act with less-than-musical results.
8. Dance Party (10/20/2003)
- Willy joins the dance committee and wants introduce krumping, but the teacher, Ms. Zachwiss, doesn't want the dance to change from the boring theme it had for the past 15 years.
9. Psychic Convention (10/27/2003)
- Crystal asks Willy to come with her to the Psychic Convention to meet Madame Persenchia, but he has to study for a math test and Mosh goes missing. Sally Raptor is caught making out under the bleachers with Jon Deaker.
10. Call of the Wild (11/03/2003)
- The Zillas go on a camping trip with Willy's friends but something goes horribly wrong.
11. Mr. Big (11/10/2003)
- When Sally Raptor, the most popular girl in school, offers Willy a coveted spot in the "in crowd", Willy gets a taste of what it's like to be extremely popular and it rocks! But complications arise when Sally tries to get Willy to abandon Alyssa and Q. Meanwhile, Serenity "becomes a woman" with the onset of her first period, and earns her drivers license.
12. Rebel Without A Nose Ring (11/17/2003)
- Buzz sets Willy up to experience a series of unfortunate encounters with Mr. Malfactor after which he labels Willy a Rebel and seizes the opportunity to restore order upon the student body by implementing a tuxedo based dress code. Willy burns his tuxedo in defiance, setting off an actual rebellion at the school and leading to Mr. Malafactors fall.
13. Going for Broke (02/02/2004)
- When the Zilla's go broke following an extravagant pool party, Q's father invites them to stay at their house.
14. Meet the Zillas (December 1, 2003)
- Rock decides that TV is boring so he starts his own reality show. But later as they play pranks on Willy, they change the show to "Meet Willy Zilla", and find out that just maybe tv ain't all it's cracked up to be.
15. Rock Is From Mars, Willy Is From Venus (February 9, 2004)
- Willy and Rock try to spend some quality time together but things don't go as Willy intended when a trio of strange space aliens land.
16. The Sound of Zilla (February 16, 2004)
- Willy's school is celebrating International Students Week by welcoming a group of middle eastern refugees.
17. Home for the Holly Daze (December 22, 2003)
- It's the Zilla's first Christmas in Silent Springs and when they inadvertently cause a famous theatrical director named Don DiMello to lose his job, misery befalls them when he tries to get even. Alyssa becomes one of his dancers.
18. What's the Scoop? (March 15, 2004)
- Scoop keeps on sneaking out on Rock; Buzz puts Willy in detention after he arrives late, so Scoop and Willy concoct a plan to prove his innocence before it's too late!
19. Rock Bottom (March 22, 2004)
- It's Rock's birthday but things get chaotic when Rock gets depressed, Serenity lands herself in the slammer, and she ends up serving community service at a senior's home, with Rock as her newest patient!
20. Saving Sawchuck (May 3, 2004)
- After Willy saves Buzz from drowning, he has to let Buzz save him from harm; Serenity falls in love with the Lifeguard, so she takes lifeguard lessons.
21. King of the Desert (May 10, 2004)
- Willy, Q, and Alyssa take on a band trip, but end up in the middle of the desert: Serenity and Crystal have to hide Rock's concert t-shirt (which he refuses to wash) before he comes back, as he is very superstitious.
22. Big Willy on Campus (May 17, 2004)
- Rock is given an honorary doctorate by his old college, Cere Bellum University, but someone has it in for Rock. *note* Cere Bellum is an amusing play on words.
23. Metamorphic Rock (June 20, 2004)
- Willy, Q, and Alyssa are assigned a group project in Science class but with his mom missing in action and a new homemaking AI is installed, the house gets chaotic in a plot reminiscent of the film Smart House.
24. Kant Buy Me Love (June 20, 2004)
- Willy and his friends help their neighbor, Mr. Kant throw a slumber party.
25. Chip Off the Old Rock (June 20, 2004)
- Rock's parents come to visit him, but they become dismayed at his wild, hard partying life style; Serenity and her grandmother have a day off and feed birds at the park.
26. Blind Date (July 5, 2004)
- Willy and Alyssa become attracted to each other after a night at the movies. When Willy realizes that he is now dating her, he becomes a wreck, as he is afraid of how Q will react, and what this will mean for the trio's friendship. Meanwhile, Rock is trying to celebrate his 20th anniversary with Crystal, but each of his plans only seem to upset her.
On September 20, 2006 the series released "Dad's Debut" which contained the first six episodes of the first season; Welcome to Spirit Springs, Zilla's House of Horrors, Mr. Zilla's Opus, High Infidelity, Angela D'angelo, and The Candidate.
On April 7, 2009, a second volume was released "Off The Hook" which contained the next 5 episodes of the first season; Willy Unplugged, Dance Party, Psychic Convention, Call of the Wild, and Mr. Big.
- "Television Program Logs". Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. 2016-03-02. Archived from the original on 2016-05-16.