The Upside Down Show
|The Upside Down Show|
|Created by||David Collins, Shane Dundas, Belinda Ward|
|Written by||Billy Aronson, Judy Freudberg, Tony Geiss, Joey Mazzarino, Luis Santeiro, P. Kevin Strader, Belinda Ward, John Weidman|
|Directed by||Peter Cudlipp, Julie Money|
|Starring||David Collins, Shane Dundas, Amanda Bishop, Ana Maria Polo, Konnie Huq, Cristina Saralegui, Peter Kay|
|Voices of||Mat McCoy, Adam Smillie|
|Narrated by||Adam Smillie|
|Opening theme||Down Upside Theme|
|Ending theme||Down Upside Good Bye|
|Country of origin||Australia|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||13|
|Executive producer(s)||Michael Bourchier, Kurt Mueller|
|Location(s)||Sydney, New South Wales, Australia|
|Running time||24 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Blink Films, Sesame Workshop|
|Original release||16 October 2006 – 6 January 2008|
The Upside Down Show is an Australian children's TV show originally airing on Noggin, Nick Jr. Australia and the ABC. The series was the recipient of a 2007 Logie Award. On the show, Shane Dundas and David Collins (The Umbilical Brothers) play brothers who live together in a strange house with a variety of unusual rooms. The show premiered on Nick Jr. Australia in August 2006 and on Noggin on 16 October 2006.
On 1 June 2007, the Umbilical Brothers announced on their website that Viacom was not interested in a second season of The Upside Down Show, despite its success. In 2007, the show won the Creative Craft Daytime Emmy Award for Main Title Design and a Parents' Choice Award Silver Honor for Television.
- Shane — Shane Dundas plays "Shane," who is bald and wears long cargo pants, hi-top sneakers, and a blue T-shirt featuring the symbol for "slow motion" as found on most electronic devices. He is one of the protagonists of the series. He is also saying "Total..." (in every instant replay modes) "It's Total ___________"
- David — David Collins plays "David," who has dark, curly hair and wears either cargo shorts or capris, sneakers, and a striped polo shirt. He has super-sensitive hearing (only functional when he makes a "do-do-do-do" sound effect at the same time but in the scene of the episode 'Marching Band,' he doesn't use the "do-do-do-do" and his SSH [acronym of Super-Sensitive Hearing] work automatically) and, as shown in episodes, a super-sensitive sense of smell. He is also a protagonist in the series.
- Mrs. Foil — The only other regularly appearing human character, Mrs. Foil is the boys' friendly neighbor. She is blonde and wears a bright pink or orange or yellow or even purple ladies' business suit, ladybug pin, pink or orange or yellow or even purple stockings, and pink or orange or yellow or even purple shoes. She can play the tuba and often offers comedic quips such as "See you later, alligators," or "Got to go, penguin toes," or even "Haha!". Mrs. Foil is portrayed by actress Amanda Bishop (who also appears in various other segments, not necessarily as Mrs. Foil, but as a generic lady).
- Puppet — Puppet is a mottled, greyish and brown hand puppet resembling no particular type of creature. He lives with the brothers and often assists them in their antics. He sometimes appears to be more rational than Shane and David but is often just as silly as the boys. He has a cousin named Mary Annette. Puppet is performed and voiced by puppeteer Mat McCoy. Puppet was built by Puppet Heap.
- The Schmuzzies — The Schmuzzies are a friendly bunch of fuzzy, ball-shaped creatures who pop up in various places. They come in a wide range of bright colors and speak a language called Schmuzzish ("Schmello, Schmuzzies!"). Shane sometimes appears to be apprehensive of the creatures, while David maintains a good rapport with them and is fluent in their language (which he studied for seven years, "part-time"). The Schmuzzies were built by Puppet Heap.
- Fido the Fly — Fido is Shane's (imaginary) pet fly who lives behind a tiny door in the boys' apartment. Fido communicates to Shane by buzzing (voiced by Shane). He is first mentioned in "Barbershop" and makes his first appearance in "Art Museum". He is an avid tennis player.
- Action Fingers — Occasionally Shane and David have need to call upon the resources of two rough-and-tumble figures, Knuckles (on Shane's left hand) and Pointy (on David's right hand). These two-digit adventurers are performed by Shane and David when they "let their fingers do the walking" over various props and scenery. They serve as the show's superheroes.
- Bob the Blanket - Bob is a small, white "blanket" (more the size of a hand towel) belonging to David (who also performs his voice). He speaks in a rough voice with an American accent and employs a sardonic wit. Bob only appears in "Barbershop" and very briefly in "Camping."
- The Voice — An authoritative male voice sometimes speaks to Shane and David, generally reminding the duo to knock before entering a room (i.e. "You forgot to knock," or, "Aren't you forgetting something?", followed by "Come in" when they do so). The Voice sometimes demands specific types of knocks before giving they boys consent to enter a room. Another voice narrates when the boys finally reach their intended destination "for the very first time". in the puppy room "it's time for the puppy game" when shane and david sit on the chair "no puppy's on the chair".
- Spot the Chair — Spot is David's pet chair who plays a game called, "Fly on the Chair" with Fido, who he is good friends with. He only appears in "Pet Shop" and very briefly in "Picnic."
Before Title Sequence:
Each episode begins with a cold opening showing one or both brothers in the middle of some activity, typically involving something imaginary. After greeting the audience, David introduces "The Remote" by pretending to be holding a remote control. He explains that The Remote can control the action on-screen. He demonstrates by pressing various buttons, which control Shane's actions. For example, "Fast Forward" causes Shane to move and speak fast, "Pause" causes him to freeze, "Rewind", which causes anyone to move and speak backwards, "Mute", which causes Shane to speak without any sound. In many episodes, David discovers a previously unknown "Wild-card Button," such as "Humongous" (and its opposite, the "Minute" button). This button causes some strange and/or undesired effect. He presses unknown buttons on the remote after saying "Hmm" or "Ooh, I wonder what this button does." David then offers The Remote to the viewer and "hands it over" by reaching off-screen downward. The brothers direct the viewer to "press the Play button." At this point, a strange and/or undesired effect happens ("Uh-oh, I think someone pressed the _____ button"). The brothers encourage the viewer to fix the situation by pressing a button for opposite effect. When they ask the viewer to "press play" a second time, Shane says "But whatever you do, don't press the -" but he is almost finished when the joke is repeated, and the viewer must again press the button for the opposite effect. Finally, Shane and David ask the viewer to "Just press Play" a third time, and the opening credits begin.
The Action Fingers enter the frame and perch on the title, which is flipped upside down. Pointy reads the title as "Down Upside" due to its position. Realizing the mistake, they help turn the words "Upside Down" the right way up, and read the title correctly. They then walk along atop the credits until they reach a door. The credits list the stars as David Collins and Shane Dundas, and state that the show was created by Belinda Ward, Shane Dundas, and David Collins.
The central objective of every episode is for Shane and David to get to a certain location. However, they do not know how to get there. They spend the episode adventuring through the various red doors in their apartment, as well as searching other places (e.g., under a table, behind a bookcase, inside and behind their sofa and closet). The brothers occasionally request help from the viewers, asking them to press buttons on their remote. Their journey takes them to 3 "Wrong Turn" rooms. In at least one of the rooms, they encounter a child who teaches them something and sets them on the correct path. Eventually they locate their destination and experience something, such as a picnic, farm, or an airport, "for the very first time".
The show ends with the brothers back in their apartment. During the last few minutes of the show, they give the viewer an imaginary souvenir to thank them for their help throughout the episode. Then, they say goodbye. As the credits begin, Shane and David begin to do things (e.g. in Cowbell, they play as a rockband with Shane yelling out as (Executive Producer Kurt Russel) begins, "One, two, three!" and in Kite, Shane and David are fighting over the string until at the point (Executive In Charge of Sesame Workshop Jodi Nussbaum) credit appears, Shane and David wave left and right their bodies until at the end of the credits, and in Art Museum, Puppet accidentally surprises Shane and David, until at the point where the (Executive In Charge of Sesame Workshop Jodi Nubbasum) credit appears, Shane and David laugh until they pause, and Puppet now freely says, "Whoops, I think somebody just pressed the Pause button." Then the episode ends with the Sesame Workshop logo.)
There are a few running gags in the show. The main one is the "Upside-Down" button. When this button is pressed (and it is in every episode but one), the viewpoint shifts, with a silly sound effect, to an upside-down shot of whomever is in the scene. The actors' and puppets' hands are held up in the air to make it look as if they are hanging upside down. One of the boys begs the viewer to press the "Right Side Up" button, at which point the viewpoint rights itself. Another sequence seen in each episode is the use of the "Instant Replay" button. The brothers ask the viewer to press this button to see a child do something again. During the slow motion replay, Shane and David play the role of commentators, narrating the action and assessing the child's technique. A more subtle running gag is the fake pineapple that appears in at least three episodes. Another is the "Mute button". Once this button is pressed, Shane speaks without a sound until David presses "Unmute", which reverses the effects of the "Mute button" and is only seen in the episode "Airport". Next is the "Rotate" button in the episode "Pet Shop". When David or the viewers press this special button, the viewpoint shifts 360 degress. The next button is the "Horizontal button", in which whomever is at the scene is put in the sideways position and one of the boys ask the viewer to press the "Vertical button", which puts the actors in the upright position and is only seen in the episode "Camping". This next one is the "Up button", which makes the actors go up and they beg for the viewers to press the "Down button" to put them down and is only seen in the episode "Barbershop". Next is the "Stumble button" from the 1st episode "Movie Theater". If David or the viewers press this ridiculus button, they look like they stumbled and tripped. Up next is the "Inside button". If the viewers press this hilarious button, the boys will disappear and then reappear inside a cup and Puppet and the boy's picnic supplies inside the basket. At that moment, the boys beg for the viewers to press the "Outside button" for the boys to get out of the cup and their picnic basket. Next up, the "Sandwich button". In the episode "Picnic", when Shane and David are in the "Sandwich Room", Shane asks the viewers to press the "Sandwich Button" and once that happens, sandwiches appear. Also, fly-sized sandwiches for Fido because they were having their first picnic and Fido is sad because he hasn't been on a picnic before.
|Episode #||Title||Original Air-Date||Production Code|
|1||"Movie Theatre"||16 October 2006||811|
|2||"Barbershop"||23 October 2006||812|
There is a girl featured in all three wrong turn rooms, as well as in the barbershop itself. Her name, as shown in the closing credits, is Jade Barber. Fido didn't appear in this episode, but was mentioned by Shane.
|3||"Art Museum"||31 October 2006||813|
That is Fido the Fly's first episode.
|4||"Pet Shop"||11 November 2006||814|
Spot with Fido on chair with David. There is also no vocabulary.
|5||"Camping"||18 November 2006||815|
|6||"Picnic"||25 November 2006||816|
In the Wind Room are Elephant, Fish, Puppet, Spot the Chair, Mrs. Foil, and Umbrella
|7||"Airport"||2 December 2006||817|
This is the only episode that doesn't include the Upside Down button. There is no vocabulary. Fido The Fly and The Voice are absent. No doors, no windows and no drawers.
|8||"Beach"||31 March 2007||818|
|9||"Marching Band"||25 May 2007||819|
The bird in the Sky Room sounds like John Lennon, making a reference to the song "Imagine", saying, "No ground below us, only skies," and the marching band room has the cameo appearance in the episode 'Camping' where Shane's bedroom is replaced. There is no souvenir.
|10||"Birthday Party"||23 November 2007||820|
Many of the children featured in other episodes attend the party, including the boy from the Sandwich Room in "Picnic", the boy from the Finger Painting Museum in "Art Museum," the girl from the dance studio in "Movie Theater," the girl in the wheelchair from the shape room in "Camping", the boy at the South Pole in "Beach," and one of the girls from the Marching Room in "Marching Band.". From this episode, the girl from the surprise room is present. David says "Whatever you do, don't press the _________ button." There is no vocabulary.
|11||"Farm"||30 November 2007||821|
|12||"Ice Cream Truck"||7 December 2007||822|
Mrs. Foil is featured in all three wrong turn rooms, as well as the ice cream truck itself. There is no vocabulary, joking button and souvenir.
|13||"Mini Golf"||6 January 2008||823|
While in the Basketball Room, David, thinking the orange thing is a basketball, gets frustrated that it is not dribbling properly. He yells at the orange thing, "This is your home! It's your home! What's wrong?! You too good for your home?!", a direct allusion to the Adam Sandler film, Happy Gilmore, in which the title character yells almost exactly the same speech, also at a golf ball.
- "49th Annual TV Week Logie Awards (2007)". TV Week. 6 May 2007.
- Kaplan, Don (27 December 2006). "Quitting Kids TV - 'Upside' Duo Talk About Getting Out Just As Hit Series Is Getting Started". New York Post.
- "Complete list of 2007 Creative Craft Daytime Emmy Award winners". Los Angeles Times.
- "Parents' Choice Awards: Spring 2007 Television". Parents' Choice.
- The Upside Down Show on Nick Jr. (Australia)
- The Upside Down Show on Nick Jr. (US)
- Episode Guide on Nick Jr.
- The Upside Down Show at the Internet Movie Database
- Umbilical Brothers