Wonder Showzen

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Wonder Showzen
Wonder showzen.png
Also known asKids Show
Genre
Created by
Starring
  • Vernon Chatman
  • John Lee
  • Alyson Levy
  • Jim Tozzi
Opening theme"Old Theme" by PFFR
Ending theme"Goodbye Song" by PFFR
ComposerChris Anderson
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes16 (and 1 pilot) (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
  • Vernon Chatman
  • John Lee
  • Michele Megan Dix
  • Jesse Ignjatovic
  • Tom Calderone
Producers
  • Ria Finazzo[a]
  • Jessica Vitkus[b]
  • Lisa M. Thomas [c]
Production locationsNew York City, New York, U.S.
CinematographyJohn Tanzer
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time21–22 minutes
Production companies
DistributorCBS Television Distribution
Release
Original networkMTV2
Picture formatNTSC
Audio formatStereophonic
Original releaseMarch 11, 2005 (2005-03-11) –
May 19, 2006 (2006-05-19)

Wonder Showzen is an American adult sketch comedy television series that aired between 2005 and 2006 on MTV2. It was created by Vernon Chatman and John Lee of PFFR.

Described as a children's television series for adults, the show's format is a parody 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). In addition to general controversial comedy, it satirizes politics, religion, war, sex and culture with black comedy.

Development[edit]

Wonder Showzen was created by Vernon Chatman and John Lee, who originally made an early concept of it back in 1999, and pitched to the USA Network in 2000, but after a few minutes of viewing, executives there quickly concluded it did not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.[1] 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 and early concept were named simply "Kids Show". The Wonder Showzen theme song was also called 'Kids Show'. Reruns of the show also aired on MTV and Comedy Central. The first episode had animated segments provided by Raw Power, while the rest of the series had animated segments done by Augenblick Studios.

Ben Q. Jones, who was a member of the art collective Paper Rad, did some animations for the series, before continuing to work with PFFR again on his failed Adult Swim pilot Neon Knome, which was rejected, yet turned a show on Cartoon Network called The Problem Solverz, which Jones himself created. Another notable crew member who worked on Wonder Showzen was Mark Marek, who also worked on Cartoon Network's Mad and Nickelodeon's KaBlam!; he created Yuck, Yuck, Goose, and his sidekick, his Butt for Wonder Showzen.

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,[2] and MTV afterward canceled the show.

Cast and characters[edit]

Adults[edit]

Kids[edit]

  • Benjamin Krueger
  • Evan Seligman
  • Taylor Bedlivy
  • P.J. Connaire
  • Jacob Kogan
  • Michael Samms
  • Trevor Heins
  • Miles Kath
  • Jasmina Lee
  • Dominic Payer
  • Mike Gibbons
  • Alexandra Rose
  • Frankie Scapoli
  • Ryan Soos
  • Brianna Simpkins
  • Miles Williams
  • Pierce Gidez
  • Madison Rose
  • Ameerah Moore
  • Ryan Simpkins
  • Juliet DePaula
  • Sam Kaufman

Cameos[edit]

Season one[edit]

  • 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 Chewties Spokesman in episode 107.
  • Chris Anderson as Koby Teeth in episode 104.
  • Madison Rose as herself in episodes 106 and 108.

Season two[edit]

  • 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 never solves anything" in episode 206.
  • Devendra Banhart as himself, singing in the song, "War never solves anything" in episode 206.
  • Rick Springfield as himself, singing in the song, "War never solves anything" in episode 206.
  • Corin Tucker as herself, singing in the song, "War never solves 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

Recurring segments[edit]

  • 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 saying 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 derives from a short form for "obstetrics and gynaecology", and part of it comes from the common domesticated dog.
  • Tyler, America's Most Perfect Child – A young child with a disturbingly well-mannered demeanor, who often forms statements about how perfect, wonderful and special they are.

Episodes[edit]

Series overview[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
Early conceptUnaired
PilotUnaired
18March 11, 2005 (2005-03-11)April 29, 2005 (2005-04-29)
28March 31, 2006 (2006-03-31)May 19, 2006 (2006-05-19)

Early concept[edit]

TitleOriginal air date
"Kids Show"Unaired

The 8-minute tape was made for fun by PFFR and they shopped it around different stores. The USA Network eventually saw their tape and gave them money and six months to make a pilot episode.

Sketches: Welcome to Kids Show!, Why did the dog cross the street?, Africa (bumper), Arthur: (You Can't Film Here), D.O.G.O.B.G.Y.N. (cartoon), I see all the children (bumper), Funny/Not Funny, Goodbye!

Pilot[edit]

TitleOriginal air date
"Kids Show"Unaired

Unaired pilot episode produced for the USA Network. The Letter N becomes depressed and self-loathing and goes on a quest to find herself.

Sketches: Q&A (Where Do Babies Come From?), Arthur (You Can't Film Here), Buck Wild (song), Find 6 Things Wrong!, If I Were a Pony (cartoon), We Went to The Hot Dog Factory, Beat Kids (Bathroom), Funny/Not Funny

Season 1 (2005)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleOriginal air date
11"Birth"March 11, 2005 (2005-03-11)

The gang tries to help out the depressed Letter N.

Sketches: Q&A (Where Do Babies Come From?), D.O.G.O.B.G.Y.N. (cartoon), I Wanna Learn About Mexico, Kill 'Em With Kindness (cartoon), Clarence (What Are You Running From?), Breaking News (A Cougar from Wyoming), Beat Kids (Butcher), Breaking News (The Letter N Is Still Missing), Brain Busters, Clever Carrot (cartoon), Dear Jesus, When I Get Sad (song), If I Was A Mexican (cartoon), Buck Wild (song), Vietnam Flashback, You're Dead to Me, We Went to the Hot Dog Factory, Follow The Leader (song), Story Time with Mr. Story, Funny/Not Funny
22"Space"March 18, 2005 (2005-03-18)

Chauncey and his friend Kaitlin go into outer space. They confront God after the Earth is destroyed during their trip.

Sketches: Don't Litter (cartoon), Clarence (Freedom Of Speech), 5 Jokes in 5 Seconds, A Celebration of White People Throughout History (song), Dear Grandma, Yuck Yuck Goose and His Sidekick His Butt (cartoon), Plastic Surgeons Without Borders (cartoon), Breaking News (Freak Beast Alert Level), Beat Kids (Blood Drive), Q&A (What is Heaven?), Describe Yourself in One Word Or Less, We Went to the Farm
33"Ocean"March 25, 2005 (2005-03-25)

The gang go on a quest to find a bottle of pure liquid Imagination.

Sketches: Tyler Time (I'm Good), Pottymouth (cartoon), Breaking News (A Violent Decrease In Violence), Beat Kids (Horse Racetrack), Slaves! (song), H.O.B.O. Ops (cartoon), Future Hobo, Q&A (What is your Greatest Wish?), Tyler Time (Feeding a Skull), I Think Warthogs Are Beautiful, Smash Your TV and Have Adventures (song), If I Were a Pony (cartoon), Tyler Time (The Difference Between Special and Wonderful), No Brushy, Tyler Time (Tyler), Clarence (Will You Accept Jesus?), Funny/Not Funny
44"Diversity"April 1, 2005 (2005-04-01)

Letters and Numbers have a war over who is better, while Letter J & Number 8 fall in love.

Sketches: Q&A (What Is Love?), Who's Blown Up Now, Sucka?, Beat Kids (Wall Street), The Boogie Noogie Bunch (cartoon), Numbers and Letters (song), Loser!, Finger Force (cartoon), I Wash My Hands, Global Politics in 30 Seconds (cartoon), Breaking News (Tensions have Literally Explogasmed), So Now You Know (A+), Clarence (Politeness), God's Biggest Boners
55"Nature"April 8, 2005 (2005-04-08)

Chauncey must save the day when Mother Nature gets a sex change operation.

Sketches: Q&A (What is the Difference Between Boys and Girls?), Clarence (What Riles You Up, Harlem?), Breaking News (Nature Purchased by CoCOR/Rufus Truthfist), The Little Man Inside My Head (cartoon), So Now You Know (Mating Call), Breaking News (Jesus is Black), Beat Kids (Petting Zoo), Breaking News (CoCOR CEO), Segregation Works! (cartoon), Total Racewar Live, I Don't Ever Wanna Grow Up (song), Breaking News (Truthfist Press Conference), Celebrate Our Differences (cartoon) (song), We Went to the Mint
66"History"April 15, 2005 (2005-04-15)

Number 2 comes to visit the gang in Number 1's place and becomes suicidal when no one likes her.

Sketches: Q&A (Why is America #1?), Chauncey's History Lesson, Clarence (What is Private Space?), Bible Brew (cartoon), Beat Kids (Statue of Liberty), Breaking News (No One Cares/Lack of Protest Protest/The Unflappable Jimmy Flaps), Express Yourself, Number 2 (song), We Went to the Chicken Dinner Factory, Lies My History Teacher Told Me, Tragedy Farms Milk (cartoon), Funny/Not Funny, Story Time with Ms. Amy
77"Health"April 22, 2005 (2005-04-22)

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.

Sketches: Q&A (When is it OK to Lie?), D.O.G.O.B.G.Y.N. (cartoon), Clarence (What are Heroes?), Cooties PSA #1, If I Were a Rainbow (cartoon), Chewties Ad #1, One Good Reason, Beat Kids (What's Wrong With Kids Today?), Breaking News (Lashequa May), Everytime You Lie (cartoon), Animal Dance (song), The Electric Chair, Jimagination (cartoon), Cooties PSA #2/Chewties Ad #2
88"Patience"April 29, 2005 (2005-04-29)

An episode which tries the viewer's patience consisting the first act, and then after realizing how little sense the first act made, the second act in reverse to "literally undo any damage this episode may have caused", and then a third act, occurring quickly, about speed.

Sketches: Q&A (What is Patience?), Breaking News (The Universe Has Been Raped in the Mindgina), Punctuations Marks with Punk Mark (cartoon), Rad Mark Sez (Patience), Footprints in the Sand, Reverse The Curse (cartoon), Clarence (Patience), Kooky McZanybottom's Kartoon Korner, Kooky McZanybottom's Kartoon Korner (reversed), Clarence (Patience) (reversed), Reverse The Curse (reversed) (cartoon), Hoofprints in the Sand (reversed), Kramdar Sez (Worship) (reversed), Punctuations Marks with Punk Mark (reversed) (cartoon), Breaking News (The Universe Has Been Raped in the Mindgina) (reversed), Q&A (What is Patience?) (reversed), Q&A (What is Speed?), Dear Jesus (Gimme!), Clarence asks Toothless Masons (What do you Eat?), Throw Caution to the Wind (cartoon), Double Speed Double Dutch, Your Friend is a Talking Hotdog, Causer's Aspirin, So Now You Know (Life as a Girl), Beat Kids (Muscles vs. Brains), Pre-School Race War (song), Funny/Not Funny

Season 2 (2006)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleOriginal air date
91"Body"March 31, 2006 (2006-03-31)

The gang convinces the overweight Letter P to get liposuction.

Sketches: Q&A (What is a Hero?), Mr Body (Lungs) (cartoon), Clarence (Please Don't Film Me), Sgt. Chauncey's Tough Love Boot Camp (Part 1), Curb Your Appetite (cartoon), Beat Kids (Beauty Pageant), Breaking News (Letter P is Under Fire), I'm a Delivery Man (song), Aunt Flo (cartoon), Sgt. Chauncey's Tough Love Boot Camp (Part 2), Don't Mock Gimps (cartoon), 131st Annual Victim Awards, We Spent the Day With the Policemen, Feed the World (song)
102"Time"April 7, 2006 (2006-04-07)

Chauncey's future self from two years into the future causes havoc for Chauncey in the present time.

Sketches: Q&A (What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?), Beat Kids (Am I Going to Hell?), Wino Bot (cartoon), When I Grow Up (song), What's Jim Drawing?, A Great Moment in Chinese History, Clarence (The Future), I Wanna Be Remembered, Mr. Body (Nervous System) (cartoon), Breaking News (The News is Breaking!), We Went to China, General Competition Through All of Time (song), Dear Jesus, Jeremy Scares Me
113"Knowledge"April 14, 2006 (2006-04-14)

Middle America visits the show and the gang falls in love with his stupidity. They let him take over Wonder Showzen, turning it into "Horse Apples".

Sketches: Birth (song), Clarence (Counting), Q&A (What is Happiness?), Chinese Baby Girl Atlantis/McTuff the Crime Cop (cartoon), Humanity Will Remember, Beat Kids (Spaying and Neutering), Horse Apples, Beat Kids (Test Marketing), Breaking News (Hollywood Has Gone Horsewood), We Went to a Newspaper Press, Breaking News (Smells Like Murder)
124"Justice"April 21, 2006 (2006-04-21)

The gang revisits the old days of America with slavery.

Sketches: He-Bro (cartoon), What Got Into that Crazy Cat? (song), Beat Kids (Pharmacy), Q&A (How Can We Save the Planet?), Treat Women With Respect (cartoon), Clarence (The Issue), I'm a Communist, Wonder Showzen Premies (cartoon), Thank You Greatest Generation, My Shadow (cartoon)
135"Science"April 28, 2006 (2006-04-28)

Chauncey and Him climb into Wordsworth's brain to help him face his fears and become a man.

Sketches: Q&A (What Happens When You Die?), Treat Your Body Like a Temple (cartoon), Clarence (What is the American Dream?), Ol' Dusty (cartoon), Mr. Body (Brain) (cartoon), Takin' it Back (song), Piece of Mind, Beat Kids (Can We Ever Laugh Again?), Sthugar and Her Sadness Powered Beanie, Be a Man, Don't Listen to Peer Pressure (cartoon), Breaking News (We Just Received Word of a Story), So Now You Know (Inside an Egg), Girls Can Work (song)
146"Cooperation"May 5, 2006 (2006-05-05)

The gang goes to war with a bootleg version of Wonder Showzen known as Wondur Showzey. The "peace settlement" is that the show divided into 60-40, thus the final act has several separate segments with full sound going on at the same time, which caps with an apocalyptic explosion. This is the last that is seen of all the main cast, except A.P. Gibralter and Clarence.

Sketches: A to Q (What Dumb?), Steal Back (cartoon), Hit Children (How'd It Go In There?), Mushy the Mushroom Cloud (song), Dear Jesus, D.O.G.O.B.G.Y.N. (cartoon), C.Larence (Bootleggers), Mushroom Clouds, Wish and Care Foundation (cartoon), Some of That (song), Breaking News (True Thirts), Story Time With Mr. Hostage, Mr. Body (Tongue) (cartoon), War Never Solves Anything (song), Q&A (What Brings You Peace?)/Blow-Up Doll, Camp Concentration, Clarence (Whassamatta You)/If I Were a Tree (cartoon)/Bootleg, Funny/Not Funny/Swammi Walrus/The Unknown Elephedian, Cooperation (song)/Adults Say the Dumbest Things/Guess the Expression, What's Jim Drawing?/H.O.B.O. Ops (cartoon), Mexican's Show/Miss Mary, Wish Jackpot (cartoon), We Went to the Apocalypse
157"Mathematics"May 12, 2006 (2006-05-12)
An entire episode of "Horse Apples" instead of the episode originally shown in previews for this week.
168"Compelling Television"May 19, 2006 (2006-05-19)
Clarence challenges people to produce compelling television. At the end, he finds out there is no such thing, skydives off a helicopter, and drowns himself into the depths of the ocean. Background music composed by Nico Muhly.

Broadcast[edit]

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. In Turkey, it aired on Euro D with graphic scenes cut.

Reception[edit]

Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons and Futurama said "Wonder Showzen is so weirdly funny the top of your head will burst and your skull will fly out."[3]

Cartoon Network's Adult Swim, who PFFR would later make shows for, said "It's a show about kids, for freaks, and we love it."[4]

The first season holds a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.[5]

Home releases[edit]

DVD set Region 1
release date
Bonus Features
Wonder Showzen: Season One March 28, 2006 Auditions and Outtakes, Rejected Sketch (Storytime with Flavor Flav), Special Guest Commentaries, 2nd Season Sneek Peek, Locker Poster, Coloring Page, "Japoney Appoe" Music Video.
Wonder Showzen: Season Two October 10, 2006 More Auditions and Outtakes, Guest Commentaries on select episodes, Rejected Sketch (The Adventures of Scooter McJimmy: Hillbilly Boy Genius), Easter Egg, Storybook.
Wonder Showzen: The Complete Series March 16, 2021 A re-packaging of the original DVDs without the physical extras, such as the locker poster from season 1 or the storybook in season 2.

A gift set containing both seasons was scheduled for release on December 12, 2006, but it was cancelled.[6] It was announced again almost 15 years later on March 16, 2021 and actually was released, but was just a re-package of the original DVDs without their physical extras. It's also currently streaming on Paramount Plus.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ supervising producer, season 1
  2. ^ supervising producer, season 2
  3. ^ media producer, seasons 1 & 2

References[edit]

  1. ^ New York Daily News: "'Wonder' shock-ful of adult humor". Retrieved December 13, 2006.
  2. ^ TVSquad.com
  3. ^ The Futon Critic: MTV2 Announces the Triumphant Return of 'Wonder Showzen' and 'The Andy Milonakis Show' to Sic 'Em Fridays with Fresh New Episodes Starting on March 31st at 9pm ET/PT. Retrieved February 27, 2006.
  4. ^ "Adult Swim: Wonder Showzen promo - YouTube". youtube.com. Archived from the original on December 13, 2021. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  5. ^ Wonder Showzen, retrieved May 4, 2022
  6. ^ TVShowsOnDVD.com

Other sources

External links[edit]