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KaBLam!
KaBlam.jpg
Season one title card
Format Animated sketch comedy
Created by Robert Mittenthal
Will McRobb
Chris Viscardi
Starring Julia McIlvaine
Noah Segan
Mischa Barton
Rick Gomez
Mo Willems
Danielle Judovits
Opening theme "2-Tone Army" by The Toasters (Credited as 'The Moon Ska Stompers')
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 47 (List of episodes)
Production
Running time 24 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel Nickelodeon
Original run October 1, 1996 (1996-10-01) – December 30, 2000 (2000-12-30)

KaBlam! (written as KaBLaM! in the logo) is an American animated television series that ran on Nickelodeon from 1996 to 2000. It features a collection of short films in several different styles of animation, bridged by the characters Henry and June, who introduce the shorts and have adventures of their own in between. Although SNICK aired many Nicktoons not part of its block, KaBlam! was the only Nicktoon created for SNICK.

Contents

Production

The segment creators include David Fain, Tim Hill, Steve Holman, Emily Hubley, Mark Marek, Mike Pearlstein, Mo Willems, and Cote Zellers.[1] Kayla Shope is the definition of KaBlam. The theme song and all of the original background music on the show was provided by the Moon Ska Stompers, a band composed of King Django, Victor Rice, and members of The Toasters and The New York Ska-Jazz Ensemble. The majority of the soundtrack was 30-second instrumental clips of songs from The Toasters' D.L.T.B.G.Y.D. album, while the theme song itself is a shortened version of the Toasters song "2-Tone Army". Tracks from the Associated Production Music library were also utilized.

KaBlam! was the first show to be spun-off of All That. It was pitched to Nickelodeon in 1994 and aired two years later. Some of it's shorts were originally stand-alone shorts during Nickelodeon commercial breaks. The pilot episode, "Your Real Best Friend", was created in 1995 and finished in 1996. In 1996, The Off-Beats, one of the many shorts on the show, were released on a Rugrats video, "Tommy Troubles", in between episodes.

The show began production in 1996 and premiered October 11. The show ran for four seasons with many more seasons never aired. The last episode was broadcast on May 27, 2000. Reruns continued to show on Nickelodeon until 2001. In 2002, Nicktoons was launched, and it started showing reruns on the channel, though many episodes didn't air. During breaks where commercials would be, shorts from the show (not counting any music videos or Henry and June shorts) would be shown. In August 2005, Nicktoons made over its appearance and schedule, and canceled many shows in the process, including KaBlam!. It hasn't been shown since then, not even when Nick had a marathon of the first episodes of each Nicktoon on Thanksgiving Day 2007, despite having Henry and June on the cover of the now-defunct Nickelodeon Magazine.

The show is currently broadcast in France on television channel GameOne (see Télévision Par Satellite), in a French-dubbed version and on other Nickelodeon channels around Europe. It also was shown in the United Kingdom from 1997–2000, and in Poland from 1999–2002.

Popularity

KaBlam! only got modest success, as Hey Arnold!, which premiered in the same month and year got a bigger audience. Almost no products have been released for the show, though Burger King once had toys from the Action League Now! segments, a limited-edition lunchbox was made in 1997, and some songs from the show were released on a Nickelodeon CD,The Best of Nicktoons, in 1998. Despite not having a huge success, Henry and June became somewhat of "mascots" to Nickelodeon, being the hosts of U-pick and having their own summer block entitled, "Henry and June's Summer Jam" in 1999. Their status was taken over by Spongebob Squarepants a year later, causing the show to have a drop in ratings. It seems to be getting a bit of a cult following with fans of older Nick programming.

The most popular characters on the show include Meltman of Action League Now!, most likely due to his comic relief (as he belives that he's the most powerful of the Action League, though in reality, he's the weakest), and June, most likely due to her sarcastic humor and for some fans to find her cute.

KaBlam! is the only Nicktoon (with the exception of El Tigre) to never be released on either VHS, DVD, or on iTunes.

Action League Now! and Angela Anaconda are the only shorts from Kablam! to be spun off into their own series (Although, unlike Angela Anaconda, Action League Now was mostly made up of recycled Kablam! shorts.).

Episodes

Season Ep #
Season 1 13
Season 2 13
Season 3 12
Season 4 9

Season 1

Season 1 started off with regular cartoons in their regular order. Sniz & Fondue, Action League Now!, Prometheus and Bob, and Life with Loopy. The Off-Beats was also another regular cartoon that filled in for "Life with Loopy". Other cartoons such as Surprising Shorts, Angela Anaconda, and once, The Louie and Louie Show aired. This is the only season where there is a Sniz & Fondue short present in every episode. Henry and June frequently had random short plots when the screen was shown on them and barely had one main plot unlike future episodes. They had one whole plot in Comics for Tomorrow Today! and What the Astronauts Drink. The opening theme to the show starts out with a hawk crashing into the camera while the camera pans through a forest, goes underwater and travels to Egypt where Egyptians dance and the Great Sphinx swipes at the camera. The camera heads up to space where two kids in a ride, the planets, stars, asteroids, and UFOs are seen. After the United States Capitol gets destroyed by two UFOs, it then pans to Godzilla destroying a city. It then pans to an open street comic book store and lands on the KaBlam! comic book, featuring the Flesh, Stinky Diver, Sniz, Fondue, and Loopy on it. The book is then opened by Henry and June. After they dance, the episode starts. At the start of the theme, a voiceover of a man shouts "Wake up the masses!". As soon as he finishes, another man (Burt Pence) continues by saying, "Assume the crash position. Hold on tight, take a deep breath for a new kind of cartoon show. It's KaBlam! Where cartoons and comics collide. Now to take you inside and turn the pages, here are your hosts, Henry and June." The ending theme to the show is a quirky, upbeat tune similar to The Toasters song Skaternity.

Season 2

After 6 more episodes of The Off-Beats, and one last episode of Surprising Shorts, they were officially taken out of KaBlam! One-time shorts were brought in such as Randall Flan's Incredible Big Top, The Girl With Her Head Coming Off, and The Adventures of Patchhead which did return in season 3. The Brothers Tiki appeared twice in season 2. Henry and June are now drawn differently and their voices are deeper. The opening theme to the show is barely changed. When the camera pans on the KaBlam! comic book, it is clearly seen that the cover is different. Instead of the original characters, Thundergirl, Stinky Diver, Prometheus, Bob, Loopy, Sniz, and Fondue are seen. Also, Henry and June dance the macarena and then arm-in-arm, in season one, it was just a bunch of random dances. The ending theme to the show is dramatically changed. Instead of the Skaternity soundalike tune, many trumpets, trombones, and saxophones are heard, along with a drum beat. Though the instruments changed, the tune is still upbeat.

Season 3

After 5 more episodes of Sniz & Fondue, it was officially taken off KaBlam! Jetcat and Race Rabbit are introduced which become regulars throughout the show. The Adventures of Patchhead makes its second and final appearance. A music video for a song by James Kochalka called "Hockey Monkey" also appears once. Henry and June are drawn a little differently and their voices are slightly deeper. The opening theme is shortened and Henry and June have their own main plots now. In the episode "You May Already Be a...KaBlammer!", Lou Rawls is featured and voiced by the actual provider. The opening theme had a number of changes. After the camera comes up out of the water, it goes directly to the White House scene. After the Godzilla scene, the camera pans toward a school instead of the comic book store. The camera scares a bird off that is perched on a window as it enters a classroom. It pans by a teacher and through a number of students. It stops as it hits a student reading a KaBlam! comic book. On the cover of the comic book, it shows a child who is ecstatic. Henry and June then open the comic book, dance, and the episode starts. The announcer's line as he introduces the show is slightly changed. Instead of saying "Hold on tight, take a deep breath for a new kind of cartoon show," he says "Hold on tight, take a deep breath for a cartoon cramaganza!" The ending theme is not changed.

Season 4

All the shorts, (Except Action League Now! and Angela Anaconda which both spin off into their own shows.), come to an end in the final season. Music videos by They Might Be Giants appear twice; they were Why Does the Sun Shine? and Doctor Worm. One-time cartoons still appear: Fuzzball, Garbage Boy, Emmett Freedy, Stewy the Dogboy, The Little Freaks, and The Shizzagee. One-time shorts are included in nearly every episode, excluding "A Nut in Every Bite!", "The KaBlair! Witch Project", and "Now With More Flava'". In every episode, Henry and June have their own main plot. In the episode "Sasquatch-ercise", Richard Simmons is featured and in the episode "Now With More Flava'", John Stamos and Busta Rhymes are featured; however, the stars did not voice their characters. The opening theme is not changed, along with the ending theme.

Regular shorts

Some of these shorts air more frequently and consistently than others.

Henry and June

The animated hosts of KaBlam! who turn the pages of a comic book (changes with each episode) to reveal the next cartoon, as well as being involved in subplots of their own between the shorts. They appear to have gotten their names from Henry & June.[citation needed]

Characters

Henry, in his regular appearance.
  • Henry — Henry is the energetic male host of KaBlam!. He tends to behave foolishly and believes that he looks good shirtless. He is more up-tight and practical than June, and seems to be disaster-prone, especially around Mr. Foot. He once got sick of being the "butt monkey" and quit, opening his own restaurant. He later closed it and went back when he found June heartbroken. He's also been shown to be very girl-crazy, but with no girls returning the favor (except for June on many occasions). In season one, he's shown to be much smarter than June, almost being like an older brother to her (though they're the same age), but by season two, it changed to the other way around. His feelings for June vary from him laughing when she gets hurt to being very sweet to her. He also has a tendency to get a bit emotional. He's a bit taller than June. He can also get easily embarressed, especially around girls (mainly June). His voice seems to be the most recognizable that it changed overtime, the other being Larry's of Life with Loopy. According to episode 29, he seems to enjoy June having a crush on him. One distinctive feature that Henry has that June doesn't have are his freckles. Voiced by Noah Segan.
June, in her regular appearance.
  • June — June is the show's more laid-back co-host. She has a sarcastic personality and enthusiasm for her job. Her character has changed from season one to the rest of the show, as in the first season she's portrayed as a tomboyish ditz, and in season two, she becomes much smarter, but keeps her tomboyishness. Her appearance slightly changed from the first season to the rest of the show, as in season one, she's taller, and her ponytail is a bit spikey at the end (her ponytail also used to rise up or droop down depending on her mood in some of the very early episodes, however this was dropped). Starting season two, her hight decreased slightly and her ponytail became slightly curvy. Her bangs were also messier in season one. She's also a bit clumsy (not as much as Henry, however). She's usually seen wearing her orange-red sweater (even if it's hot outside). She's usually seen wearing purple kleats, despite the situation. She also has a VERY fiery temper,and is prone to hurting others when mad, including her friends. She also can be very bossy. She has a tendency to find Henry's dilemmas quite humorous (though other occasions she cares deeply for him), and is rarely injured herself. She has also gone through the random switches from being a deadpan snarker to a sweet and caring little girl. Over the course of the show, June has been shown signs of having a crush on Henry. She is also prone to anger as many people incorrectly call her a boy. In some of the very early episodes, she had a slight valley-girl dialect (this was dropped). One distinctive feature of June is her additional "baby fat". Voiced by Julia McIlvaine. June seems to be one of the most popular characters of the show.
  • Mr. B. Foot — Mr. Foot is a giant Sasquatch who works on the show. His hobbies include sleeping, injuring Henry, and unexpectedly stealing the spotlight. However, under the rage and bluster, he is not a terrible creature; he never injures June. In one episode, he is revealed to be an accomplished drummer. He once spoke in the episode, "A Little Dab'll Do Ya".
Mr. Stockdale
  • Mr. Fred Stockdale — The elderly network executive in charge of KaBlam!. He acts rather senile, and will do anything to get KaBlam! good ratings—including firing someone or getting Henry into lots of physical accidents. He seems to be a parody of Admiral James Stockdale. His granddaughter dawn says he never acted foolish until Charlie's Angels" got canceled.
Henry's mom
  • Henry's Mom — She appeared three times and was mentioned another time. She shows her love for her son in an exaggerated way. In "Cramming Cartoons Since 1627", her name is revealed to be Lois.
Jimmy McGee
  • Mr. Jimmy McGee — He appeared twice as a co-host of June on KaBlam! He gets in fights with Henry's mom. Appears to be a parody of Ed McMahon.

Other characters

  • June's Dad - As his name suggests, he's Junes dad. Only appeared in one episode, "Cramming Cartoons Since 1627" and in a KaBlam! comic in Nick Magazine. He cares a lot for his daughter, to the point of getting her embarressed.
  • Dawn - Mr. Stockdale's shy granddaughter who goes to a bording school in Switzerland. She once came to the show during her school's break in "A Nut in Every Bite!", causing henry to fall in love with her. However, despite finding him humorous, she didn't return his affections. She has sky-blue eyes and light blond hair. She seems to be friendly with June. Voiced by Julia McIlvaine.
  • Hector - A handsom yet dim boy who June hired to be the co-host in "Won't Stick to Most Dental Work" when Henry quit. Apparently, June got fed up with him and got him thrown into the trunk of a car by Mr. Foot.
  • Ryan Miloyd - Also known as "Weird Ryan from School" (by June), he's KaBlam's biggest fan and Henry and June's classmate. usually wearing Henry's outfit and June's sweater (and hair color), his obsession seems to annoy the heck out of the two.

Sniz & Fondue

Began: Season 1 Ended: Season 3

A pair of ferret brothers who often get on each other's nerves. Sniz is the younger kid ferret that is very hyperactive, and quite a troublemaker of the two, while Fondue is the older teenage ferret, that's the nervous, and intelligent one. There is also Snuppa and Bianca, Sniz and Fondue's roommates. From mid-1997 (around KaBlam's second season) until Sniz and Fondue ended production in late-1998 (around KaBLam's third or fourth season.) It had a more new and modern look (possibly made with Flash animation.) Sniz and Fondue is the only short (with the obvious exception of Action League Now!) to have a new appearance with every episode of KaBLam! during the show's first season. Due to its production company closing its doors, Sniz & Fondue was officially taken off of the KaBLam! roster after Season 3 (Although it was popular during its time on the show).

Action League Now!

Began: Season 1 Ended: Season 4

Filmed in "Chuckimation," in which the characters/props are moved by unseen hands or thrown from off-camera (interspersed with occasional stop motion animation). Action League Now! featured a group of superheroes, played by custom-made action figures, who fight crime in suburbia despite being total idiots. The four superheroes are The Flesh, Thundergirl, Stinky Diver, and Meltman. Considered to be the most successful KaBLam! short, it briefly became a spin-off series in 2001. Action League Now! is the only short to have a new episode with every showing of KaBLam!. All of the characters on the shorts were voiced by personalities from radio station WDVE in Pittsburgh.

Life with Loopy

Began: Season 1 Ended: Season 4

The life of twelve-year-old Larry and his strange experiences with his imaginative and adventurous younger sister, Loopy. The characters were animated with stop-motion puppet bodies, but their heads were created with flat cardboard heads.

Characters

  • Loopecia "Loopy" Cooper — Loopy is an imaginative little girl with a knack for discovering surreal things, such as a world under the sofa. While she is often discouraged by Larry whenever she goes out to adventure, she does not let that stop her. Loopy is voiced by Danielle Judovits.
  • Larry Cooper — Larry is Loopy's intelligent brother. Much like Lassie, Larry knows every detail of Loopy's adventures and narrates all of them, although he is almost never there. His personality and appearance is similar to older Pete's on The Adventures of Pete and Pete, made by KaBlam's creators.
  • Loopy and Larry's Parents — They are Loopy and Larry's parents. They seem like caricatures of parents from 1950s sitcoms. Loopy's dad is voiced by Paul Reubens

Prometheus and Bob

Began: Season 1 Ended: Season 4

A claymation/stop motion segment featuring the camera-recorded mission logs of Prometheus, an alien who comes to Earth attempting to teach a caveman, Bob, everyday things. From the use of fire to the act of ice skating, the result is usually a failure by the mischievous third cast member, who was a simple monkey.

Characters

  • Prometheus — Prometheus is a gaunt purple Alien of advanced intelligence. He attempts to educate Bob, a nimrod caveman, as an experiment recorded on his remote-controlled camera. Prometheus is often injured due to Bob's low IQ.
  • Bob — Bob is a babbling caveman. He once was completely covered in hair, but now has none because of a laser incident in the first clip. Has a tendency to freak out when he's scared.
  • Monkey — Monkey is a small chimpanzee with many different roles, sometimes helping Prometheus, other times making his life miserable. Monkey usually tried to mess up or distract Bob.
  • The Narrator — He recites the opening to the short, and the introduction to the short's "tape", "Tape [insert number here]", and finally, "End".

The Off-Beats

Began: Season 1 Ended: Season 2

A group of unpopular friends who deal with constant problems, many caused by their main rivals, a popular clique known as "The Populars." The short was the first of the regular shorts to end, most likely due to Mo Willems going over to Cartoon Network to work on Sheep in the Big City. It originaly aired as stand-alone shorts in between Nick's commercial breaks, and was released on a 1996 Rugrats video, "Tommy Troubles", most likely to promote the premier of KaBlam!.

Characters

  • August — August is the unofficial leader of The Off-Beats. He is the one Off-Beat that desperately wants to be liked by The Populars. However, none of his inventions, such as the Suave-O-Matic 5000 or the moroncart, impress anyone.
  • Betty Anne Bongo — Betty Anne Bongo constantly plays the bongos, unless she loses her glasses. She's always helping Tommy, August, and Repunzil out of a jam. She was voiced by Mischa Barton.
  • Tommy — Tommy loves his plaid coat and hat, and he loves being alone, never going indoors. Normally he's quiet, but he cannot handle his emotions very well, so he is often seen yelling (which startles everyone, including himself). Voiced by Mark Wagner.
  • Repunzil — Repunzil is the youngest and most excitable member of The Off-Beats. She loves everyone and everything, even if they run away. Repunzil's long hair makes it very difficult for her to wear a hat.
  • September — August's talking dog. He often runs away, and gets paid to like August, but he seems to enjoy being with the Off-Beats, anyway. He was voiced by Mo Willems.
  • Grubby Gru — Grubby Gru is The Off-Beats' friend. He is the only adult in the world who realizes that The Populars are really mean kids, despite the Populars always pretending to be nice when Grubby is around. Voiced by Mo Willems.
  • Tina — Tina is the leader of the Populars, who rules them with an iron fist. She is something of a stereotypical "school diva". If any of the Off-Beats start thinking that they are cool, Tina's always around to set them straight.
  • The Populars — The popular group at school that always travels in a nose-in-the air clump. They are led by Tina (see above).

Other shorts

Began: Season 1 Ended: Season 2

  • Surprising Shorts — The only short segment not to have recurring characters, these shorts usually had nothing to do with any previous shorts included on the show. Examples of these shorts are the Lava series, Garbage Boy, Emmett Freedy, and Stewy the Dogboy, which the idea later became Disney's Teacher's Pet. This segment was usually introduced by June pulling down Henry's pants, revealing his unflattering and garishly colored boxer shorts, hence the name.

Began: Season 1 Ended: Season 1

  • Angela Anaconda — A cutout-photo cartoon that was later spun off into its own series on the Fox Family Channel and was briefly rerun on Nickelodeon, in the US. This series is about a girl named Angela, who is a social outcast. She finds herself unpopular in school and always seem to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Nanette, a fake-French girl who everyone loves and wants to be, always mocks Angela. During each episode, a poem-like story is narrated by Angela. She often gets her revenge on the antagonist of that particular episode, and more often imagines her revenge on said antagonist in a highly exaggerated manner. Due to copyrights being held with Fox, the episodes featuring her shorts were not allowed to air on Nicktoons.

Began: Season 3 Ended: Season 4

  • JetCat — A segment about a girl who has an identity as a cat superhero and flies around and saves her city. She says she "flies like a jet and fights like a cat." This is the only short that takes place outside of the comic book. It was featured as a comic in Nickelodeon Magazine for a short time. The music was composed by Rocko's Modern Life composer Pat Irwin

Began: Season 3 Ended: Season 4

  • Race Rabbit — A live-action show about a romantic rabbit racer with an English accent who competes in races but there is usually trouble along the way caused by the Boolies, who are his human enemies. Race always wins the race, foiling the Boolies' plans along the way. The only KaBlam! short created in the United Kingdom. Created by Scott Fellows

Began: Season 2 Ended: Season 3

  • Patchhead — This segment is about a barefoot kid with a watermelon for a hat, and he stops cheaters from winning competitions.

Began: Season 2 Ended: Season 2

  • The Brothers Tiki — A claymation segment about two extraterrestrials resembling vegetables, who land on Earth in a ship bearing a striking resemblance to a barbecue grill.

Began: Season 4 Ended: Season 4

  • Fuzzball — A non-recurring cartoon about a tomboy who tries to re-win her dad's trophy, which she broke (this plot might have been revisited in an episode of Fairly Odd Parents).

Began: Season 1 Ended: Season 1

  • The Louie and Louie Show — A short that appears only once on the show. Two neglected pets (a hamster and a lizard) try to get some attention from their owners, who are all too busy playing with the family dog. This short was animated by Gary Baseman. It also aired on Nickelodeon once by itself before KaBlam! premiered. The only KaBlam short to have a "Nickelodeon presents" at the beginning.

Began: Season 4 Ended: Season 4

  • Little Freaks — Another one-time cartoon. Three freaky superheroes try to stop a villain from controlling the world's fashion trends.

Began: Season 1 Ended: Season 1

  • Anemia and Iodine — One-time short. A cartoon displaying the misadventures of a goth girl cat and her skateboarding, hyperactive best friend.

There were also various They Might Be Giants music videos for the songs "Why Does The Sun Shine?" and "Doctor Worm". In addition, there was a music video of "Hockey Monkey", created by James Kochalka and performed by The Zambonis. These were a mixture of live-action by Jesse Gordon and different animation styles, all produced and directed at The Ink Tank.

Film

A live-action Prometheus and Bob film was announced in 1998 to be directed by Harold Zwart and produced by Amy Heckerling, but apparently fell through due to lack of interest.[2]

Shorts from Kablam! have appeared at the beginning of theatrical releases. An episode of Action League Now! titled "Rock-A-Big Baby" was shown before the Nickelodeon film Good Burger. Angela Anaconda appeared before Digimon: The Movie.

KaBlam! Spin-Off

A show called The Henry & June Show was made and produced in 1999. In 1999, its first episode "A Show of Their Own" aired, featuring the same two kid hosts from KaBlam! in their own show. The next episode was "Be True to Your School" which was aired in 2000. The show wasn't a success, and only had 2 episodes:

1. "A Show of Their Own" (1999) Henry and June from KaBlam! get their own show, complete with a studio audience, and even musical guests.

2. "Be True to Your School" (2000) Henry and June attend school, and try their best to tackle hard subjects like "How To Look Your Best".

Blocks

A number of blocks were hosted by Henry and June for various Nicktoons icluding:

  • Henry and June's (Nicktoons) Summer Jam - Aired in summer 1999.
  • 101% Whizbang! With Henry and June (AKA 101% Spooky Whizbang for Halloween 1999) - A block showing Nicktoons of a certain theme from 1999-early 2000.

During the promos, Henry's hair looked slightly different in some shots, along with it being a different shade of green. June's sweatshirt was cherry-red instead of light red/dark orange, and the dots weren't visible. Also, their eyes were blue and green in every shot, instead of being black or blue (or green) and black.

Banned KaBlam! Episodes

The following 3 episodes of KaBlam! were banned for reasons unknown.

  • Episode 8: "Why June Refuses to Turn the Page"
  • Episode 29
  • Episode 30: "Timeless!"

Many season one episodes featuring Angela Anaconda were not shown on Nicktoons, due to copyright issues with Fox.

References

  1. ^ "1997: The year of drawing dangerously". Variety. 1997-11-18. http://www.variety.com/article/VR111661995.html?categoryid=14&cs=1. Retrieved 2009-07-26. 
  2. ^ Hindes, Andrew (1998-09-18). "Nick sets 'Bob' toon feature". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117480543.html?categoryid=13&cs=1&query=prometheus+bob. Retrieved 2009-07-26. 

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