Welcome to the Zoo

Posted: September 1st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Since I was born in the 70s, I grew up watching a lot of TV. Luckily this was a sort of golden age for children’s television, and I still have fond memories of parking myself on the carpet to watch Captain Kangaroo, The Electric Company and, of course, Sesame Street.

I was also scarred for life by some of the crazy shit on the airwaves at the time. Personally, I always thought the World of Make-Believe on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood was a little eerie, and Sigmund and the Sea Monsters? Let me put it this way: The last time I was really sick, running a high fever and sweating through sinister nightmares, it was Sigmund’s face I saw.


Yeah – that’s the one.


One show I watched consistently – even though it always made me uneasy and depressed at the same time – was New Zoo Revue. My sister loved this lurid little piece of programming. She’d even prance around the house singing the theme song until I threw something at her.

I’d sit there watching the show and wonder: Where are all the people? Why are all these animals such jerks? Why don’t their mouths match what they’re saying? Seriously, what happened to all the people?!

A lot of my New Zoo angst was directed at Henrietta Hippo, who I’m pretty sure must’ve been a prostitute in the old days back at the watering hole. Flouncing around the yard, Henrietta was girlish in a way that oozed desperation, slathered in make-up and disturbingly fleshy. I can only guess at the long-term affects this had on me.

Looking back on it now, the set-up – from the pastel sterility of the house and the artificial farminess of the yard, to the watery cave that was Freddie the Frog’s bedroom – was setting off all kinds of alarm bells. You know that feeling you get when you walk into a place and your brain instantly flashes, “Serial Killer”? Like that.

I will admit, though, that I sort of had a thing for Emmy Jo.


Beat it, Henrietta.


Ahem.

For whatever reason, I was thinking about New Zoo Revue last night, just as I was falling asleep (naturally). It occurred to me that some people might not be familiar with this slice of children’s television, so I thought I’d inflict … er, I mean, share … it with you.

A few years ago my psyche was healed a little bit by this outtake (NSFW!):

And that’s when I understood something: These people were completely wasted.


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2 Comments on “Welcome to the Zoo”

  1. 1 TitanKT said at 1:26 pm on September 1st, 2011:

    Hilariously funny and so well-written it nearly made me weep with laughter! So true!!! I used to LOVE Sigmund and the Seamonsters (his one little toof is so cute!), not to mention the acid-trip weirdness of H.R. Pufinstuff, the Bugaloos and other costumed-character weirdness. I think my favorite was the Mighty Isis, though.

    I’m in total agreement with your last statement. I do believe the general consensus from all of us who loved these shows as kids, is that clearly these writers were all wasted.

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