"and I say 'Hey! What a wonderful kind of day' . . ."

So begins the beloved theme song of the PBS show "Arthur," a longtime-running show about Arthur the Aardvark and his friends. I for one love this show. It's so funny! I find many humorous aspects about this show, one being that the characters are perpetually in 3rd grade. This show has been on for years and Arthur, Francine, Buster, Muffy, the Brain, Binky, Sue Ellen, and Fern never move from 3rd grade. It's the same with Nancy Drew: she's forever 18 and titian haired.

On the Fourth of July, Emily and I recorded an hour-long Arthur episode entitled "Arthur: It's Only Rock 'n' Roll," featuring the Backstreet Boys as Arthur characters. (It should say something when the Backstreet Boys are cuter as Arthur characters than as actually people ;) Other favorite episodes include Arthur's Music Video ("Havin' fun isn't hard when you've got a library card!") and the Singing Moose Episode. I find Arthur Reed, his friends, and their adventures hilarious. The writing is clever for little kids and obviously they're doing something right if teenagers find the show engaging. I started watching an episode this morning and Buster (Arthur's best friend who is a bunny) and he started talking about the adventurer Illinois Jack (haha! The city of Elwood's own Indiana Jones!)

The Arthur characters go as follows:
  • Arthur: the title character, an aardvark, older brother to little obnoxious sister Dora Winifred, 8 years old, likes reading, plays the piano
  • Dora Winifred (aka D.W.): younger sister, 5 years old, has imaginary friend Nadine, attends preschool, rival to the Tibble Twins, revels in pestering Arthur
  • Francine Frensky: monkey (we think), athlete, 3rd grade, very bossy, best friends with Muffy Crosswire, her dad is the trashman
  • Muffy Crosswire: 3rd grade, rich, snobby, best friend to Francine, monkey (we think), father owns Crosswire Motors
  • Allen (aka the Brain): 3rd grade, unnaturally smart, aardvark (?), mother runs the ice cream store
  • Binky: bulldog, 3rd grade but older than everyone else because was held back, comes across as a bully but is actually really nice, has connections with the 4th grade gang the Tough Customers
  • Mr. Ratburn: the 3rd grade teacher, gives too much homework, was thought to have eaten bolts, nails, and children until proven to be a puppeteer, rat
  • Buster: bunny, 3rd grade, best friend to Arthur, eats a lot, believes aliens will come to earth and prepares himself as a result, parents divorced, spent the summer travelling with his dad
  • Prunella: 4th grade, rat (?), into astrology and fortune telling
  • Fern: likes to read, 3rd grade, enjoys mysteries, reserved and quiet but not boring
  • The Singing Moose: a moose that occasionally appears on the show to musically narrate Arthur's happenings, made his main debut when Buster returned from his summer with his dad ("He's [Buster] a sad, sad, bunny. A sad, sad, sad, sad, bunny . . ."

Well, that my friends is a mere sampling of the world of Elwood City. You should watch it on PBS. It's on at 7:30 and 8:00 in the morning and is also on the PBS radio station at those same times. Arthur is a show not to be missed, a show to be enjoyed and cherished as a childhood staple.

I felt the need to document the wonderful qualities of Arthur not only because it's a quality, laugh-out-loud show, but I am also extremely bored at work.

I would post a picture of Arthur and friends, but all the ones I can find online aren't in the correct format. Blast.


roastbeefstew said...

i remember arthur. i used to always come home from school and watch it and zoom and zaboomafoo. good times

Anonymous said...

You know- I love Arthur too, but Zoom was never my favorite. There was something about it, I didn't like the kids on there or something. Clifford the Bid Red Dog on the other hand was my other favorite kids show!!

claire said...

I'm pretty sure that Muffy and Francine are monkeys, but I always thought of Brain as a bear. Brain was one of my favorite characters, and he's the one character whose voice they let get deeper!! *insert dramatic music here*
I haven't watched that show in forever, perhaps I should reaquaint myself...

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