Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Hi kids, I'm Mr Shiny Face!

It seems like a geological Ian since I last wrote a blog post. An epoch. An age. A bit of a while.

Well, fifteen days.

That's a half a lifetime if you're a housefly.

I suppose keeping a blog must come second to ensuring my children don't do all that diseased starving they seem to go for with just the merest hint of a couple of months neglect.


The point is, I have less time to myself than Big Ben. It takes me about a month to read a paperback at the moment, and I have to pencil in visits to the toilet on the calendar.

The only telly I get to watch these days is children's TV, and like most parents I appear to have absorbed every song and dance routine via some sort of mental osmosis, where information goes from a strong concentration (television) to a very weak one (my brain).

There are certain things my kid likes which I don't actually mind watching as well, such as anything with computer generated trains in it, or Zingzillas which has the universally acknowledged winning combination of monkeys, coconuts and the occasional ukulele.

Then there's the stuff  I can't stand. This includes just about anything with the word "green" in the title, or that purports to campaign for the environment with monotonic children prancing woodenly around city parks telling you to recycle and not eat dog poo.

Also, old stuff that used to be stop motion animation but is now all CG. Lay-zee!

Yeah, I'm looking at you Noddy.

And finally there's the stuff I would probably watch instead of most adult telly programmes. Essentially, Timmy Time, which is ace.

I've also got to know who all the children's TV presenters are now. They invariably portray perky, smiley, intensely annoying caricatures designed to appeal to their target audience, and they do it well.

After a while, though, you start to see aspects of their real personalities shine through, like a thundercloud behind the sun.

Er . . .

Anyway, inaccurate meteorological similes notwithstanding, I used to think the hardest part of the job must be pretending to get all excited over the next episode of some hastily cobbled together art programme where a bloke tries to craft a crown out of twigs without making a four-year-old look like Jesus, when in reality you've just split up with your other half, have a tequila hangover and feel grumpier than a hippo with hemorrhoids.

Which, I have on good authority, is pretty bloody grumpy.

They still have to appear upbeat at a moments notice (TV presenters, not anally challenged hippos).

But then I remembered, parents do that all the time.

"Daddy! Daddy! Daddy"

"Yes son?"

"You know bananas?"

"Yes son?"

"They are yellow!"

"Fascinating son."

"And do you know something else about bananas?"

"What's that son?"

"They are yellow!"

"Fancy that."

So, presumably, anyone with a child could be a kids TV presenter. And why wouldn't you want to? It looks like great fun.

It'd be even better if you could do it partially drunk.

"Hi Kids! Know what time it is? Yay! Ooh." 

Shake head.Close eyes, then force them back open.

"See that . . . pretty colours, jus' there? No there . . ." 

Swipe at rainbow midges in front of face.

"S'nice, is that. S'ver' nice  . . . ver', ver' nice  . . . zzz . . ." 

Prod from director.

"WHOA! Greeeaaat! That's a lovely show, that is, that . . . er . . . " 

Squint at autocue.

"And now, it's time!" 

Nod sagely; scratch chin and then look at hand.

"Oh, for . . . er . . . cartoons yay!" 

Sit down on floor and stare at camera.

"Why can't I see them? Quentin! Why can't I see the cartoons?" 

Put hand to ear, listen intently.

"Oh, right. Sorry kids! My mistake. It's not cartoon time yet. Let's go over to my good friend Cokey the Clown! Yay! Look at his funny white nose!"

I'd watch it.


  1. there were some great afternoon presenters when i was a kid. soupy sales comes to mind. after my children were born and i plunked them down in front of the tv, i seem to have a memory blank about what they watched. sesame street and electric company are all i remember. oh yeah, and some song about i love a hippo... xoxoxoxo

  2. "Hi Kids! Know what time it is? Yay! Ooh."

    Shake head. Close eyes, then force them back open.

    I can't stop laughing at this. I performed it for the absolutely nobody sitting next to me, even.

  3. Here in Oz the TV presenters from kids programs have gone on to have long and successful careers as presenters of all kinds of shows. (must be good training to fake being happy)
    As an aside: have you noticed that the female presenters for children's shows ALWAYS have small breasts?...and exactly how does that help kids learn..

  4. I like, "And now, it's time!" A perfect way to sum up the faux-citement of getting amped about something the presenter couldn't care less about.

  5. Savvy - Was it a grunpy hippo? Because there's a good reason if it was . . .

    Steamy - I reckon there'd be a lot of applicants if you ever wanted screenwriters for your life!

    Tempo - Excellent point. And observation. I wonder why?

    Nicole - Faux-citement should be everyone's word of the day!

  6. Oh for land's sake, as my Grandma used to say, you are so funny! :-)

    Am so glad I raised my boy in the 80s. I thought the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were bad, but it's only gotten worse!


    p.s. Hey! You know about bananas? hee hee! Do you know how many times I'm going to ask that question today? :-) A lot.

  7. Pearl - And at least in the 80's we had good hair and music . . . oh, wait . . .

  8. Hey -- your link to "Build Em Hi" isn't working!!

  9. I STILL know all the words to "I'm a Hard Workin' Dog" from the Sesame Street video tape my kids watched until the tape broke. Sometimes, in the middle of the night, I wake up and there it is, on auto-play.

    Now I never said I was a HAWG,
    And you can see I'm not a FROG,
    I'm tryin' to tell ya, I'm a DAWG
    I'm a COW dawg.

  10. Pearl - I haven't written it yet! I was uploading a pic from flickr to blogger and it momentarily published it as a post. A bit over-enthusiastic, I reckon.

    Vic - Excellent recall! Alhtough it does indicate that I'm stuck with these songs forever, does it?

  11. This made me laugh and laugh. I have an issue with Mr Jolly on children's TV. His facial expressions utterly creep me out! Brill post.

  12. Yeah, I'd watch that. You could advertise alcopops too,

  13. Bth - Cheers. Isn't Mr Jolly Brad Pitt?

    Philip - Excellent idea. You could start 'em young and create your own market!

  14. I was going to comment and then I read the question: "You're NOT a robot are you?" In spite of its grammatical flaw, it took me aback. I had to seriously consider the issue. I ruled in favor of commenting but then forgot what it was I wished to state. Something about kids and TV and bananas, I suppose. Couldn't have been important.

    Never mind.

  15. Why is it that I occasionally get notifications of new posts from you but when I click on them it says the page cannot be found? Do you post then change your mind? is there a problem?

  16. Douglas - You're NOT a robot are you?

    Tempo - Sometimes I take a pic, uplooad it to Flickr, and then send it to the blog, where it irritatingly publishes it before I've written anything. Haven't figured out how to stop it yet, so apologies for that.


I'm going to risk taking comment moderation off for a bit, so if you're a web-bot, a robot, a bot-fly or a bottom-dwelling sediment-feeder, then please refrain from commenting.

Otherwise, have a go. S'fun.