Merry Christmas in July, readers!
I know, I know. Any excuse for a holiday-themed article!
I was wondering randomly (you know, because I do that
sometimes all the time) if I could anything animated AND nostalgic by entering “Christmas in July animated” into YouTube’s search box.
Leave it to the Gods of YouTube/People with old videocassettes to always have a response.
The first thing that came up in my search was an episode from the animated spin-off of Punky Brewster (NBC, 1984-1986, first-run syndication 1987-1988) called, appropriately enough (or perhaps, uncreatively enough?) It’s Punky Brewster. The animated spin-off was developed by Ruby-Spears and ran for two seasons, from September 1985 until December 1986. It starred the live-action counterpart’s characters (all the voices of the actual actors, and not just really good sound-a-likes!), aired on Saturday mornings, and involved unrealistic and whimsical stories. I say whimsical because in addition to Punky having her dog Brandon, she also has a Caddyshack-esque gopher-type creature named Glomer with a voice like Slimer.
Actually, it turns out that Frank Welker provided Glomer’s voice, and he was also the vocalizations for the second incanation of the Caddyshack gopher (as seen in the law of diminishing returns standard Caddyshack 2), as well as Slimer. So yeah, I found a connection between Caddyshack and Punky Brewster.
Brilliance, I tells ya!
I wonder where Kevin Bacon figures in to this whole “six degrees” thing…
Anyway, each episode of It’s Punky Brewster was two episodes in one – two short episodes (roughly 11 minutes each) filled the 23 minute running time. We all know what those other few minutes involved (credits and logos), and what the rest of that time was spent on (*cough* the Almighty dollar *cough*).
While I never watched the live action show save for an occassional rerun on the old Family Channel back in the mid-1990s (I did a Throwback Thursday/Flashback Friday double episode based around that old channel), I do remember watching the animated series on Saturday mornings, and I recall seeing them in syndication as well.
Anyway, there actually was a Christmas in July-themed episode…
…that’s the title!
Anyway, there was a Christmas in July episode featuring the group trying to catch the bus for the pool, but Punky sidetracks them when she spots the skateboard she wants.
Knowing that she won’t be able to get it for Christmas, her troublesome gopher Glomer (upon the suggestion that she should ask Santa about it…in five months) transports the group to the North Pole, where disaster abounds, and Forever Christmas (my words, not theirs) plunges the world into winter in July.
It’s up to Punky to save the day…with some Punky Power and Santa Claus.
Oh, and that ridiculous Glomer.
For some reason, I liked this as a kid.
This mini-episode of It’s Punky Brewster aired as the season two, episode 5b (each episode had two stories). And by clicking play, you too can see why this was probably so great in the 1980s…and why it looks incredibly cheesy and dated by today’s standards.
It’s pretty short (just over 11 minutes), so it isn’t entirely painful or long to watch, just sorta cheesy.
Yeah, it felt like some insane drug trip that only 1980s cartoons of this type could throw at us.
Besides there is only one place you’ll ever hear the traditional role call of Santa’s reindeer as “On Phil! On Gary!”. It was here, and only here!
Oh, and did anyone else think Punky Brewster was a gang member with that scarf on her leg?
“Only on the left side, yeah, that’s the Crips side.”
The 1980s (and Snoop Dog lyrics). Capture the magic.
Because aside from hallucinogenics, there really isn’t any other way to describe this.
I guess that’s it. If I keep going, I’ll start overanalyzing more than I already have. And I’ll probably start typing up more lyrics from “Drop It Like It’s Hot,” while talking about the stupid little things involving Punky’s leg scarf and why she has it on a bare leg…or why she wears it at all.
Her eclectic style wins the 1980s.
Anyway, happy Very Silly Holiday known as Christmas in July!
I’m not sure if you do, considering how early malls and department stores play it. But, it is there if you want to hear it.