Sure Fraggle Rock, The Smurfs and most other kid’s shows are a little strange, but these are nothing compared to the Teletubbies. If you really want to know just how bizarre children’s programming can get though, just take a look at these strange shows that make the Teletubbies look like a study in logical thought.
If you love American television programming, but wish you could use it to teach your children the perils of the evil Western fascist dogs, then Tomorrow’s Pioneers might just be your new favorite kids show. The show features a female host and a few costumed characters, including a knock-off Mickey Mouse character, entertaining children with ideas of antisemitism, anti-Americanism and Islamic extremism. As if that weren’t enough, many of the costumed characters are martyred, most notably, the Mickey Mouse character is killed by an Israeli interrogator, providing youngsters with a deep, long-standing hatred for Palestine’s sworn enemies. Nothing like getting your propaganda into your kid’s minds before they’re too old to think for themselves.
If you thought the Teletubbies were strange, just wait until you get a load of this show that their creator released after it. According to their website, the Boohbahs are “five magical atoms of power” who live in a Boohball, which is a glowing white ball that can travel from country to country whenever a child calls it. The Boohball features a spinning recharging pod where the Boohbahs can recharge their energy through the laughter of children they play with. Since this show was made for kids between the ages of three and five, I’m going to go ahead and say this show is actually just supposed to entertain kids with bright colors and weird effects –just like the Teletubbies, since all of that background story is way beyond the scope of any kids in their demographic. Source
Technically these are puppets, but really, it’s a show about hands wearing eyes and occasionally tufts of hair. The hands don’t ever use complete sentences, but just enough words to express what they need to make themselves understood. While I could see how that idea could be helpful for toddlers who have the same language barriers, seeing creepy hand puppets holding things in their mouth and whispering “guess” is surprisingly unsettling for most adults –myself included.
This one might be utterly bizarre like many of the other shows on this list, but at least it’s incredibly adorable. The basic story involves Ludwig, a forest-dwelling crystal that plays music and will periodically sprout arms, legs or gadgets out of his sides as needed, interacting with the other animals in the forest as a narrator (the only person who talks in the series) describes the action. After seeing some of the other shows here, I think we can all agree that there are a lot worse things your kids could be watching.
This Icelandic show features a lethargic town that is made entirely of puppets who love junk food and video games. The only exceptions are the villain, Robbie Rotten, the mayor’s niece who is new to town, Stephanie, and a fitness superhero who lives in a blimp above town, Sporticus. Stephanie and Sporticus make it their personal mission to inspire the residents to become more active and healthy, but lazy and anti-social Robbie Rotten wants to put a stop to their actions and fill the town with more junk food. Of course, the irony is that in trying to stop the heroes of the show, Robbie Rotten spends more energy than any other character on the program.
You’ve probably already seen this show, or at least some of its characters, but if you’ve never paid attention to the program, you might not think a few dancing singing monsters are really all that weird for a typical kid’s show. But what makes this program particularly bizarre are some of the lessons they try to teach kids through song, for example, “Don’t Bite Your Friends,” and “All My Friends Are Insects.” Of course, with guest stars like Sarah Silverman, Jack Black, Weezer, and Elija Wood, it’s not entirely surprising that this show has enough quirky humor needed to appeal to adult viewers.
Have any of you looked at shows you watched as a kid, or shows your kids watch now, and found yourself asking WTF? If so, share your favorite weird kid shows in the comments.