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Who's more lovable, a dancing dinosaur or a self-absorbed salmon? August 3, 2008

Posted by tomflesher in Canada.
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I’m an aficionado of good children’s television. I’m especially fond of shows which purport to be about mysteries but are actually about teaching pre-scientific method thinking. My current favorite in that category is, of course, Busytown Mysteries, starring Huckle Cat. Huckle lopes through Busytown watching everything go pear-shaped, and when he finally puts together the obvious solution to the problem that afflicted someone in the first minute of the show, everyone congratulates him and sings a song.

The show is part of the Kids’ CBC block, which features one of the most flagrant examples of a language minority getting the shaft that I’ve ever seen. The interstitial scenes feature hosts Sid and Patty, along with a bunch of token characters representing the regions of Canada:

  • Captain Claw, a crab pirate who represents the maritime provinces and sings to his larva, Liza.
  • Drumheller Dinosaur, a singing and dancing dinosaur skeleton representing Alberta.
  • Mamma Yamma, a maternal yam who cooks for the hosts and sings to them when she feeds them, and who represents Kensington Market in Toronto.
  • Saumon de Champlain, an egotistical salmon who switches languages without regard for his audience, forcing Sid and Patty to have to translate for him. He’s convinced he’s beautiful. He once asked Patty to tuck him in and ashamedly asked her to bring him his teddy bear.

Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if Sesame Street had a stereotypical cocky, macho Spanish cockroach muppet in the regular rotation….

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