If you have kids of a certain age, you’re probably familiar with things like Barney, Teletubbies, Caillou, Arthur, and some of the other PBS children’s staples from the early part of this century. The kids were always ambivalent about Barney, Teletubbies creeped all of us out (if you haven’t seen the Joy Division/Teletubbies mash-up, you should)–and how could they spill that goddamn tubby custard every damn episode? I sort of wished Caillou lived in the neighborhood, just to hope someday when the kids grew up my daughter could kick his sniveling, candied ass, but I like Arthur a lot–and not just because it’s got a lot of western PA references. I remain a big, big Binky fan–but no surprise there, right?
There is one show, however, that the kids sometimes watched, that we all enjoyed, but which left me feeling vaguely uncomfortable and confused. I’m talking about The Big Comfy Couch–you know, “with Loonette and Molly, a clown and her dolly…?” Want to know why? It’s no secret, and you already know I’m going to tell you .
At a certain time in each episode, Loonette would tell the time by laying down on this clock carpet on the floor and sort of, um, well, gyrate and contort herself into the hours of the day, as they served the plot. It was kind of sexy. I’m not saying that I got aroused, just that I noticed, that I recognized that I noticed, and it made me feel just a little uncomfortable. Okay, it made me feel just a little wrong. It was impossible to tell how old this clown was–and she did have a dolly. Was there something wrong with me? Something dark?
You can imagine my relief when I looked at this feature–clicked on a link that led to another link and so on–from Cracked magazine (which has a big web presence, who knew?) titled “If Every Kid’s Show Got a Gritty Live-Action Re-Boot”. They’d had a contest, and among the winners–number 6, in fact–was a fresh, contemporary start for Loonette. I had to smile: it wasn’t just me!
Better still, in searching for the images I used above, I found out that not only does Alyson Court, the actress who played Loonette, have a pretty cool twitter, she’s not all that much younger than me–and she’s actually pretty hot. A lot hot, actually. So cool and hot–which means that not only am I not a pervert, I’ve got the amazing ability to see through the clownish exterior to the witty, striking, woman beneath the make-up. It’s like a super-power, maybe even the hetero equivalent of Gaydar–which, of course, begs the question: why waste it on a broken down old married guy like me? Nature works in strange, mysterious, and random ways, I guess.