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fish pole

The Big Comfy Couch

The Big Comfy Couch is a Canadian children's television series about Loonette the Clown and her friends, produced by Cheryl Wagner and Robert Mills and directed by Wayne Moss and Mills. It premiered on March 2,1993 in Canada and in 1994 in the USA on public television stations across the country.

The shows format revolves around Loonette the Clown, who lives with her doll, Molly, on the eponymous Big Comfy Couch. Episodes are generally focused on a theme or a lesson. For example, Season 3's episode "Full of Life" explored the concepts of "full" and "empty", while "Sticks and Stones" dealt with name-calling and teasing.

Each episode contains several common elements. Early in each episode, Loonette performs an exercise routine she calls the "Clock Rug Stretch", normal, sometimes short in order to save time for more surprises, often extended, fast if she's in a hurry then normal when she comes back, or in a floppy way when she feels floppy, and toward the end, she performs a high-speed clean-up routine called the "Ten-Second Tidy". If, however, there was no mess made, then it is called the "Ten-Second Untidy, Tidy". If Loonette didn't make a mess but Molly did, then Molly had to do the "Ten-Second Tidy" with Loonette's help. Other oft-repeated elements include reading a story to Molly, visits to various places in "Clowntown", and a trip to Granny Garbanzo's garden. Here she encounters Snicklefritz, Granny Garbanzo's cat; Major Bedhead, the local mail-delivery clown, who travels on a unicycle; and of course, Granny Garbanzo herself. The conversation with Granny Garbanzo is often used as the episode's "teachable moment", where Granny offers Loonette advice or lessons, often with the help of Major Bedhead, who delivers gifts and messages from Auntie Macassar or Uncle Chester.

Along with the lessons and problem-solving sequences, imaginative play is also emphasized. These episodes often take place in the context of a "visit to Clowntown", with sites such as Granny Garbanzo's "Cabbage Club Cooking School" and Major Bedhead's "Clown Chi Mojo Dojo and Dancing School". Additionally, Loonette is gifted in the art of classical dance and runs "Miss Loonette's Dance Academy". In early episodes, Loonette was too young to visit Clowntown alone, but in later seasons, she makes frequent (adult supervised) trips to Clowntown, and volunteers at the "Clowndergarten", where she teaches "little clowns" (played by young children) games, songs, and stories. This imaginative play was also demonstrated through dress-up games and through Loonette's dollhouse, in which she imagined the adventures of "The Foley Family". Shown first as a doll-sized family, in Loonette's imagination they would become a family of regular-sized clowns, whose actions were shown in high speed and with a musical background in the style of old silent movies. The Foleys (a mother, father and son) did not speak. An alternative version is the dust bunnies who lived under the big comfy couch, of which Loonette and Molly are sitting on, and play together on other kinds of play things such as working together, seeing new things, and playing games. In "Full of Life", they discovered that the couch is missing and decided to play in a paper bag instead. They often hang on to a heart-shaped fish pole held by Molly and Loonette would sing a song about not believing in dust bunnies but would believe anyways.

The show was originally produced by Radical Sheep Productions and Owl Communications, then Canadian children's television network YTV, with a run of 65 episodes. In 2003, 13 new episodes were produced with Benny Smart, an American children's television production company, Tadpole TV and Treehouse TV, a companion channel of YTV.

Radical Sheep Productions and Amity Entertainment in association with Treehouse TV and Nashville Public Television, produced 22 additional episodes, which debuted on American Public Television in 2006. This marked the debut of Ramona Gilmour-Darling as Loonette, replacing Alyson Court.

Additional items for kids, like coloring pages, can be found on the Big Comfy Couch website Official Big Comfy Couch Website Episodes also can be seen on video on demand in some cable and satellite systems on Studio 4 Kids, as well as in short-form on Studio4kids.tv.

Episodes

Season 1 - 1993

  • 101 - Pie in the Sky
  • 102 - Pinch To Grow an Inch
  • 103 - All Aboard for Bed
  • 104 - Knit One Twirl Too
  • 105 - Upsey Downsey Day
  • 106 - Flippy Floppy Fun
  • 107 - Something's Fishy Around Here
  • 108 - Scrub-a-Dub
  • 109 - Red Light, Green Light
  • 110 - Gesundheit
  • 111 - Ping Pong Polka
  • 112 - Funny Faces
  • 113 - Snug as a Bug

Season 2 - 1994

  • 201 - Babs in Toyland
  • 202 - 1-2-3 Dizzy Dizzy Me
  • 203 - Wobbly
  • 204 - Jump Start
  • 205 - This Little Piggy
  • 206 - Juggling the Jitters
  • 207 - Hoopla
  • 208 - Wrong Side of the Couch
  • 209 - I Feel Good
  • 210 - Boomerang
  • 211 - Rude-I-Culous
  • 212 - Make It Snappy
  • 213 - Feast of Fools

Season 3 - 1995

  • 301 - Give Yer Head a Shake
  • 302 - It’s About Time
  • 303 - Clownus Interruptus
  • 304 - Why?
  • 305 - Monkey See Monkey Do
  • 306 - Sticks and Stones
  • 307 - Horsing Around
  • 308 - All Over and Under
  • 309 - Pants on Fire
  • 310 - All Fall Down
  • 311 - Traveling Papers
  • 312 - Hiccups
  • 313 - Full of Life

Season 4 - 1996

  • 401 - Backwards!
  • 402 - Picky Eaters
  • 403 - Forty Winks
  • 404 - Swing-a-Ling
  • 405 - Spare Some Change
  • 406 - Stuck in the Muck
  • 407 - Gimme Gimme Never Gets
  • 408 - One Step at a Time
  • 409 - Enough Already!
  • 410 - Where Do Clowns Come From?
  • 411 - Are You Ready for School?
  • 412 - Hit Parade
  • 413 - Comfy and Joy

Season 5 - 2000

  • 501 - Bad Hair Day
  • 502 - Clownvitations
  • 503 - Nothing To Do
  • 504 - The Big Brain Drain
  • 505 - One Potato Two Potato
  • 506 - Earth to Loonette
  • 507 - Lettuce, Turnip and Pee
  • 508 - Time for Molly
  • 509 - Gizmo Shmizmo
  • 510 - Clothes Make the Clown
  • 511 - Don't Tell
  • 512 - You're a Gem!
  • 513 - See Ya in My Dreams

Season 6 - 2003

  • 601 - Clowning in the Rain
  • 602 - Lost and Clowned
  • 603 - Button Up!
  • 604 - Scaredy Cat!
  • 605 - It’s the Thought that Counts
  • 606 - Growing Pains
  • 607 - Donut Let It Get You Down
  • 608 - Fancy Dancer
  • 609 - The Big Bang Boom
  • 610 - Ain't It Amazing, Gracie?
  • 611 - Between the Covers
  • 612 - Going Up
  • 613 - Cool It!

Season 7 - 2006

  • 701 - Apple of My Eye
  • 702 - Dat's Da Law!
  • 703 - Fibberish Gibberish
  • 704 - Slow Down Clown
  • 705 - Floppy
  • 706 - Clown with a Frown
  • 707 - Rub A Dub Day
  • 708 - Upside Down Clown
  • 709 - The Clown Promise
  • 710 - Lost & Found Clowns
  • 711 - Phony Baloney
  • 712 - Popcorn-Y
  • 713 - Ouch
  • 714 - Peek-a-Boo
  • 715 - Big Blow Hard
  • 716 - Shh Shh Shh Quiet
  • 717 - Freeze Please
  • 718 - Clown in the Round
  • 719 - Molly's Bellybutton
  • 720 - Just Purrfect
  • 721 - Ready, Steady, Go!
  • 722 - Happy Mirthday, Granny!

The Big Comfy Couch on DVD

The Big Comfy Couch has 5 DVD featuring the new season starring Ramona Gilmour-Darling. The other DVDs and VHS featuring Alyson Court are discontinued.

  • The Big Comfy Couch: Clown in the Round (Nov. 7 2006)
  • The Big Comfy Couch: Cooking Up Fun (Nov. 7, 2006)
  • The Big Comfy Couch: Let's Have a Party (Feb. 6, 2007)
  • The Big Comfy Couch: Wiggling and Giggling (Feb. 6, 2007)
  • The Big Comfy Couch: Upside Down Clown (April 15, 2008)

Trivia

  • The character name "Auntie Macassar" is a play on words. An antimacassar is a cloth or doily placed on the back of a couch to keep the upholstery clean; therefore, one would logically find an "Auntie Macassar" on "The Big Comfy Couch". (There is in fact an antimacassar displayed on the back of the middle cushion of the Couch.)

Funding

External links

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