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.
Season 1 - 1993
Season 2 - 1994
Season 3 - 1995
Season 4 - 1996
Season 5 - 2000
Season 6 - 2003
Season 7 - 2006