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Characters and sketches on Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?

This article lists recurring characters and sketches performed on the PBS game show Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? which ran from 1991-1996.

Characters

The Chief (Lynne Thigpen)

On World, the Chief became a more dynamic character than in the computer games. Played by Lynne Thigpen, she was a comically no-nonsense figure with a strong sense of justice who spoke with dialogue that was riddled with puns, alliteration and other forms of word play. Her catch phrase was "I salute you," which she often uttered while holding a magnifying glass over her eye. Thigpen also played this character on Where in Time Is Carmen Sandiego?.

The character proved popular and the computer games Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?, Where in the U.S.A. is Carmen Sandiego? and Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego? (Carmen Sandiego's Great Chase Through Time) included QuickTime videoes of Thigpen portraying the Chief. Thigpen again played the Chief in the planetarium film Where in the Universe is Carmen Sandiego? and its sequel Where in the Universe is Carmen Sandiego? II.

The Chief also has a great-grandmother, Agnes Acme, who is the founder of ACME. Agnes Acme was also played by Thigpen and is apparently deceased, though that didn't stop her from providing clues. In "The Canal Caper," Agnes would also be in place of the Chief in the office scene right after the end credits of the latter episode.

Greg Lee

Although Greg Lee was referred to by his real name, he adopted a goofy yet amiable persona as the show's agent in charge of training new recruits, often playing "Lucy" to Lynne Thigpen's "Desi" in the office sketches. On the show, it was explained that he was a special agent in charge of training new recruits, but the show's continuity was very loose and the fourth wall was frequently broken.

Featured crooks

Some of the crooks featured on the show were:

  • Carmen Sandiego - the title character herself rarely appeared on the show, although she was often referenced and, as in the computer games, it was made clear that she was the crooks' leader. The ultimate goal of each episode was to capture her after the day's crook was jailed.
  • Contessa is a so-called criminal of style. She is presumably Italian given that a "contessa" is an Italian countess, the character spoke with a distinctly Italian accent and that most of her fashion is styles from Milan. As her moniker implies, she considers herself to be near royalty. Contessa pilots a helicopter during some capers and her motto (seen on her dossier) is "I may be a thief, but my taste is impeccable." The character left after Season 1, but returned in Season 4 with a new look.
  • Double Trouble (also known as "The Trouble Boys", "D.T.", or "Trouble") are a pair of different-colored twins who mirror each other in a Yin and Yang fashion. They are international playboys. Judging by their sunglasses and voice, they are a parody of Jack Nicholson. Their motto (seen on their dossier) is: "They snatch. They match. They're hard to catch."
  • Eartha Brute is a muscle bound, slow-witted woman with a green beehive hairdo. Eartha Brute wears a pink singlet uniform complete with weight belt that has the V.I.L.E. initials on the gold plate. Underneath her brutish exterior, it was mentioned in an episode that she loves romantic stories.
  • Kneemoi is an alien from the planet Roddenberry with a round body and two tentacled arms. She has a reputation on 93 planets as a space outlaw and is a pink ball of ectoplasm that can morph into any form she desires. Her name is reference to Leonard Nimoy of Star Trek and her home planet is a reference to Gene Roddenberry. Kneemoi debuted in Season 2.
  • Patty Larceny is a ditzy, blonde schoolgirl who has a rather cloyingly sweet and giggly personality, she is also the surrogate niece of Carmen Sandiego. Though she is a wanted thief she is described as a very kind and polite person. She wears an orange shirt, a green jacket, green skirt and saddle shoes. She once had her answering machine set up during one phone tap segment (the "Badwoman Steals Goodman" episode) which made Carmen Sandiego mad. Her name is a play on "petty larceny", a minor felony of stealing anything less than $275 in some states.
  • RoboCrook (or "Robo" for short) is a cyborg parody of RoboCop who also appears in third version of the software, Where in the U.S.A. is Carmen Sandiego?. His real name as mentioned in the phone conversation with sleuth during the 3rd and 4th seasons of the show is "RoboCrook Unit-059". Sometimes he is referred to as "The Solderhead".
  • Sarah Nade is a punk rocker teenager who loved concerts and singing. She came from the computer game Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? Deluxe Edition. She joined Carmen's gang on the TV Show in Season 3. According to the computer game file, she has a small scar on her left ear shaped like New Jersey and had blonde hair. Sarah Nade's hair in the TV series has a rainbow of colors. Obviously, her name is a play on "serenade".
  • Top Grunge (or "Grunge", or "Top" for short) is a large smelly biker with flies hovering over his head. Due to his filthy nature, he seems to have a chronic head cold and a very bad navel. He rides on a badly-tuned motorcycle that spits out smoke wherever he goes. His eyes are always covered by large sunglasses -- which were also, unsurprisingly, featured in the hit Tom Cruise film Top Gun.
  • Vic the Slick is a shrewd salesman in a loud polyester suit and an even louder tie with a seedy moustache, shifty eyes and slicked black hair. In one episode of Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?, he often tried to hit on Carmen Sandiego (one time by stealing for her the Isla del Carmen which was located off Mexico). His motto (also seen on the dossier) is: "Bad taste is better than no taste at all".
  • Wonder Rat (or "Wonder" or "Rat" for short) is a parody of Superman and Batman who flew with a helicopter. He is Carmen Sandiego's personal caped criminal who considers himself "The Rat of Steel" (a reference to Harry Harrison's hero The Stainless Steel Rat.) Wonder Rat can't fly on his own, so he has to resort to using the Rat-Copter (a different version of Contessa's helicopter) with himself strapped to a bungee cord while the helicopter is on automatic pilot. Wonder Rat debuted in Season 2.

List of sketches

Sources of clues

On any given day, members of Rockapella might be dressed as giant ears of corn, or as The Beatles. Aside from providing the theme song for the show, Rockapella also supplied many of the sound effects and voiceovers.

  • The Chief (she always gave the first clue of the game in the first 2 seasons)
  • The Chief's Fax Machine (Entire Series)
  • The Acmettes (all played by Lynne Thigpen) (Seasons 3-5)
  • Song parodies performed by Rockapella (Entire Series)
  • The Stool Pigeon, a pigeon prisoner (Seasons 2-4)
  • The Clue-Fish (Seasons 3-5); when it's time for the Clue-Fish to provide a clue, Greg will pick up a newspaper with the fish wrapped in it along with Rockapella's tune to the Contessa's jingle. After he shows the fish, he removes the paper from around fish to reveal info about the clue. After that, he will discard the fish by doing either dunking the net, throwing the fish into either the audience or the water, put it in the monitor (which has a slot) so that the Chief can eat the fish, or Greg eats the fish.
  • Animations featuring well-informed fish, particularly a green fish named Moe Pesci (pun on actor Joe Pesci) (Seasons 1-2)
  • Cat rappers Bite and Scratch (Seasons 3-5)
  • Musician informants from different parts of the world (Often after they perform, Greg would ask yes/no questions about their music, and where the crook is, often ending with a question asking if they're robots, their music is a secret code, or if they're people in disguise, but the musician(s) would always disagree, and Greg would go with it)) (Entire Series)
  • Prawn Wayne - An animated shrimp. His name is a parody of actor John Wayne. (Seasons 3-5)
  • The ACME Fly (Entire Series) (In seasons 1-2, Greg would attempt to swat him, so as to make him give the clue; in seasons 3-5, the Fly appeared in animation and simply gave the clue)
  • Agnes Acme, the Chief's great-grandmother and founder of ACME Crime Net (Season 1)
  • The ACME Crime Net Computer (Seasons 3-5)
  • The file cabinet right by the ACME Crime Net Entrance door was loaded with clues. (Entire Series)
  • The world-band radio (Entire Series)
  • Greg's friend Pinch, who can contact Greg with telepathy. (Seasons 3-5)
  • Crystal the Teenage Medium, a spiritual, blonde teenage valley girl who overrides the signal of the ACME Crime Net monitor (Seasons 1-3)
  • ACME Home $pending Net (Seasons 3-5)
  • ACME Sports Net
  • ACME Movie Net
  • Astra, the big dog (Seasons 3-5)
  • Celebrity guests such as then-First Lady Barbara Bush, Walter Cronkite, Katie Couric, Peter Jennings, Maury Povich and others. (Entire Series)
  • In "The Case of the Lifted Lines", the clue was given by X the Owl and Henrietta Pussycat from the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, a scene from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, possibly because MRN and WITWICS both aired on PBS and were co-produced by WQED. Fred Rogers, the puppeteer of X and Henrietta, died the same year of Thigpen.
  • One episode features the 2 main characters from the popular Square One TV segment: Mathnet, possibly because SQTV aired on PBS like WITWICS, and David Yazbek, who co-wrote the theme song to WITWICS with Sean Altman, was a frequent writer on SQTV during the first season.
  • During one special occasion, Marc Summers joined Greg Lee in one of the questions of the 1st round. Summers was dressed in Greg's signature blue jacket, khakis, and Converse gym shoes. The connection may be that Greg Lee was one of the helpers on Summers' signature, Nickelodeon's Double Dare. Marc also subbed in for Greg in the episode "Auld Lang Gone."
  • In "The Return of Dracula's Castle", Dracula himself (portrayed by Barry Carl) provided the second clue and the final clue (as a bat) during the 1st round. When he enters, the same lighting and thunder from the Lightning Round flashed.
  • The Dying Informant, who provided valuable clues just as he (sometimes she) died multiple times (in the "The Case of the False False Teeth" episode, "The Voice" brought him back to life) (mostly portrayed by Scott Leonard) (Entire Series)
  • The Bouncing Informant, who provided valuable clues as he bounced repeatedly until he jumped out the window, but remained unharmed. He wears the same attire as the Dying Informant, but unlike his Dying counterpart, he doesn't die. (portrayed by Scott Leonard) (Season 1)
  • Occasionally, when no other clue source was available, or something goes wrong with the controls or cameras, of which Greg hates, Greg would go backstage to "ACME Control Net" and ask the show's director, Dana Calderwood, what the next clue was. Once it had been given, Greg would start meddling with the production equipment, often prompting Dana to tell Greg to go away. (ala Chief) (Entire Series)
  • Nana Rap, an animated grandmother who danced to a rap song; Nana Rap was a fan favorite with the audience always clapping in unison when Nana Rap did her song. (Entire Series)
  • "The Word on the Street" - Greg hears chatter in the alley and walks out to find Rockapella. He asks them what the word on the street is, one of the band members--usually Scott Leonard, but Barry Carl and Sean Altman have each done this at least once as well--tells Greg the word, which is literally written on the street in front of them, and provides a related clue while the others provide background "mood" music. (They once acted out Homer's Odyssey when the Contessa was hiding in the Aegean Sea.) In some episodes, the word can be a number, more than 1 Word on the Street, or a Word Under the Street. (Entire Series)
  • "The Roach Hotel" - Rockapella member Barry Carl portrayed a giant (only to the home audience) cockroach named Kafka. (Seasons 2-4)
  • A giant alien who hosted a similar television series in a parallel universe
  • Upstairs neighbor Mrs. Pumpkinclanger (Barry Carl in drag with a falsetto voice), who always complained about the noise downstairs before giving clues. (Entire Series)
  • A giant baby, also played by Barry Carl. (Entire Series)
  • A mysterious voice with a pointing finger at the ceiling (often referred to as "The Voice", portrayed by Barry Carl). (Entire Series)
  • There was an episode towards the end of the run where, in order to get a clue for the first part of the game, Greg Lee had to go backstage to talk with an "informant." He gets the clue from two random crew members who are arguing about shoe prints (nothing) behind the wall for the 2nd round. This gave away some of the potential searching locations for Round 2 later in the show (The Wood Islands were one of the locations here).
  • The Mysterious Woman, which parodied the 1940s detective movies. The Mysterious Woman's arrival was always heralded by smooth jazz music, and a fade from color to black and white, and Greg would suck on a lollipop in lieu of a cigarette. Greg would always have something that The Mysterious Woman would want, such as letters, and in order to get them, she had to give Greg and the Gumshoes a clue. The item would always turn out to be ludicrous; for example, after begging Greg for the letters, the Woman would be presented with one of 3 actual oversize letters: a J, an M, and a Q. The Woman would select Q. This particular installment resulted in a funny exchange between the two when the Mysterious Woman heard the music that signaled her to leave: "That's my cue."..."No, that's my Q.". (Entire Series)
  • The Shadow (played by Nicole Leach). Greg would hear a foghorn, then go into the alley where the scene turned black and white and was coated with fog. The Shadow appeared and tried to give Greg the clue in code. Of course, Greg never remembered the code, which irritated the Shadow and forced her to give the clue directly. (Seasons 3-4)
  • The Plastic Diver Guy (referred to by Greg as P.D.G.; voiced by Elliot Kerman), whose clues always ended in him getting destroyed (ala Dying Informant), with him saying "Greg, it's the ominous music!". Starting in late Season 2, after an incident with the broken fish tank (where the Plastic Diver Guy resides), Greg would usually grab his snorkel and his scuba gear ready to meet P.D.G. (Seasons 2-5)
  • ACME Man, played by Greg Lee. When it's time for ACME Man to provide a clue, the stage will go very dark, and an "A" appears on the floor. Then clips of ACME Man clues are shown, accompanied by a catchy tune. Then, ACME Man does some actitivy while talking to us about the next clue. (example: Helping a person out of the chocolate, opening a can of ketchup, etc.) (Seasons 3-5)
  • "My Buddy Buzz", Greg has a very favorite TV program. This very short "TV program" features Greg and his friend Buzz (Season 4 played by Elliot Kerman; Season 5 played by Barry Carl) who "tells" about the next clue. (Seasons 4-5)
  • "ACME Radio Net", when Rockapella sings "ACME Radio Net! More hits, moooooooooooore music!" Greg comes up to the ACME Crime Net computer, and glasses were magneted on his eyes, and a 1940s microphone was given to him. And he talks to us about the next clue in the style of a radio disc jockey. (Seasons 3-5)
  • "Private Eye", a mysterious-voiced detective with a blinking eye in place of a face. (Seasons 2-5)
  • Edwina (Lynne Thigpen), Greg's child neighbor. (Season 5)
  • The Amazing Disgusting Glob (aka The Glob), when Rockapella sings "The Amazing Disgusting Glob", the glob will bounce around a stage, and hit the camera lens, Greg, sometimes in his 3D glasses (Glob-Vision Glasses), often claims that the Glob has cracked the monitor. After that's done, slime falls out of one of the knobs on the monitor, as Greg grabs a garbage can to clean up the Glob. And then, the Glob, now in real life (played by Sean Altman) talks to us about the next clue. (Seasons 3-5)
  • ACME World Music Video Net- Predecessor to the Video Music Clues. (Season 2)
  • Video-Music Clues- When Rockapella sings "It's a Video-Music Clue,... Greg!" Greg was given a video tape (or a card, or a cartriage similar to a Sega Genisis) from either the ACME Skateboard, ACME Car, a robot, a dangling fake duck (ala You Bet Your Life) or a mailbox. And when he puts the tape into the monitor (which is equipped with a VCR) a video tells us the next clue. (Seasons 3-5)
  • Handy Hancock the Hand Puppet, played by Greg (using Greg's left hand), with an Italian-like accent. This is one of the gimmicks that Greg used for his comedian career. (Seasons 1-2)
  • The Scuba Diver (played by Scott Leonard) (Seasons 1-3)
  • The Horoscope. When Greg picks up a horoscope from ACME Newsstand, he reads a horoscope, in which it tells him, and the gumshoes the next clue. (Entire Series)
  • Chip Fu (Season 3)
  • Chris B. (Season 4)
  • The ACME Canine Language Interpreter (played by Scott Leonard) and his dog Fido, agents of ACME Ruff Net (Seasons 2-3)
  • The Eggman (Sean Altman) (Seasons 3-5)

The Chief's office

One sketch in the Chief's office was performed in each episode. This sketch always involved Greg Lee and Thigpen and was never used as a source of clues.

  • While celebrating the anniversary of the day they met, Greg and the Chief recall the time they met, back when Greg was just a former leader of an old punk rock band with Rockapella, and a delivery man. (Season 3)
  • The Chief's office is turned into Grand Central Station, filled with racing commuters and a giant clock. (Season 3)
  • The Chief has lost her job and is packing her things up until Greg calls her boss, who tells her that she can stay since Greg is temporarily the Chief. By the time Greg leaves the office, he sees his friend Pinch, taking over as the host and the two have a talk during the Phone Tap. (Season 4)
  • The Chief and Greg receive a rude message from Carmen Sandiego. ("Dear Chief, you are a chump. You and your Glum-Shoes still haven't found me or (Crook's Name). Catch me if you can. Regards to ACME Slime Net. Signed, Carmen Sandiego. P.S.: Nanny-nanny Poo-poo.") (Season 1)
  • Some of the Chief's things are missing, but a strange hand returns it all to her, as well as things that decipher a promotion of the Gumshoes' grand prize for capturing Carmen Sandiego. (Season 2)
  • Greg enters the Chief's office to find that it's snowing inside. Greg is desperate to play in the snow with the Chief, but the Chief refuses, and tells him to go away again, so Greg furiously leaves the office, but upon slamming the door, more snow falls onto the Chief and her desk. (Season 2)
  • Every time Greg or the Chief say "Carmen Sandiego", ping-pong balls fall on the Chief. After they both do the contest rules, the Chief has Greg sit down to check for a squeak in her chair while she says "Carmen Sandiego", but nothing happens. When Greg leaves, the Chief sits back down and more ping-pong balls fall. (Season 3)
  • The Chief suffers a tension headache. (Season 1)
  • The Chief is suffering a headache, and Greg grows another arm to help alleviate the pain. (Season 2)
  • The Chief grows two faces, so that they can be more alert about catching Carmen Sandiego. Greg sees this as a bit too extreme. (Season 1)
  • Greg enters the office to find the Chief absent, but he finds a heartbreaking letter on her desk. ("Dear Chief, This is good-bye. I can no longer stand by where you devote all your time to capturing Carmen. What could've been will never be, because what could be can't be, if you won't be and I can't be. So good-bye. Signed, Horace. P.S.: I can never get used to calling you Chief.") But when the Chief enters the office, she claims that it's only an old letter she got in 2nd grade, but had written more important memo on the back, promoting the grand prize for the Gumshoe who captures Carmen Sandiego. (Season 2)
  • Greg and the Chief have their snack break, and are forced to trade, as it's Trade Day, which Greg didn't make the rules about. After Greg finishes the Chief's snack, and vice-versa, the Chief is forced to trade her French pastries with Greg's cheap dessert, and Greg exits. The Chief decides to call Lemke about dessert and to bring what he has to the office at once for Trade Day. As for Greg, Sean, trades his dessert with Greg's pastries, then Elliot trades his dessert with the pastries, and Barry trades his dessert with the pastries. However, Greg trades the dessert he got from Sean's trade with the pastries, and turns to the Phone Tap. (Season 3)
  • While the Chief is asleep, Greg finds out that she's having an out-of-body experience, who is also having an out-of-body experience. (Season 4)
  • The Chief is feeling rather glum, to the point of shedding tears. She is fearing that she will lose her job if Carmen is not caught. However, Greg makes it clear that the show's production crew, Rockapella, and the audience in the studio are all supporting Greg and the gumshoes effort of catching Carmen. (Season 1)
  • The Chief contemplates retirement to do yam-farming with her cousin in the country, much to Greg's dismay. (Season 1)
  • The Chief complains that Carmen being out of jail has upset the "natural balance of things", demonstrating this by showing that the incorrect sound effects accompany certain actions. Greg, however, finds this amusing. (Season 1)
  • The Chief goes over the new ACME Crime Net budget, and Greg then talks about some taxed lunches (e.g.: Crab Alfredo, pizza), which, to Greg, is not social, but business. (Season 1)
  • The Chief complains about Carmen Sandiego not being captured, and shows Greg a newspaper headline pertaining to the situation: "ACME Crime Net Going Nowhere Fast". (Season 1)
  • The Chief is accidentally shrunk down to be under a foot tall (courtesy of ACME Shrinking-Things Net), prompting Greg to bombard her with "small" jokes. After she returns to her regular size, Greg leaves and comments that he was out of short jokes anyway. (Season 2)
  • A contractor (played by Scott Leonard) accidentally does his underground work in the Chief's office. (Season 2)
  • The Chief and Greg demonstrate a portable alarm system that yells at someone who tries to steal anything. (Season 2)
  • The Chief finds herself unable to say what she means; she can only say the opposite. Greg discovers the Chief's "polarity" switch and changes it from negative to positive, but also discovers her "speed" switch that can make her move and speak fast forward or in slow motion. (Season 3)
  • The Chief asks Greg for change, and he shows her some unusual coins, one of which has Millard Filmore with the contest rules as a motto on it. Another has Ozzy Osbourne with a Latin motto "Gregorious scramous outous", (translations: "Greg, scram out", "Greg, go away") on it. (Season 3)
  • After forgetting to pay the "color bill", the Chief's office turns black and white. (Season 2)
  • The Chief's office is turned upside-down. She explains that she was so frustrated by Carmen's latest caper that she "just flipped". Greg inverts the office with a special knob, so the Chief turns right-side up-- but now Greg is upside-down. (Season 2)
  • Greg enters the office, and finds that things are slanted to the right. When Greg moves leftward, the office moves in the opposite direction. (Season 2)
  • The Chief's phone keeps ringing and she thinks there's nobody on the other end, but it turns out she was wearing extra-long ear plugs and couldn't hear the other person. (Season 2)
  • The Chief's desk has a thistle on it, and Greg removes it, and it is revealed that the desk has moving legs. (Season 5)
  • Greg accidentally pulls a plug, causing the office to spring a leak (what the audience saw was the scene gradually getting smaller). (Season 3)
  • Greg tries to take advantage of a substitute chief, Mr. Schwemphf, in order to get out of taking an exam.
  • Freshness inspectors (played by Scott Leonard and Barry Carl) smell everything in the Chief's office to make sure it meets standards. They are about declare everything fresh, until they get a whiff of Greg's tie. (Season 5)
  • The Chief asks Greg for the latest on Carmen Sandiego---with the voice of a man. He turns out to be Conrad Knuckle, the joint director of a rival crime-fighting agency, EMCA ("ACME" spelled backwards), who takes over the Chief's body and offers a tour of a meat-packing facility in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin to the gumshoe who captures Carmen. To get the old Chief back, Greg hits her in the shoulder with a squeaking toy hammer (and must hit himself as well as he talks with the voice of a woman leaving the Chief's office). (Season 2)
  • The Chief is unavailable, due to classified business, and leaves Greg voicemail options, the last one in which the Chief offers to "set Greg up with her gorgeous cousin Gladys", of which Greg chooses, but instead, he gets the same "Go away" order from the Chief, and hangs up, so he dials Information to try and get Gladys' number on his own, but the assistance operator just tells him to go away, too, and thus, Greg does. (Season 2)
  • The Chief's office turns into a replica of the Chocolate Room in "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory".
  • Greg walks into the Chief's office to find her gone. Greg then sits behind the Chief's desk, and does a hilarious impersonation of her, poking fun at the "Photo Recon" segment seen after the first round of every show, describing places in the universe, where "Chief" Greg believes Carmen Sandiego is hiding out, such as "The sun: climate sunny, don't go barefoot.", "Black hole: roaches check in but they don't check out!", and "Carmen may be prowling around Pluto or hiding on Uranus. Search 'em both.", and finishes with his own take on the "ACME Triangle of Excellence (vigilance, dedication, courage) with "my left hand, my right hand, thumbs." The Chief walks in, tells Greg that he's wasting time. After Greg leaves, the Chief then says "I don't sound like that.". (Season 1)
  • The Chief's head falls off her body and rolls under the desk. Greg then strains heavily to grab her head and twist it back onto her neck. After he leaves the Chief's office, he tries pulling on his own head to see if it will fall off, but it doesn't, to Greg's relief. (Season 1)
  • Greg and the Chief watch one of few movies that the Chief had rented from the local video store, but are due back on that day. The movie they watch is entitled: "Frou-Frou, Come Home". (Season 4)
  • A golfer (Scott Leonard) practices his swing on the Chief's desk. (Season 4)
  • An earth quake occurs in the Chief's office, but it turns out to be an earth "quack". There happens to be a duck inside the earth, so Greg has to open the door to the earth while the Chief feeds the duck to sleep. Barry pops in and said that this earth quack is fictional. (Season 5)
  • Greg goes into the Chief's office and finds a bag of food. He begins eating it, the Chief comes in and reveals it's dog food. Greg continues eating, and after he leaves he is seen carrying a big bone and says "What? Old habits die hard.". (Season 4)
  • Greg and the Chief hear background music and set it to fit their moods, and then decide that Rockapella is better. (Season 5)
  • The Chief spends $900,000,000 on what she thinks is a Bruce Lee costume, but it turns out to be a Greg Lee costume. (Season 5)
  • The Chief receives several orders from ACME Fruit-Net. (Season 2)
  • Greg finds the Chief's new portable invisibility zone (complete with its own refrigerator, a CD player, and air conditioning). He is still invisible as he leaves the Chief's office, but fades back into view as the phone tap begins. (Alternate version: He has an invisibility zone of his own, from which he retrieves a soda) (Season 3)
  • The Chief's desk runs out of gas. (Season 3)
  • The Chief's office has an assortment of funny gadgets, one of which is a "throw-your-voice thing". (Season 2)
  • The Chief has singing ants in her office, who take some of her things. (Season 4)
  • Show scheduling goes haywire. (Season 3)
  • The Chief pretends it's a nice day to make sure there are no "bugs" in her office, then writes down a promotion for the grand prize in her sketch pad, but when she notices that the bottom of her magnifying glass has a miniature amplifier, she writes down "GO AWAY!" in her sketch pad. Greg does so. (Season 1)
  • The Chief has an ACME Fortune Teller Foldie-Thing. She asks Greg to pick a number, and a sort of meat or color twice. One was for the contest. The other states "You and your partner will dance the Polka, and then, you'll turn and yell "Chocolate (something), Chocolate (something)" to each other, and then, he will immediately leave the office". After that, the Polka music starts, and the Chief and Greg dance to that music and yell what they were told to yell. In addition, they scream. Then Greg leaves the office. After he leaves the office, he screams, and shouts phone tap. (Season 3)
  • The Chief is unusually stressed out, so "Dr. Greg" examines her and ends up advising her to pop some bubble wrap, which surprisingly does the trick.
  • Greg shows the Chief "The Breakfast Club", which ruins the Chief's eggs.
  • Greg builds a house of cards that seems indestructible-- until he shuts the door behind him. (Season 3)
  • The Chief and Greg pass the "10-second flu" between each other. (Season 3)
  • The Chief has expected a salary increase, but instead, she gets a huge piece of celery on her desk (with no dip).
  • Greg and the Chief play a highly unorthodox game of chess. (Season 3)
  • Greg and the Chief dance "The Pongalusi" in the office on the finale. (Season 5)

Rockapella Voiceovers

On the children's game show Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?, Rockapella (the house band) not only did the theme song, the also supplied the sound effects. Some of the sound effects, the band did include:

  • "Rockapella!" during the beginning of season 4 and 5 episodes, after Greg says where they're back from in some of season 4. In the rest of season 4, and all of season 5, he said "They're with me every day". In the very last episode, instead, Rockapella (dressed like clowns) would moan for help.
  • "National Geographic World!" after Greg says "All of our answers have been verified by National Geographic World.". - used from the second season on
  • "Oooooooooooooohhhh, The Chase!" when this segment of the show was played accompanied when Greg tells the gumshoes that the crook has left the last location visited and tells them to "Pick up, the chase!"
  • A fanfare, (later preceded by "You've Won!" starting in Season 2) when a gumshoe found all three items in the jailtime challenge. Rockapella also made that fanfare in the first season when the winning gumshoe captured Carmen. In Season 3 episodes, Rockapella said different phrases instead of "You've Won!" like for example, "Babaloo!", "Honderees!", "Yes, indeedy-doo!", or "BINGO!!". Or they just say "You've Won" in other languages.
  • The "think music" for making wagers ("How much you gonna risk?") and the sleuth deciding what trip he wanted to take if he won ("Where do you wanna go?").
  • The background music during the Chief's reading of the consolation prizes for the eliminated gumshoes.
  • The background music as five winners of the contest are revealed from Season 3 onwards.
  • The background music as the Chief, Greg, and the gumshoes travel to the final location in Seasons 3 and 4.
  • The background music as Greg and the gumshoes modem themselves to the final location in the final season.
  • The music accompanying the sleuth moving to the map before the bonus game after the Chief says the magic phrase "Let's go to the map!"
  • The contest music for the bonus round.
  • The phrase "let's get packin'!", preceded by "Whooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooaaaa" in the 1st and 5th seasons, after the trip reveal with a successful bonus win.
  • "The LOOT", "The Warrant" (sung), (crook's name) in the second round as they were uncovered, and "(crook's name)'s in jail." (Sometimes the " 's " is omitted, and Rockapella will just say "in jail!") after the winner arrested him/her. In some episodes of the first season, Rockapella began singing a silly phrase instead of saying "The LOOT" as it was uncovered, such as "Punctious Pipeline!" when the stolen item was the Alaska Pipeline, or "Subterranean Scratchings!" for the Lascaux cave paintings from Montignac, France. They sang something different every time the loot was revealed on the board. During some longer rounds, the singers poked fun at how long it was taking the contestants to find the items. During the earlier Season 1 episodes, they usually just do ignored sound effects or generic phrases like "Brrrr" and "Aloha". On the 3rd Season episode, "The Cheese Stake Brute Quake", the group said "The LOOT" by the end of the 2nd round (long after they had stopped regularly using it), drawing laughter. One Season 1 episode also featured a long round as the players immediately found the Hollywood Bowl, but failed repeatedly to find the warrant or Double Trouble. This caused Rockapella's enthusiasm over the reveal of the Hollywood Bowl to wane after several turns, ultimately just deadpanning "the Bowl" by the time the round ended. Additionally, there would sometimes be a silly phrase sung (or spoken) to indicate shoeprints (nothing) behind that location at this time. For instance, one of the Rockapella singers, when a famous shopping district was one of the locations and housed nothing, would intone, "Attention shoppers: NO." One time, when this location was picked a second time, the response was "Attention shoppers: STILL NO". Occasionally, this would be replaced by a Foley sound.

Another time, when a Gumshoe (Melissa Fernandez) picked the Yi River, the singers replied with "Yi!", causing Greg Lee to burst out laughing. Another memorable event happened when a contestant picked the Batman Bridge, one of the Rockapella members made sound effects referenced to the 60s Batman TV series, which also got laughs from the audience. Also, in one episode, the board was setup with locations from Indianapolis, Indiana, which just happened to be Scott Leonard's hometown. With each pick of location, Rockapella sang out "Near Scott's house!". Yet another episode, the Gumshoes went to Peru and when one location was turned around, Rockapella sang "Elliott's been there!" Also, when another location was turned around, Rockapella sang a brief line to the tune of the show's theme song.

Still another time, when the stolen landmark was the aforementioned French cave paintings, when the cave paintings were uncovered the third time, Barry Carl called out, "Gentlemen, dip your brushes!" Greg's response: "What!?"

One time, when the Liemba Ferry from Zaire was stolen, when the loot was uncovered, Rockapella sang out a brief spoof of Chattanooga Choo-Choo about that loot.

Another episode, the landmark was the World Trade Center, when it was picked, Rockapella sang "I Love NY!". Greg told Rockapella "I love NY Too!".

Another episode, when the Isla de Carmen was stolen, Rockapella sang a brief bit of the theme song to "Gilligan's Island" and some quotes from the show. It also happened in "The Immigration Station Perpetration", when Double Trouble stole Ellis Island, only more of the theme was sung, as well as "The Loot!", after a long time.

  • Rockapella also sang song parodies of, for example, "My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music and "Surfin' USA" by The Beach Boys. Once, they were dressed like The Beatles singing a spoof of "Yesterday". After each parody, Greg would say "Rockapella, ladies and gentlemen!"
  • They also sang jingles for the crook, like for Eartha Brute, they would sing "Eartha Brute, HUH!", for Double Trouble, they would sing "Double Trouble (Trouble)", and for Patty Larceny, they would sing "P-P-P-Patty". In Seasons 1 and 2, Rockapella sang jingles more than 3 seconds long when the dossiers were revealed. This practice was abandoned in Season 3 for some reason, and because of this, Sarah Nade's jingle only lasted less than 3 seconds.

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