Lamb Chop's Play-Along (1992–1997)

TVSeries


Lamb Chop's Play-Along (TV Series 1992–1997)

Shari Lewis lives with Lamb Chop, Hush Puppy, and Charlie Horse (all of which she performs as) and they get into all sorts of adventures, as well as Betcha tricks, Knock-Knock Joke segments, Riddles, Teddy Bear Tales, even song and dance and to close it all, they sing, "This is the song that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friend..."
Canada
USA
IMDb   7.1 /10
TheMovieDb    7.0 /10
RottenTomatoes
FilmAffinity  
Creators
Creator Michael Watt
Creator Lan O'Kun
Creator Bernard Rothman
Information
Release Date1992-09-10
Runtime30min
GenreFamily
Content RatingTV-Y (TV-Y)
Awards6 wins & 10 nominations
CompanyParagon Entertainment
CountryCanada, USA
LanguageEnglish
Self - Teddy Bear Talesas Self - Teddy Bear Tales…
Brian Ito
Brian Ito
Brianas Brian
Charlie Horseas Charlie Horse…
Amanda McAdam
Amanda McAdam
Amandaas Amanda
Sabrina Sanchez
Sabrina Sanchez
Sabrinaas Sabrina
Rachel Sandor-Gough
Rachel Sandor-Gough
Rachel (1994)as Rachel (1994)
Kevin Yee
Kevin Yee
Kevin (1994)as Kevin (1994)
Pat Brymer
Pat Brymer
Head Puppeteeras Head Puppeteer

Lamb Chop's Play-Along

Lamb Chop's Play-Along! is a Canadian-American half-hour preschool children's television series that was shown on PBS in the United States from January 13, 1992 until September 22, 1995, with reruns airing on PBS until August 29, 1997, and on Qubo until 2009. It was created and hosted by puppeteer Shari Lewis, and featured her puppet characters Lamb Chop, Charlie Horse, and Hush Puppy. Lamb Chop's Play-Along! was followed by the short-lived spin-off series, The Charlie Horse Music Pizza.


Production

PBS commissioned the show from Shari Lewis in May 1991, and the show premiered in January 1992. This marked Lewis' return to television after about 15 years (following the BBC version of The Shari Lewis Show in 1975). Lamb Chop's Play-Along was shot in Canada, first in Burnaby, British Columbia and then at the CBC Studios in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The series honored Lewis' father, college professor Abraham Hurwitz - "the official magician of New York City".

Ellensburg Daily Record says: "each half hour is filled with jokes, games, songs, and tricks".


Philosophy

Shari Lewis explained her goal for the audience is "participation, not passive observance". She said: "our goal is, don't just sit there - come play with me". She wanted to "attack the shorter attention span of today's children with a fast-paced show using colorful electronic effects". She said in an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer: "I know that when children watch TV, they go into a stupor. Parents think (their children) are interested, but what they really are is".

Lewis testified that making smart content for children was not that hard to produce and should be done with increasing frequency. She explained that if children are challenged, they will be productive members of society. She said, "I don't care if you tack a prosocial message at the end of the show. You have not done a quality show".


Synopsis

Lamb Chop is an anthropomorphic sheep; other characters are puppets of other farm animals, including Charlie Horse and Hush Puppy.

At the end of each show, Charlie Horse would try to sing The Song That Doesn't End, much to the annoyance of Shari.


Cast

  • Shari Lewis - Herself/Lamb Chop/Charlie Horse/Hush Puppy
  • Pat Brymer - head puppeteer
  • Gord Robertson - Buster the Bus, featured puppeteer
  • Norma McKnight - additional puppetry
  • Bonnie Martin - Big Lamb Chop
  • Mark Gamez - Big Charlie Horse

Lamb Chop's Playmates

  • Andrew Francis
  • Brian Ito
  • Amanda McAdam
  • Sabrina Sánchez
  • Kevin Yee
  • Rachel Sandor-Gough
  • Talia Gilboa
  • Bryan Robinson
  • Zack Moses
  • Phillip Boutte
  • Annick Obonsawin
  • John Creery
  • Ramon Choyce
  • Jade Schwartz
  • Emma Pollard
  • Maddie Lewis

Episodes

85 half-hour episodes produced.

Season 1 (1992)

Season 2 (1993)

Season 3 (1994)

Season 4 (1995)


Specials

2 one-hour episode specials produced

  • Special: Lamb Chop's Special Chanukah
  • Special: Shari's Passover Surprise

Segments

Introduced in Season 1

  • At Home with Lamb Chop
  • Comedy Barn
  • Knock! Knock!
  • A Baby Lamb Chop Story
  • Betcha
  • Riddles
  • Funny Little Poem
  • Animals from the San Diego Zoo
  • Tongue Twisters
  • Story Time
  • Sing a Little Sing-Along Song
  • Playtime With Emma
  • More Playtime With Emma

Introduced in Season 2

  • Buster the Bus
  • Alpha-Toons
  • Something Unusual/Fascinating
  • A Baby Shari Lewis Story
  • A Teddy Bear Tale
  • A Baby Hush Puppy Story
  • Sing a Little Sing-Along Song

Introduced in Season 3

  • Any Kid Can Draw
  • Take a Look at a Book
  • Buster's Brain Busters
  • Magic is the Thing for You
  • You Can Do It

Introduced in Season 4

  • Clip from The Shari Lewis Show

Production notes

WTTW jointly distributed it with Paragon Entertainment Corporation to PBS stations across the country. The rights to the show are currently owned by Universal Television on behalf of DreamWorks Classics.

Opening and closing

Both the opening and closing songs were written by Broadway composer Norman Martin. Other songs were written by Square One TV songwriter, John Rodby. Two versions of the opening song with different lyrics have been used; one involves bouncing, the other strength. The ending theme song is "The Song That Doesn't End", as sung by the children and puppets while Lewis frantically attempts to stop them. The song eventually fades even before beginning a 6th verse. Finally, at the end of the song, Charlie Horse returns. He then tries to get to sing the song again. But Lewis successfully stops him (by putting her hand over his mouth). She (covering Charlie's mouth) orders him to go away. Resigned, Charlie leaves (and goes away) as she asks. But he slams the door before Lewis could tell him don't. Her only consolation is that everything is now silent (as a result of the puppets and the singing group "gone"). However, she glares at the viewers at fade-out.

An instrumental version of the show's theme song was used for a most recent show of Mallory Lewis and Lamb Chop.


Critical reception

The show received a rating of 8.0 based on 128 votes, at TV.com, and score of 7.8/10 at IMDb based on 407 ratings. Greensboro News & Record said of this show, "she (Lewis) made the sort of mischief that gave a vicarious thrill to millions of children watching at home".


Awards and nominations

YearAwardRecipientResult
1992Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Performer in a Children's SeriesShari LewisWon
1992Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in Costume DesignMolly Harris CampbellNominated
1992Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Children's SeriesBernard Rothman, Jon Slan, Richard Borchiver, Shari LewisNominated
1992Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Children's SeriesBernard Rothman, Shari LewisNominated
1993Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Performer in a Children's SeriesShari LewisWon
1993Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Children's SeriesShari Lewis, Ken Steele, Bernard Rothman, Mallory Tarcher, Lan O'Kunx, Aubrey TadmanWon
1993Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in Lighting DirectionCarl GibsonNominated
1994Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Performer in a Children's SeriesShari LewisWon
1994Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Children's SeriesRichard Borchiver, Shari Lewis, Bernard Rothman, Jon SlanNominated
1994Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Children's SeriesMallory Tarcher, Ken Steele, Steve Edelman, Bernard Rothman, Lan O'Kun,
Shari Lewis, Aubrey Tadman, Tibby Rothman, Jeremy Tarcher, Michael Lyons, Kimberley Wells
Nominated
1995Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Performer in a Children's SeriesShari LewisWon
1995Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Pre-School Children's SeriesShari Lewis, Bernard Rothman, Jon Slan, Richard BorchiverNominated
1995Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Children's SeriesBernard Rothman, Shari Lewis, Mallory Tarcher, Ken Steele, Lan O'Kun, Aubrey TadmanNominated
1996Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Performer in a Children's SeriesShari LewisWon
1996Daytime Emmy Outstanding Pre-School Children's SeriesJon Slan, Richard Borchiver, Shari Lewis, Bernard RothmanNominated
1996Daytime Emmy Outstanding Writing in a Children's SeriesMallory Tarcher, Shari Lewis, Aubrey Tadman, Ken Steele, Tibby Rothman, Lan O'Kun, Bernard RothmanNominated

External links

  • Lamb Chop's Play-Along at IMDb