A Tribute To Charley & Humphrey
I’m sure I do not have to tell you that the internet is an amazing place. If you are sitting around and you suddenly have a fleeting thought of some obscure childhood toy you had as a kid, through the power of Google, second later you could be browsing a site devoted to that toy.
I remember, as a kid, I once played with this weird toy that was a a goat that ate things. That’s all the toy was, a big plastic goat that came with all this stuff you could make him eat. I type in the phrase ‘goat toy eat” into google and seconds later I’m looking at videos of the toy in action. The toy was called Gobbles The Garbage Eating Goat and there is discussion about him going on all over the internet. Heck, if you’d like to see a 3 minute video of Gobbles in action you can CLICK HERE.
The internet is truly an amazing place.
The internet is also responsible for reconnecting me with a nugget of childhood nostalgia in the form of Charley & Humphrey. When I was a kid, after school cartoons and shows in the San Francisco Bay Area were on KTVU Channel 2. G.I. Joe, Diff’rent Strokes and more would occupy the time between homework and dinner. And during the commercials of those shows, KTVU would run little PSAs called Bits & Pieces. There were several that rotated throughout the afternoon but my favorites always included Charley & Humphrey.
Charley, the horse and Humphrey the bulldog were two puppets who gave little one minute lessons on topics including leaving bees alone, the importance of the Coast Guard and this classic on borrowing without asking…
These characters were created by KTVU’s weatherman Pat McCormick. Looking back at these with some puppeteer experience under my belt I can see what I didn’t see as a kid. Pat is puppeteering both characters. True, he’s a little off on lip sync but when you realize he’s doing both voices back and forth, it’s pretty neat. I had these memorized they played them so much. Even to this day I can recite the bee one (which has yet to surface on the internet) by heart and part of the one about the Coast Guard. A few years ago I found a guy selling T-shirts of Charley & Humphrey online and, of course, I bought one.
In trying to come up with ideas of short videos to make featuring Uncle Interloper I stumbled upon the idea of doing something in the same vein as these Bits & Pieces PSAs. I sat down and wrote about ten of them, they were super fun to write, and on New Year’s Day my friend Russ Walko and I shot a few of them. The first is scheduled to go out this weekend over at UncleInterloper.com and on his PODCAST, but I thought I’d share it here with you, the readers of my blog.
They came out a touch longer, I supposed they could do with some editing down, but I think they are fun and capture the spirit of those old vignettes I used to watch as a kid. I hope that if Pat McCormick ever saw them, he would enjoy the tribute.
How’d I do? Did I capture the spirit of these classic bits? Let me know what you think in the comments below.
I think you captured it perfectly! The puppets look so familiar but I never lived close to San Francisco. Maybe it’s because Charley looks a bit like Ceasel(sp)the Sea Serpent.
Thanks for checking it out Julie. Yeah, I’m sure Charlie was based heavily on Cecil. 🙂