|The Alvin Show|
Title card from The Alvin Show.
|Created by||Ross Bagdasarian Sr.|
Alvin and the Chipmunks
|Written by||Ross Bagdasarian Sr. |
|Directed by||Osmond Evans |
|Theme music composer|
|Composer(s)||Ross Bagdasarian, Sr. |
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||26|
|Running time||30 minutes per episode (7½ per segment)|
|Original network||First-run syndication|
|Picture format||Color (originally telecast in Black-and-white)|
|Original release||October 4, 1961 -|
September 12, 1962
The Alvin Show is an American animated television series that aired in first-run syndication from October 1961 to September 1962. It is the first series to feature the singing characters Alvin and the Chipmunks. The Alvin Show aired for one season in prime time and was originally sponsored by General Foods through its Jell-O gelatin and Post Cereal brands. The series was initially telecast in black and white, though a color version began airing in the fall of 1965.
The series rode the momentum of creator Ross Bagdasarian, Sr.'s original hit musical gimmick and developed the singing Chipmunk trio as rambunctious kids–particularly the show's namesake star–whose mischief contrasted to his tall, brainy brother Simon and his chubby, gluttonous brother Theodore, as well as their long-suffering, perpetually put-upon manager-father figure, David Seville. The animation was produced by Herbert Klynn's Format Films. The pilot episode, an early version of the fifth episode "Good Neighbor", was written and produced to sell the show to CBS. The actual show featured a re-worked version, which aired as part of the fifth episode.
Aside from the seven-minute Chipmunk segments, in which David Seville was portrayed as a hapless bachelor who managed and mentored the three singing rodents, the show also had segments featuring a character called Clyde Crashcup (voiced by Shepard Menken impersonating Richard Haydn's Edwin Carp character), a scientist/inventor. Each segment was introduced by Alvin, who was told by Dave that he was introducing a great inventor and was dumbfounded or dumbstruck when he heard it was Clyde Crashcup; Alvin was never a fan of Clyde Crashcup, as during the show intro montage he gives him a cold, dirty look whenever he appears.
Clyde's "inventions" were really items that had already been invented, but with his own personal touches. His "creations" often backfired on him until his silent, level-headed assistant, Leonardo, who was diminutive, balding and perpetually whispering in Clyde Crashcup's ears, saved him from any further self-destruction.
CBS reran the series on Saturday mornings for a few years after the show's prime time run ended and segments from the show were syndicated in the mid- and late 1960s under the package title Alvin and the Chipmunks (this first syndicated package consisted of the individual show segments only, including the Alvin and Clyde Crashcup cartoons and the Chipmunks musical segments, not in the form of half-hour shows). The series later was revived on NBC-TV, again promoted under the title Alvin and the Chipmunks (with the introductory Alvin Show title card cut off the beginning of the show opening) Saturday mornings between March 10, 1979 and September 1, 1979. Superstation WGN Chicago 9 began airing the show in September 1983 (replacing The Pink Panther Show), lasting until mid-1985. Another Superstation, WTBS Atlanta, picked up the show in 1986.
Ross Bagdasarian, Sr. died of a heart attack on January 16, 1972. Years later, his son, Ross Bagdasarian Jr., picked up on a disc jockey's joke and produced the album Chipmunk Punk in 1980. The success of Chipmunk Punk spurred renewed interest a new animated series, which launched in fall 1983 on NBC and was titled Alvin and the Chipmunks, with Ross, Jr. taking over for his father as the voices of Alvin, Simon and Dave Seville. His wife, Janice Karman, voiced Theodore, as well as The Chipettes, who are the Chipmunks' female counterparts. To coincide with the new series, Viacom Enterprises distributed reruns of The Alvin Show to local stations.
In 1981, Clyde Crashcup made an appearance during a dream sequence in A Chipmunk Christmas. During recent network airings of the special, the sequence has been cut out, due to network time constraints concerning commercial ad time.
In 1990, The Alvin Show versions of the Chipmunks and Clyde Crashcup reappeared in an episode of The Chipmunks Go To the Movies entitled "Back to Our Future" (a spoof of the 1985 movie, Back to the Future).
A majority of the songs and clips from The Alvin Show were featured in the Alvin and the Chipmunks Sing Along Songs VHS releases that were released in the mid-1990s. The songs, however, were slightly remastered.
Nickelodeon picked up US broadcast rights to The Alvin Show sometime in 1994. The network aired digitally restored versions of each episode as it originally was broadcast (save for the commercial plugs and Alvin's addition of his name to the closing), adding its logo to the opening. The show aired on weekday mornings for approximately a year.
During this time, as well as for sometime after the full episodes stopped airing, the individual Chipmunk and Clyde Crashcup cartoons and musical segments were inserted into episodes of Weinerville. In 1996, Nickelodeon stopped showing The Alvin Show segments altogether and no television station has aired them since then.
|#||The Chipmunks||Musical Segment 1||Clyde Crashcup||Musical Segment 2||Original air date|
|1||Stanley the Eagle||Oh Gondaliero||Invents Baseball||I Wish I Could Speak French||October 4, 1961|
|2||Sam Valiant, Private Nose||August Dear||Invents the Bathtub||Alvin's Orchestra||October 11, 1961|
|3||Squares||Swanee River||Invents the Wife||The Magic Mountain||October 18, 1961|
|4||Ostrich||The Brave Chipmunks||Invents the Baby||Yankee Doodle||October 25, 1961|
|5||Good Neighbor||The Little Dog||Invents Electricity||Old MacDonald Cha Cha Cha||November 1, 1961|
|6||Fancy||Japanese Banana||Invents Music||When Johnny Comes Marching Home||November 8, 1961|
|7||Alvin's Alter Ego||The Pidgin English Hula||Invents the West||Chipmunk Fun||November 15, 1961|
|8||Sam Valiant, Real Estate||Working on the Railroad||Invents the Stove||Stuck in Arabia||November 22, 1961|
|9||Camping Trip||Good Morning Song||Invents Jokes||I Wish I Had a Horse||November 29, 1961|
|10||Overworked Alvin||Witch Doctor||Invents Flight||The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)||December 6, 1961|
|11||Dude Ranch||Home on the Range||Invents First Aid||Alvin for President||December 13, 1961|
|12||Jungle Rhythm||Lily of Laguna||Invents Egypt||Row, Row, Row Your Boat||December 20, 1961|
|13||Bentley Van Rolls||Swing Low, Sweet Chariot||Invents Self-Preservation||Comin' Thru the Rye||December 27, 1961|
|14||Good Manners||Bicycle Built for Two||Invents Physical Fitness||Ragtime Cowboy Joe||January 3, 1962|
|15||Little League||Buffalo Gals||Invents the Chair||While Strolling in the Park One Day||January 10, 1962|
|16||Hillbilly Son||Spain||Invents the Bed||Pop Goes the Weasel||January 17, 1962|
|17||Alvin's Cruise||Alvin's Harmonica||Invents the Telephone||If You Love Me (Alouette)||January 24, 1962|
|18||Lovesick Dave||Coming 'Round the Mountain||Invents the Time Machine||The Three Blind-Folded Mice||January 31, 1962|
|19||Eagle In Love||Sing a Goofy Song||Invents Do it Yourself||Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star||February 7, 1962|
|20||Theodore's Dog||Clementine||Invents the Shoe||Maria from Madrid||February 14, 1962|
|21||Haunted House||Whistle While You Work||Invents Glass||My Wild Irish Rose||February 21, 1962|
|22||Alvin's Studio||Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair||This is Your Life, Clyde Crashcup!||The Band Played On||February 28, 1962|
|23||The Whistler||The Alvin Twist||Invents the Boat||The Man on the Flying Trapeze||March 7, 1962|
|24||Sir Alvin||Git Along, Little Dogies||Invents Crashcupland||Down in the Valley||March 14, 1962|
|25||Disc Jockey||Funiculì, Funiculà||Invents Birthdays||Polly Wolly Doodle||March 21, 1962|
|26||Eagle Music||On Top of Old Smoky||Invents Self-Defense||America the Beautiful||March 28, 1962|
Other than the two VHS releases from Buena Vista Home Video, both of which featured 11 songs from The Alvin Show, up until recently, the show has never been released on DVD. However, on September 8, 2009, Paramount Home Entertainment released the first episode of the show, along with two "modern" specials. A future "Complete Series" DVD set of the series has not yet been planned. In 2014, "The Brave Chipmunks" musical sequence was released as a bonus feature on The Chipmunk Adventure Blu-ray and DVD combo pack. In 2015, three complete episodes (#01, #04, and #10) were released together as The Alvin Show on Blu-ray and DVD.