A new outlet mall recently opened up down the street from our house. I stopped by because I heard there was going to be a toy store, but the store turned out to specialize in not only toys, but also puzzles and calendars. There were lots of calendars with “cute animal” themes, but two or three of the ones they had on display really caught my eye.
While both of these were temping, I’m not sure I want to look at Baby or Screech for months at a time. Instead, I settled on this one:
It’s usually a big surprise if a summer replacement show is a big hit – it’s filler and B-grade material by design. In the summer of 2002, Fox struck big with a show about moderately attractive young people singing karaoke that became the most popular television show of the decade, American Idol. I never watched it. Because NBC was airing this bizarre sitcom/variety show/sketch show experiment called The Rerun Show, in which veterans of the excellent L.A. sketch and improv scenes recreated a popular live show and remade, word for word but with a healthy amount of irony, straight-faced mockery, and rampant cross-dressing, memorable episodes of classic cheesy sitcoms.
It only lasted for a few weeks, long enough for just a handful of re-dos of episodes of things like Saved By the Bell, Bewitched, and The Facts of Life.
What happens when Teddy Ruxpin and one of those mind melting kids from Village of the Damned have a baby? Cricket is born. These Cricket dolls operated in similar fashion to Teddy Ruxpin, but instead of single sided tapes they used double. The sound data was one side and movement data on the other. Although rumored to be powered by pure evil Cricket actually required four “C” batteries for the tape player and 1 9-volt battery for the mouth movement.
Thankfully these dolls never crossed the threshold of my house and I knew better then to invite them in when they showed up for dinner – I have seen Lost Boys. So I know if you don’t invite them in they can’t hurt you. Yet I the commercials for these monsters took root in my brain from Saturday Morning Cartoon exposure and I can still sing the theme song and at night I can still here her “I’ll be talking to you” catchphrase. Its like the crying of the lambs.
Did you escape this mess? Can’t sing along? Well enjoy the commercial and welcome to my hell.
Warning: Saved by the Bell Factoid to Follow
Interesting fact. The Cricket Doll was voiced by Laura Mooney who played Nicki Kapowski on Saved By the Bell. You remember the episode where she thought Zak liked her through a series of misunderstandings? No? Well it was awesome.