Any fans of SCTV or SNL in the mid-1980s should fondly remember Ed Mayhoff Grimley, the character created and played by Martin Short who loved playing the triangle and watching “Wheel of Fortune.” But those same people may have been too old (or you know, old enough to be working and not sitting home watching cartoons on the weekend) to remember the Saturday morning cartoon “The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley” that ran for one season on NBC back in 1988.
The Hanna-Barbera produced cartoon featured Grimley in numerous precarious and fantastic situations (in one episode he goes to return a library book but stands in the wrong line and winds up joining the army; in another he goes on a ride in an amusement park and winds up rocketing to a far-off planet in outer space), which would often prompt him to declare that he was “Doomed as doomed can be, you know!” The episodes also featured The Amazing Gustav Brothers, Roger and Emil, who would teach the viewer mini science lessons in between the main plotline. And who could forget the live-action segments featuring Count Floyd (yet another SCTV crossover character as played by Joe Flaherty) and his “Scary Stories,” a show-within-a-show that Ed would always try to catch on television. Count Floyd would always start off his show with his patented “howl” and then start telling the in-studio audience full of uninterested kids a scary story. Ultimately, it was only Floyd who was scared by his stories, and he’d often change the narration as he told them, in order to try to get a response out of the kids. Here’s a video of one of his shows.
Unless I’m mistaken, Ed Grimley may be the only character to cross over to two different television series and become an animated character to boot. And please, anyone reading this please correct me if I’m wrong. These days Martin Short voices the titular “Cat in the Hat” on PBS. Thanks to having a toddler at home, I can say with some authority that there are many times during the PBS show where the Cat just comes off sounding like Ed Grimley. (Not that there’s really anything wrong with that).
Earlier this year, Short appeared on Conan and talked about the origin of the Ed Grimley character, which is both interesting and hilarious.
Thankfully, as of this past January, Warner Bros. released “The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley” on DVD as part of their Hanna–Barbera Classics. And that is completely decent of them, I must say.
-DJ Darko, Your Pop Culture Mixologist
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