Home Alone With Malcolm-Jamal Warner (And Friends!)

In the mid-1980s, Malcolm-Jamal Warner was not just Theo Huxtable, he was the host of several child-friendly pseudo-instructional videos on various topics, from being cool at parties to a home safety video for those times kids find themselves…home alone!

Home Safety Video For Kids…Starring Kids!

And now for a whole other kind of training video of the “departure from my usual training video” type!

I’m talking a home safety video for the younger set!

In 1987, Nelvana Limited and Hi-Tops Video produced a home safety video called Home Alone: A Kid’s Guide to Playing it Safe When On Your Own.

Malcolm-Jamal Warner hosts the program, along with a cast of child actors, all of whom were actual working child actors, and none of whom appear on the box cover.

I’m serious.

Now, before we start, I have something important to get out of the way!

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Ah yes.  Now we can start!

Anyway, the actual kids…

From right to left (As they introduce themselves): Alyson (Alyson Court), Sunny (Sunny Besen-Thrasher), Mike (Ian Heath, because why use his real name?), and Wendy (Wendy Chong).

For those not in the know, Alyson and Sunny were prominent voice actors who (at the time) starred as siblings in the live-action My Pet Monster, Wendy was a regular on The Elephant Show, and Ian/Mike made appearances on The Edison Twins (Sunny played the twins’ younger sibling, Paul) and starred in the mini-series Anne of Avonlea. He’s probably the least well-known of the four child actors. Malcolm himself was playing Theo Huxtable on The Cosby Show, and is the only non-Canadian of the group.

So…did he go up to Canada to film this?

The video’s aim is to teach kids how to stay safe in any possible situation when by themselves. The instruction is done through scenarios and role play, and done in a way that kids understand.

And there’s kiddie game show-style theme music and eighties transition magic. Because 1987.

What scenarios do they act out, you ask?

Scenario #1: How to Safeguard Your Key

Featuring giant keys on a string around your neck, or attached to your belt loop, and Malcolm wearing a black Halloween mask and ski cap!

Scenario #2: Kitchen Safety (Making a Snack)

Not using sharp knives, the stove, or the oven. Also featuring Alyson Court’s giant sandwich!

 

I saw My Pet Monster. The Giant Sandwich and Sunny Besen-Thrasher in the same room does not end well, trust me!

And Malcolm’s slightly evil face next to knives.

I kid you not.

Scenario #3: Person at the Door

Malcolm tries to convince the kids to let him in, and almost succeeds with Wendy and Alyson.

Malcolm: “Knock, knock!”

Sunny: “Who’s there?”

Malcolm: “Boo-hoo.”

Sunny: “Boo who?”

Malcolm: “Don’t cry, I’m here to fix the hot water heater!”

Scenario #4: Phone

That phone and its giant buttons are on point!

Scenario #5: Problems with Utilities (Water, Gas, Electricity) And First Aid

Malcolm demonstrates turning off water or gas in the event of a leak, and explains what to do if the power goes out.Malcolm reviews the First Aid kit, creating a contact list, and what to do in the event of a fire.

Scenario #6: Medical Emergency

Alyson and “Officer Warner” go over what to do in the event of a medical emergency.

And now that you know all of this, time to…

Put The Home Safety Video Details Together!

Mike/Ian and Wendy (as “Dad” and “Mom”) review all the scenarios and explanations with their “son” Malcolm.

And now that you know everything there is to know from this home safety video…

Make A Plan!

Create a plan that works well for you, practice it, and watch this tape once a month to refresh your memory. After all, Hi-Tops did throw this at the beginning of the video…

It is a nicer way of saying “BUY THIS HI-TOPS VIDEOCASSETTE!”

So, what do you think? You know the scenarios, but how about seeing them played out by our young stars?

Well, you’re in luck!

Home Alone: A Kid’s Guide To Playing It Safe When On Your Own

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Takeaways From Home Alone: A Kid’s Guide To Playing It Safe When On Your Own

1. Staying safe while home alone (especially at a younger age) never becomes a dated concept.

2. There was a time when cell phones didn’t exist, and we relied on handwritten contact lists and the home phone.

3. Alyson listened to records or the radio. A modern-day kid wants to know what a record is.

4. Sunny will get robbed or kidnapped leaving his window open and door unlocked.

(The perp won’t look like Malcolm-Jamal Warner).

5. Malcolm-Jamal Warner looks slightly evil standing next to knives.

That might be my screenshot skills, but seriously, that expression!

The music sting after each “incorrect” response makes so much sense!

And finally…

6. Giant Sandwich a la Alyson!

And now that you know how to stay safe, 1987 style, it is time to put these strategies and to work! So write up your contact list in huge letters, put your giant key on a string around your neck, and don’t answer the door for anyone!

Stranger Danger? Never heard of it in 1987!

Allison L. Venezio
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Allison L. Venezio

Secretary/Blogger-Writer at Allison's Written Words and Retroist
Allison is a Secretary by day, a writer/blogger by night (and during lunch breaks and in the mornings before work), a nostalgia geek (and a geek in general), worshipper of Thor (and Chris Hemsworth), and honorary Avenger (she has a pin, so it is official).She collects Itty Bittys and Funko Pops, loves anything that takes her back to childhood, and has confessed her love for Kenny Loggins.Oh, and she listens to Chicago...alot.If any of this piques your interest, she'd love for you to visit her personal blog, Allison's Written Words, where she talks about alot of the same stuff she talks about here, and more!

She can be found at allisonveneziowrites.com.You can follow her blog on Facebook (facebook.com/allisonswrittenwords) and on Twitter @AllisonGeeksOut.
Allison L. Venezio
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