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Faerie Tale Theatre
September 5, 2007 7:13 PM   Subscribe

Yes, that is indeed Mick Jagger playing a Chinese emperor. And those are, in fact, Edward James Olmos, Bud Cort, and Barbara Hershey heading up the supporting cast of "The Nightingale," a particularly odd episode of Shelley Duvall's ludicrously star-studded Faerie Tale Theatre. Throughout its early '80s run, the show used dozens of prominent actors to perform the fairy tale standards, including Klaus Kinski and Susan Sarandon in a virtual remake of the Cocteau "Beauty and the Beast;" Paul Reubens, James Coburn, Carl Reiner, and Vincent Schiavelli in "Pinnochio;" Helen Mirren and Brian Dennehy in "The Little Mermaid;" and James Earl Jones and Leonard Nimoy in a Tim Burton-directed "Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp." The list goes on and on.
posted by Iridic (34 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite

 
Faerie Tale Theater was one of the most fucking awesome things from my childhood, ever. I watch it now and I still love it.
posted by schroedinger at 7:18 PM on September 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


I remember watching Robin Williams as "The Frog Prince" and thinking that I could see the bulge of his dong through his tight froggy leotards. I was maybe seven or eight years old.
posted by ColdChef at 7:20 PM on September 5, 2007


I had totally forgotten about Faerie Tale Theatre! My favorites were Cinderella with Jennifer Beals and Matthew Broderick. I also loved the Three Little Pigs, with Billy Crystal, Jeff Goldblum and Fred Willard. They used to be on Showtime, so I'd record them and watch them over and over. I bet you my mom still has them on tape...

It's pretty amazing the people that acted in them, when you look at the list!
posted by emilyv at 7:20 PM on September 5, 2007


HA! The Pinocchio episode is narrated by Father Guido Sarducci.
posted by ColdChef at 7:22 PM on September 5, 2007


This may have been the single most influential thing in my childhood. I don't remember church, I don't remember many books, but I sure as hell remember Carrie Fisher as Thumbelina.
posted by doift at 7:22 PM on September 5, 2007


Awesome! It's on Amazon and it's fairly cheap. Bought it! Thanks.
posted by ColdChef at 7:30 PM on September 5, 2007


Loved these as a kid, especially Little Red Riding Hood. I'm also reminded of the Storyteller bits from the Jim Henson show. I could only find this collected clip on YouTube. I still remember the image of that soldier wandering and disappearing into the map.
posted by HeroZero at 7:45 PM on September 5, 2007


I loved me some Storyteller, with that magnificent white cat...
posted by Samizdata at 7:56 PM on September 5, 2007


I'm requesting them from my local library right now.
posted by SinisterPurpose at 8:14 PM on September 5, 2007


Oh god, I used to watch all of these. I still remember Frank Zappa in "The Boy Who Never Got the Shivers."
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:24 PM on September 5, 2007


My local library has most of these. When my daughter was about four, we watched several of them together. She'll be seven in a couple of weeks. Maybe I'll pick these up for her birthday. Thanks for the post.
posted by Sailormom at 8:37 PM on September 5, 2007


I remember watching Robin Williams as "The Frog Prince" and thinking that I could see the bulge of his dong through his tight froggy leotards.

Faerie Tale Theatre was the entertainment of choice for the kids-stay-up-there!-room at parties my family went to when I was little. That particular bulge was a major topic of conversation at every one. I wonder how Mr. Williams feels about such things?

I'm going to go relive many other fond memories of this series. Thanks, Iridic!
posted by medialyte at 8:49 PM on September 5, 2007


I also loved the Three Little Pigs, with Billy Crystal, Jeff Goldblum and Fred Willard.

Bruce Dern stole that one as the Wolf.

Which one had Jackie Vernon cast against type as a bad comedian?
posted by evilcolonel at 8:49 PM on September 5, 2007


Whoa! Paging doctorschlock: "There was also a some kind of hippy fairy tale show with Mick Jagger..."
posted by samh23 at 8:51 PM on September 5, 2007


Good eye, samh23! Doctorschlock's comment caught my eye the other day and inspired the post.

Which one had Jackie Vernon cast against type as a bad comedian?

That would be "The Princess Who Never Laughed."
posted by Iridic at 9:00 PM on September 5, 2007


Can we fire the YouTubers? Seriously stop it.
posted by xmutex at 9:12 PM on September 5, 2007


wow, Never heard of these or saw these before. Couldn't believe my eyes with Mick Jagger playing the Emperor. Wonderfully awful, charming and mesmerizing. What a treat and fun find. Thanks Iridic.
posted by nickyskye at 9:51 PM on September 5, 2007


What a nice memory jogger. Thanks, iridic!
posted by Lynsey at 9:55 PM on September 5, 2007


Can we fire the YouTubers? Seriously stop it.

Yeah, obviously no one is enjoying it.
posted by medialyte at 11:16 PM on September 5, 2007


Oh, man...I thought I had imagined the existence of these in some drug-addled hallucinatory state. Seriously, whenever someone mentioned fairy tales around me, I'd have these bizarre flashbacks of Robin Williams, or Mick Jagger, or Jennifer Beals and wonder where the hell they came from.

Which may give more indication to the state in which I originally watched them. Showing my age, today, ain't I?
posted by squasha at 11:20 PM on September 5, 2007


huh. i always remembered them as being shot on a soundstage...
posted by pxe2000 at 3:36 AM on September 6, 2007


Holy Christ and all His Saints, but the twisted visage of Puss In Boots still haunts my nightmares.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:43 AM on September 6, 2007


Shelly Duvall was born to be Olive Oyl as surely as Schwartznegger was born to be Conan.
posted by jfuller at 4:47 AM on September 6, 2007


My sister and I burned out the video disc player watching all these.
posted by yerfatma at 5:04 AM on September 6, 2007


I saw a couple of these when they first aired, and when they became available on VHS my wife and I rented them all. As soon as the DVDs became available I snapped up the set. They were a bit more garish than I remembered, but still a treat.
posted by mkhall at 5:34 AM on September 6, 2007


How did I never hear of these before? Where/when did they air (as in, PBS at 8:00 on Sundays, or what)?

Also, the Pinocchio one has one "Michael Richards" in the credits.
posted by DU at 5:41 AM on September 6, 2007


Paul Reubens is responsible for two of my most damaging childhood traumas: the Pinocchio episode of "Faerie Tale Theatre," and the Large Marge scene from Pee-wee's Big Adventure.

Let's refrain from jokes about other Reubens-related traumatic incidents, thank you very much.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:18 AM on September 6, 2007


[This is good good good!] Fred Willard giving a tour of the Three Little Pigs' house: "Corner, corner, bed, chair! That's it!"
posted by steef at 6:37 AM on September 6, 2007


the Large Marge scene from Pee-wee's Big Adventure.
Thank god! I'm not alone! I'm not alone! There needs to be a support group for this.

"Hi everyone, I'm Dr Baa. Large Marge sent me."
posted by Dr-Baa at 9:11 AM on September 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


Dr-Baa, you're far from alone. Large Marge ranks at #60 in retroCRUSH's list of the 100 scariest movie scenes.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:52 AM on September 6, 2007


I'm almost sure that I watched many of those in Shanghai in late 80s. They were aired usually around noon time, and I would run home from school during lunch time to catch the show. Thank you for the memories!
posted by of strange foe at 12:42 PM on September 6, 2007


I have been waiting for these to come on YouTube! Thank you so much for the links!
posted by laconic titan at 1:57 PM on September 6, 2007


Thanks, Iridic!

Oh, hey! Howard Hesseman!
posted by evilcolonel at 5:44 PM on September 6, 2007


Nope! That isn't the show I'm talking about. There was a 70's show..dancing people..and the tune went something like this.
...Now we can sing this song all together...open your eyes and the pictures come..now we can sing this song all together..

It wasn't an HBO show it was before cable TV. Shots of people dancing in an open field. Hippies me thinks. Must have been
a BBC show now that I think about it.
posted by doctorschlock at 7:48 AM on September 7, 2007


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