C'mon and Zooma Zooma Zooma ZOOM!
ZOOM was produced for PBS by WGBH in Boston, and originally aired from 1972 through 1978. It literally was television for kids, by kids -- the show's various segments were culled from thousands of ideas submitted by viewers (by mail to the address above). Sometimes these kids were featured in the clips themselves.
From a 1972 Time Magazine article:
"Virtually all the material is by children and is selected by the seven-member cast (ages nine through 13). The kids sing, dance. play games, talk in 'Ubbi-Dubbi'--a catchy code language reminiscent of past generations' pig Latin-show home movies and give laconic instructions in all manner of skills. The first show featured a filmed demonstration of how to build a raft from tree limbs, leaves and an old tarpaulin. A 4-minute karate exhibition aimed at defeating bicycle thieves was on the second. The third will include a thoroughly befuddling lesson in the game of "cat's cradle," with a perplexed young instructress tangling her string and admitting, 'I got it wrong.'"
Ubbi-Dubbi? Well, let Wikipedia break it down for you
Wait, that was no fun... better yet, pbs.org has a Flash-based Ubbi-Dubbi Translator
. I had it translate its own instructions into Ubbi-Dubbi:
"Uball yubou hubave tubo dubo ubis subay UBUB bubefubore ubevuberuby vubowubel subound. Uband thubis Ububbubi Dububbubi mubachubine hubas bubeen prubogrubammubed wubith thube ubabubilubituby tubo rubecubognubize whubich vubowubels ubare suboundubed, uband whubich ubare subilubent!
You can hear Ubbi-Dubbi spubokuben fubulubentluby by nubatubives at the beginning of thubis clubip
of the ZOOMers' production of the Mad Tea Party scene from Alice in Wonderland.
Wikipedia also comes close to de-funnifying Fannee Doolee
: "Fannee Doolee is a fictitious girl acted in the playhouse by the ZOOMers on ZOOM. During the play, Fannee Doolee does not face the audience and she does not speak; instead, Fannee Doolee's unheard dialog is exposed when the person she was seen talking to turns to talk with others. The play is a comedy and the repeating gag is that Fannee Doolee likes and dislikes things that are similar and the people around her are perplexed by this inconsistency. For example, she likes stools but not chairs; she likes coffee but not drinks; she likes rolls but not bread; she likes cheese but not dairy.
(I bet she loves LOLLing but hates MetaFilter.) Here's a clip of the cool Fannee Doolee song'n'dance
Here are some segments:
- Roll out the ZOOMBarrel
: a game called "Cracker Whistle" - this clip made me laugh when I was young, and again now. Play "Cracker Whistle" responsibly. It's fun.
- ...doo-wah-zoom-doo, Do A ZOOMDo
! These girls show (not tell) you how to make Stained Glass Cookies!
- Bernadette shows us how she does that thing with her arms
Bernadette has her own ZOOMstalgia web page, too.
This guy gets all mushy, shooting an eight-minute Youtube about how Bernadette answered his email.
- ZOOM's Play of the Week
: A melodrama about two lost fishermen. Written by someone just like you were back before the web sucked all the imagination out of you
- A nice piece of music
"I am a City Child
I live on the tip-top floor
Of an old apartment building
With a very creaky door"
And, as a bonus, here's the first episode of ZOOM, before the rugby shirts were de rigeur
- Intro to the Merrymac, Intro to Ubbi-Dubbi, the ZOOM Play of the Week (an absurdist classic)
- ZOOMovie (Rated R, "Ristricted"), ZOOM Guest (Roy West, wordlessly showing you how to build a cool raft), The Ubbi-Dubbi Weather Report
- ZOOMgame (A Merrymac), ZOOMrap (a really nice piece that has the kids talkin' about their experiences with doctors and hospitals), a song ("The Cat Came Back")
- The address rap (Joe's and Nancy's lines are the best), and Closing Credits.
Rugby shirts, jeans, and bare feet. The second season won a daytime Emmy. C'mon and ZOOM!
(ZOOM was revived by PBS in 1999, but we'll save that for an FPP in 2035.)