"Gerald McBoing Boing"  

"A must-see treat"- TV Guide  (click for review)

Airs weekdays mornings on Cartoon Network (U.S.), Teletoons (Canada), and Channel 5 UK (check listings for times).

Episodes now available on DVD!

 

Gerald McBoing Boing - Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is Gerald McBoing Boing?

  2. Are you Dr. Seuss?

  3. Was it hard turning a slim, 50-year old short film about a boy who doesn't speak into 26 fully-fleshed-out half hours of TV?

  4. Why are you so cranky?

  5. Oh, c'mon, it wasn't that bad, was it?

  6. Are there new characters in this version?

  7. Who is your favorite new character?

  8. Did you come up with the "Burp the Dog" drinking game?

  9. Gerald makes a lot of sounds, but does he ever fart?

  10. What's your favorite segment that never made it to air?

  11. Is this one of the greatest cartoons of all time?

  12. What ever happened to your adaptation of "Green Eggs and Ham?"

  13. You are brilliant.  How can I contact you?


What is Gerald McBoing Boing?

"Gerald McBoing Boing" is a new animated series based on the ground-breaking 1950s cartoon about a boy who only makes sounds (instead of speaking).  Created by Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss) and produced by the legendary UPA studios, "Gerald McBoing Boing" is considered one of the greatest cartoons of all time.  It won an Academy Award for best animated short in either 1950 or 1951.  I'm not really sure of the date.  For more info, try wikipedia, toonopedia, or http://www.bremenonline.org/boing/boingboing.htm .

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Are you Dr. Seuss?

No, Dr. Seuss (aka Theodore Geisel) has been dead for many years.  My name is John Derevlany.  I adapted the original cartoon, written by Theodor Geisel, and turned a 50-year old short film that only lasted a few minutes into 26 fully-fleshed out half hours of TV.

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Was it hard turning a 50-year old short film that only lasted a few minutes into 26 fully-fleshed out half hours of TV?

It almost fucking killed me.

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Why are you so cranky?

The original "Gerald McBoing Boing"  is a great film -- there's not doubt about that.  But just try doing 500 different versions of that film, and then make each of those 500 versions seem more amazing and original than the last.  That's basically what this series is.  Each of the 26 half hours consists of two 11-minute "episodes" (52 total "episodes").  Each of these 52 episodes has 10 segments.  That's more than 500 segments -- all featuring a main character who doesn't speak.  Oh, yeah, and it was produced on a very tight deadline, with a limited budget, and ruthless network executives determined to remove anything interesting or funny.  But that part is probably true of most shows. 

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Oh, c'mon, it wasn't that bad, was it?

This is me in July 2004, after writing the first "Gerald McBoing Boing" script. This is me nine months later, watching a cut of the first episode.  
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Are there new characters in this version?

Yes, like any adaptation, it is sometimes necessary to expand the world of the original work.  Gerald now has two new friends, Janine, a sassy, do-it-all overachiever, and Jacob, who's a bit of a retard.  I modelled him after myself.  The same goes for the Dad -- he's completely clueless.  The mom, however, is wildly competent and good-natured.  I don't actually know anyone like her.  Here's a picture...
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Who is your favorite new character?

Burp the Dog, of course.  At one point early in the scripting season, the show's director Robin Budd drew a picture of Gerald with a dog.  

The dog looked something like this.

I decided this would be Gerald's pet.  And since Gerald only made sounds, his dog should only make sounds too.  And it should be some kind of offensive sound that will bother network executives -- something like a burp (I tried farts in another episode -- more on that below). I figured the executives would cut the "burps," and make the dog do something inoffensive, like "squeak" or something, and I would enjoy my own private joke, like the thousands of other private jokes I enjoy that never make it on the air.  But for some reason, they loved the burping Burp (go figure).  So I made the dog burp.  And burp.  And burp.  In fact, I think there are more than 3,000 burps in the first season alone.

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Did you come up with the "Burp the dog drinking game?"

Yes, I did.  You're supposed to take a drink every time Burp burps.  Of course, this show airs at like 9 a.m., so if you're playing this game with real alcohol, you might have a problem.  However, all younger viewers are welcome to play it with their sippy cups and juice boxes.

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Gerald makes lots of sounds, but does he ever fart?

Yes.  In episode 33, there is a whole farting bit, but I don't know if it will ever make it to air, or if it does, what shape it will be in.  A lot of segments get severely altered or cut before broadcast.

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What's your favorite segment that never made it to air?

I wrote this one Sound Check segment in Episode 7 about a flower that starts coughing and choking.  And then it heaves up a garden fairy.  Then later, in Sound Check #3 of that same episode, the garden fairy (still covered in flower spit), comes chasing after the flower with a lawn mower.

Was it funny?  Or just stupid?  Or maybe it's better the way it was originally written (click here to read the original script segment).  The vomiting flower was eventually replaced by this bit where a fish jumps out of its bowl and barks at a cat.

That works too, I suppose.

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Is this one of the greatest cartoons of all times?

TV guide puts the original "McBoing-Boing" at #21 on its 50 greatest cartoons list.  It is #9 on the list of "50 Greatest Cartoons," a book based on the opinions of 1000 animation professionals.  It is #6 on one of Cartoon Network's 50 Greatest Cartoon list as well.  As for our remake?  Well, the money I made from this show kept my cupboards filled with red wine and Hot Pockets for several months, so on that basis alone, I'd says it's the GREATEST CARTOON EVER!!!

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What ever happened to your adaptation of "Green Eggs and Ham?"

After "McBoing Boing," I began work on an adaptation of another Dr. Seuss classic, "Green Eggs and Ham."  This project, however, did not do so well. Click here to read the network notes on "Green Eggs and Ham."

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You are brilliant.  How can I contact you?

Just send me an email at jderevlany@yahoo.com .  Please put "McBoing Boing" in the title, so I know you are not trying to sell me a mortgage or some kind of penis enlarging cream (unless, of course, you have a good deal on either one).  Even if you don't think I'm brilliant, you can still write to me.

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Photos and text copyright 2005 by John Derevlany.  All rights reserved.  "Gerald McBoing Boing" images copyright 2005 McBoing Productions Inc., a subsidiary of Cookie Jar Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved.