On Singing Rodents


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That’s where the Chipmunks started … a song with normal voices (all done by creator Ross Bagdasarian) … and then increased the speed. Do you remember doing that on a turntable?

Witch Doctor spent three weeks at the top of the charts in 1958

Bagdasarian appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show before the cartoon appeared

Later the same year, The Chipmunk Song (aka “Christmas, Don’t Be Late”)

  • Spent our weeks at Number 1 (December 22, 1958 to January 12, 1959)
  • Earned three Grammy Awards and a nominated for Record of the Year


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Appeared in Dell Comics …. and then came the the cartoon

Their popularity led to a cartoon series: The Alvin Show debuted (on CBS) October 4, 1961 in prime time, which lasted only one season before reruns the next year on Saturday morning

To sing along, the lyrics are below the video!

This is the Alvin Show,
The Alvin Show,
You’ll positively gonna love the Alvin Show.
There’s Dave Seville,
And what is more
Here’s the boy we know as Theodore.
Now you see,
On camera three,
The brother known as Simon on the family tree.
And here’s the star of the show,
Alvin, Alvin!

Ready, here we go,
Here’s the Alvin Show.

The 3 chipmunks after Liberty Records executives Si Waronker, Ted Keep and Al Bennett

Simon
Tall and thin with glasses
The good and smart one
Dry sense of humor
Responded “Naturally” to praise

Theodore
The youngest
Short and chubby,
Shy, trusting, sensitive, and giddy
Giggled when praised

Alvin
Mischievous
Impulsive
The lead vocalist and the star
#44 on TV Guide’s Greatest Cartoon Characters of All Time
Dave to yell “Alvin!”, to which Alvin responds with “Okay!”

Dave Seville
The father-like manager who is a songwriter
Quick tempered, but kind
Alvin irritates him

The Show

  • There were four segments in that show
  • Two short segments with The Chipmunks leading viewers in sing-alongs
  • One staring a crazy inventor named Clyde Crashcup (previous AFA honoree)
  • The lead segment featuring the Chipmunk characters as kids with David Seville, their guardian, playing the role of Dad
  • 26 episodes each for the Alvin and the Chipmunks and Clyde Crashcup, plus 52 musical segments

Dell continue the comic books after the TV show debuted

Bagdasarian retired, then died in 1972

Five years later (1977), his son, Ross Jr., revived the Chipmunks

NBC re-ran The Alvin Show on Saturday mornings 1979-80

This episode is a blend of the old and the new