I have very fond memories of the clayanimation show Bump in
the Night. Not because I watched it
it was airing, but because I didn't have to.
It was about 15 years ago and my oldest son was about three. He used to run into my room and wake me up
every morning when he woke up, about 6 am, until I taught him how to
the TV and reciever by himself (something my wife still has problems
with) and turn the station to the Cartoon Network or
Nickelodeon. He soon discovered an early
morning show that he fell in love with:
Bump in the Night. After that
he'd get up by himself and run downstairs, which meant that I got to
a little bit longer. When I'd wake up
he'd tell me everything that happened on the show.
The only problem was that his vocabulary
wasn't very large, and so he'd make up words to fill in the gaps. "Dad, dad, dad! Today
Mr. Bumpy got a grubbl and he and he
and he put it ssmither tong and then it wessquer IN THE TOILET!" That
followed by fits of uncontrollable laughter.
I did manage to catch a handful of episode way back then and
I was pretty impressed. It was pretty
funny and wasn't as sappy as most kids shows.
It was pretty creative and the humor wasn't only aimed at the
set. The show was just a bit twisted...
something I really enjoyed, without being sick.
It was just slightly askew and that's what makes it so much fun. The good folks at Shout! Factory, who have
been doing a great job of releasing quality obscure shows, have now
the complete series of this forgotten classic for a whole new
kids (and their parents.)
The premise is pretty simple: Mr. Bumpy is
a monster that lives under the
bed of a ten year old boy. He loves to
eat dirty socks (that's why there's always one missing) and having fun
pals Molly Coddle, a comfort doll made up of parts from other dolls and
show's straight man, and Squishington, a blue monster who lives in the
and is a neat-freak.
Each episode consists of two short stories and a "Karaoke
Café" song. For some reason the
moved to the bonus features, probably because they were repeated over
course of the show and they didn't want to waste the space by repeating
same bits on different discs.
While some of the half-episode stories are fairly straight
forward sit-com fare a lot of them, the best episodes, have a decidedly
and weird bend to them. A good example
is Gum Crazy, an early episode in the first season.
In this show Mr. Bumpy is impressing
Squishington with his ability to blow really large bubbles with gum,
runs out of the chewy candy. He starts
to panic until Squishington mentions that he heard gum stays in your
for seven years after you swallow it. With
that piece of data Mr. Bumpy has his solution!
He just climbs inside of his own mouth to retrieve the
gum. This creates a black hole/ special
instability however which will cause the world to destruct in six
minutes. Mr. Bumpy argues with his
stomach, heart (who
speaks with an outrageous French accent of course) and finally has a
knock-down, drag-out fight with his brain before finally getting out of
body and saving the world.
The show also acknowledges that parents are probably
watching by throwing in a movie or pop culture reference every now and
then. They even did that with the title
of my favorite episode, Night of the Living Bread.
In this adventure Mr. Bumpy leaves a slice of
bread behind the microwave oven. It's
unclear, as the narrator mentions, whether it was the radiation from
or just improper food storage, but the slice mutates into a living,
hungry piece of bread. It's a pretty
funny episode with Squishington getting eaten by the bread several
times. "The horror, the horror."
The entire two-season run of this show comes on four DVDs
that are stored in a space-saving single width quad case.
The stereo soundtrack is fine, but nothing special.
The dialog is easy to hear and the music
sounds good. There's some use of the
front soundstage, but nothing really exciting.
It fits the show well.
The full frame picture is pretty good. The
colors are bright and solid and the level
of detail is fine. The only real problem
is that there's a fair amount of aliasing in the image.
It's not a grievous error, but it is
As mentioned earlier, the Karaoke Café songs that finished
each episode are included as extras, spread across the four discs. The final DVD also has 'Twas the
Night Before Bumpy, an hour long special. It's
okay, not the best thing on the discs,
but well worth watching.
I really enjoyed revisiting this show. It
was a lot of fun, and my son was excited
to see it once again too. If you don't
have fond memories of this well done claymation program it's still
checking out. Definitely for younger
viewers, the show has a decidedly odd sense of humor that will please
too. It is definitely worth checking