Friday, November 30, 2007


Somehow I knew I'd hear from Brent, my blogging buddy to the North, regarding the story about 'The Friendly Giant' and that sketch from the Gemini Awards. He may yet blog about it as well, but I wanted to share his thoughts and memories in a post here. (I figured most of you don't bother to check out comments - if any! - so I didn't want to risk having it languish unseen.....

Here's Brent:

If you can stand a long post I might be able to give you some background to the Friendly Giant as it is one of the treasured memories of my childhood. The quick and dirty answer is that there is nothing to indicate that Friendly belongs anywhere but Main Toobworld. This is because the show was a largely self-contained entity in which the only time one ventured outside of the castle was in the opening sequence.The location set in the introductory sequence was pretty clearly Ontario farm country in modern times. The farm had a relatively modern tractor (probably a Massey-Ferguson though most of the time I was watching the show on a Black & White TV) and there was a car that drove down the road - all done with off the shelf models of course.

Once the drawbridge was lowered and we were in the three chairs (including a rocker for someone who likes to rock and a big chair for two) around a normal sized fireplace at the base of the wall we were in the Giant's domain. Mostly this was the main room, where Friendly read picture books which came oout of Rusty the Rooster's seemingly bottomless book bag home, and play his recorder, and talk with Rusty and Jerome the Giraffe. On occasion (and more often in the later years) we'd go to the Music Room, with Friendly carrying Rusty to the Music Room Bookbag. There Friendly would be joined by Jerome (who of course didn't come inside) and two or three non-speaking puppets like the kittens Angie and Fiddle and I seem to recall a raccoon as well showed up to play music.

Sadly the CBC has steadfastly refused to release The Friendly Giant on home video in any format. They claim in part that the show is too old fashioned for kids brought up on fast moving material like Sesame Street. There are probably other reasons as well though. The books Friendly reads are obviously still in copyright which means negotiating payments. The CBC's contracts with performers may also be a problem - residuals are apparently paid for any repeat airings and not just to the performers but to their estates.
~ Brent

Hee hee! He typed "oout". Let's go to the mall, Scherbatsky!

Thanks, Brent! I'm glad I have my Hap Richards in Joyville memories from kids TV in Connecticut, but I wish I could have visited the Giant's Castle as well.

Toby OB

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