Sunday, September 30, 2012


Today's "ASOTV" literary showcase is somewhat different in that we focus on the original story rather than a character adapted for television from that story. This is because the topic has had a long tradition of being read to the audience from the Trueniverse (although it was also adapted for the Tooniverse on 'Sesame Street' thirty years ago.)

On the season finale of 'Louie', Louie C.K. gave his youngest daughter a copy of "The Story About Ping" for Christmas and then read it/will read it to her (if its Christmas 2012). Later, after Louie has an emotional crisis during the holidays, he goes off to China on a holy grail quest to find the Yangtze River because of that book.

Here's the story about "The Story About Ping".....


Marjorie Flack

Kurt Wiese

'Captain Kangaroo'
'The Shari Lewis Show'
'The Howdy Doody Show'
'Sesame Street'
'The Soupy Sales Show'

From Wikipedia:
"The Story About Ping" is a popular children's book written by Marjorie Flack and illustrated by Kurt Wiese. First published in 1933, "Ping" is a colorfully illustrated story about a domesticated Chinese duck lost on the Yangtze River. Based on a 2007 online poll, the National Education Association named the book one of its "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children."

Ping is the name of a domesticated duck who lives on a riverboat on the Yangtze River in China. He gets sent out every morning to forage along the river with his relatives, and is expected back every evening. The last duck on the boat would get a swat with a stick and one day he is the last duck. He is afraid to return and spends the night on shore. When he awakens his boat is gone and he is soon caught by a boy on another boat where he worries about becoming their dinner. After some time the boy lets Ping go just as all his duck relatives are getting back on Ping's boat nearby. Ping rejoins his family and happily receives the last duck swat.

"Ping" has appeared on television since the 1950s. Captain Kangaroo (or his friend Mr. Greenjeans) read Ping once a week on his show for seventeen years, while displaying its colorful illustrations in stark black and white on the screen. Only "Stone Soup", "Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel", and "The Little Engine That Could" had longer runs on the show.

Soupy Sales and Howdy Doody both featured "Ping" on numerous occasions, and Shari Lewis's sock puppet Lambchop once played the role of Ping in an adaptation for sock puppets and ventriloquists.

'Sesame Street' had an animated version that ran in the 1970s. This version featured the song "Jinzhur" as the background music.

It served as an important plot point on the Season Three finale of 'Louie' in which Louie gives his daughter a copy of the book for Christmas.


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