The Alvin Show
From The TV IV
The Alvin Show was the animated product of Ross Bagdasarian, a music writer who had a hit single in 1958 called "Witch Doctor." He recorded under the pseudonym Dave Seville, and for the chorus, his voice was recorded at the vinyl speed of 16 rpm and when it was played back at 33 rpm, it gave the speed-up effect of what his children thought a chipmunk sounded like.
Thus was created The Chipmunks--Alvin, Theodore and Simon, who were all named for personnel at Liberty records (Al Bennett and Si Warnoker, executives, and Ted Keep, recording engineer). The next single would be the Christmas-themed "The Chipmunk Song," which sold five million records. Format Films, a Los Angeles studio founded by UPA expatriates, would be approached about making the Chipmunks as a prime time cartoon. The Chipmunks' personality would be fleshed out based on the Christmas record: Alvin was the ego-driven mischief maker who would still think out a problem, Theodore was the chubby giggler, and Simon was the pragmatic member. Dave Seville was their manager, long-suffering to Alvin's shenanigans, as he would yell a resounding "AAAAAAAALLLVIIIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNN!!!" when things got hot.
Each half hour, sponsored by General Foods, featured a cartoon with the Chipmunks, a feature of Clyde Crashcup (an inventor who takes credit for inventing everything, only everything he invents still has some bugs to work out), and a segment with the Chipmunks singing one of their songs. While the show wasn't a ratings success (going up against Wagon Train on NBC was a ignoble move of programming), it still attracted legions of children, who bought toys, comics and record albums. It ran one season on CBS and then migrated to Saturday mornings, where it ran to 1965. It re-appeared in January of 1979 on NBC as a mid-season replacement on its Saturday morning line-up, where listing and NBC had it billed as Alvin and the Chipmunks. This was predicated on the success of the then-released album "Chipmunk Punk." Four years later, the Ruby-Spears studio (sister studio to Hanna-Barbera) would produce an all-new series for NBC.
CBS Television Distribution currently owns the TV distribution rights to the series.
|Ross Bagdasarian||Dave Seville||1|
|June Foray||Various characters||1|
|Shep Menken||Clyde Crashcup||1|
|Season One||October 14, 1961||April 7, 1962||26|
- At a Glance: Additional information about the series
|Episode Collections - Various Series|
|The Very First Alvin Show||September 8, 2009||1||purchase|