KaBlam! (stylized as KaBLaM!) is an American animated television series that ran on Nickelodeon from 1996 to 2000. It features a collection of short films in several different styles of animation, bridged by the characters Henry and June, who introduce the shorts and have adventures of their own in between. Although SNICK aired many Nicktoons not part of its block, KaBlam! was the only Nicktoon created for SNICK. The show became TV-Y in 1997 (when the ratings were put to use), until later that year, in which it was changed to TV-Y7.
The segment creators include David Fain, Tim Hill, Steve Holman, Emily Hubley, Mark Marek, Mike Pearlstein, Mo Willems, and Cote Zellers. The theme song and all of the original background music on the show was provided by the Moon Ska Stompers, a band composed of King Django, Victor Rice, and members of The Toasters and The New York Ska-Jazz Ensemble. The bulk of the soundtrack was 30-second instrumental clips of songs from The Toasters' album D.L.T.B.G.Y.D., while the theme song itself is a shortened version of the Toasters song "2-Tone Army". Tracks from the Associated Production Music library were also utilized.
KaBlam! was the first show to be spun off of All That. It was pitched to Nickelodeon in 1994 and aired two years later. Some of its shorts were originally stand-alone shorts during Nickelodeon commercial breaks. The pilot episode, "Your Real Best Friend", was created in 1995 and finished in 1996. In 1996, The Off-Beats, one of the many shorts on the show, were released on a Rugrats videotape entitled "Tommy Troubles."
The show began production in 1996 and premiered October 11. The show ran for four seasons. The last episode was broadcast on May 27, 2000. Reruns continued to show on Nickelodeon until 2001. In 2002, Nicktoons was launched, and the channel began airing reruns of the program, though not all episodes were aired. During commercial breaks, various shorts from the show would play, not including any shorts involving Henry and June or music videos. In August 2005, Nicktoons changed its appearance and schedule, and canceled many shows in the process, including KaBlam!. After the show was cancelled, the "KaBlam! Presents:" shorts would continue to be shown, until 2008 when the channel did away with all of their in-between shorts, for more commercial space. The program hasn't been shown since then, not even when Nick had a marathon of the first episodes of each Nicktoon on Thanksgiving Day 2007, despite having Henry and June on the cover of the now-defunct Nickelodeon Magazine.
A French-dubbed version has been broadcast in France on television channel GameOne (see Télévision Par Satellite), and other versions of the show are on other Nickelodeon channels around Europe. It also was shown in the United Kingdom from 1997 to 2000, and in Poland from 1999 to 2002. The show played on YTV in Canada.
Main article: List of KaBlam! episodes
Season 1 started off with regular cartoons in their regular order. Sniz & Fondue, Action League Now!, Prometheus and Bob, and Life with Loopy. The Off-Beats was also another regular cartoon that occasionally filled in for "Life with Loopy". Other cartoons such as Surprising Shorts, Angela Anaconda, and once, The Louie and Louie Show aired. This is the only season where there is a Sniz & Fondue short present in every episode. Henry and June frequently had random short plots when the screen was shown on them and barely had one main plot unlike future episodes. They had one whole plot in Comics for Tomorrow Today! and What the Astronauts Drink. The opening theme to the show starts out with a hawk crashing into the camera while the camera pans through a forest, goes underwater and travels to Egypt where Egyptians dance and the Great Sphinx swipes at the camera. The camera heads up to space where two kids in a ride, the planets, stars, asteroids, and UFOs are seen. After the United States Capitol gets destroyed by two UFOs, it then pans to Godzilla destroying a city. It then pans to an open street comic book store and lands on the KaBlam! comic book, featuring the Flesh, Stinky Diver, Sniz, Fondue, and Loopy on it. The book is then opened by Henry and June. After they dance, the episode starts. At the start of the theme, a voiceover of a man shouts "Wake up the masses!". As soon as he finishes, another man (Burt Pence) continues by saying, "Assume the crash position. Hold on tight, take a deep breath for a new kind of cartoon show. It's KaBlam! Where cartoons and comics collide. Now to take you inside and turn the pages, here are your hosts, Henry and June." The ending theme to the show is a quirky, upbeat tune similar to The Toasters song Skaternity.
After 7 more episodes of The Off-Beats, and one last episode of Surprising Shorts, they were officially taken out of KaBlam! One-time shorts were brought in such as Randall Flan's Incredible Big Top, The Girl with Her Head Coming Off, and The Adventures of Patchhead which did return in season 3. The Brothers Tiki appeared twice in season 2. Henry and June are now drawn differently and their voices are deeper. The opening theme to the show is barely changed. When the camera pans on the KaBlam! comic book, it is clearly seen that the cover is different. Instead of the original characters, Thundergirl, Stinky Diver, Prometheus, Bob, Loopy, Sniz, and Fondue are seen. Also, Henry and June dance the macarena and then arm-in-arm, whereas in season one; it was just a bunch of random dances. The ending theme to the show is dramatically changed. Instead of the Skaternity soundalike tune, many trumpets, trombones, and saxophones are heard, along with a drum beat. Though the instruments changed, the tune is still upbeat. Afer this season, the rating for KaBlam! went up from TV-Y to TV-Y7 for the rest of the run.
After 4 more episodes of Sniz & Fondue, its production company began working on a TV adaption of Watership Down, ending its run on KaBlam!. Jetcat and Race Rabbit are introduced and become minor shorts that appeared from time to time. The Adventures of Patchhead makes its second and final appearance. A music video for a song by James Kochalka called "Hockey Monkey" also appears once. Henry and June are drawn a little differently and their voices are slightly deeper. The opening theme is shortened and Henry and June have their own main plots now. In the episode "You May Already Be a...KaBlammer!", Lou Rawls is featured and voiced by the actual provider. The opening theme had a number of changes. After the camera comes up out of the water, it goes directly to the White House scene. After the Godzilla scene, the camera pans toward a school instead of the comic book store. The camera scares a bird off that is perched on a window as it enters a classroom. It pans by a teacher and through a number of students. It stops as it hits a student reading a KaBlam! comic book. On the cover of the comic book, it shows a child who is ecstatic. Henry and June then open the comic book, dance, and the episode starts. The announcer's line as he introduces the show is slightly changed. Instead of saying "Hold on tight, take a deep breath for a new kind of cartoon show", he says "Hold on tight, take a deep breath for a cartoon cramaganza!" The ending theme is not changed. This was also intended to be the final season, until Nickelodeon renewed the show.
All the shorts, (except Action League Now! and Angela Anaconda which both spin off into their own shows.), come to an end in the final season. Life With Loopy and Prometheus & Bob air their last 7 episodes while Jetcat and Race Rabbit air their last 1 and 2 episodes, respectively. Music videos by They Might Be Giants appear twice; they were Why Does the Sun Shine? and Doctor Worm. One-time cartoons still appear: Fuzzball, Garbage Boy, Emmett Freedy, Stewy the Dogboy, The Little Freaks, and The Shizzagee. One-time shorts are included in nearly every episode, excluding "A Nut in Every Bite!", "The KaBlair! Witch Project", and "Now With More Flava'". In every episode, Henry and June have their own main plot. In the episode "Sasquatch-ercise", Richard Simmons is featured and in the episode "Now with More Flava'", John Stamos and Busta Rhymes are featured; however, the stars did not voice their characters. The opening theme is not changed, along with the ending theme.
After various re-runs, KaBlam! was removed by Nickelodeon's schedule in 2001, with the rest of season four and two seasons left unaired. In the same year, Action League Now! became a short-lived series, but made up of replayed KaBlam! shorts and only two new shorts. Shortly after the cancellation, Henry and June were retired as the hosts of Nick's U-Pick block, only for it to return later with live-action hosts. KaBlam! later returned to airwaves when the sister network of Nickelodeon, Nicktoons, was launched in 2002. Although the show had its re-runs aired, many episodes were not aired on the station due to either copyright issues or Nickelodeon's standards and practices. The show continued to run on Nicktoons until 2005, when Nicktoons was re-vamped as Nicktoons Network. The final time it was shown was in the 2008 "100 Greatest Nicktoons Episodes" marathon, and has not been seen since. In 2010, Mark Marek, who created the Henry and June shorts, created the Warner Bros. Animation produced cartoon, MAD. Julia McIlvaine, who voiced June, has been in a few episodes.
Some of these shorts air more frequently and consistently than others.
Henry, in his regular appearance.*Henry — Henry is the energetic male host of KaBlam!. He tends to behave foolishly and believes that he looks good shirtless. He is best friends with June, however they don't always see eye-to-eye, and June can seem more like a bully than a friend at times. He is more up-tight and practical than June (at times), and seems to be disaster-prone, especially around Mr. Foot, for reasons unknown. He once got sick of being the "butt monkey" and quit, opening his own restaurant. He later closed it and went back when he found June heartbroken. He's also been shown to be very girl-crazy, but with no girls returning the favor (except for June on many occasions). He takes his job as being the host of KaBlam! very seriously. One episode also revealed he had a crush on Thundergirl (of Action League Now!), but this is never mentioned again. In season one, he's shown to be much smarter than June, almost being like an older brother to her (though they're the same age), but by season two, it changed to the other way around. His feelings for June vary from him laughing when she gets hurt to being very sweet to her. He also has a tendency to get a bit emotional, usually about Action League Now!. His favorite comic book series is Galaxy of Death, and action/horror comic series that June likes too, apparently. One thing he's known for is to freak out in a small situation (like what's going to happen in a short). Some of his special talents are playing the guitar and dancing. He's a bit taller than June. He can also get easily embarrassed, especially around girls. His voice seems to be the most recognizable that it changed over time, the other being Larry's of Life with Loopy. According to episode 29, he seems to enjoy June having a crush on him. One distinctive feature that Henry has that June doesn't have is his freckles. Henry is voiced by Noah Segan. June, in her regular appearance.*June — June is the show's more laid-back female co-host. She has a sarcastic personality and enthusiasm for her job. Her character has changed from season one to the rest of the show, as in the first season she's portrayed as a tomboyish ditz, and in season two, she becomes much smarter, but keeps her tomboyishness. Her appearance slightly changed from the first season to the rest of the show, as in season one, she's taller, and her ponytail is a bit spikey at the end (her ponytail also used to rise up or droop down depending on her mood in some of the very early episodes, however this was dropped). Starting season two, her height decreased slightly and her ponytail became slightly curvy. Her bangs were also messier in season one. She's also a bit clumsy (not as much as Henry, however). She's usually seen wearing her orange-red sweater (even if it is hot outside). She's usually seen wearing purple cleats, despite the situation. She also has a fiery temper, and is prone to hurting others when angry, including her friends. She also can be very bossy. She has a tendency to find Henry's dilemmas quite humorous (though other occasions she cares deeply for him), and is rarely injured herself. She has also gone through the random switches from being a deadpan snarker to a sweet and caring little girl. Over the course of the show, June has been shown signs of having a crush on Henry. She is also prone to anger as many people incorrectly call her a boy. In some of the very early episodes, she had a slight valley-girl dialect (this was dropped). One distinctive feature of June is her additional "baby fat". June is voiced by Julia McIlvaine.
- Mr. B. Foot — Mr. Foot is a giant Sasquatch who works on the show. His hobbies include sleeping, injuring Henry, and unexpectedly stealing the spotlight. However, under the rage and bluster, he is not a terrible creature; he never injures June. In one episode, he is revealed to be an accomplished drummer. He once spoke in the episode, "A Little Dab'll Do Ya".
Mr. Stockdale*Mr. Fred Stockdale — The elderly network executive in charge of KaBlam!. He acts rather senile, and will do anything to get KaBlam! good ratings—including firing someone or getting Henry into lots of physical accidents. His granddaughter Dawn says he never acted foolish until Charlie's Angels got canceled. Henry's mom*Henry's Mom — She appeared three times and was mentioned another time. She shows her love for her son in an exaggerated way. In "Cramming Cartoons Since 1627", her name is revealed to be Lois. Jimmy McGee*Mr. Jimmy McGee — He appeared twice as a co-host of June on KaBlam! He gets in fights with Henry's mom. Appears to be a parody of Ed McMahon. Mr. McGee is voiced by Robert Mittenthal.
- June's Dad - June's father, who only appeared in one episode, "Cramming Cartoons Since 1627" and in a KaBlam! comic in Nick Magazine. He cares a lot for his daughter, to the point of getting her embarrassed. His first name is Phil.
- Dawn - Mr. Stockdale's shy granddaughter who goes to a boarding school in Switzerland. She once came to the show during her school's break in "A Nut in Every Bite!", causing Henry to fall in love with her. However, despite finding him humorous, she didn't return his affections. She has sky-blue eyes and light blond hair. Dawn is voiced by Julia McIlvaine.
- Hector - A handsome yet dim boy who June hired to be the co-host in "Won't Stick to Most Dental Work" when Henry quit. Once made a cameo in "Hurts so Good!", a few episodes before his formal introduction.
- Ryan Miloyd - Also known as "Weird Ryan from School" (by June), he's KaBlam's biggest fan and Henry and June's classmate. Usually wearing Henry's outfit and June's sweater (and hair color), his obsession seems to annoy the heck out of the two. He is a parody of many hardcore fans of pop culture. Ryan is voiced by Adam Rose.
- Ed the Educational Otter - An anthropomorphic otter that tried to make KaBlam! more "educational", however it didn't work out. He is not a fan of rock music.
Began: Season 1 Ended: Season 3
A pair of ferret roommates who often get on each other's nerves. Sniz is the younger kid ferret that is very hyperactive, and quite a troublemaker of the two, while Fondue is the older teenage ferret, who is the nervous, yet intelligent one. There is also Snuppa and Bianca, Sniz and Fondue's roommates. From mid-1997 (around KaBlam's second season) until Sniz and Fondue ended production in late-1998 (around KaBlam!'s third or fourth season.) Due to its production company going to work on a TV adaption of Watership Down, Sniz & Fondue was taken off of the KaBlam roster after season 3.
Main article: Action League Now!Began: Season 1 Ended: Season 4
Filmed in "Chuckimation", in which the characters/props are moved by unseen hands or thrown from off-camera (interspersed with occasional stop motion animation). Action League Now! featured a group of superheroes, played by custom-made action figures, who fight crime in suburbia despite being total idiots. The four superheroes are The Flesh, Thundergirl, Stinky Diver, and Meltman. Considered to be the most successful KaBlam! short, it briefly became a spin-off series in 2001. Action League Now! is the only short to have a new episode with every showing of KaBlam! and it served as the centrepiece of KaBlam. All of the characters on the shorts were voiced by personalities from radio station WDVE in Pittsburgh.
Began: Season 1 Ended: Season 4
The life of twelve-year-old Larry and his strange experiences with his imaginative and adventurous younger sister, Loopy. The characters were animated with stop-motion puppet bodies, but their heads were created with cardboard.
- Lupicia "Loopy" Cooper — Loopy is an imaginative seven year old little girl with a knack for discovering surreal things, such as a world under the sofa. While she is often discouraged by Larry whenever she goes out to adventure, she does not let that stop her. Loopy is voiced by Danielle Judovits.
- Larry Cooper — Larry is Loopy's twelve year old intelligent brother. Much like Lassie, Larry knows every detail of Loopy's adventures and narrates all of them, although he is almost never there. Loopy's dad is voiced by Paul Reubens.
Began: Season 1 Ended: Season 4
A claymation/stop motion segment featuring the camera-recorded mission logs of Prometheus, an alien who comes to Earth attempting to teach a caveman, Bob, everyday things. From the use of fire to the act of ice skating, the result is usually a failure by the mischievous third cast member, who was a simple monkey.
- Prometheus — Prometheus is a gaunt purple alien of advanced intelligence. He attempts to educate Bob, a caveman, as an experiment recorded on his remote-controlled camera. Prometheus is often injured in slapstick ways due to Bob's low intelligence.
- Bob — Bob is a babbling caveman. He once was completely covered in hair, but now has none because of a laser incident in the first clip. Has a tendency to panic when frightened.
- Monkey — Monkey is a small chimpanzee with many different roles, sometimes helping Prometheus, other times making his life miserable.
- The Narrator — He recites the opening to the short, and the introduction to the short's "tape": "Tape [insert number here]", and finally, "End".
Began: Season 1 Ended: Season 2
A group of unpopular friends who deal with constant problems, many caused by their main rivals, a popular clique known as "The Populars." The short was the first of the regular shorts to end most likely due to Mo Willems going over to Cartoon Network to work on Sheep in the Big City. It originally aired as stand-alone shorts in between Nick's commercial breaks, and was released on a 1996 Rugrats video, "Tommy Troubles", most likely to promote the premiere of KaBlam!.
- Betty Anne Bongo - Betty Anne is the realistically thinking "leader" of the clique. She usually can be found playing her bongo set. She also often sang her own little theme song, the lyrics consisting of: "My name is Betty Anne Bongo, I sing this little song-O, I sing it all day long-O!" Voiced by Mischa Barton.
- Tommy - Tommy loves his plaid coat, so much so that in one episode it is the basis for the plot. On numerous occasions he will break his calm demeanor and lose his temper, usually startling his friends and himself. Voiced by Mark Wagner.
- Repunzil - Repunzil is the youngest in the clique, and at times can be quite naive. She is known for her floor-length hair (which is why she was named somewhat for the fairy tale character Rapunzel).
- August - August is the most technologically inclined of the Off-Beats, even though his inventions, are most of the time, failures. He is also the person who most wants to be liked by the Populars. In one episode, he actually did gain respect from them, in the end only to be foiled by his love for paddle-ball.
- September - August's sarcastic talking dog, usually ambivalent to most situations and plot-lines. Despite that, he does enjoy the company of the Off-Beats. He is voiced by series creator Mo Willems.
- Grubby Groo - The beatnik-looking adult friend to the Off-Beats, and the only one who realizes how big of jerks the Populars are. He is also voiced by creator Mo Willems. He was based on a beatnik poet that appeared in an animated segment on Sesame Street.
- Tina — Tina is the leader of the Populars, who rules them with an iron fist. She is something of a stereotypical "school diva". If any of the Off-Beats start thinking that they are cool, Tina's always around to set them straight.
- The Populars — The popular group at school that always travels in a nose-in-the air clump. They are led by Tina (see above). One boy in this group is constantly thrown out of The Populars (Either because of something he says or to make room for a new member).
- Surprising Shorts — The only short segment not to have recurring characters, these shorts usually had nothing to do with any previous shorts included on the show. Examples of these shorts are the Lava series (which were cut out of future airings for copyright issues by Vivendi), Garbage Boy, Emmett Freedy, and Stewy the Dogboy, which the idea later became Disney's Teacher's Pet. This segment was usually introduced by June pulling down Henry's pants, revealing his unflattering and garishly colored boxer shorts, hence the name.
- Angela Anaconda — A cutout-photo cartoon that was later spun off into its own series on the Fox Family Channel and was briefly rerun on Nickelodeon, in the United States. This series is about a girl named Angela, who is a social outcast. She finds herself unpopular in school and always seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Nanette, a fake-French girl who everyone loves and wants to be, always mocks Angela. During each episode, a poem-like story is narrated by Angela. She often gets her revenge on the antagonist of that particular episode, and more often imagines her revenge on said antagonist in a highly exaggerated manner. Due to copyrights being held with Fox, the episodes featuring her shorts were not allowed to air on Nicktoons.
- JetCat — A segment about a girl who has an identity as a cat superhero and flies around and saves her city. She says she "flies like a jet and fights like a cat." This is the only short that takes place outside of the comic book. It was featured as a comic in Nickelodeon Magazine for a short time. The music was composed by Rocko's Modern Life composer Pat Irwin
- Race Rabbit — A live-action show about a romantic rabbit racer with an English accent who competes in races but there is usually trouble along the way caused by the Boolies (Zit and Winston), who are his human enemies. Race always wins the race, foiling the Boolies' plans along the way. The only KaBlam! short created in the United Kingdom. Created by Scott Fellows
- The Adventures of PatchHead — A live-action/computer-generated segment about a barefoot kid with a watermelon for a hat, stopping cheaters from winning competitions.
- The Brothers Tiki — A puppetry/stop-motion/live-action segment about two extraterrestrials resembling mini tiki statues (equivalent to lawn gnomes), who land on Earth in a ship bearing a striking resemblance to a barbecue grill.
- Fuzzball — A non-recurring cartoon about a tomboy who tries to re-win her dad's trophy, which she broke (this plot might have been revisited in an episode of Fairly Odd Parents). Created by Mike Judge.
- The Louie and Louie Show — A short that appears only once on the show. Two neglected pets (a hamster and a lizard) try to get some attention from their owners, who are all too busy playing with the family dog. This short was animated by Gary Baseman and directed by Tom McGrath. An early version, produced by Curious Pictures, also aired on Nickelodeon once by itself before KaBlam! premiered. The only KaBlam! short to have a "Nickelodeon presents" logo at the beginning.
- Little Freaks — Another one-time cartoon. Three freaky superheroes try to stop a villain from controlling the world's fashion trends. When it aired on Nicktoons by itself, the "KaBlam! Presents" at the beginning was absent.
- Anemia and Iodine — One-time short. A cartoon displaying the misadventures of a Goth girl cat and her skateboarding, hyperactive best friend. It was directed by Robert Scull, most noted for his earlier work on Rocko's Modern Life, and shares visual similarities to that show as a result.
- The Shizzagee - One-off short about the only existing creature of its kind who resembles a coyote and lives with his owner named Brutus. It is the only CGI animated short to air on KaBlam!.
There were also various They Might Be Giants music videos for the songs "Why Does the Sun Shine?" and "Doctor Worm". In addition, there was a music video of "Hockey Monkey", created by James Kochalka and performed by The Zambonis. These were a mixture of live-action by Jesse Gordon and different animation styles, all produced and directed at The Ink Tank.
Shorts from Kablam! have appeared at the beginning of theatrical releases. An episode of Action League Now! titled "Rock-A-Big Baby" was shown before the Nickelodeon film Good Burger. Angela Anaconda appeared before Digimon: The Movie.
A television special called The Henry & June Show was produced and aired on Nickelodeon in 1999. The first segment, "A Show of Their Own" aired, featured Henry and June with a studio audience and musical guests.
The next segment was "Be True to Your School", where Henry and June attend school, and try their best to tackle hard subjects like "How to Look Your Best".
It was never again shown after it premiered.
A number of blocks were hosted by Henry and June for various Nicktoons including:
- Henry and June's (Nicktoons) Block Party Summer - Aired in summer 1999.
- 101% Whizbang! With Henry and June (AKA 101% Spooky Whizbang for Halloween 1999) - A block showing Nicktoons of a certain theme from 1999-early 2000.
During the promos, Henry's hair looked slightly different in some shots, along with it being a different shade of green. June's sweatshirt was cherry-red instead of light red/dark orange, and the dots weren't visible. Also, their eyes were blue and green in every shot, instead of being black or blue (or green) and black.