Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Way Back WhensDay: Danger Mouse

Danger Mouse
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

When we first got cable in the early 1980's, I watched a lot of MTV and Nickelodeon.  There was something about both channels that kept kids glued to the set for hours at a time.  My favorites on Nick included You Can't Do That on Television, Mr. Wizard's World, and Danger Mouse.  I've blogged about the first two shows before, today I'm focusing on the animated masterpiece about a secret agent rodent.

Danger Mouse originated in England before making his way to the airwaves in the USA in 1984.  He spoke with a British accent and wore a patch over one eye.  He was Mighty Mouse meets James Bond. Danger Mouse was always up to something as we worked to save the world from villainous schemers like Baron Silas Greenback, Nero, and Leatherhead.  But like any good superhero, DM had a bumbling sidekick.  A chubby hamster named Penfold usually found himself in some sort of jam, and Danger Mouse would have to save him.  His expression "Oh crumbs!" is burned in my memory.

Poster mouse for secret agents
So is the theme song to Danger Mouse.  I can still hear it playing on the little TV in our kitchen as I would tune in and watch.  I was only 11 back then, but fondly remember the show and its cast of many characters, all animals, many not traditionally used in the world of animation.  Up until then, I don't remember any shows with a hamster, chinchilla, or caterpillar as primary characters.

I watched Danger Mouse for years, but for some reason the cartoon never really caught on with my other friends.  I didn't realize how popular the show actually was with worldwide viewers until reading up on it online.  In fact, a British TV station named it the third greatest kids' TV show behind The Muppet Show and The Simpsons.  That's pretty impressive.

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