Have you been watching? I hope so... because who knows when you'll get to see every episode in order like this again!
And for those of you keeping score... we're heading into season five this week. And for me, the biggest, craziest, most implausible thing that happened this season was the departure of Numbuh 9, Numbuh 9, Numbuh 9...
aka Mr. Mo Willems.
See, whilst he was head writing the wrongs of KND he was secretly planning his escape.
At night, in his secret laboratory, he was working on picture books. He wrote, sketched, painted and plotted. But he couldn't get an agent. Not for a while.
But eventually someone signed him up. Someone who saw the sooper powers this guy had. So finally... Mo has an agent. And together they made the rounds to sell some books!
But they couldn't sell one. Not for a looooooooooooooooooooong time.
Until FINALLY the sooper big boss of Hyperion looked at 'Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus' and knew... he just KNEW... that THIS was going to be huge.
Was he right?
Yer darn skippy he was right! Mo was one of only a few select authors to get a Caldecott honor (the Oscar of picture books) for his very first book.
From there Mo launched into children's book sooper mega-stardom. Like, SERIOUS mega-stardom. And I got a front row seat to watch that star take off like a rocket.
Unfortunately, that star was heading in the OPPOSITE direction of me and the KND.
So one day... when I told Mo we got greenlit to a 5th and 6th season... he told me he was leaving. I think I said something like,
I don't think it really sank in until, literally, the day before he left. It was easy to fall into the day to day craziness of production and forget that I had to replace the guy that helped shape the KND from the moment the show went to series. Sure, I was interviewing new writers... but maybe a piece of me thought Mo might not go?
But he did.
And I was sad.
So I looked around and talked to a lot of writers and eventually I chose Mr. Andy Rheingold. I had known Andy for years but never worked with him. But I always liked the guy... and thought he might have something new to bring to KND.
And he did... a more loose, oddball style. Not as tight and structured as Mo, but more open to different paths. We'd go to break stories, and just when we'd be ready to give up on a premise, Andy would say, "Okay, this is stupid, but what if..."
And that's when Andy would crack it wide open.
No, he wasn't Mo. But Mo wasn't Andy either.
And there's nothing like a fresh take on things after 4 seasons of non-stop writing.
Thus came the insanity of season 5...
A GIANT RUBBER DUCKY!
THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS ATTACK!
and of course...
COOJATISNAL OCTO OOGIE TERTA INFECTO EPI STREPTACAUCUS!
And new characters?
NUMBUH 19th CENTURY!
THE DODGEBALL WIZARD!
NUMBUH ONE LOVE!
But enough already... lemme toss some KND trivia your way.
Operation: ELECTIONS - Please note the many KND production staff who had cameos in this episode:
Gracie Lu = Grace Lu (aka Numbuhless) Defender of the Color Department
Pauly Marcus = Marcus Pauls, Maniacal KND Production Manager
Kimmy Arno = Kim Arndt, Smashing Storyboard Artist
Scotty Vincent = Scott Vincent, Sooper Powered Script Supervisor
Jesse Smalls = Jesse Schmal, Storyboard Warrior
Asst - Pete never allows his lyrics to be altered.
Me - Um... alright, so what if we do a whole new song and then-
Asst - Pete doesn't have time to do original music for TV.
Me - Okay, what if he does a voice on the show.
Asst - Pete doesn't do voices on shows.
Me: What about the Simpsons? The Who were on th-
Asst: That was his brother Simon.
Me: Oh... really? Then what if... um.
Me: Can I have an autographed picture?
Operation VIRUS/OUTBREAK - This was the first time we deliberately combo'ed two episodes to work together. When Cree breaks into the KND Undersea Lab in VIRUS she unleashes the patient that starts up the whole mess in OUTBREAK. Yet both episodes totally work on their own.
And it's BG's like the above that made me jump up and down in the design and color department.
Operation: NAUGHTY -- I've loved the X-Men since 7th grade... so it was only a matter of time before KND paid homage. So instead of Wolverine, Santa's got an elf named Wintergreen with a skeleton made of Peppermintium?! The 12 Days of Christmas of attack? Some #3/#4-ness?! Man, I love this one:
Also of note in this episode, the Faculty Four were originally the Secretary Squad-- a team that was very upset that Secretary's day never got much attention. But CN thought that kids wouldn't understand office jokes. Hence the change to school gags
Sorry Secretary's day.
Operation: DUCKY - To be honest, I think I was just looking for an excuse to have Maurice LaMarche do his William Shatner impression.
Operation: CAKED FIVE - After reading Marvel Comics THE ULTIMATES, I was totally inspired by the idea of Captain America as a man out of time. Someone who died long ago and suddenly finds himself in a different world. Hence Numbuh 19th Century. And please please please give huge props to the opening scene of this episode-- That mega long truck-in to the mansion was beautifully done by the Curious Pictures CGI team. Too bad it was accidentally omitted when it premiered. UGH!
And there it is! Hope these episodes make you say UH-HUH!
Check the full schedule over HERE!