- This article is about the television series. For other uses, see The Alvin Show (disambiguation).
The Alvin Show is a 1961 American animated television series featuring the singing characters Alvin and the Chipmunks. The series rode the momentum of creator Ross Bagdasarian, Sr.'s original hit gimmick and developed the singing Chipmunk trio as rambunctious kids - particularly the show's namesake star - whose mischief contrasted to his tall, brainy brother Simon and his chubby, gluttonous brother Theodore, as well as their long-suffering, perpetually put-upon manager-father figure, David Seville.
The Alvin Show's original run lasted for a single season in prime time on CBS [Wednesdays, 7:30-8pm Eastern], sponsored by General Foods.(October 4, 1961 - March 28, 1962) Though the show was drawn in color, it was televised in black and white. The color prints of the episodes would not be released until the series entered syndication in the fall of 1965.
CBS would later rerun the series on Saturday mornings for a few years after the show's prime time run ended.
The individual segments from the show were separately syndicated in the mid- and late-1960s under the package title Alvin and the Chipmunks.
The series later was revived on NBC-TV, again promoted under the title Alvin and the Chipmunks (with the introductory The Alvin Show title card cut off the opening credits), on Saturday mornings between March 10, 1979 and September 1, 1979.
Nickelodeon picked up US broadcast rights to The Alvin Show sometime in 1994 and ran the episodes daily until late 1995. During this time, as well as for sometime after the full episodes had stopped airing, the individual cartoons and musical segments were inserted into episodes of Weinerville. In 1996, Nickelodeon stopped showing The Alvin Show segments altogether, and no television network has aired them since then.
The series was created in a Three Short format, typical of many cartoon shows of the day (many today use the Two Short format consisting of eleven-minute shorts instead). The Three Short formatting allowed producing in parallel easier and helped preserve premises of segment-long jokes.
Each short is approximately seven minutes long; each episode contains three Chipmunk segments and one segment by Clyde Crashcup. The first Chipmunk segment makes up the first short consisting of the main plot for the episode. The other two Chipmunk segments make up the second short consisting of two separate three and a half minute musical segments before and after the Clyde Crashcup short. A quick joke scene (in the form of a cold open or bumper) or sponsor commercial connects the segments.
Aside from the Chipmunk segments, in which Bagdasarian's David Seville was portrayed as a hapless bachelor who managed and mentored the three singing rodents, the show also had segments featuring a character called Clyde Crashcup. Clyde was an inventor who essentially re-invented various items and took credit for dreaming it up in the first place. His "creations" often backfired on him until his silent, level-headed lab assistant, Leonardo (diminutive, balding, and perpetually whispering in Crashcup's ear) saved him from any further self-destruction.
The Chipmunks were named based on the names of people Ross worked with: Alvin Bennett, Simon Waronker, and Theodore Keep. The original character designs consisted of very realistic-looking chipmunks but were changed to cartoons in order to "fit the times."
Clyde Crashcup was created to impersonate Richard Haydn's character, Edwin Carp.
There are 26 episodes in The Alvin Show including 26 Alvin and the Chipmunks episodes, 26 Clyde Crashcup invention moments, and 52 musical segments. Every episode contains two musicals.
For a list of Alvin and the Chipmunks episodes, see List of Alvin and the Chipmunks episodes.
- Ross Bagdasarian, Sr. - Alvin, Simon, Theodore (speaking) and David Seville
- Shepard Menken - Clyde Crashcup
- June Foray - Daisy Belle and additional voices
- Lee Patrick - Mrs. Frumpington and additional voices
- Johnny Mann - Theodore (singing), Various
- Joe Besser
- Bill Lee
- Don Messick
Since General Foods was the show's main sponsor, Dave and The Chipmunks advertised some of their products. Other commercials sought to bring awareness.
- Main article: The Alvin Show/Gallery