Friday, March 4, 2011

Season of the Platypus

As I've said time and again, regular visitors probably know that I'm a big fan of Phineas and Ferb. And much like Matt Blum over at Wired's GeekDad, I am on an ongoing quest to get "ongoing quest to get more and more people to watch." And really, the main reason is because it's just a plain funny show that deserves more attention. It uses all sorts of humor- funny dialogue, sight gags, slapstick, running gags, pop culture references, funny music, lowbrow humor, and just plain insane stuff- and it excels with all of them and mixing all of them as well. I can't think of many other shows on TV right now- animated or otherwise- that do it as well as Phineas and Ferb does.

Much like Disney Channel's own president, Gary Marsh, I'm shouting its praises from the rooftops (not literally). As he said: "This is a smart, sophisticated comedy. It works on multiple levels for multiple generations, across virtually every cultural divide." The very funny John Hodgman of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart went one further, recently tweeting that it was "the only current show that rivals Mr Rogers/Schoolhouse Rock for modeling smarts, humor, decency, and good taste." I don't know if I'd go that far, but he's onto something. (Stewart himself, it should be pointed out, once imitated Dr. Doofenshmirtz during an interview with Rachel Maddow.) It's appropriate he brings up Schoolhouse Rock, since I've had a certain song stuck in my head:

You see, Phineas and Ferb starts its third season tonight. The aforementioned GeekDad, as well as the super-awesome Disney blogger Jim Hill, both wrote articles highlight it, as well as tomorrow's "Platypus Day" marathon. The marathon, starting tomorrow night at 5pm on Disney Channel, looks like it's going to be a nice little event for fans of the show as well as those who don't know it as well, so I suggest you tune in. You'll get some platypus-based highlights, the new episode that premieres tonight (which, from what I hear, is very funny), as well as two of the most amusing of the more recent episodes- a clever spoof of The Wizard of Oz- a movie that's been spoofed so many times over the years it's difficult to do it while still making it clever, but they manage- and a musical version of the pilot episode. Many of the jokes on the series rely on familiarity with the series and its running gags, so once you watch a few episodes, you'll probably be able to figure out what's going on, and perhaps even go back and look at other ones and see why they're so funny. But practically every episode has a good helping of jokes that work in various ways- and surprisingly, there's rarely one that doesn't. And next week, as I previously pointed out, we get a triple dose of star power with Jane Lynch, Tina Fey, and Joan Cusack. And there's more to come.

So if you have nothing to do tomorrow night, spend the night with a platypus. Chances are you'll be glad you did. And if someone asks if you're a little old to be watching a Disney show, you can proudly say, "Yes. Yes I am." Perhaps like this.

David Caruso jokes will never stop being funny. Ever.

PHINEAS AND FERB, SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK ©Disney. No ownership intended or implied.

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