Doug was a staple TV show for me growing up in the 90’s. I remember one of my friends came over to do homework with me and right as we sat down to work, I heard Doug’s theme song and rushed over to the television to watch. My parents later told me that my behavior was rude because I had a friend over and that I shouldn’t just leave them to go watch TV. But I wasn’t just watching TV, I was watching Doug. Plus, how monumental was our 3rd grade homework anyway? And more importantly, why wasn’t my friend just as excited about Doug as I was?
I think one of the reasons I liked Doug so much was because he was super relatable. He wasn’t nerdy but he wasn’t popular either. He was just a regular kid who liked to write in his journal. His mom and his dad weren’t big characters in the show, but they were present. His sister Judy was a pretty flawless character. She was a dramatic older sister who wore a beret and sunglasses at all times. I still want to grow up to be Judy Funnie. Oh yeah, Doug’s last name was Funnie. No one in Bluffington could actually make fun of Doug’s name because the town was full of obscure names. Here is a sampling:
Skeeter Valentine: Doug’s best friend. He had blue skin which probably signified some kind of ethnicity, but it didn’t really translate. Couldn’t they have just made him black? He and Doug would often hang out at the Honker Burger after school with most of the other kids in their grade. When Doug daydreamed about being a superhero called Quailman, Skeeter also daydreamed alongside him imagining himself as Silver Skeeter. Two peas in a pod, really. Skeeter’s best traits had to be the noises he would make. He might have had Tourettes or something.
Patti Mayonnaise: Doug’s love interest. She was a nice girl-next-door type who always stuck up for people. I honestly don’t know what Doug saw in her. Her dad was in a wheelchair which is a total deal-breaker in my book. I think there was an episode where Doug was weirded out by it. That’s probably another reason why I could relate to the show so easily. I don’t think Patti had a mom either, so did she bathe her own father? I don’t understand. And Patti was like, really tan for a middle schooler. Either that or she was an Indian with blonde hair. She also had an inexplicable southern accent.
Roger Klotz: The school bully. I always liked Roger. He had a gang of unfortunate looking school mates that would taunt Doug on a daily basis. One of his biggest tricks was getting Doug to go look for nematodes in the local swamp/marsh. Roger was unlikeable, but you would still end up feeling bad for him every so often. His face is the color of puke and he had a weird patch of orange hair. Like a typical bully, Roger wore a leather jacket and lived in a trailer. This was another lesson that Doug taught me: if someone makes fun of you, it’s likely that they’re really poor. There’s not much to say about Roger other than he had an amazing laugh/cackle that he would make any time he made fun of Doug.
There were a handful of other minor characters (Mr. Dink, BeBe Bluff, Chalky Studebaker, etc) which will be revisited at a later time. Anyone who watched Doug knew that Douglas Yancey Funnie (why do I know his middle name?) was a perfect show with lots of depth.
Other bits and bobs of interest: Doug’s favorite band was a play on The Beatles that went by the name of The Beets. Their recent album was called Killer Tofu and one of their first albums was titled Beets Me. Doug ended up winning tickets to their concert through a radio show. I wish The Beets could’ve been my first concert instead of John Mayer.
Doug had a dog named Porkchop who was super smart and played a part in most of Doug’s day dreams. Porckchop’s nemesis was Roger’s cat Stinky.
Later on, Disney ended up buying the rights to Doug and changed all of the character’s appearances and voices. It was traumatizing to say the least.