If I ever met a talking anamorphic chipmunk who would speak English, I would probably shit my pants. If I met two more, I would probably make the form a band and wear t-shirts with the first letter of their names on them. In its simplest form, Alvin and the Chipmunks was about that. A man with a pair of Dockers filled with crap who forced possible missing-links into becoming musicians.
The main human in the show is a guy named Dave Seville. He’s pretty much John from Garfield, insecure and terrible with women. Dave is a songwriter which means he’s probably a bad poet. Isn’t songwriting mostly coming up with poems that don’t fully rhyme? Songwriting is a much different occupation these days than it was when Alvin and the Chipmunks first premiered in 1958. Back then songwriters were important. Now any pretty girl who can dance a little bit can call herself a songwriter. Women’s liberation, thank you for ruining music.
Nobody really liked Dave. If you saying your favorite Alvin and the Chipmunks character is Dave then you suck. That’s like saying your favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles character is April O’Neil. Ugh you nerd. One of your favorite characters better be a chipmunk.
(Dave is the one that wouldn’t get an exterminator called on him if he got into someone’s kitchen)
The first chipmunk to mention should be Alvin. He’s the Max Weinberg and the rest are the Max Weinberg Seven. Or maybe he’s the Tom Petty and they’re the Heartbreakers or he’s the Nick Cave and they’re the Bad Seeds. You get the point. Alvin is a big troublemaker. He’s the oldest brother, which doesn’t feed into the stereotype about older brothers being the most grounded and respectful. Alvin’s antics usually lead to Dave to yell “Alvin!” in a furious voice. Really the worst thing Alvin ever does is not show up on time. He’s a chipmunk after all. Even if the mothers try to eat their young after they’re born, chipmunks are pretty harmless.
The next oldest of the chipmunk brothers is Simon. Simon is the smart one in the family. He’s so smart that he needs to wear glasses. Wouldn’t it be great if animals really did wear glasses? Maybe that’s why you never see a cat reading. Their eyesight isn’t good enough. Get a pair of glasses on a cat and I guarantee they’ll be demanding cat versions of all the classics. The Great Catsby, Great Catspectations, David Catterfield, Moby-Cat, Crime and Catishment, and so on would hit the market.
Finally there’s Theodore. He’s the fat youngest brother in the group. He’s also fat and enjoys food. Did I really have to add that second part in there? Fat people are never like “Oh please food’s so gross.” Theodore is a really big wimp and probably the furthest from Alvin. When Alvin’s trying schemes, Theodore is more obsessed with not changing his name to Ted. All Theodores should become Teds. It’s just what you should do.
(From left to right; Simon, Alvin, Theodore)
These three chipmunks were not alone in being gross freaks. And yes, in the old cartoon the chipmunks were really gross. There are The Chipettes, female versions of Alvin, Simon, and Theodore. Their names are Brittany (the hot one with a “pleasing figure” as Wikipedia put it), Jeanette (the nerdy one and also dresses weird), and Eleanor (a lover of creamy foods). I always dislike when a show has direct counterparts. It always reminds me of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure how Keanu Reeves hooks up with the dark-haired princess and the other guy hooks up with the blonde princess. I never pick mates with the same hair color as me. Why would I want to have sex with someone whose hair color matches a dirty foot?
The show gained most of its notoriety from the songs sung by the Chipmunks. Of course we all know a little bit more about technology these days and know all they did was speed up the voices to give it that chipmunk sound. The first big song based around this show was “Witch Doctor” performed by the character Dave. There’s a chipmunk voice in the song, but of course at the time they thought the idea of singing chipmunks was stupid, something I still believe. The second big song was “The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late).” It’s the one where Alvin wants a hula hoop. So basically, this show was only popular because two catchy songs from the late 1950s were based off characters in the show.
I guess that’s it. I spent the last 20 minutes listening to old novelty songs on YouTube that have nothing to do with this show so that’s the end.
Ha, cat puns made my day. Jolly good show (the blog post, not the show, which I guess was jolly good enough, except that goddamn Christmas song is so annoying)
My favorite thing about the cat puns is that they are now able to read, but they are so stubborn about it that they will only read things with their species in the title. Imagine if humans did that with movies. The Human Centipede would be an Oscar winner.
I remember Kirsty Alley and JohnTravolta singing the Christmas song in Look Who’s Talking Now. I wonder why that has stuck with me for so long? Probably because it was extremely scarring.
Nice piece! I like the part at the end when you mention sitting on youtube for 20 minutes because that happens to me daily.
Also, that picture of Dave up top with the chipmunks–why are they the size of real life kids and why is Dave actually Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid? I need answers.
I remember that part in Look Who’s Talking Now. The little girl did the hula hoop part. And people wondered why John Travolta’s career was dying back then.
When I wrote this piece I was listening to “They’re Coming to Take Me Away” on a daily basis. I want to start a blog now on novelty songs.
Haha I knew he looked like one of the Disney princes. I never remember Dave having such brought shoulders and perfect hair. Didn’t he always have trouble with women? He must smell bad and have a terrible personality.
Was the Chipmunk movie before your time? I was really little when it came out so maybe you and Lils were still babies when that amazing cinematic gem was dropping on the planet. In it, the Chipmunk guys and the Chipmunk girls are conned into a smuggling ring where they are made to distribute diamonds and cash by flying around the world in hot air balloons. I can’t even make this stuff up.
The only Chipmunk movie I know is the Jason Lee one. Did they really need such an extravagant plot? Have a battle of the bands and leave it at that. Wow.