Alvin and the Chipmunks (The Chipmunks)

Alvin and the Chipmunks (The Chipmunks)

Synopsis of Saturday Morning Show

"Aaaalviiiin!!"

Ross Bagdasarian created an unlikely smash when he changed his name to David Seville, multitracked his own voice, and recorded the novelty single "The Chipmunk Song." That led to 1961's The Alvin Show, which gave chipmunks Alvin, Simon, and Theodore animated likenesses, along with their father figure, David Seville.

Bagdasarian passed away in 1972, but in 1979, NBC aired repeats of The Alvin Show on its Saturday morning schedule. Then in 1980, Ross Bagdasarian, Jr., recorded a successful comeback for the Chipmunks, titled Chipmunk Punk. Cashing in on the resurgent popularity of Alvin, Simon, and Theodore, NBC brought the all-new animated Alvin and the Chipmunks to the air in 1983.

The characters remained pretty much the same as in the original The Alvin Show. Alvin was the brash schemer, Simon was the sensible brain, and Theodore was the pudgy, giggly one. All wore floor-length sweaters. The boys were now a bona fide rock band under the direction of David Seville, covering top 40 hits with high-pitched harmonizing. The rock act brought them into contact with a variety of celebrities, including Dolly Parton and Mr. T (who used the opportunity to launch his own self-titled animated series).

Another new twist was the addition of the Chippettes—Brittany (the Alvin counterpart), Jeanette (a perfect match for Simon), and Eleanor (Theodore, eat your heart out). The girls had their own singing group, often competing with their male counterparts in talent contests.

The adventures were zanier than on The Alvin Show, often delving into pop culture parody. The new format worked, and the show ran for an impressive eight seasons on NBC's Saturday morning schedule. During that time, the program underwent two title changes, becoming simply The Chipmunks in 1988, then changing to Chipmunks Go To the Movies in 1990. The latter version made pop culture parody the entire focus of the show, with Chipmunks and Chippettes performing such entertaining spoofs as "Batmunk."

Silly voices and novelty albums rarely last longer than a few months, but Alvin and the Chipmunks added charm, wit, and unbridled fun to the mix, creating a phenomenon that has lasted more than three decades.

Release History

09/17/83 - 09/07/91 NBC

TV Sub Categories

animated
comedy

TV Studio

Bagdasarian, Ruby-Spears, DIC

Television Cast

Alvin Ross Bagdasarian Jr.
Simon Ross Bagdasarian Jr.
Theodore Janice Karman
David Seville Ross Bagdasarian Jr.
Brittany Janice Karman
Eleanor Janice Karman
Jeanette Janice Karman
Miss Miller Dody Goodman
Voices Derek Barton
Voices Phillip Clarke
Voices Peter Cullen
Voices Jack Engart
Voices Pat Fraley
Voices Johnny Haymer
Voices Katie Leigh
Voices Kerrigan Mahan
Voices Tress MacNeille
Voices Julie McWhirter Dees
Voices Doreen Murphy
Voices Ken Sansom
Voices Thom Watkins
Voices Frank Welker
Voices Alan Young

Other Saturday Morning Links

Abbott and Costello A Little Curious A.J.'sTimeTravelers AAAHH!!! Real Monsters ABC Afterschool Special The ABC Weekend Special Ace Ventura: Pet Detective The AddamsFamily(90's) The AddamsFamily(70's) Adventures in Numbers and Space The Adventures of Aquaman The Adventures of Batman & Robin The Adventures of Blinky Bill The Adventures of Cyclone Malone The Adventures of Don Coyote and Sancho Panda The Adventures of Gulliver The Adventures of Hoppity Hooper The Adventures of Hyperman The Adventures of Kit Carson The Adventures of Lariat Sam The Adventures of Pow Wow The Adventures of Raggedy Ann and Andy The Adventures of Rin-Tin-Tin The Adventures of Robin Hood The Adventures of Superman The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin The Adventures of T-Rex The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers The Adventures of the Little Koala The Adventures of the Little Prince Alf (animated) Aliens in the Family All Dogs Go To Heaven: The Series All That All-New Dennis the Menace The All-New Mickey Mouse Club The All New Popeye Hour Alvin and the Chipmunks (The Chipmunks) The Alvin Show Amazin'Adventures The Amazing Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk The Amazing Three The Amazing Live Sea-Monkeys The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan American Bandstand Anatole Andy'sGang Annie Oakley The Angry Beavers Animals, Animals, Animals Animaniacs Animorphs Are You Afraid of the Dark? Arthur The Archie Comedy Hour Archie'sFunhouse The Archie Show Ark II Around the World in 80 Days Arthur and the Square Knights of the Round Table Astro Boy Atom Ant Atom Ant / Secret Squirrel Show Attack of the Killer Tomatoes