Puppet Sex Redux? Or, the Return of Davey & Goliath…

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Not sure if this confirms or complicates Reason Managing Editor Jesse Walker's thesis of 2004 as the Year of Puppet Sex, but the good news for modern man (and TV watchers) is that the Lutheran Church's only undeniably great contribution to human history (sorry, consubstantiation fans), Davey & Goliath, is back in production.

From an AP account:

After a nearly 30-year hiatus, Davey Hansen and his faithful dog Goliath are back to teach values to a new generation of young people. The Lutheran church has revived the 1960s-era animated series for a holiday special, "Davey & Goliath's Snowboard Christmas." The special–with a theme of religious tolerance–debuted on the Hallmark Channel last week, and will be repeated at noon Sunday.

Screw Zoom, School House Rock, and Bill Nye, the Science Guy. Davey & Goliath was the only intentionally educational TV program that ever delivered the goods. And now he and the dog are back in a claymationally epic snowboarding adventure that will edify and entertain like only the best crap can. Quick question: Does Poochy bust a cameo?

Whole story here.

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  1. From *The Simpsons*:

    Todd: [watches ‘Gomer Pyle’ on television]
    Ned: Is this he watches?
    Maude: Well, he used to watch ‘Davey and Goliath’, but he thought the idea
    of a talking dog was blasphemous.

    http://www.snpp.com/episodes/8F16.html

  2. Bout time all the little Lutheran kids had something to be proud of. Not exactly the most cosmopolitan of sects to grow up in.

  3. “Screw Zoom, School House Rock, and Bill Nye, the Science Guy. Davey & Goliath was the only intentionally educational TV program that ever delivered the goods.”

    Bullshit. The Electric Company (at least in its first couple of years) cannot be touched. Bill Cosby, Morgan Freeman as the ultra-cool “Easy Reader”, a still-hot Rita Moreno, Joan Rivers (narrating “Letterman”–nothing to do with David), Gene Wilder (as Letterman), Tom Lehrer contibuting songs, acidhead graphics, pothead ponderings, jailbait Irene Cara, “Fargo North, Decoder” bringing encryption to the masses LONG before it was popular, “Love of Chair” (“…but what about Naomi?”), Jennifer of the Jungle eager for hot monkey sex at the drop of her loincloth…need I go on?

    And if I wanted religious messages, I’d EASILY pick Marshall Efron’s Illustrated, Simplified and Painless Sunday School over D&G any day. His simultaneous portryal of King Solomon, the two putative moms, and the infant under the knife has been burned into my mind unto this day.

    And who was the bigger fagala, Davey or Christopher Robin?

  4. “the Lutheran Church’s only undeniably great contribution to human history (sorry, consubstantiation fans), Davey & Goliath, is back in production.”

    “Bout time all the little Lutheran kids had something to be proud of.”

    Uh, like kicking the Catholic church’s ass wasn’t enough?

  5. Is it? Could it be? Oh my God, it is! It’s Lutheran-Themed Humor! The last time I saw this was when Woody on Cheers was getting married!

    Hey, that consubstantiation stuff is pretty important, but dead elvis has a point: I spent 13 years in the Lutheran school system, learning about Lutheran history and doctrine, and sometimes it was all about kicking the Catholic church’s ass.

    Later, I noticed that Lutheranism is one of the most marginalized religions in America. Every time the news media talks about Christianity, it’s always about them Pope-lovin’ Roman Catholics. If they mention other types of Christians it’s usually the born-again folks or just “Protestents,” as if there weren’t many different kinds of Protestants–and there are many, many different kinds. (I’d like to give a big Lutheran Shout-Out to my homies in the Missouri Synod, especially the fine people of the English District. Righteous!)

    From the Cheers episode:

    Woody: “Ask her why she thinks the Book of Concord is not in line with the Scriptures !”

    Kelly: “Because it’s not.”

    Woody: “HERETIC!”

    Trust me. Lutheranism doesn’t get much funnier than that.

  6. Book of Concord? Missouri Synod? You’re living in the past. Modernize, man! ELCA is the wave of the Future!

    I agree with the above, though. I was studying to be a Lutheran Minister at one point, and I swear the “remember how we schooled the RCC?” was the filler sermon topic they handed out.

    I think the reason Lutherans are marginalized has a lot to do with the fact that they’re a pretty mild bunch. You don’t get the “Frozen Chosen” moniker just for nothing. Well, I guess that’s exactly how you get it, but you understand. I’ve seen knock-down, drag-out doctrinal battles between Synod members that literally ended with “Well, I’m sorry, but I’m afrain we’ll simply have to agree to disagree.” It’s like meeting Ned Flanders in real life.

  7. ELCA you say? Ha. As if that bunch of libertines would have anything useful to say. They don’t even insist on justification by faith alone. What’s next? Crystals and copper bracelets?

    For those of you confused by this, some history: In the 1970s, the ALC and the LCMS were blood brothers (pulpit and alter fellowship, it’s called) but LCMS backed out. This peeved some LCMS congregations who broke off to form AELC, which later joined the much larger ALC and LCA to form ELCA. Got that?

    One of the differences is about the aformentioned consubstantiation. Oh, both synods believe in it, but—and this is so protestant—ELCA allows fellowship with churches that don’t believe in consubstantiation whereas LCMS does not. Because of this, LCMS isn’t in fellowship with ELCA.

    The last two paragraphs are summaries of Lutheran writings I found on the web. Other exciting Lutheran topics include: Communion Wine: Red or White?, and All The Different Ways to Number the Ten Commandments

    I kinda miss all this.

  8. I agree, by the way, that the real reason Lutherans are ignored by the media is that they don’t get into big loud fights in public. I guess that’s also why Lutherans can get worked up over all these doctrinal differences: If you don’t burn heretics at the stake, you get a lot more of them.

    Also, I may have ALC and LCA confused, but nobody really cares.

  9. I’m still rooting for Davey Hansen to break the all-time record for pinch-hits….

  10. don’t forget gravey and jobriath… (courtesy of snpp.com) :

    Jobriath: Whatcha making there, Gravey?
    Gravey: It’s a pipe bomb, Jobriath. For to blow up Planned Parenthood.
    Jobriath: I don’t know, Gravey.
    Gravey: I’m sick of your lack of faith. [lights the bomb and jams it into Jobriath’s mouth]
    Jobriath: [muffled] But Gravey!

  11. Mark,

    Back in the day, Lutherans burned witches and heretics as well.

  12. Henry, I had forgotten all about Marshall Efron’s Illustrated, Simplified, and Painless Sunday School. I loved that show, though all I remember now is a guy with a mustache acting silly in biblical roles. They should put his show on DVD.

    On the other hand, I liked Davey and Goliath growing up. I can still hear Goliath’s mellow tones in my head (“But Davey. . .”). I seem to recall seeing some sort of parody of them on SNL or somewhere–anybody remember seeing something like that?

  13. Uh, like kicking the Catholic church’s ass wasn’t enough?

    Some ass kicking. There are almost as many Catholics as there are Muslims; Lutherans can barely fill the Lake Woebegone shelter for battered wives.

    Maybe it’s that chauvinism is the only part of Catholicism I retain, and maybe it’s just that I love using the Holy Roman Church as a stick to bash my “Orthodox” inlaws, but I always suspect Protestants can’t stomach the Pope for the same reason most Americans couldn’t bear to vote for Barry Goldwater: In their hearts they know he’s right.

  14. And they put him on a Diet of Worms (the most tiresome pun in western civilization).

    Tim — Beware of fighting Orthodox chauvinism, remember, WE left THEM they keep telling them! Or so I am told. Though we kicked ass in 1204.

    Compromise with the Orthodox, go Eastern Rite. The icons are cooler.

  15. should be “they keep telling me”.

  16. I don’t know what’s more surprising — that religion is being discussed in a non-(yawn)-atheist way on Reason, or that it’s about my peeps, the Lutherans!

    Wow, it’s a Christmas miracle.

  17. Compromise with the Orthodox, go Eastern Rite. The icons are cooler.

    Funny (well, maybe slightly amusing) story: One day my wife has friends coming over, and decides we’ll go to their “Catholic” church with them. Thinking that means no incense, no singing, no gold robes, and a mass that’s over in 40 minutes, I’m excited about the idea.

    We get there and I smell incense, hear singing, and see gold robes: It’s a Maronite church.

    About 16 hours later church is over and they’re reviving me with smelling salts. To make polite conversation, I say, “Wow, that was, um, kind of like the Orthodox mass.”

    “What are you talking about?” my wife says. “That was nothing like the Orthodox mass.”

  18. Tim writes: “There are almost as many Catholics as there are Muslims; Lutherans can barely fill the Lake Woebegone shelter for battered wives.”

    See, this is another example of the evil and pernicious persecution we Lutherans receive. It’s almost unbearable!

    Seriously, though, in the top ten religious bodies in the United States, there are *two* Lutheran groups. The ELCA and the Missouri Synod. Of course, the RCs outnumber us about 8 to 1, still.

  19. Just to be clear, I’ve got no beef with the Lutheran faith, which does in fact seem to have schooled the RCC in recent years: Witness the historic joint statement in 2000 stating that man is justified through grace, which merely “calls us to good works”-a clear climbdown by the Catholics, I think. My only problem with Lutheranism is that I always mix up Here I Stand, the great Martin Luther biography, with Yes I Can!, the great Sammy Davis Jr. autobiography. I think there must be some ideal combination of the two, where Sammy nails a Billboard Top 95 list showing “Candy Man” at Number 1 to the door of the CalNeva Casino.

  20. Thinking that means no incense, no singing, no gold robes, and a mass that’s over in 40 minutes, I’m excited about the idea.

    Hm. I was raised Catholic between the ages of 5 and 10 – and there was plenty of incense and singing at mass. And it was one hour long. No gold robes thought (what is that?).

  21. “I don’t know what’s more surprising — that religion is being discussed in a non-(yawn)-atheist way on Reason”

    Hey, it’s Xmas Eve! Today even we evildoers don’t want to (try to) disabuse the masses of the comforting fairy tales spoonfed to them in their youth. That would be like saying there is no Sanity Clause!

  22. “There are almost as many Catholics as there are Muslims; Lutherans can barely fill the Lake Woebegone shelter for battered wives.”

    A vile slander. HOLY WAR! HOLY WAR!:p And if you ask the LCMS, the reason they dislike the Pope is because their beloved doctrine tells them that he’s the Antichrist. I actually got accused of “Popery” once for daring to suggest that maybe, just maybe, he wasn’t as bad as all that.

  23. That would be like saying there is no Sanity Clause!

    [Chico] Hey, you no foola me, there aint no Sanity Clause!

  24. “[Chico] Hey, you no foola me, there aint no Sanity Clause!”

    Think of the children!

  25. Give me Gumby or give me death.

  26. “I seem to recall seeing some sort of parody of them on SNL or somewhere–anybody remember seeing something like that?”

    There was the Mountain Dew commercial a year or so ago where Davey said, “we got hosed”…

  27. Oh my God, it is! It’s Lutheran-Themed Humor! The last time I saw this was when Woody on Cheers was getting married! – Mark

    Lake Woebegon has already been mentioned, so, cheese, you’d think that Prairie Home Companion would have supplied anyone who cared for it an adequate supply of Heretical Hilarity over the years.

    Here’s a stumper for you: why is tax money for school choice an abomination against the Establishment Clause, but tax money so that Garrison Keillor can sing hymns on the radio a perfectly legitimate appropriation for the advancement of the culture?

    The big religious squabble today is whether churches should have changed their Xmas eve service hours in response to the Green Bay @ Minnesota showdown for the NFC North championship. The game kicked off at 2:00 p.m. (With under 14 minutes to go in the 4th, it is tied at 24-24. ViQueens have the ball.) Missing the game to go to church is probably a mark of uber-Lutheranism.

    Kevin

    From MKE WI, where Lutherans of all synods are thick on the ground, even if the Catholics still outnumber `em.

  28. Jesus, Kevin, and everybody was getting along so well, too.

  29. “Some ass kicking. There are almost as many Catholics as there are Muslims; Lutherans can barely fill the Lake Woebegone shelter for battered wives.”

    Well, in the context of the time and place, establishing the possibility for there to be less than 100% Roman Catholics was indeed an ass-kicking.

    “I always suspect Protestants can’t stomach the Pope for the same reason most Americans couldn’t bear to vote for Barry Goldwater: In their hearts they know he’s right.”

    Fightin’ woids! 😉

    And what about the Wisconsin Synod? I was raised to think *they* were the nutty ones.

  30. We in the ELCA teach that there’s more than enough room in the nuthouse for God’s children in both the LCMS *and* the Wisconsin Synod.

  31. You guys have spent the last seven hours discussing Lutherans and NOT ONE PERSON has made a reference to JELLO MOLDS!

  32. Hm. I was raised Catholic between the ages of 5 and 10 – and there was plenty of incense and singing at mass. And it was one hour long. No gold robes thought (what is that?).

    By an accident of birth, my entire experience of the RCC is post-Vatican II, and my formative experiences were in the seventies, when that stuff was not only rare but consciously eliminated wherever possible.

    One of the reasons I can’t hold with most “Catholic humor” is that it’s mostly made by old fogies nostalgizing about the church of the fifties and early sixties. I can’t stand converts for the same reason: Talk to a convert long enough and you discover he joined up hoping to speak latin, take communion on his knees and be driven mad by ancient Irish priests spinning visions of hell. Converts are always disappointed when they find out it ain’t all that, and they vent by telling you how you don’t know anything about your own religion.

  33. Tim:

    Same here. I went to catechism in the late 70’s and hippie culture was so prevalent that in my adolescent mind I just assumed ALL hippies were Catholics!

    I don’t recall any knuckle-smacking Irish nuns. In fact, the only person who stands out was a bearded Jesus freak named “Ernie” who had a penchant for strumming some incredibly bad accoustic tributes to JC.

    The only description of Hell I can recall was a catechism teacher who told us to imagine having the “stomach flu forever and ever”…

    I guess I can see why the converts are upset!

    🙂

  34. About the incense, etc. People may be misremembering. I became an altar boy as the Vatican II reforms went into effect. We were the first class of acolytes (RC jargon, there) not to have to learn the Latin Mass. There was, and still is, at least a modicum of singing. The Kyrie is usually chanted. At a High Mass, a fairly rare event nowadays, the celebrant(s) pour on the full boat of sacramentals. Normal Low Masses, the kind that are said every day and several times on Sunday, don’t need anything more than bread and wine, but candles and bells are almost always used.

    The hymns in Latin were phased out in the 60’s, but are still sung. Who hasn’t heard Ave Maria at a Catholic wedding? Funeral and wedding masses, along with such additional services as Novenae, and Holy Week services, are where incense and holy water have remained in use. As the Latin hymns were rendered into servicable English translations they were again sung by the congregations, but the advent of the dreaded “Folk Mass” around the time Dylan went electric visited a reign of boring, dreary, simple-to-sing and hard-to-listen-to church music in American Catholicism. I think many of my fellow ex-Catholics left the church to avoid Ray Repp “melodies.”

    My old parish hired a wildly bewigged Italian organist and formed a children’s choir. I spent several years serving the 8:45 Sunday Mass held in the parish school auditorium, then rushing over to sing at the 10:15 in the church building. When ecumenism got rolling, we even added A Mighty Fortress Is Our God to our repertoire. That hymn was, of course, written by Martin Luther, and a few bars of it always played at the beginning of the Davey & Goliath opening credits. Some old-school parishioners harumphed when we sang that!

    As to the length of a mass, we old altar boys used to keep a mental book on which of the holy fathers was a “fast mass” and who poked along. If Fadda Joe was saying the Sunday 12:15, he might take an hour and a half, a suitable fate for the laggards and layabouts who undoubtedly were out galivanting on Saturday night, or else they would have made it to the 7:30 or the 9:00. If Fadda John, on the other hand, were ramrodding the 7:30, you could be out of the sacristy by 8:05, 8:15, tops. At a daily morning mass, where maybe 10 people who weren’t nuns might show up, it might be a half hour or less. A scaled-down homily/sermon, and little or no communion line really sped up the whole process.

    My parents actually forbade us to watch Davey. First, because it ran on Sunday morning, and one Did Not Watch Television On Sunday Morning Before Church anymore than one ate breakfast until one had had communion. My only real contact with the show came from the rare morning on which I was too sick to go to church. Those so stricken were allowed to wrap up in blankets on the couch in front of the tube, sipping milk tea or ginger ale, watching Wonderama or Chuck McCann. Second, it bore neither Imprimatur nor Nihil Obstat, which made it televisual treyf.

    Kevin
    (ex-boy soprano)

    Oh, BTW:

    Da Pack…….34
    Minnesota…. 31

    Note to those wishing to be driven mad by insane Irish priests: I’ve got this brother….

  35. Cletus, I guess I’m just lucky 21 year old then. I went to a Catholic School for a little while(a Catholic Grandparent insisted) and managed to run afoul of one of the nuns. Got the whack of my life too. Still can’t stand Nuns.

    Kevin, I’m definately glad I wasn’t raised Catholic though. Lutheran Acolytes seem to have it much easier. Just light the candles at the beginning of the service. Once a month on Communion Sunday, follow behind to retrieve the little glass cups after Communion. A veritable cakewalk, compared to what the Catholic counterparts apparently had to go though.

  36. “but the advent of the dreaded “Folk Mass” around the time Dylan went electric visited a reign of boring, dreary, simple-to-sing and hard-to-listen-to church music in American Catholicism.”

    I know exactly what you mean, the Folk Service wasn’t limited to the Catholics; we all suffered through that.

  37. Screw Zoom, School House Rock, and Bill Nye, the Science Guy. Davey & Goliath was the only intentionally educational TV program that ever delivered the goods.

    I can only assume you are not familure with Paul Zaloom and his rat-suited side-kick.

    BEAKMAN RULES!

  38. Hey, it’s Beakman’s World. The rest of us just live in it.

    (Aside: I always thought it was too bad that The Muppet Show wasn’t in production while BW was running. Imagine Beaker’s World.)

    Kevin

    meep, meeepmeepmeep, meep!

  39. From the Who Would You Kill? website, Davey and Goliath version:

    Ext. Night.
    Alley behind movie-house. Davey and Goliath are taking a shortcut through the alley that his parents have told him to never walk alone at night. But Davey has to make it home in time to make curfew and the reason he’s going to be late is that he’s been making leather wallets for Sally and his parents at Cub Scouts. Davey and Goliath are unaware of two large, dark figures who have begun to ‘tail’ them.

    [Goliath] Davey, I sure don’t like this alley.
    [Davey] It’s okay Goliath. Mom, Dad, and Sally are sure going to love these wallets that I’ve made. If we take this shortcut, we’ll be home by 7.
    [Goliath] Okay Davey.

    The two figures are now closing in on Davey and Goliath, and now we see that the two figures heads are rather, well, square…

    [Davey] (Hears the footsteps behind him) G-G-G-oliath?
    [Goliath] Yes Davey?
    [Davey] D-d-d-did you hear that?
    [Goliath] Of course I did. I heard them as soon as we started down this alley.
    [Davey] You have?
    [Goliath] Of course, Davey.
    [Davey] Well I know God will protect us and let no harm ever come to us. It’s all part of his wonderful plan.
    [Goliath] Well lets hurry up anyway, now I’M getting scared.

    One of the two figures is holding a rope taut between his fists, while the other is holding a block plane.

    [Large figure 1] (Whispers and nods) Let’s go.
    [Large figure 2] (Nods in acknowledgement.)

    Suddenly the two large figures leap on top of Davey and Goliath and begin to tie the two of them up. It now becomes clear that the two figured are Blockheads. Goliath is rendered immobile and unable to speak for his legs and muzzle have been tied tight. Davey has been tied up and seated on some milk crates, also unable to move.

    [Blockhead 1] (Quietly) Okay now kid, I’ll give YOU a wonderful plan…
    Blockhead 1 produces the block plane and while Blockhead 2 is holding Davey’s head still, Blockhead 1 begins to shave Davey’s round head into a block, with much protest from Davey.

    [Davey] Why are you doing this?
    [Goliath] (just lies there)
    [Blockhead 1] Keep it down! Let’s just say that you’re lucky that this is ALL we’re doing to you. When I was blocked out, its was…. ..ah forget it. Kids like you just don’t understand the balance. You spend all of your life trying to please everyone and obey the rules. You avoid pain at almost any cost. Sure you’ve cried before, but they weren’t real tears. I’m giving you something. You should be thankful.
    Blockhead 1 continues to shape Davey’s wooden head into a nicely shaped cube.
    [Blockhead 1] (Finishes) There. All done. Now go home and explain to your family how things are going to be different from now on.
    [Davey] I will sir.
    [Blockhead 1] Untie the dog.
    Blockhead 2 unties Goliath and he rushes over to Block-Davey and growls and shows his teeth.

    [Goliath] Where’s Davey?
    [Davey] Davey’s gone away…
    Fade to black.

  40. BTW, if you think the stuff about Lutherans in Lake Wobegone is funny, you should check out Garrision Keillor’s material on the “Sanctified Brethren” (a thinly-disguised version of the Plymouth Brethren, in which Keillor was actually raised).

  41. I went to catechism in the late 70’s and hippie culture was so prevalent that in my adolescent mind I just assumed ALL hippies were Catholics!

    Wow, I just flashed back to an anti-hippie joke I heard my parents tell when I was in early gradeschool, in the mid-1960s:

    Two hippies saw a nun on crutches waiting to cross the street, and they offered to help her across. The nun thanked them, explaining that she broke her leg when she slipped and fell in a bathtub.

    Afterward, one hippie asked the other, “Hey, man, what’s a bathtub?” And the other said, “I don’t know, man, I’m not Catholic.”

    Of course, by the time I was in upper grade school, in the early 1970s, I guess we were hippies too. The entire student body of St. Sabina School attended Mass on Wednesday mornings, and all the Masses then were “guitar Masses.” And the “hymns” we sung included “One Tin Soldier” from The Legend of Billy Jack and “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing” which always made me think of the Coke commercial.

  42. Memories.
    When I was a child, I could barely stand Davey and Goliath, because I personally found religion of any variety was not my forte, even then.
    Marshall Efron’s Sunday School was at least entertaining, thanks to the man’s talent.
    I scornfully notice with the “new” version, the PC mantra of “religious tolerence” is at the forefront of silly, saccharine Davey and Goliath, little clay puppets preaching propaganda instead of religion.
    P. J. Goebbels or J. V. Stalin would have loved it.
    Figures, just like most everybody else, the coffee drinking Lutherans are so afraid of “offending” everyone with their beliefs.
    That doesn’t speak very well of the backbones of modern Christians, or of Americans in general.
    No matter, this nation seems to be getting exactly what it deserves, due to its wanton cowardice.

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