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OF, BY AND FOR THE CHILDREN

'Bobby' explores world of Vegas in an episode with a deeper message

July 18, 1993|N.F. MENDOZA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Good intentions can often run astray. This week on Bobby's World, Bobby and his Uncle Ted offer to give Nafoodjia, the family housekeeper, a ride to her wedding and end up in Las Vegas!

Responsible folks that they are, Bobby and Ted try to phone home unsuccessfully. Their family, the Generics, go ballistic at their absence. The Generics come to the conclusion that Bobby and Ted have been abducted by aliens.

Eventually, everything is set right again, and Bobby finds his adventure qualifies him to appear on his favorite TV show, "Captain Squash."

While the capital of neon may seem like an unusual place to set a cartoon, "Howie (Mandel, one of the show's creators) wanted to do an episode in Las Vegas and thought it would be fun," says Gary Conrad, the show's producer.

Conrad notes that this episode is particularly significant in its depiction of how important secondary caregivers are to children.

"This show focuses on Bobby and Uncle Ted, his favorite uncle," he says. "Ted's like a big kid, someone who Bobby relates to as being childlike himself and we've done a couple of shows which focus on their relationship and how they love to spend time together."

The more overt message, he says, is that "if you go away, let your parents know so that they don't worry."

"Bobby's World," which has some humor for adults as well, shows a 4-year-old's point of view, Conrad says. "We show things that are new to a 4-year-old, like jealousy, honesty, how he comes to terms with the death of someone he knew, their move to a new house, things that are new for children, but adults can relate to it as well."

The "Bobby Phone Home" episode of "Bobby's World" airs Saturday at 7:30 a.m. on Fox. For ages 2 and up.

MORE FAMILY SHOWS

Nickelodeon Weinerville (Sunday 2-4 p.m.), which premiered last week, is a variety show hosted by comedian Marc Weiner and his half human, half puppet citizens of Weinerville. Inhabitants include: Dottie, the town manager; Baby Jeffrey, the world's most dangerous baby; Socko, a teen who's not as tough as he thinks; and Captain Bob, a salty seadog who guarantees to give his crew a good soaking. Weiner and Weinerville puppets introduce the cartoons and play games with a live studio audience. At the end of each show, two volunteers from the audience are "Weinerized"--shrunk into puppets. The show is shot at the Nickelodeon Studios in Orlando, Fla. For ages 4 to 10.

Tuesday marks the first American Music Shop (4-5 p.m. The Nashville Network) for kids, with guest host Charlie Daniels singing "Little Folks." Children's performers Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer sing a selection of their hits, including "Air Guitar" and "When the Rain Comes Down," to a live audience. Pop singer Nicolette Larson ("Lotta Love") and John McCutcheon perform "Oh Bear" and "Kindergarten Wall," respectively. The rousing finale includes the cast singing a jazzy version of "Starlight, Starbright." The show is part of a four-part series from the Washington, D.C., area. For ages 4 and up.

A look at two generations highlights Scott Ross Street Talk (Sunday 9-10 p.m. Family Channel), which chronicles the maturation of the 76 million baby-boomers in the special "Boomers & Busters." The show also examines the "unknown generation" that followed--the baby busters, now 10 to 28, which has the highest suicide rate than any previous generation. For parents.

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