I’m a huge fan of nostalgia. I honestly don’t think there’s anything more satisfying than saying that everything’s really shit these days, and if you don’t think so, that’s just because you’re an idiot who hasn’t lived long enough to know how brilliant it was in the 1980s. To prove my point, here’s a graph that charts levels of ironic enjoyment attached to Gary Coleman, with amount of enjoyment linked to size, age, and opacity of head.
By 2006, enjoyment of Gary Coleman is almost 100% ironic. Is that nice? Are you being kind? THE POOR GUY IS A FREAK, LEAVE THE AWFUL FREAK ALONE TO DIE A MISERABLE DEATH IN PEACE.
Note also that the utopian vision of a Christian paradise switches into a scene from the death of General Montgomery in the year 1996. This is the very same year that crack cocaine started tearing up communities, and when Ben Elton admitted that he was only doing the “alternative stuff” because “that’s where the money was in those days”.
So join me, in a time before irony, when you were allowed to enjoy yourself without everyone going “eur, you’re showing emotions, that’s not acceptable in the future”. And let’s relive the first episodes of DENVER, THE LAST DINOSAUR!
EPISODE 1 : WOW, A DINOSAUR
In the first episode of Denver, our intrepid gang of “kids” were enyoying a game of hangman. When it was Gadget’s turn, he went into a trance, and started playing Hangman in a really creepy way, running his fingers slowly across the paper. When they finally solved the puzzle it read “DISCO IS DEAD”.
When Gadget came out of his trance, everyone was very worried, because Gadget loved disco music and episodes like that might hint at a form of personality disorder. But then Denver The Last Dinosaur parachuted in, and pointed at an eerie pale-skinned musician, who was shaking the Barundi Wand from Supergirl, and trying to sell a weird form of genderless electronic music to the local church.
“Oh no,” cried Daisy. “He’s attempting to blur the God-made distinction between men and women. Let’s solve this crime!”
“I bet he was born funny in the downbelows,” said Sir Hugsalot. “He must blame Jesus, and hate everyone with a fully-functioning pa-pa-pa-paaaa-pa.” (Thanks to a strict parents and a nervous tic, Sig Hugsalot would sing the Pearl & Dean theme instead of saying dirty words.) So they got into a junkyard truck and brought the hook crashing into the side of his head, killing him instantly.
They all turned to Denver. “Who are you, anyway?” asked Jazz, and Denver pulled this funny face and said “meep meep”, so they decided to keep him in the local quarry.
EPISODE 2 : LET’S SOLVE CRIMES EVERY WEEK!
High on that “doin’-good buzz”, the children wrote a theme song. It went
Denver, The Last Dinosaur
He’s Our Friend And A Whole Lot More!
The children spent a long time wondering whether that implied there was a romantic interest between themselves and Denver, but the idea seemed so unlikely (not to mention offensive to nature!) that they didn’t worry about it, even when neighbourhood parents said “look, those are the kids that sing about fucking that goofy dinosaur”.
The second episode took place in a disused chapel. Once the children had taken it in turns to deliver their favourite sermon, Denver went up to the dais and said “meep meep”, and they all laughed. “Hang on,” said Tekno. “How many people laughed, then?” So they counted the laughs, one by one, and sure enough, the last laugh was full of malevolent scorn – and when they looked to see who was making it… it was Satan!
So they put Denver on roller-skates, and he spent three minutes standing on the spot, waving his arms around and going “diddle-iddle-oing!” Hank said “this isn’t working, I’m going to get my father’s gun”, but when they looked at Satan, his eyes were rolling around from looking at Denver’s legs, and he fell into the font.
He stayed there for three seconds until his bottom started smoking in the Holy Water, then he flew out of the chimney! The children learned that they had summoned Satan through their well-meaning but unlicenced preaching, and they had to say sorry to God (Denver in a beard).
EPISODE 3 : GROOBALOO
The second episode of Denver wasn’t as well-received as the first, so a panicked studio stripped the show of its religious overtones and decided to sex it up with a real-action sidekick, Tony Danza from “Taxi”. Action would cut away to Tony looking terrified or laughing, depending on the situation. When a vocal response was required, Tony would say “Groobaloo!”
Throughout the whole episode, Buzz and Kan-do played Hopscotch in the background, declining any active role in the plot, which mostly entailed Pinky’s birthday, and Pinky got all sulky because Widget had listened to the CD he’d bought her before giving it to her.
“Fuck, I didn’t have to buy you anything, bitch,” he replied, prompting a shocked “Groobaloo!” from Tony Danza. Before long, there were a series of unspeakable crimes in the area, but the gang had lost interest and Denver didn’t even appear, apart from in a clumsy slapstick dance routine with Tony Danza over the end credits.
The episode attracted two billion viewers, and was cancelled. Tony Danza today works as a human resources consultant for a leading ISP. (I made that bit up)