Curious George

Monkey Overlord

by Holly Herndon

This article is for all the moms, dads and grandparents who have, or once had, preschool-age children who watched everyone’s favorite primate on television.

As I’m sure some of you can relate, I’ve had two children obsessed with the little brown monkey. First there was my 6-year-old, Curious Georgewho loved George at age two and still enjoys him today. And now, my 1 ½ year old is absolutely obsessed with the character we refer to as her “monkey overlord.”

So, I’ve basically seen this show a dozen times a day for four years straight and, after countless hours of watching what is actually a quite entertaining, very well-written children’s program, there are a few things I need to get off my chest.

*Please note these insights only pertain to the PBS Kids animated television show, not necessarily the beloved books by Margret and H.A. Rey, and certainly not the Universal Studios films which had the audacity to name The Man with the Yellow Hat “Ted.”

 So, for your pondering pleasure, I give you:

10 Unanswered Questions About PBS Kids’ Curious George

  1. Of course, you have to start by asking yourself, why doesn’t The Man with the Yellow Hat (who I will now refer to as simply The Man) cash in on the world’s most amazing mammal? He could sell his artwork. Do the talk show circuit. Pitch “Real House-monkeys of Generic New York-like City,” to Bravo. Seriously, there are millions of dollars to be made from possessing a monkey who makes soap box derby racers and plays in a mariachi band. The rest of them just throw feces.
  1. I’m not going to cite the obvious about why exactly a monkey can visit a museum, or take the subway or attend the opera, but I will ask this:  Why can a monkey visit the zoo?  As a customer?
  1. Does The Man have the necessary permits to keep a wild animal in a downtown apartment? The doorman and the dachshund don’t seem like guys who would let something like that slip.
  1. Why hasn’t the NSF or the CDC or any other food safety organization cited Chef Pisghetti for not only having a cat in his kitchen at all times, but for letting a monkey regularly taste his sauce?
  1. Is The Man monkeying around (nudge nudge wink wink) with Professor Wiseman or Betsy or Steve’s Aunt Margaret? Or both? He sure spends a lot of time with both, and you know what they say about a man who wears a big hat…
  1. Seriously, what’s wrong with Bill? He knows everything there is to know about species of ducks, and building dams and the science behind model sailboats, but he thinks George is just a “city kid?” And why doesn’t someone just tell him George is a monkey?!Curious George PBS Kids
  1. What exactly does The Man do for a living? Somehow he can afford a large two-bed apartment in what seems to be the cartoon equivalent of Manhattan, with a cartoon Central Park view, no less, and has a farmhouse property upstate. Whatever it is he does, sign me up.
  1. Shouldn’t the parents of the County Sprouts be concerned that their kid’s scout troop leader is a childless man with a monkey?
  1. What year is George living in? They are still producing new episodes of this show, yet The Man still checks out library books to do his scientific research and uses a landline telephone. He even sends George with paper notes for people if the phone was left off the charger.
  1. Finally, considered he’s been to space (twice), captained a submarine (twice), constructed full-scale dinosaur skeletons at the Museum of Natural History and even categorized endangered penguins in the arctic, isn’t it time George started wearing pants?

Regardless of the puzzling facts put forth here today, you can’t deny that there is something about this show that is irresistible to children, and obviously sticks in the brains of their parents as well. The man, the myth, the monkey has definitely made an indelible mark on our household, so I say Godspeed, Curious George. You’ve done more in your life naked then any of us can ever hope to achieve.

Do you watch Curious George?  What shows are your kids into?


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