Andy’s Gang – The Man Eater of Jog (film #1 on Disc #1 of Classic Kids’ Shows DVD (Genius Entertainment, 2004)). [Category: Early Film & TV]

OK, folks, I’ve been waiting to see a full episode of this show after being exposed briefly to the thoroughly evil Froggy the Gremlin on the TVParty website. This does not disappoint. “Andy’s Gang” was a disturbing, dark corner of Kidvidland, a place to banish bad kids. The story feature, about a man-eating tiger hunt in India, is pretty much standard adventure fare, though the half-naked main character and his assistant have a relationship that is ripe for msting, and the scene of the elephant trampling the tiger is mildly disturbing. But never mind that, it’s the scenes with Andy that will make you cringe. Worst is the segment featuring a cat and a gerbil who are dressed in some sort of animatronic costumes and forced to perform as a Spanish dancer and guitarist, respectively. At least, this must have caused the animals psychological damage, if not actual pain, though they both look like they’re heavily drugged. Of course, this is all just a warmup to prepare kids for the thoroughly evil and anarchic Froggy the Gremlin. Actually, seeing Froggy get his digs in on Andy is fairly cathartic after the animal abuse business, making me think that Froggy must have been channeling the animal spirits to perform acts of revenge. The kids in the audience look about as real as the little old lady audience that would occasionally appear on “Monty Python’s Flying Circus,” though, so that’s reassuring. I don’t even want to think about how this affected the viewers at home, though.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: *****. Weirdness: *****+. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: *****.

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