R.I.P. Friendly Giant

Bob Homme, a.k.a. The Friendly Giant, died 11 years ago today. The following clip must be like comfort food for generations of Canadians who watched Friendly when they were kids.

“The Friendly Giant” was a Canadian kids TV show that ran from 1958 to 1985. A few quotes from the current Wikipedia entry:

Each episode would begin with the camera panning over a detailed model of part of a village as Friendly could be heard observing the goings on in the town below. Suddenly, his giant boot would come into view and Friendly would ask the viewers to “Look up, look waaaaay up!” and the Giant would invite everyone to come visit his castle.

Typically, Jerome the Giraffe would visit, poking his head in through a high window. Rusty the Rooster, who lived in a book bag hanging on the wall by the window, would emerge and produce from the bag books to be read and other props, some seemingly larger than could fit in the bag.

At the show’s conclusion, Friendly would put his miniature furniture away and his large, kindly hand would wave goodbye as the camera would zoom out and the castle’s drawbridge would be raised; as a silvery moon rose into the sky a cow would jump over it. Once, when the cow failed to make an appearance, the CBC was inundated with phone calls from disappointed viewers.

The shows were largely ad libbed, typically based around a one-page plot summary for each episode. This gave the show an added spontaneity uncommon to most children’s shows, though the series was marked by a go-slow, gentle nature.

I wonder how well classic Canadian kids television like “The Friendly Giant” and “Mr. Dressup” would go over with kids today.

About Phillip

Phillip Cairns is a beekeeper in St. John's, Newfoundland, who writes about beekeeping at mudsongs.org.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.