was a cartoon series that ran on Fox
's Fox Kids
Saturday morning block from 1990 to 1998. It was created by comedian Howie Mandel
It was about an imaginative young boy named Bobby Generic (voiced by Mandel) who often misinterpreted things that were said to him.
Other characters include Bobby's parents, Howard and Martha; his older sister, Kelly; his older brother, Derek; his younger twin brothers, Jake and Al, who were born in the third season; his uncle Ted; his aunt Ruth, and his sheepdog, Roger.
For something that ran for eight seasons, it had very little publicity.
Tropes featured in this show include:
- Butt Monkey: Howie
- Bobby can be this as well if things don't go his way.
- Big Brother Bully: Derek.
- Blunt Metaphors Trauma
- Celebrity Toons: Well, sort of. Bobby is based on Howie Mandel's son, and Mandel himself is in the opening credits.
- Christmas Episode: "Miracle of 34th St and Rural Route 1." The family and various relatives go to Bobby's grandfather's house. Lots of arguing ensues until a fire destroys most of the presents and Bobby gives his obnoxious cousin the present they both wanted most. Bobby also writes a new Christmas song.
- Closed Captioning: On Fox Kids, the show made use of this, but embedded into the show rather than the video signal. This means that they couldn't be switched off.
- Charter On-Demand episodes do not have these, actually.
- Curse Cut Short: According to Howie, when Roger gets shown his leash (since he associates it with being taken to the vet), he disappears "...like a bat out of— A steeple."
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: When a female octopus uses her tentacles to attack a submarine, Bobby says "I thought only boys had tentacles!"
- Halloween Episode: "The Night of the Living Pumpkin." Bobby is too young to go out trick-or-treating. While most everyone else gets to go out, he and Ted turn the house into "a spook house" (with Ted charging kids money to enter and Bobby charging candy).
- Hey, It's That Voice!: Martha Generic is voiced by Gail Matthius (the voice for the character was based on Roweena, a chain-smoking hairstylist Matthius played on Saturday Night Live). Pamela Segall Adlon, who is probably best known for voicing Bobby Hill from King of the Hill and Pajama Sam, voiced Derek in the later seasons.
- Bobby has the same voice as Skeeter and Gizmo
- Uncle Ted is voiced by Tino Insana, also known for being Bushroot and Pig.
- Ink-Suit Actor/The Danza: Howard Generic as played by Howie Mandel.
- It Is Pronounced Tro-PAY: Everybody mispronounces the family's last name Generic, which is pronounced "JEN-er-ic".
- Jerkass: Bobby's 2 older siblings Derek and Kelly (She doesn't really hate Bobby unlike Derek, but sometimes she does get embarrassed by Bobby)
- Karma Houdini: Derek rarely gets any punishment for doing these cruel stuff to Bobby (Like ditching him, saying false things to scare Bobby, insulting him, and etc.)
- Kids Are Cruel: "Total Recess", "Karate Bobby", "The Smell of a Tattletale","Misery Loves Company", and "Rebel Without a Clue" are examples of how Kids in this show are sadistic towards the main character.
- Literal-Minded: Bobby.
- Medium Blending: When Howie Mandel interacted with Bobby before and after the episodes.
- Mr. Imagination: Bobby.
- Parental Bonus: In "I Want My Mommy", Uncle Ted tries to explain the concept of adoption to Bobby.
Uncle Ted: You see, a lot of times when a guy and his wife—
Martha: Uh, Ted, Ted.
- Ted was well known for the Parental Bonus. In one episode, he even used the word "hell", which was kind of taboo at the time for a kid's show. Martha corrected him after he said it, though.
- In one of Bobby's Imagine Spots, triggered by his Uncle Ted being the "Walk it off" type, The Elephant Man is the last character that Ted tells to "Walk it off" after delivering the memetic line of "I am not an animal! I am a human being!"... while looking like an actual elephant.
- Parody: Mrs. Noogiefire is a parody of Mrs. Doubtfire.
- Pop-Star Composer: John Tesh composed the theme song, as well as the incidental music in the show.
- The Renaissance Age of Animation
- Sidetracked by the Analogy: Happens very frequently to Bobby.
- Sound Effect Bleep: At the end of "My Dad Can Fix Anything", this happens:
Howie Mandel: And now we've got a special surprise, I'm going to tell you how to become a multimillionaire. Want to help me on this one, Bobby?
At this point, Bobby flips a switch creating a loud whirring sound that drowns out anything that Howie says.
Howie Mandel:—and that's the only way you'll ever win the lottery!
- Talking to Himself: Any time Bobby talks with his dad.
- Those Two Guys: Meeker and Snurd.
- Valley Girl: Kelly.
- Verbal Tic: Martha Generic frequently ends sentences with "Doncha know?".
- Wise Beyond Their Years: Bobby... sort of.