Another adventure at the Hip Hop Center
This is the place where the fun begins
And you can't have a story without some friends
Is it you? (It's me!) Is it you? (It's me!)
I need some more friends for this story!
Is it you? (It's me!) Is it you? (It's me!)
We'll explore new things, come along and see!
So my friends are in place, let the story begin
Ready to learn to have fun? Well come on in!"
Hip Hop Harry (2006-08) is an American children's TV show created by Claude Brooks. It takes place in an after-school community center known as the Hip Hop Center. The center is ran by an anthrophomorphic yellow bear, Harry, who teaches several children about how to live healthy, use your imagination, creativity, and friendship through Hip-Hop songs.
Yeah, it's evidently a Totally Radical Barney & Friends. So much so that the actor who plays Harry, David Joyner, also portrayed Barney himself from 1991 to late 2001 (at least, physically for both, as Ali Alimi voices Harry).
The children that who appear on the show (usually in a group of four per episode, but sometimes in a group of five) were Sophina, Savannah, Jay-Jay, Scott, Megan, Davide, Jake, Veronica, Katie, Kelli, Kendra, Colton, William, Elizabeth, Kiana, Tyler, and Hayden. They're backed up by a second group of children referred to in the credits as "background kids".
The show premiered on Discovery Kids in September 2006, and aired on TLC's Ready Set Learn block), and lasted until 2008, with two seasons and 26 half-hour episodes. It continued to air in reruns until the Ready Set Learn block ended on October 8th, 2010, and hasn't been on American TV since.
Surprisingly though, the YouTube channel of the show still actively posts videos daily, not just of the show but more recently videos of Hip Hop Harry today still doing various activities such as challenges and toy reviews.
You can't have a works page without some tropes:
- A Birthday, Not a Break: Pinky says it's her birthday, then says she has to go to dance practice. It makes Kelli sad, but Pinky says you have to keep a commitment even when it's your birthday. After Pinky heads off, Kelli decides that Hip Hop Central should throw a birthday party for her.
- Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Harry, a yellow bear.
- As Himself: The child cast essentially play less competent versions of themselves.
- Audience Surrogate: the best examples are when Veronicaa can't figure out what to do for a talent show, and Katie, who's trained in ballet, deciding to take her first hip hop dance classes at Hip Hop Central.
- Birthday Episode: One episode is about Kelli making up her mind to organize a birthday party for Pinky.
- Bottle Episode: Every single episode is this, taking place inside Hip Hop Central and no place else.
- Cast Herd: Some cast members appear as a group on more than one occasion, apparently in the interest of ensuring they collectively exemplify diversity on the show. as a result, the only time certain members of cast are seen together and interacting with each other on screen are when they're all dancing to the hip Hop Center together in the opening credits and when they're dancing with each other and their families in the "Do the Harry music video. Groupings include:
- Sophina, Davide, Scott, and either Megan or Kelli
- Jake, Veronicaa, Davide, and either Elizabeth or Katie
- Kelli, Colton, Kendra, and William
- Ryan, Veronicaa, and Elizabeth
- Kiana and Tyler and either Savannah and Jay Jay or William and Kendra
- Chekhov's Gun: Elizabeth just happens to show up to Hip Hop Central on the day everyone is playing a game where they have to find objects starting with different letters of the alphabet. Guess what ends up saving the day when they get stuck.
- Circus Episode: Hip Hop Harry says the circus is coming to Hip Hop Central. Then, he and Dante said the kids will be putting on the circus themselves. Tyler and the girls perform different acts and William serves as the ringmaster.
- Clip Show: The last episode finds five kids who didn't typically appear together meeting up, with each of the kids taking turns to share events the others present missed.
- The Ditz: Scott frequently gets the "guy who doesn't know what to do so it can be explained for the audience" role. It gets taken a bit too far when he doesn't know what dried apples are (the answer's in the name, Scott).
- "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The Title Theme Tune is performed by Harry and his friends.
- Drop-In Character: Hip Hop Harry's adult friends Pinky and Riddles, who enjoy especially close relationships with Jay-Jay and Kelli, respectively.
- Edutainment Show: The show teaches children about social, emotional, and physical development through HipHop music.
- Everything's Better with Spinning: Tyler is a b-boy, and in most of his appearances, he does some type of spinning move in the dance circle.
- Festival Episode Sort of. The kids put on a Trinidadian-style carnival for Kendra's grandmother, who is visiting from the island.
- Filler: "Air Air Everywhere" has the most by far, with the dance circle lasting 1:44 and a song where every verse is sung twice in addition to some of them being recapped. The episode still runs for less than twenty-two minutes. "You Can Dance" also has a large portion of repeated material.
- Fully Dressed Cartoon Animal: Hip Hop Harry.
- Kiddie Kid: All of the kids, really. They make statements and ask questions which might be expected of children several years younger than they. Scott is notorious for it because he's one of the oldest kids.
- Little Jimmy: Scott's ignorance leads to him asking what a dried apple is, among other rhetorical questions, so that Harry can answer them.
- Mythology Gag: The unaired pilot deals with music in a more general sense, while one of the last episodes, "My Music is Your Music" has the kids, who are big fans of Hip Hop, trying out different styles of music.
- Once per Episode: "I Love To Learn", "Do The Harry", "The Hip Hop Harry Dance Circle", and "The Goodbye Song" are all song and dance numbers which feature in every episode as part of the format.
- Promotion to Opening Titles: Zigzagged. In each of their appearances, members of the child cast are credited with IDs featuring their first name, a mid-shot clip of them posing, and a wide-shot clip of them dancing. If it's a group of four kids, they'll be featured one at a time as cued in the opening lyrics above, but if it's a group of five, they'll all be shown in succession, with their footage trimmed down slightly.
- Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training: On a meta level: the kids are great dancers, and they can rap a bit, too, but their acting suffers for the focus on their dancing.
- Satellite Character: Colton, in the sense that he only ever appears alongside his real life best friend William.
- Shout-Out: the episode "You Can Dance" is a shout out to So You Think You Can Dance and features a guest appearance by Shane Sparks, a choreographer who was working with Dance at the time.
- Slumber Party: The kids have a pretend one in one episode, wearing their pajamas over their street clothes. They try out popcorn with different toppings, learn about nocturnal animals, and discuss sleep and brushing teeth.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Veronica's actress spells her name with an additional A at the end.
- That's All, Folks!: Each episode ends with the Hip Hop Harry Dance Circle, and the end credit sequence is very much this.
- Theme Naming: Hip Hop Harry has adult friends named Farmer Fran, Wildlife Wendy, and Mail Carrier Carla. There's also Dr. Vinny the veterinarian, but he's not referred to by title in full like that.
- Totally Radical: Despite being from the mid-2000s, Harry dresses and behaves like it's the 1990s. He was already out of date by hip-hop standards.
- Was Too Hard on Him: In one episode, Sophina yells at Davide for not using a toy boat they're playing with properly. Hip Hop Harry sets her straight (with a song, of course) and has her apologize to him.
- Written-In Absence: Scott arrives late in some of his episodes; the reason given in-show is that he has basketball practice.