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Series / The Big Comfy Couch

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Are you ready? Are you ready?
Are you ready to clown around?
With Loonette and Molly, a clown and her dolly,
On The Big Comfy Couch!
— The theme song to the show

The Big Comfy Couch was a Canadian children's show from the 90's that premiered on YTV in Canada in 1992 and was then syndicated by American Public Television and Benny Smart in the United States in 1995.

It starred a female clown named Loonette (portrayed first by Alyson Court, then by Ramona Gilmour-Darling) and her doll, Molly. Both of them lived in a house with an enormous couch and a rug shaped like a clock, where Loonette would engage in a bizarre "clock stretch". Besides playing on the couch, they would visit Loonette's Granny Garbanzo and her cat Snicklefritz, and get packages from the delivery clown Major Bedhead, usually sent by Loonette's world-traveling Auntie Macassar or Uncle Chester.

The series originally lasted from 1992 to 1996, five seasons. It debuted in the U.S. in 1995. It was revived for a 6th season in 2002. A 7th season was added in 2006 (with Ramona replacing Alyson as Loonette). It has been the last so far. A total of 100 episodes were completed.

This show provides examples of:

  • An Aesop: Loonette asks Molly if she’d like her to tickle her. Molly refuses, despite having liked it before. Loonette accepts it and tells the audience about the importance of respecting other people's personal boundaries. When shared, there's usually some caption about how this is just as important for adults as it is for children.
  • Ambiguously Jewish: Granny Garbanzo comes from "the old country," with an Eastern European accent, exclaims "Oy!" when she's stressed or surprised, and has a lit menorah in her wagon during the Longest Night of the Year.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Loonette is a Non-Ironic Clown living in a clown world with a living doll, but refuses to believe that Dustbunnies live under the couch.
  • Aside Glance: Loonette does this in "Lettuce, Turnip and Pea." and "Ping Pong Polka".
  • Bag of Holding: Or rather, a couch of holding.
  • Big Storm Episode: "The Big Blow Hard" has a storm of the same name. The characters take shelter in Granny's cart, and she's well prepared for the storm. In the end, the garden is a mess but Granny tells everyone to go fly a kite and that they can clean up later.
  • Birthday Episode: Molly celebrates a straight-up birthday in "Pinch to Grow an Inch". Afterwards, all birthdays are referred to as "mirthdays", somewhat disregarding the events of said episode (see "Early Installment Weirdness" below).
    • Molly later has a "mirthday" in "Where Do Clowns Come From?" in which Loonette recalls the first time they met. Later, she gives Molly a doll companion of her own (a doll version of Loonette, renamed "Bloomette").
    • Major Bedhead celebrates his mirthday in "Don't Tell", with the gang throwing him a Surprise Party.
    • Granny Garbanzo celebrates her mirthday in "Happy Mirthday, Granny", but is feeling homesick from being away from the "old country". To cheer her up, the gang takes her to Clowntown for a grand celebration.
  • Central Theme: Some episodes in season 7 deal with the subject of healthy eating and exercise.
  • Character Catchphrase: "Special delivery/package/postcard for Loonette (the Clown)!" from Major Bedhead and "Hey...who made this big mess?!" from Loonette.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: The Foley Family disappears after season 5, as their segments were dropped following that season.
  • Clapper Gag: Loonette and Molly will clap to turn on the lamp before reading a story and then clap again to turn it off afterwards.
  • Crossover: The Dustbunny and Foley Family segments both crossed over when Loonette mistook one of the Dustbunnies for a doll and put it in the dollhouse.
  • The Couch: Of course.
  • Cute Mute: Molly. She is an adorable little dolly who communicates through head shakes and thought bubbles.
  • Death Is a Sad Thing: Loonette experiences this with a caterpillar in the episode "Full of Life."
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The first season is the biggest topper of this trope:
    • In several episodes of season 1, the background color behind the couch was either orange or blue, instead of the traditional pink.
    • Also, the episodes would originally begin with Loonette and Molly waking up, before Loonette greets the viewer. Starting with season 2, each episode begins after they've already woken up.
    • In four episodes ("Upsey Downsey Day", "Something's Fishy Around Here", "Ping Pong Polka", and "Snug as a Bug") of season 1, as well as the original intro sequence for both seasons 1 and 2, Molly wears yellow instead of her trademark blue dress.
    • The episodes "Ping Pong Polka", "Juggling the Jitters", "Wrong Side of the Couch", and "I Feel Good" have a cuckoo-clock routine during Loonette's clock rug stretch, accompanied by a new song.
    • Originally, Molly's thought bubbles were occasionally accompanied with sounds of the subject she was thinking about.
    • Usually in the show, all birthdays are referred to as "mirthdays", but in season 1, Molly celebrates a straight-up birthday in "Pinch to Grow an Inch".
    • Loonette's pigtails were much longer, and curlier and thin during both seasons 1 and 2, but eventually got poofier and short starting with season 3.
    • The Foley Family used to make vocal sound effects during season 2, but beginning with season 3, they went back to being silent characters for the rest of their appearances.
    • Snicklefritz wasn't introduced until the second season.
  • Epic Fail: Loonette when she tried to hypnotize Molly and ended up hypnotizing herself.
  • Every Episode Ending: "And the clown jumped over the moon!"
    • In the episode "Gesundheit", Loonette sneezes instead of saying her usual line. In the episode "Hiccups", Loonette hiccups during her line ("And the clown 'HICCUP' over the moon!")
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: And how. The show was about a . . . big comfy couch. The clock stretch rug was a rug shaped like a clock for doing stretches.
  • Fear of Thunder: Major Bedhead is afraid of thunder, as seen in "Jump Start". Loonette helps him through it with a story.
  • Genki Girl: Loonette.
  • Girls vs. Boys Plot: In "Clownvitations", Major Bedhead and Snicklefritz start a club for boys only, leaving Loonette to feel left out when they won't invite her. In return, Granny convinces Loonette to start a cookie club for girls only but when Major Bedhead and Snicklefritz want to join, Granny convinces Loonette to invite them to join and they all have the cookie club together. However, it's downplayed because the episode's moral is focused more on including others.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Loonette's signature hairstyle.
  • Go-to-Sleep Ending: Happens at the end of every single episode. (Except "A Pinch to Grow an Inch") And who could blame Loonette; those 10-second tidies must really take it out of her.
  • Hammerspace: Major Bedhead's bag in a couple episodes, and the couch in pretty much every episode.
  • Hiccup Hijinks: The episode "Hiccups."
  • Hypno Fool: In one episode, Molly refuses to take a nap. Loonette decides to try and hypnotize her, but ends up hypnotizing herself instead.
  • I Can't Dance: This was Loonette's problem in "Fancy Dancer", as she couldn't dance well. Granny helps her out by teaching her how to dance.
  • Insomnia Episode: In the episode "All Aboard for Bed", Loonette talks about the previous night where she and Molly barely slept since, as she put it, their brains were so excited and couldn't stop thinking to go to sleep. They go out to explore the house at night and think about why they must sleep. Later on Granny goes to tell them that you need sleep every night to relax and stay healthy, and encourages her to go to bed early.
  • Least Rhymable Word: In one episode, Loonette and Molly play a rhyming game. Molly tries to rhyme something with "orange" despite it being against the rules:
    Loonette: "Scorange"? I don't think so.
  • Living Toys: Molly and the Foley Family.
  • Living Dust Bunnies: Two sentient dust bunnies named Fuzzy and Wuzzy live under the titular couch. They often play with objects that are found underneath, and can only be seen by Molly.
  • Magic Countdown: The 10-second tidy always lasts noticeably longer than 10 seconds.
  • Matryoshka Object: In the episode "Scrub-a-Dub", Loonette and Major Bedhead unwrap an extra large package that Auntie Macasar had delivered, only for every box to progressively contain a smaller box. Inside the smallest box were some extra small toiletries for Molly.
  • Medium Blending: When Loonette told a story, she was the only live-action character. The rest of the story was often told with story-page backdrops and puppets. Season 6 would introduce other live-action characters played by the cast.
  • Mood Whiplash: Used in "Juggling the Jitters" where at first Major Bedhead is really excited to be Loonette's juggling coach, but then quickly realizes that being a coach is too much responsibility for him to handle.
  • Nervous Wreck: Loonette and Major Bedhead are this in "Juggling the Jitters".
  • Non-Ironic Clown: EVERY. SINGLE. CHARACTER. Even the sun had a clown nose, and so did the dust bunnies (which were alive).
  • Not Me This Time: Most of the time, Loonette is the one who made the big mess at the end, but there are a few times it's Molly.
  • Once an Episode: Loonette does the Clock Stretch, sings a song, reads a story, and does the 10-Second Tidy (or some variation) every episode.
  • Potty Failure: "Lettuce, Turnip, and Pea" is about Molly wetting the couch and learning that while accidents happen, there's no reason to fear them happening again.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "Hey...WHO. MADE. THIS. BIG. MESS?!!!"
  • Punny Name: Auntie Macassar, which is a take on "antimacassar" that is laid on the arms and back of a couch. The name Major Bedhead is also a pun on his clown hair.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The Dust Bunnies, the Foleys, and Molly are utterly adorable.
  • Rummage Fail: Loonette searching for the thing she needed in the couch always led to this, with her saying "nope" every time she pulled out the wrong thing, which was about 3-4 times. All of the rejected items stayed on the floor for the duration of the show, until Loonette realized the mess she made. And then...
  • Screen Shake: Used every now and then but abused in "Gesundheit".
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: On a couple of occasions, Loonette gets emotionally exhausted during her time out in the garden, in which case she'll make for the gate, look at the camera, and [[mutter to the audience "Let's go."]] The episode "Full of Life" is one example.
  • Ship Tease: Both of Wobbly's appearances has this between him and Granny. They get shy and flustered around one another but it doesn't go beyond hints of flirting.
  • Shout-Out: A couple of episodes have a reference to the show's production company Radical Sheep.
    • At the end of "1-2-3 Dizzy Dizzy Me" Loonette finds a sheep abacus and gasps: "Oh, wow! Radical...Sheep!"
    • At the beginning of the Dance Academy segment "Limbo Go Sheep" the announcer introduces "Little Bo Beep (Loonette) and her pals the Radical Sheep!"
  • Soundtrack Lullaby: Each episode ends with Loonette and Molly going to sleep with an instrumental lullaby version of the theme song playing over the end credits.
  • The Speechless: Molly only speaks in thought bubble pictures.
  • The Stinger: "And the clown jumped over the moon!"
  • Stock Sound Effects: Boy howdy.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Uncle Chester replaced Auntie Macassar in Season 6.
  • True Blue Femininity: Molly wears a blue dress (averted in certain season 1 episodes, where she wears yellow).
  • Under Crank: During the "10-Second Tidy". Most, but not all, of the Foley Family segments were also undercranked.
  • Vague Age: Loonette is played by a young woman, but acts like a goofy, hyperactive child in every way, though she apparently lives alone with Molly and has no parents in sight.
  • Visual Pun:
    • The biggest by far are the Dustbunnies, actual dusty rabbits that live under the couch.
    • Molly's belly button is an actual button sewn onto her belly where a navel would be.
    • In one episode Major Bedhead complains that a pair of shoes give him corns, and proceeds to pull an ear of corn out of his shoe.
  • Vocal Evolution: Alyson Court's Loonette voice used to sound more natural during the first few seasons, but as the actress aged, her voice became more childlike and younger-sounding.
  • Wearing It All Wrong: In "Rude-I-Culous", Molly decides to be rude for the episode, at one point wearing her underwear on her head. Although Loonette can't help but laugh at her, she tells her that she doesn't want to hang around her if she's going to be like this.
  • Wham Line: Used in "Juggling the Jitters" when Loonette and Major Bedhead find out that Auntie Macassar gets the "jitters".
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Loonette did this a couple times. Once she did it to prank Major Bedhead.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?:
    • Major Bedhead is afraid of thunder, as seen in "Jump Start". Loonette helps him through it with a story.
    • Molly is afraid of fireworks.
  • You Mean "Xmas": The show's holiday episode entails the entire cast (including Auntie Macassar) pulling an all-nighter in Granny Garbanzo's wagon and exchanging gifts and wishes on the Longest Night of the Year, which in real life is also known as the Winter Solstice and falls on December 20 or 21.


Video Example(s):


Loonette on Creepy Clowns

Loonette talks about how the appearances of creepy clowns have impacted ordinary clowns like herself.

How well does it match the trope?

4.85 (13 votes)

Example of:

Main / MonsterClown

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