The time and place: 17th-century France. Yvon Ducharme, a courtier in the palace of King Louis XIV and proud servant of the French monarchy, is sent on a voyage to explore North America and claim land in the name of his country's glory. Unfortunately, Yvon's poor navigation skills sends him far off his intended course and into the frigid waters of Canada's northern Arctic coast, where the hapless Frenchman's boat rams into an iceberg, knocking Yvon overboard and cryogenically freezing him in a block of ice!
300 years later in Canada's Yukon territory, an Inuit teenager named Tommy Tukyuk is travelling through the icy wastes when his sled dog comes down with the need to answer nature's call. And as luck would have it, the dog's need for relief ends up thawing out Yvon's icy prison and reviving the French explorer. Yvon is quick to befriend Tommy and settles in Tommy's snowy backwater home, the Quirky Town of Upyermukluk, "the hottest cold town in the Arctic, midway between Shivermetimbers and Frostbottom Falls".
Thus Hilarity Ensues as Yvon, who believes that France is still being ruled by his beloved King Louis, attempts to adjust to life in the Yukon alongside his colorful new neighbors, who are happy to accept the presence of this strange little man from another era (and his lack of good hygiene)... so long as his antics don't cause too much trouble.
And that's the premise behind Yvon of the Yukon, an award-winning Canadian animated series created by voice actors Ian James Corlett and Terry Klassen, both of whom are most famous for their work in dubbing anime for The Ocean Groupnote . Produced by Studio B Productions, this quirky little series of the Great White North ran from April 28, 1999 until January 24, 2005 on YTV for a grand total of 52 episodes split over 3 seasons. A beloved and iconic series in YTV's lineup of original productions, Yvon of the Yukon can perhaps serve as an example of quintessentially Canadian animated programming up there with the likes of The Raccoons and the Total Drama franchise as a classic representative of what Canada's cartoons have to offer.
Yvon of the Yukon provides examples of:
- Berserk Button: Do not insult King Louie with Yvon close by. A button Tommy continuously pushes to get Yvon in a scrappy mood when Yvon became a wrestler, while accusing the enemy of slander.
- Consolation World Record: The entire town tries to break a world record in order to get back on the map (it had been removed due to being a small town with a long name), but their repeated attempts drive the records guy insane until he gives them the world record for "Craziest Town in the World".
- Disney Acid Sequence: In the Musical Episode mentioned below where Yvon's visit to Easter Island get's warped compared to other areas he visited. Complete with an living Chocolate Bunny and Maoi statues shaped like the Duke.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Duke's actual name was never given. One episode implied that his title may be fake.
- Exposed to the Elements: Yvon never wears any pants, only having his underwear on. Despite living in the tundra.
- F--: One episode saw the title character do so badly in an exam that he gets a G. He's so haunted by it that he becomes determined to get an F...except he starts doing so well in everything that he only gets A grades.
- Fake Crossover: With Being Ian during YTV's "Big BBQ Blowout", though they only interact during the bumpers rather than either show.
- Fish out of Temporal Water: Yvon, one example is that he still thinks that "King Louis" still runs France.
- Grossout Show: The bread and butter for the show's humor.
- Human Popsicle: Of the instant ice cube variety.
- Indian Burial Ground: One of the main characters brings a visitor on a tour of his town, noting a ridiculous amount of buildings built upon an 'ancient Indian burial ground.' The one thing that wasn't was the modern Indian burial ground, which uses the latest in technology to ensure nobody can build on top of it.
- Intergenerational Friendship: An exaggerated case with Tommy (A 21st-Century Teen) and Yvon (A 17th-Century Frenchman).
- Instant Ice: Just Add Cold!: "Yvon's navigation would soon cost a price / He was knocked overboard and turned into ice!"
- Missing Mom: Tommy's mother is never so much as mentioned.
- Mushroom Samba: The side-effect of eating fondue made with three-hundred year old cheese Yvon brought to the pot luck dinner in one episode.
- Musical Episode: "A Beautiful Day to be French." An episode which chronicles Yvon's trip from France to Upper Mukluk.
- My Beloved Smother: Willy Tidwell's mother, Babs Tidwell is a rather dark example. In the only episode she appeared in, she tried to kill Yvon after hearing how much a pain Yvon had been to Willy.
- Quirky Town: Upyermukluk.
- Royally Screwed Up: King Louis the XIV, portrayed as an arrogant drunkard.
- Start My Own: Yvon had started his own restaurant serving French cuisine, after Bill barred him from the Mad Cossack for Yvon's complaining.
- Shaming the Mob: One episode had Tommy calling out the townspeople for trying to destroy a Woolly Mammoth. Just to be interrupted by Luba (the town cop) to point out there is a rule saying to destroy what they do not know.
- Tongue on the Flagpole: Harland and the Duke find themselves lost in the middle of the arctic tundra when they come across a set of train tracks. Wondering if a train is coming, Harland gives the sage advice: "If you stick your tongue to the train track and it doesn't stick, then a train has gone by, and if it does stick, then a train is coming". The Duke tries this, and naturally gets his tongue stuck to the tracks.
- Urine Trouble: Tellingly, this is how Yvon is accidentally thawed out in the present day.