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Western Animation / Yvon of the Yukon

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Defrosted for you and for me!
"There once was a Frenchman, Yvon was his name
Exploring new worlds he dreamed was his fame
But reading a map was not his forte
So poor Yvon was soon cast away!
Yvon (Yvon) of the Yukon!
Sailing the stormy seas!
Yvon (Yvon) of the Yukon!
No one could hear his pleas!"
The first lines of the show's Expository Theme Tune

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 Grossout Show 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 Group.note  Produced by Studio B Productions, this quirky little series of the Great White North ran from April 28, 2001, 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 one of the crowning examples of quintessentially Canadian animated programming.

Yvon of the Yukon provides examples of:

  • Anachronism Stew: Yvon is often seen waving famous red-white-blue French flag, but as a 17th-century Frenchman, he wouldn't be using it all in real life. The tricolor only became the French flag during the 18th-century French Revolution; the Kingdom of France under Louis XIV used a blue flag decorated with golden fleurs de lis.
  • Berserk Button: Do not insult King Louis 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.
  • Big Beautiful Woman: Parodied with casino owner Big Mary. She's not actually especially attractive (no more than most of the other characters), but her husband Harland and Abhorrent Admirer Yvon both consider her extraordinarily beautiful.
  • Butt-Monkey: Whether in 17th-century France being pushed around by King Louis or 21st-century Canada getting himself into all kinds of shenanigans, Yvon can't seem to catch a break.
  • Camp Gay: Gary, the prisoner at Sheriff Luba's office. Despite his hulking form, he speaks in a high-pitched voice with a lisp, and often shares moments of friendship with Luba over feminine interests.
  • Canada, Eh?: The show is produced in Canada and it shows. Canadian stereotypes and jokes run rampant, and the snowy setting full of moose, bears, beavers, and walruses is very classically Canadian.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Yvon often shows signs of this, as part of his stereotypically French nature on all that. Understandably, most women don't find a 300-year-old man in his underwear with a body odor that could knock out a walrus to be very attractive.
  • Christmas Episode: "Joy to Yvon" sees Yvon and Tommy having to save Christmas when the North Pole gets taken over by bandits.
  • 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 gets warped compared to other areas he visited. Complete with a living Chocolate Bunny and Maoi statues shaped like the Duke.
    • Yvon also goes through one at the end of the episode "Fromage to Eternity" after trying some of his own 300-year-old cheese.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": Tommy's dog is simply known as Mutt.
  • The Dung Ages: France during Yvon's time is depicted as this, with Yvon's poor hygiene being pretty standard in flashbacks to those days.
  • Eskimo Land: The show is set in the small town of Upyermukluk, set in the far north. It has a large Inuit population, but unlike many examples of this trope, the town is not made of igloos but is a permanent settlement with proper wooden buildings. The locals, while quirky, are also not particularly stereotypical of Natives, and there are many non-native characters.
  • 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: Despite living in the tundra, Yvon never wears any pants, only having his underwear on. He doesn't seem bothered by this however.
  • Expository Theme Tune: The show's theme song explains Yvon's backstory, thus setting up the premise of the series.
  • 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.
  • Fair Cop: Sheriff Luba Malloy, the shapely town police cop, is one of the few genuinely attractive people in Upyermukluk, with a fanservice-y figure and a large bust.
  • Fake Crossover: With fellow Ian James Corlett and Studio B Productions creation Being Ian during YTV's "Big BBQ Blowout" Canada Day special, though they only interact during the bumpers rather than either show.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Yvon. For starts, he still thinks that King Louis is in charge of France. The rest of Upyermukluk chooses to play along with him.
  • French Jerk: King Louis XIV, whenever we see him in Yvon's flashbacks, is shown as a narcissistic, Napoleonic manchild who walks all over his courtiers.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The Pro Wrestling Episode features the Federation of Applied Rasslin' Techniques (a parody of the WWE), with said acronym be as clear as day in several scenes.
  • G-Rated Drug:
    • The episode "The Man with the Brown Arm" had Yvon addicted to coffee when a Starbucks Expy moved into town.
    • In "Fromage to Eternity", the people of Upyermukluk go through an acid trip and become hippies after eating a fondue Yvon made from 300-year-old cheese.
  • Gasshole: One of Yvon's many unhygenic qualities. On more than one occasion, the sheer stink of his farts has saved his life from an attacking predator.
  • Grossout Show: The bread and butter for the show's humor. Yvon's bad hygiene is a common source of comedy, and the man himself was even thawed out of the ice by a dog peeing on him.
  • Halloween Episode: "Dawn of the Dense", which is also a general Zombie Apocalypse spoof.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Local bullies and Tommy's on-and-off friends, Chuck and Dill. Harland and the Duke are sometimes depicted as this as well.
  • Human Popsicle: The premise of the series is that the 17th-century Frenchman Yvon was frozen in Arctic ice for 300 years, be awoken in the present by Tommy Tukyuk.
  • Ice-Cream Koan: Bill Tukyuk often tells his son nonsensical stories for guidance and advice, much to Tommy's annoyance.
  • Indian Burial Ground: In "Special Duh-livery", when Tommy takes the British inspectors on a tour of his town, he notes 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.
  • Instant Ice: Just Add Cold!: As the theme song explains, "Yvon's navigation would soon cost a price / He was knocked overboard and turned into ice!"
  • Intergenerational Friendship: An exaggerated case with Tommy (a 21st-Century teen) and Yvon (a 17th-Century Frenchman).
  • Kid Sidekick: Tommy Tukyuk, who serves as the voice of reason to the proud but foolish Yvon.
  • Magical Native American: Parodied with Tommy's dad, Bill, who thinks he's this when in reality, is a Seemingly Profound Fool who lacks any supernatural abilities, isn't even in very good physical shape, and constantly exasperates his much more grounded son with completely nonsensical stories meant to teach him lessons. At the same time he's much more intelligent and spiritual than Yvon, so it's all relative.
  • 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 potluck dinner in one episode.
  • Musical Episode: "A Beautiful Day to be French", which chronicles Yvon's voyage to North America and how he eventually ended up frozen in ice.
  • 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.
  • The Napoleon: King Louis XIV is depicted as this, although the equally diminutive Yvon has his moments as well.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Willy Tidwell, the local government official, is the classic stuffy, humorless bureaucrat.
  • Only Sane Man: Tommy Tukyuk is easily the most grounded and rational person in Upyermukluk, which is especially clear when it comes to his friendship with Yvon.
  • The Pigpen: Yvon has not bathed in 300+ years and takes great pride in this.
  • Pro Wrestling Episode: In the episode "Mad Dog Ducharme", Yvon trains to become one when he ends up having to challenge a real wrestler after mistaking his taunting on TV as a challenge to his honor.
  • Quirky Town: Upyermukluk, a small backwater in the middle of the Canadian Arctic whose citizens are generally a rather odd lot.
  • Royally Screwed Up: King Louis the XIV, portrayed as an arrogant drunkard.
  • Shaming the Mob: The episode "Trouble with Mammoths" had Tommy calling out the townspeople for trying to destroy a Woolly Mammoth. Just to be interrupted by Sheriff Luba to point out there is a rule saying to destroy what they do not know.
  • Start My Own: In "Your Bill is Waiting", Yvon starts his own restaurant serving French cuisine after Bill bars him from the Mad Cossack for Yvon's complaints.
  • Toilet Humor: As a Grossout Show, there's plenty afoot. Heck, the whole premise of the show is that Yvon was unfrozen from being peed on by Tommy's dog!
  • Tongue on the Flagpole: Features a few times, with some episodes even starting off with Yvon in this situation. In the first episode however, it happens to the Duke when he tests out Harland's advice that one's tongue won't stick to the metal if a train has recently passed. To the Duke's horror, Harland decides to get some warm liquid and turns around to unzip something... which turns out to be a thermos from his bag.
  • Urine Trouble: Tellingly, this is how Yvon is accidentally thawed out in the present day.
  • Weaponized Stench: In "License to Smell," Yvon recounts how his beloved King Louis would use his body odor as a weapon, personally defeating the whole armies of his enemies. Yvon himself receives the titular license after his own rank stench — which is bad enough to peel paint, make fish crawl out of the water, evoke a respectful salute from a skunk, tear a hole in the ozone and generate a forcefield-like bubble around his house — ends up saving the town from a huge swarm of killer bees.


Video Example(s):


Yvon of the Yukon

The theme song of Yvon of the Yukon explains the backstory of its eponymous character.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / ExpositoryThemeTune

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