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1983

Adventure

Jeff, Jodie, Sam and Muffy are very, very bored. This is no ordinary boredom. They sing, "We've got those ho-hummin, finger drummin' bad news boredom blues," Why? because "the same old thing day-in, day-out makes a body want to shout!"

After the song, Sam says, "Well, that killed about a minute, what do we do now?"

Suddenly, Waldo appears in the middle of the children's department, dressed in a robe and a nightcap. Unfortunately, this isn't a social visit. Waldo's in terrible trouble, and he's coming for help to his very dear friends, "Joanie, Biff, Scruffy and Hank."

Jeff reminds him that it's "Jodie, Jeff, Muffy and Sam." Waldo thought he had said that! But his mind is being affected by a disease called "shrinkitis." It's just like a cold, except every time he sneezes, he shrinks. After his next sneeze, we can see that he's right.

Muffy wonders if there isn't a medicine that can cure him. There is, and every magician carries it. But he has run out.

Jodie says, "Can't you get more? A refill?"

But this medicine can't be gotten at the local pharmacy. It's truly a magical brew. It can only be gotten from a secret place, and he's too weak to go there.

Jeff immediately offers to help and Waldo explains that they need to follow a genie that lives in his now empty medicine bottle.

Sam is incredulous. "Yeah, that's about the silliest fool thing I've ever heard. A genie in a bottle!" He uncaps the bottle and mockingly calls inside, "Hello down there! Genie?"

Amazingly, a genie pops out and requests that Sam refrain from shouting into the bottle.

Jodie thinks someone should stay behind with Waldo and asks Muffy to do so. Muffy doesn't really want to stay and watch Waldo shrink, but Jodie convinces her that they really need her to stay. So Muffy agrees to look after Waldo.

When they're all ready to go, Waldo says, "Oh, my friends, you're terribly kind - and brave."

"Brave?!" cries Sam.

"The quest for the magic red potion may prove dangerous."

"We don't care about the danger," says Jeff, clenching his fists. "We've gotta help Waldo!"

Sam says, "We do? I mean, yes, yes, we do!"

With that, the genie sends them all to potion land.

Upon arrival there, Jeff is amazed. "One thing's for certain. It's definitely not the store! I've never been outside the department store before in my whole life! Gee, it's exciting!"

"Unfortunately, we don't have time for sightseeing, Jeff," Sam reminds him. They have to find the medicine before Waldo shrinks away to nothing. They have no idea, however, where to look. So they call the genie out.

He isn't terribly helpful, simply saying, "To find the potion that you desire will require courage and cooperation. Follow the trail wherever it goes, but first you must pet the lizard's nose!"

"What kind of a ridiculous instruction is that?!" Sam asks. There isn't a lizard in sight.

Suddenly, behind them, a gigantic lizard appears.

At the sight of the giant lizard, Jodie and Sam are ready to flee. "Let's get out of here, oh that thing's a beast!" Jodie sings. "Let's go anywhere, anywhere out of reach!" At first, Jeff seems to agree, but then begins to sing, "I'll pet that lizard's nose but I don't know where to start."

Jodie is completely freaked. "That's not a - a lizard," she says, "that's a LIZARD!"

Sam is certain of only one thing, they are not going to touch the lizard's nose. But Jeff knows they must. The genie said so.

"Well, if the genie's so keen on lizards then - let him do it!" says Jodie.

"Maybe the lizard'll get hungry and go somewhere and look for something to eat," Sam says.

"Yeah," says Jeff. "Like us."

Still Jeff is determined to try. He begins to sing a lullaby to the lizard as he climbs up a long vine to get close to it. At first, it seems to work, since he hears snoring. But it's only Sam, out cold after hearing Jeff's lullaby. But Jeff decides it's now or never if he's going to pet the lizard's nose. As soon as he touches it, the lizard disappears!

"We did it!" they shout, and upon awakening Sam, they begin to follow the trail as the genie advised.. But the trail takes two different paths, and signs are posted. One sign points to the left and says, "Haunted Castle - Home of magic potion medicine, dungeons, dragons and assorted dangers." The other points to the right and says, "Store and Safety."

Jeff is divided, but Sam and Jodie are not. They head back to the store and safety. "Bye!" Jodie tells Jeff.

But Jeff can't go with them. "If I go home to the store," he tells us, "Waldo won't get the magic potion that'll keep him from shrinking. Gosh, if it wasn't for Waldo, I wouldn't be alive . . . I owe him my life. I can't let him down now. I've got to go to the haunted castle! No matter what."

Jodie and Sam are running towards the store but then Jodie stops. "We can't leave Jeff to face those dangers alone!" she says. So she gathers her courage and cries, "Wait for me, Jeff!" Sam agrees and follows her.

The castle, they now find, is on the top of a very, very high mountain. Sam is willing to go, but he can't help wishing he was back at the store.

At that very moment, in the store, Waldo is now smaller than Muffy and standing on the counter. Muffy suggests that he use his magic to forestall disaster, but when he tries he only succeeds in turning the whole room upside down. The illness is causing his powers to slip away. He manages to bring the room back to normal, but then we see that Muffy has a tiny mustache a lot like Sam's.

"Before you shrink out of sight," Muffy urges, "put me back to right!"

But it's too late. Waldo's next sneeze renders him too small to see.

Meanwhile, Sam, Jodie and Jeff have reached the top of the mountain.

"Who do you suppose lives in the creepy castle?" asks Jeff.

"Oh, Dracula, Frankenstein, Darth Vader - they're all probably roommates!"

Jodie assures him that those characters aren't for real, but she gets a bit shaky herself when she sees the castle door. It's just like in the horror movies. The door opens on its own and makes a loud creaking noise.

"I-I, uh, I guess we're being invited in." says Jeff.

"Ladies first!" Sam says.

"Oh thanks a lot!" says Jodie, leading the way in. When she gets inside it's quite dark, and Jodie wishes there was a light. Suddenly, the light comes on and the door slams shut, giving them quite a fright. A rocking chair rocks by itself and the eyes on a portrait move, watching them.

"Somebody is pulling out every trick in the book to try and scare us off!" says Jodie.

"They're doing a good job of it, too, don't you think?" Sam remarks. "Let's get out of here, Jodie."

Again it's Jeff who keeps everyone focused on why they're here and what they must do.

Jodie tries to be strong, but the clang of the suit of armor scares her and she's ready to leave, since there's no potion in the castle anyway, just four stone walls. Sam leans against one of these walls and the wall pivots. "Sam!" Jodie cries out and both of them wind up on the other side of the wall, leaving Jeff, who didn't see the any of this, all alone.

He's still scanning the room for some sign of the magic potion. "Where do you suppose that bottle could be?" he muses. Still, he's determined. "Well, I don't care, we're not giving up until we find it, right?" There's no answer. "Right Jodie?" He begins looking around. "Jodie? Sam? Where did they go? Jodie, Sam - where are you? Where did they go? Uh - don't leave me here all alone." He begins laughing nervously. "Oh, this is crazy! I mean, I mean, people just don't disappear into thin air! ---- Do they?"

"I've got to get a hold of myself and do the only sensible thing that a person can do in a situation like this . . . . H-E-E-E-L-L-L-P!" he screams at the top of his voice. "There!" he says, smiling, though his voice still sounds pretty shaky.. "Oh, I feel a lot better!"

But someone has heard him. From behind the wall, he hears voices calling, "Jeff! Jeff!" it's Jodie and Sam. "I don't know, I must have pushed a secret button or something," Jodie explains.

"You gotta find that button, Jeff." says Sam.

Jeff looks but doesn't see anything. Just then, the words "Secret Button" appear in blue overhead and there's a flashing arrow pointing to the right spot. Jeff pushes it and follows the turning wall to the other side, looking for Jodie and Sam. Meanwhile, Jodie and Sam appear again in the first room, calling, "Jeff? Jeff?" Jeff tells them that he's found a trap door, and that it may lead to the potion. Jodie and Sam press the button again to go around the wall, and all three of them fall through this trap door.


Eventually all three of them wind up falling down a chute into a dungeon. They try to get out but as they start to climb back up the chute the chute door closes. Now they're trapped. Jeff blames himself, but Sam and Jodie try to comfort him. Sam says it's really the genie's fault, anyway. That reminds them of their magical guide, who might be able to help them, but when they try to call him out of the bottle, he doesn't respond.

Jeff is still worried about Waldo but Sam points out that they're in pretty dire straits themselves, with no food, no water and no way of getting out of the dungeon.

Jodie reminds them that not so long ago, they were complaining about being bored.

"Bored's a lot better than scared!" says Jeff.

Now Jodie is staring at an odd red glow on the floor. Jeff realizes it's coming from the sun's reflection on a bottle of red liquid in the window.

A bottle of red liquid! That's the magic potion!

But it's way out of reach. No ladders in sight. Jodie asks us for help. We suggest that they stack boxes and barrels in the dungeon on top of one another and climb up to get the bottle. They stack a few things but when Jodie tries to reach the bottle, the stack is not high enough. "It's still too tall for any one of us to reach." says Sam.

"But that's it!" says Jeff. "We're not just one, we're three!"

"So?" asks Sam.

"Remember what the genie said? To find the potion that you desire will require courage and cooperation! . . . That's the key! Cooperation!"

Jodie and Sam don't understand at first but Jeff patiently explains that they can work together to get the magic potion.

Sam gets the idea, "We stand on top of each other!"

They get another barrel, stack it on the other boxes, and Jeff steadies Jodie while she uses Sam's head as a final boost. They've got the potion!

The genie appears. "You have done well, much to my surprise!" He then sends them back to the store.

They arrive triumphantly in the children's department with the potion in hand, but Muffy says it's too late. Waldo's only a speck on the counter.

Jeff is crushed. "That's all that's left of my dear friend," he moans. True, they did the best they could, but it wasn't good enough. Now Waldo is gone.

Then, they hear a tiny voice. Jeff leans closer to the speck and he can hear Waldo say, "I'm still here! I'm still here!"

They can't see his mouth, so Jodie takes the top of the potion bottle and drops some on the speck on the counter.

It works! Waldo grows to the right size again and they help him down off the counter. He thanks them heartily, but he has to hurry off to a performance. But just before he runs off, Muffy reminds him of her magical mustache.

Waldo is happy to oblige. "Hocus, pocus alamagocus!" he says. Muffy's mustache disappears. But now, Jeff and Jodie have mustaches like Sam's! One more time! Now everyone is back to normal - except for Waldo, who now has a mustache himself, much to the amusement of his relieved and happy friends.


Quizzes:

  • None

Nursery Rhyme:

  • None

Notes:

  • This episode has no quizzes or nursery rhymes, one of the few episodes where we have nothing but the main story.
  • I'm not sure if Jeff is supposed to be seeing the sign "Secret Button" above him or not. In any case, it was probably there to provide a laugh in a tense situation which might be kind of scary for the kids.
  • Muffy's staying with Waldo proved to be a key to saving him, because they never would have been able to find that tiny speck in time if Muffy hadn't known where he was.
  • In "Jeff," a part of "Adventure" that Nickelodeon cut is shown, but Jeff erroneously says that he, Jodie and Sam went "around and around" the wall until they were dizzy. Actually, Jodie and Sam only went around the wall twice, and Jeff once.
  • In the version of the episode which Nickelodeon ran, as shown by the location of the italicized text, Jodie and Sam go around the wall, and then it immediately shows Jodie, Sam, and Jeff going down the slide into the dungeon. No explanation is given as to how Jeff, who was on the other side of the room, ended up in the dungeon, too.
  • One fascinating detail in Adventure is that only Jeff has a strong enough emotional attachment to Waldo in order to face whatever dangers they might meet. Jodie and Sam don't have the same loyalty and sense of duty towards Waldo, and several times they almost left Potion Land without the cure. However, they did have an emotional attachment and a strong sense of loyalty and duty towards Jeff, and it is their attachment to Jeff that enables them to overcome their fears and go back to help him. What makes this so interesting is that it is rare that such subtleties of character are paid attention to, even in adult programs, never mind children's shows. It makes perfect sense that Jeff would have a greater attachment to Waldo than Sam and Jodie who don't owe him their lives. It was remarkably well conceived and executed and is one of the many little things that makes Today's Special so special.
  • If you look closely, in the first scene, at the end of the song about the "bad news boredom blues," there is a drum roll and a cymbal clash. Sam taps his fingers on the counter to the rhythm of the drum roll and Muffy hits her tail on a metal canister at the moment of the cymbal clash.
  • "Adventure" marks the first appearance of Muffy's Super Mouse/Mega Mouse costume.  However, no explanation is given as to why Muffy is wearing the costume in this particular episode rather than her regular feather boa.
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