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1985

Waldo's Hat

Jeff and Jodie are on the roof, watering the plants. As they water, they sing, "We need a bit of magic to lighten our load, a little bit of magic to smooth out the road . . ." as if answering their call, the flowers bloom magically as they water them. Sam and Muffy are singing, too, in Sam's computer room, "we need a bit of magic, to lighten our load . . ." All the excitement and talk about magic is because Waldo the Magnificent is scheduled to visit the store that night. Muffy is wearing a lovely, brand new pink bonnet in Waldo's honor. Sam is wearing a large magician's turban and is practicing a magic trick to show to Waldo. He takes off Muffy's hat to use in his trick, to her alarm, especially when he puts an egg in it. He then covers it with a cloth, smashes the cloth over the hat and says, "Zim zam zooie!"

He only succeeds in making a mess of Muffy's hat.

"Zim zam zooie! Zim zam phooey!" whimpers a distressed Muffy. "Eggs in my new hat! Look at my hat! Just look at that!"

Sam explains that the egg was supposed to disappear, which is no comfort to Muffy.

Next we see pictures of three people, a chef, a police officer and a construction worker, but they're all wearing the wrong hats. After we help TXL put the right hats on the right people, we see the mime lady. Suddenly, a hat comes down on a string next to her. "Oops! One more," says TXL. "What kind of hat is this?" she asks us. The mime lady mimes rain. "A rain hat, right!" says TXL. "And when do you need a rain hat?" she continues. The mime looks alarmed. She grabs the hat and pulls it down over her head just as thunder strikes and water comes pouring down.

"When it rains!" TXL answers. "You knew that was coming, didn't you?" she says to the mime. The mime lady looks exasperated.


Meanwhile, the children's department is completely empty, except for a top hat on the counter. We hear a voice. "Hellooooo! I say, can anyone hear me? Hello! I'm over here. Come closer! In the hat! I'm in the hat!" As we draw closer, we finally see Waldo, standing inside his own hat. "Thank goodness you found me. I suppose you're wondering what I'm doing inside this hat. Or perhaps you're wondering who I am. Permit me to introduce myself, I am Waldo the Magnificent! - Waldo the Foolish at the moment. I seem to be trapped in my own magic hat!" He explains that the rabbit who lives in the hat stole his wand, cast a spell, and trapped him inside. He asks us to find Jeff, Jodie, Sam or "that charming little mouse" and tell them where he is. "Please!"

Jeff and Jodie come in, and they're wondering where Waldo is. Jodie goes to see if he is waiting by the front door, while we try to tell Jeff where Waldo is.

"Pardon me? The hat. What hat? Waldo's hat . . ." he turns around and sees it. "Well, that's strange, where's Waldo?" he asks. He goes over to look inside. "Waldo!" he exclaims.

"Jeffrey, am I ever glad to see you!" Waldo says.

"What are you doing down there, Waldo?"

"It's a long story. Now listen. Whatever you do, don't touch the hat. It's bewitched. If you touch the hat, you might . . ."

"Pardon?" Jeff says, touching the hat. "Whoa!" he says, tumbling inside and landing next to Waldo.

"Fall in!" Waldo completes his sentence. "Are you all right, dear lad?"

Jeff is fine, so Waldo explains about the rabbit and the spell.

"We've got to get out of here. We've gotta warn the others!" Jeff says.

Waldo assures him that there's no way out.

"You mean, we're trapped? Really trapped?" Jeff asks, looking forlorn.

Back in his computer room, and unaware of what's happening upstairs, Sam is still practicing his magic. He asks TXL if she wants to see a magic trick.

"Mr. Crenshaw, your tricks never work!" TXL says.

"Oh, this one will, this one will. Look, I'm going to make this very donut disappear before your eyes. Ready? One, two, three, zim zam zooie!" he says and then stuffs the whole donut into his mouth. "There! It's all gone!" he says, through a mouth full of donut. "Disappeared right before your very eyes. This is one of my best tricks isn't it?"

TXL isn't impressed. "That's your *only* trick," she says.

Then Jodie contacts Sam from the children's department to tell him that Jeff has vanished and that something very strange is going on.

"Well, maybe we could, uh . . ." Sam begins, but then he is interrupted. He explains, "Something even stranger is going on down here, Jodie - Did I see what I think I saw?"

"What's going on?" Jodie asks.

"Oh, not much, Jodie. Just a sports car just zoomed in here, and then it turned itself into a rabbit, and the rabbit wrote me a note, and then he turned back into a sports car and then zoomed out again. Just the usual stuff, you know," he adds facetiously.

"I beg your pardon?" Jodie says incredulously.

Sam picks up the note and reads it to Jodie. "If you're looking for Jeff and Waldo, check out the top hat and then you'll know." He can't imagine what it means, but Jodie sees the hat on the counter and starts to approach it. TXL sounds an alarm. "Danger!" she cries, explaining that her sensors indicate that the hat is bewitched and that Jodie shouldn't touch it.

Completely puzzled, Jodie goes over the counter and looks inside the hat. "Jeff? Waldo? What on earth!" she says reaching for the hat.

Jeff and Waldo cry out, "Don't touch the hat!"

Jodie is frazzled. "What is going on?" she repeats.

Meanwhile the mime lady also has a top hat. A white one, sitting on a table, and by the way it's wiggling, TXL realizes that someone or something is trapped inside that hat, too. "I wonder what it could be?" she asks. We hear an elephant trumpet. "What was that?" TXL asks. The mime mimics an elephant. Then we hear banjo music, so the mime depicts playing a banjo.

"Hmm, an elephant playing a banjo?" TXL asks. The mime nods. So we look in the hat, and there inside is an animated elephant, playing the banjo.

"Very strange." says TXL.

Sam and Muffy have joined Jodie in the children's department and look into the hat, being careful not to touch it. Waldo and Jeff tell them the only way to free them is to catch the rabbit, get Waldo's wand back, and then bring it back to the hat. Using the wand, Waldo would then be able to reverse the spell.

"The rabbit! Get the rabbit!" Waldo calls out to them.

"Get the rabbit?" Jodie says. "But he could be hiding anywhere. This is a big store!"

Even more discouraging, the rabbit knows all Waldo's tricks and can change himself into anything. A tree, a bed, a lamp, a stove - anything! "I doubt that they can ever find him." Waldo concludes.

"They're my friends!" Jeff says fervently. "They'll find a way to save us. Right, Jodie?"

"We'll find a way, Jeff!" Jodie answers. Then she walks away from the hat and says, "We'll sure try."

Sam is doubtful. "I don't know, Jodie. How in thunder are we supposed to catch a critter that can turn into anything at any time? I mean, he could be a rabbit, or a car, or a . . ." just then, a big kangaroo goes hopping by. "A kangaroo, even."

"A kangaroo?!" they exclaim.

"Oh! That's not just a kangaroo, that's a sneaky rabbit, too!" says Muffy, and she and Jodie take off in hot pursuit.

Sam stays behind to reassure Jeff and Waldo. "This may take a little while fellas, but don't you worry, we'll catch that sneaky rabbit and get you out of there. And that's a promise from Samuel J. Crenshaw." He's about to leave when he thinks they might get hungry, so he pulls some marshmallows out of his pocket and tosses them into the hat. (They're leftovers from a marshmallow and pickle sandwich.) They go every which way, and one, quite large from his perspective, lands on Jeff's head.

"I'm glad they didn't throw the pickle!" Jeff says. Waldo takes a bite. "Mmm." he says. "A bit stale, but not bad. Not bad at all actually." He offers some to Jeff.

Next we see a picture of the animated kangaroo who just hopped through the children's department. "Do you know who this is?" TXL asks. "It looks like a kangaroo, but we know it's really that sneaky rabbit. Which part of the kangaroo reminds you of a rabbit?" On close inspection, we see that he's carrying carrots in his pouch, and has a fluffy white cottontail.

Meanwhile Jeff and Waldo have each eaten about half of what are, to their perspective, "monstrous marshmallows." They have sugar marks around their mouths and they look quite full.

Jeff suggests that instead of sitting around eating marshmallows, they should do something about their predicament. Waldo thinks it's a good idea, but impractical. "There's no door, no ladder, just you, me and the marshmallows."

"You, me, the marshmallows -- the marshmallows, that's it! We'll use the marshmallows!" Jeff says. "We'll stack them up and we'll climb out! Come on, Waldo, come on and help me!" he says. So together they get up and begin stacking. As they do, they sing,

"Marshmallows, marshmallows, big and fluffy and fat! Marshmallows, marshmallows, get us out of this hat!"

They stack the marshmallows one on top of the other, but Jeff is unable to climb up them.

"It just won't work!" Jeff finally admits.

"Oh, drat!" says Waldo.

Meanwhile, the rabbit/kangaroo is still eluding everyone. Sam, Muffy and Jodie spot it heading for the elevator, but for some reason, Sam feels it's necessary to hang up a shirt he's holding before chasing it. Sam and Jodie pull the shirt back and forth, each trying to hang it up, so only Muffy gets close at all, and by that time, the kangaroo has reached the elevator, turned back into a rabbit, and the elevator doors have closed. Another lost opportunity.

"That sneaky rabbit has changed himself into a lamp," TXL informs us, showing us a picture of 6 lamps. Can you tell which of these lamps is really a rabbit? It's clear that it's the one with paws, and once we discover it, it turns into a little blue rabbit. "Get, Jodie, quick!" TXL says.

Jodie and Sam are on the furniture floor, searching. "I just know that rabbit is on this floor somewhere," Jodie says. "I can feel it!"

"Well, what if he's not a rabbit anymore, Jodie?" says Sam. "Or a kangaroo or anything? I mean, what if he's a pillow or maybe a piece of furniture or something? What if he's . . ." Sam drops his voice to a whisper, "A lamp?"

There in front of Sam is a lamp that looks a lot like the lamp from the quiz, but when Sam grabs it, it falls and breaks. Nope, no rabbit, just a broken lamp, which, to Sam's dismay, turns out to be quite expensive.

But there's little time to mope. "Jodie, Sam, come as fast as you can!" Muffy calls, "I see a rabbit taking a nap!" Sure enough, the rabbit is on a bed in the furniture department, looking like a stuffed toy. "Oh, maybe we can spring a rabbit trap!" Muffy says. Jodie rolls from one bed to the other to get to the sleeping rabbit as quickly as she can, but just as she reaches for it, the rabbit turns into a balloon and floats away.

"Oh, I don't think we're ever gonna catch that rabbit!" Jodie says in frustration.

Sam tries to comfort her. "At least you tried, Jodie. I mean, how can we be expected to catch a critter than can be anything it wants to at any time?"

Jodie shakes her head, but then her face brightens. "Hey! That's it! Well, we're going about this thing all wrong! We don't chase after the rabbit . . . no! We let the rabbit come to us! Come on down to the stockroom. I've got an idea!"

Jodie's idea is set up a rabbit trap. It's a cage with a carrot inside, attached to a string which is also attached to the door of the cage. This is the way Jodie and her brother used to try to catch rabbits when they were kids.

Sam and Muffy are unimpressed. "Yeah. It should work." Sam says. "If we're really lucky." But they decide to wait and see what will happen.

Meanwhile, back in the hat, Waldo and Jeff have been eating again.

"I don't want to see another marshmallow as long as I live," sighs Waldo.

"I know what you mean Waldo!" says Jeff. "But I've been thinking. You know, there's one good thing that's come out of all this."

"Oh, what's that?"

"Well, you and I have never spent any time alone! I mean, we've hardly ever had any time to talk. And I've got a lot to say! Well, actually, what I want to say is thank you!"

"Thank me? For what?"

"Oh! Everything." breathes Jeff. "I mean, just for waving your magic wand and changing me from a mannequin into a real person. Boy. That was really something Waldo."

Waldo smiles bashfully.

"Merci, merci, for all you've done for me," Jeff sings to him, "Merci beaucoup thank you! Thank you for the rainbow, thank you for the rain, thank you for the world outside my window pane. Thank you for the children, who mean so much to me! Muffy, Sam and Jodie, they're like a family! Merci, merci, for all you've done for me, merci beaucoup thank you! Thank you for your magic, your magic made me real, it opened my eyes and my heart so I could see and feel, feel the warmth of a smile, and summer's gentle breeze, the laughter of small children your gifts my memories, merci, merci, for all you've done for me, merci beaucoup thank you!"

Waldo looks as if he might cry. He draws a deep sigh. "Thank you, Jeff. I'm quite touched." He pauses.
"But I'm glad I made you real, because you know, you're really quite special." They look at each other affectionately.

In the stockroom, there's something in the cage. Sam calls Jodie excitedly.

"Oh, rats!" Jodie says when she gets there, "It's nothing but an old shoe!" she takes it out of the cage.

Sam is confused. "I don't understand. He ate our carrot and got away!"

Jodie is at her wits end. "We have chased a kangaroo, a balloon, a rabbit . . . what do we catch? An old shoe." Suddenly it hits her. "An old shoe? Hey, wait a minute, are you thinking what I'm thinking?"

Muffy is. "That's not a shoe! Grab it! It's that sneaky rabbit!"

Naturally, by this time, the shoe is gone.

Desperate, they resort to some strange methods to entice the rabbit out of hiding. Sam carries around some carrots and promises no traps. Muffy dresses up as a rabbit and comes out calling, ":If you're near or if you're far, come out come out wherever you are. I'm a bunny, can't you see? So won't you come and play with me?'

But it doesn't work. Sam tells Muffy it was a good try. "But what are we gonna do now? Without that rabbit, we'll never be able to get Waldo's wand and poor Jeff and Waldo will be stuck in that hat for, for..."

"Forever!" says Jodie, coming up behind them.

They're all pretty discouraged. But Jodie comes up with one more idea.

"We've chased him all over the store, we've tricked him, we've tracked him, but we never tried being his friend."

"Friend? Friend!" Sam can't believe it.

"Yeah. It's gotta be really lonely living in a magic hat all by yourself," Jodie says. "Poor rabbit!"

"Everyone needs a friend, that's true," Muffy agrees. "Even magic rabbits do."

Sam is doubtful. "Oh! What are you sayin'. Come on you two! That rabbit's not gonna come out of hiding just to be our friend! Why it'll never happen, not in a million, trillion, billion years!"

Just then, the rabbit appears.

"Grab it, the rabbit!" says Muffy.

"And there's the wand! Oh, thank you, rabbit, you sweet little thing!" Jodie says to it. "Hey, now we can rescue Jeff and Waldo!"

"I guess you really did need a friend didn't you?" Sam says to the rabbit just before he rushes off with Jodie to the children's department.

Muffy decides to change out of her rabbit costume and get her new hat before she joins them. But she doesn't quite trust the rabbit yet. "I'll get a cage in case you try something funny." she turns to us, "Oh don't you just love the nose of a bunny?"

Back in the children's department, Waldo and Jeff are beginning to despair when they hear Jodie calling.

"Jeff, Waldo? We're back!"

"Yeah and we got the magic wand, too," Sam says.

They carefully lower the wand into the hat and Waldo says, "Hocus pocus alimagocus, throw a penny into the well and wish away this nasty spell!"

Poof! Waldo and Jeff return to normal size and are free from the hat. Jodie hugs them both.

"You see, Waldo, I told you my friends would help us out!" Jeff says.

"That you did, Jeff, that you did."

"Hey, and you don't have to fear," Muffy says, "'cause your rabbit's in here!" she says, showing him a wicker cage with the rabbit inside.

"Later, I'm going to have a serious talk with you, my rabbit friend," Waldo says. "But right now, I'd just like to say, to all of you," he begins to sing. "Merci, merci, for all you've done for me, merci beaucoup, thank you!" He bows to everyone and they clap.

"Well, now that we've all said our how de do's and our thank yous," Sam says, I have been waiting all this time to show Waldo here my new magic trick!" He shows them a "farm fresh egg" and looks around for a hat to use in the trick.

"Don't ask me for my chapeau, because the answer is no, no, no!" says Muffy.

Sam clears his throat and says, "All right Muffy, all right." Then he looks at Jeff. "Jeffrey . . ." he says, Jeff looks panic stricken and clutches his hat to his head.

So Sam uses his own hat. He covers the egg, says "zim zam zooie" and then lifts the hat. "Voila!" he says, "The egg has disapp... - A chicken! Would you look at that!" Yes, indeed, instead of disappearing, the egg has turned into a cute fluffy yellow chick.

"Wonderful, Sam!" says Waldo.

"What a great trick!" says Jeff.

Everyone is surprised and delighted. Especially Sam. Waldo asks if he could share his secret.

"Well, certainly, Waldo!" Sam says, "I just um, I just um-uh, how did I do that, Muffy? Where did you come from little chicken? Come on, you can tell me!" he says. We get a close up picture of the chick, and it appears to wink at us.


Quizzes:

  • Black screen, white paw "prints." TXL says, "Do you see what I see? Rabbit tracks!" Now we see huge paw prints coming from the other direction. "What animal could make paw prints like these?" (Hint: A loud growl). A bear appears. "Ooh! A bear!" says TXL. The rabbit tracks quickly head in the opposite direction.

Nursery Rhyme:

  • None

Notes:

  • The rabbit was represented in many ways throughout the episode. For the most part, it was depicted in animated form, whether it was a rabbit, a car, or a kangaroo. The exceptions were when it was an old shoe, which was a literal shoe, and at the end, when it was represented by an actual live rabbit.
  • I wonder if the rabbit felt it got a raw deal. After all, the friendship the gang offered didn't amount to much. They all ran off to rescue Jeff and Waldo and forgot about it, and shortly thereafter Muffy put it into a cage.
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