Today's Special - Header (New)
  Today's Special

Untitled Document
—    Introduction    —    Cast   —    Episode Guide    —   Behind the Scenes    —

1986

Teeth

Sam is walking through the children's department and he notices a lot of dental paraphernalia around. He looks up to see a sign hanging overhead. "National Tooth Week, is it?" he says, "Huh! Look at this stuff. Toothpaste, toothbrushes, dental floss and [false] teeth. Teeth, teeth. Everywhere you look in the store, all you see is teeth, teeth and more TEETH!" This last exclamation was in response to his looking up and seeing Jeff dressed as a giant tooth. "Oh, goodness!" says a startled Sam.

"Hi, Sam," says Jeff. "Guess what I'm supposed to be."

"A chicken." Sam deadpans.

"Sam."

"Okay, okay, I know you're a tooth."

"Tommy the Tooth, to be exact. I'm a molar." Jeff points deep into his mouth to show Sam where and what a molar is. He's dressed up in order to help Jodie make a video program for her nephew's kindergarten class all about teeth. The store is paying for the costumes. "It's National Tooth Week, you know," he informs Sam.

"Yes, I know, Jeff. I know."

The store is giving away free toothbrushes and dental floss, "Sort of to remind people how important it is to take good care of your teeth."

"Ooh. Do you have keep saying "teeth" all the time, Jeff?"

"What's the matter Sam?"

"Well, nothing, Jeff. Nothing at all."

Muffy comes barreling past. "Excuse me, coming through!" she says, "Oh, please, step aside, you two!" Jeff tries to stop her, but she keeps right on going. And odder still, she's wearing a football helmet, complete with a mouth guard!

Once she has zipped past, Jeff goes to show Jodie how well his costume fits. "See ya, Sam," he says.

"Okay. See you later there, Tommy Tooth. Or Mickey Molar or whoever you are," Sam says. When Jeff is gone, he mutters, "National Tooth Week, is it? Boy! What a time to have a toothache."

Jodie is setting up the camera in the children's department when Jeff gets stuck in the doorway in his tooth costume. She wishes Sam would along and then, pop! Sam appears. Jodie asks Sam to take over the camera while she helps get Jeff through the door.

"Sure," says Sam.

"All you have to do is focus on the tooth."

"Yeah, gosh, I wish she wouldn't say 'tooth'," he says to himself. "This toothache of mine isn't gettin' any better."

Jodie is helping Jeff find the right angle at which to squeeze through the doorway. Meanwhile Sam is playing with camera, zooming it back and forth and up and down until he's "seasick." Then he calls Jodie.

"Yeah, just a second, Sam," answers Jodie, "I have to pull a tooth!"

"Why does she have to keep saying 'tooth' like that? Oh! I think I'm gonna go and lie down."

Jodie finally succeeds in pulling Tommy the Tooth through the door, but once they get inside the children's department, Sam has disappeared.

"First Muffy and now Sam," says Jeff. "Boy! This has been a pretty strange night."


Later, Sam is back manning the camera. There is a giant toothbrush on the set, and Jeff is using it to brush himself. "Aren't you glad all your teeth aren't this big? Well, by the time you finished brushing your teeth in the morning it would be time to go to bed at night."

Soon everything is ready to begin filming the video, except there's a fly on the camera lens. Sam shoos it away, saying, "Even flies want to get into show business."

"Smile production, take one." says Jodie.

Jeff puts on a very big grin. "Hi," he says, through his teeth, "My name is Tommy and I'm a tooth!"

"Cut!" calls Jodie. "Cut, cut, cut! Hold it! Jeff, why are you talking like that?"

"Like what?" Jeff says, through his grin.

"Well, like this, with all your teeth showing," says Jodie, imitating Jeff.

Jeff swallows his toothy grin and says, "Well, I just figured that since I'm a tooth I should show all my teeth." Jodie gives him a doubtful look. "Too much?" he asks.

"Trust me!" says Jodie. She has a little black slate and she holds it up again, as she says, "Smile production, take 2."

"Hi," says Jeff, quite normally. "My name is Tommy and I'm a tooth. Did you know that there are 32 teeth in a grown up mouth? Sixteen on the top, and sixteen on the bottom. And all of them very, very important. Why, without teeth, we couldn't bite or chew." Sam gives Jeff a "hurry up" motion. Jeff checks with Jodie and goes on. "And - and, you see this ear of corn right here? Well, it would be useless!" He tosses the corn away.

Muffy, nearby but unseen by anyone else, gets the corn cob stuck on what we can now see are braces. She hurries away.

Jeff continues, "And I'll bet you know how important it is to take care of your teeth, so you don't get . . . " He lowers his voice dramatically, "CAVITIES."

"Ow!" says Sam.

"That's right, OW!" Jeff says. But as he tries to continue, Sam keeps saying, "Ow, ow, OW!"

"Sam, I think that's enough of the sound effects," says Jodie.

But he continues groaning and Jodie realizes he's really in pain.

"Jodie, I have a toothache," Sam finally admits. "And don't tell me I should see a dentist."

"Oh, you should see a dentist," says Jeff.

"I didn't say it, he did!" Jodie says.

Sam makes some lame excuses for not going. "And don't try to say that I'm afraid to go to the dentist, either!"

"I just . . ." begins Jodie.

"Samuel J. Crenshaw is not afraid, no siree!"

"But Sam, I just . . ."

"All right, all right, all right, I am afraid. There, you weaseled it out of me. Are you satisfied now?"

"But I hardly said a thing!" Jodie protests.

"GoodBYE!" says Sam angrily and walks away.

"Oh, Sam!" Jodie calls after him.

"Oh, boy," says Jeff. "Sam sure has a thing about going to the dentist."

"Yeah, I think somebody's been telling Sam stories about the dentist that are making him afraid." Jodie likes going to the dentist herself. She decides to try and find a way to help Sam see that going to the dentist is a good thing.

"Well, that's not going to be easy," says Jeff.

"I know."

The mime lady, in the meantime is laid out on a day bed, miming eating gooey taffy. "Say, since it's National Tooth Week," TXL says, "I was wondering if you know what cavities are. Shall I tell you?"

The mime shakes her head and picks up another "piece of taffy."

TXL clears her throat. "I'm not going to go away until you let me tell you about cavities."

The mime relents. TXL shows us animation of a tooth with a hole in it, explaining that this is what a cavity is, and that cavities start when bits of food stick to your teeth, aren't brushed away and cause germs to grow. In the animation, the germs are brown globs with big teeth and mean eyes, and they begin eating away at the tooth. The chasm gets deeper and deeper until they reach the sensitive part of the tooth, and then it causes a toothache.

Now we see the little boy whose teeth we have been looking at. He has a painful expression on his face and tears coming down his cheeks.

Now we're back to the mime lady, lounging and munching. "And do you know what kind of food germs grow on best?" TXL asks her. The mime shakes her head. "Sugary foods. Like candy!"

The mime's eyes grow round and she gulps down the rest of her candy. She reaches for a real toothbrush and toothpaste tube and shows them to TXL.

"Good idea." says TXL. "I wonder what made her think of that?" she says playfully.

The mime at first looks surprised, but then smiles at TXL's joke.

Jeff and Jodie go to Muffy's place to enlist her help in getting Sam to the dentist. Jeff is doubtful, since Muffy's behavior has been very odd that night. Jodie decides to try anyway.

"Muffy!" she calls, "Hello! Muffy, are you home?"

"Won't you please just go away, I'm not coming out today!" she calls through the door.

"But this will only take a minute," says Jodie.

Muffy cracks open her door and says to Jodie, "Put your little ear right on over here."

"Okay," says Jodie. She goes up close.

"Listen to what I say, AND KINDLY GO AWAY!"

"Boy!" says a startled Jodie. "I guess that was plain enough." She and Jeff are puzzled, but decide to leave her alone.

"Boy, I don't know what's the matter with Muffy." Jeff says as they walk away.

But we soon do. Inside the apartment, Muffy is holding a fan in front of her face and tells us, "Oh, that was a rotten thing to say, but I just can't face them all today. The problem with my face is . . ." she puts the fan down. "I have to wear these braces . . . Oh! It's such a trial to flash a silver smile!"

Back to the mime lady, who is brushing her teeth. "Are you doing a good job?" asks TXL. She nods. "Remember, your teeth have three sides, front and back as well as the flat part you chew with." She shows us animation of some window washer types scrubbing all sides of a set of teeth and then using dental floss to get at what's in between. Then we see the mime rinsing and gargling away musically.

"Is that really necessary?" TXL asks in an annoyed tone.

The mime nods enthusiastically and continues her loud gargling.

Meanwhile, when Sam enters the computer room, it has been transformed. There's a huge poster hung next to the computer that says, "National Tooth Week." "Oh, my, look at this . . . I'll betcha Jodie hung that in here, trying to get me to the dentist you know." She's also left some pamphlets. Sam picks them up to see what they say. He reads their titles with a sarcastic tone. "'Taking Care of Your Teeth!' Oh, my, my, my, and this one here says, 'Dental Floss, Your Tooth's Best Friend," heh-heh, ain't that the truth! What's this one. 'Your Friend the Dentist!' Oh yes, I'm sure, and oh, look at this, this is a little more like it. Ah-ha! Look at that, a Willoby tale!" He picks up the book and asks TXL to read it to him. He slides the book into her side slot. The title is "Papa Willoby and the Great Toothpaste Caper."

Seems it's National Tooth Week on Possum Ridge as well. Papa Willoby loves National Tooth Week. He has wrapped packages for his children with toothbrushes inside, tied with bows made of dental floss. The family stands around the sink singing dental songs and brushing their teeth together. It's Papa Willoby's favorite time of the year. He's a stickler for good dental hygiene, insisting on good eating habits, brushing and flossing, and regular dental checkups. The one problem is that someone in the family is mangling the toothpaste tube by squeezing it in the middle. Papa Willoby patiently lectures the family (with a diagram, no less) on the proper way to squeeze the toothpaste tube from the bottom. Still, someone keeps squeezing in the middle. So Papa Willoby hides behind the shower curtain to watch as each person brushes their teeth. Everyone squeezes the toothpaste from the bottom. "Perhaps they're finally learning!" Papa Willoby thinks. But then, in comes the youngest Willoby, baby Willie, not yet two. He climbs up to the sink with a stool and grabs the toothpaste in the middle! But instead of being angry, Papa Willoby scoops him up in his arms. "That's my boy - never too young to learn about good oral hygiene!" he says proudly. The story ends with a picture of the whole family displaying their beautiful white smiles.

Sam chuckles. "I like that Papa Willoby. Now he's my kind of guy."

Suddenly, Jodie appears on TXL's screen. "Does that mean you'll go to the dentist the way Papa Willoby does?"

Sam sighs. "Come on, Jodie, enough already."

"No! Not until you agree to go to the dentist, Sam, it's for your own good."

So Sam says he'll go if Jodie guesses what number he's thinking of between 1 and 1,000.

"1 and 1,000! And I'm supposed to guess what it is? . . . Oh, Sam, that is ridiculous. Oh, fine. 487!" she says.

"Wrong!" crows Sam. "What! Oh, I don't believe it. That was my number, Jodie!"

Jodie is thrilled and goes to make him an appointment.

Sam has honestly picked a number. Now, he's stuck. He picks up a pamphlet again and reads it. "There it is. 'Your Friend the Dentist,' oh boy."

Next we see Jodie, working in the stockroom. She tells us that she was able to get Sam an appointment with her own dentist right away. "Boy, that was lucky." she says. "So that's one problem solved." She is removing stuffed animals from a small box and putting them into a big box. "So all we have to do is figure out what's bothering Muffy and then . . ." she picks up a toy and underneath is Muffy in a huge hat. Jodie is surprised to see her there.

"I was looking for a scarf and hat and now that I found them I'll have to scat."

"Scarf and hat? It's not cold, Muffy."

"Well, I thought I'd go outside and play and I felt like wearing these today."

"But you still don't need a scarf and hat." persists Jodie. "What's going on? You haven't been yourself all night."

"Well, I just don't feel like me. Take off the scarf and you'll see."

So Jodie takes it off. "You're wearing braces," she says calmly.

"Go ahead and laugh at me. Giggle at the sight of me . . . I have to wear them six hours each night, and I know I must be quite a silly sight. Oh, call me names like 'Metal Mouth Muff' and try 'Silver Flash' and all that stuff."

"Why would I laugh at you and call you names? Lots of people have to wear braces. I wore braces when I was a young girl," Jodie tells Muffy.

Just knowing that seems to make Muffy feel better. By now, Jodie has Muffy on her lap. Gently, she sings to her. "Let your smile shine through in everything you do, let your smile shine through." Muffy takes heart and joins in. "Let your smile shine through, in everything you do, don't hide that special you." they finish together.

"Well, maybe braces aren't so bad, and I shouldn't feel so sad," says Muffy.

"Ah, now that's my Muffy."

"You made me feel better, without a doubt. But I wonder how Sam is making out?"

Jodie does too.

The next scene is at the dentist's office. Sam is reclining in a dental chair and the dentist is showing Sam an X-ray of his teeth, telling him his problem is a large hole in his tooth.

"Oh. That's a cavity, huh?"

"Right you are," says the dentist, real life dentist Alan Melamed.

"I have to go!" says Sam, sitting up quickly.

The dentist gently encourages Sam to stay and let them fix it.

"Right now?"

"Why not?"

So Sam reclines again. Dr. Melamed tells him to raise his hand if he has any questions. First, he brings a large needle out and gives Sam a shot. "There! I just gave you a needle."

"You did?" says Sam, surprised. "Hmm, that didn't hurt much." He notices that his lip is feeling kind of tingly. "Like it's fat."

The dentist says they're all set. "You ready?"

"Yup, yup, yup . . . all set. A little nervous though."

"Open wide," says Dr. Melamed, and then starts the drill. Sam lets out a yelp and abruptly raises his hand.

"Okay," says the dentist, stopping. "Any problems?"

"No, no, I'm just testing." says Sam.

The dental assistant, (Connie Orsi), smiles.

Sam opens wide again, and this time the drilling begins. While he's drilling, the dentist asks, "How you doing, Sam, okay?" Sam replies in very expressive gibberish.

"Great!" says Dr. Melamed with a chuckle.

Soon, the drilling is over. Sam can feel a big hole in his tooth where the decay has been drilled out.

Next the dental assistant mixes up some filling material for Sam's tooth. The noise of the mixer scares him, but the dentist calms him by explaining what's happening. Sam is intrigued by the hole in his tooth. "Could keep a jelly bean in there! That's a good one." he says to himself. "That didn't hurt much."

"Nothing to it, eh?" says Dr. Melamed.

"No, nothing at all," admits Sam. They fill his tooth, polish it, and then they're done. The assistant gives him some water to rinse with. He swishes the water around in his mouth, but can find nowhere to spit. Desperate, he spits the water into his hat.

"And you can spit right into that basin that Connie's gonna give you," Dr. Melamed tells him, as Connie holds up a metal basin.

Sam chuckles. "Yeah. Basin. Should've known." He is somewhat embarrassed. "Well, I'll just empty my hat in there." He tips his hat into the basin.

Connie rolls her eyes.

"Hope my hat doesn't shrink." Sam says, putting it back on his head.

"Okay. That's it!" says the dentist, and the visit is over.

Back at the store, Jodie, Jeff and Muffy are doing a musical number for the dental video. Jeff is still dressed as a tooth, Jodie is dressed as a tube of toothpaste, and Muffy, without her braces, is dressed as a toothbrush. "We're the dental hygiene trio, known from Toronto to Rio!" they sing. When Jodie squeezes her middle, a puff of air blows her hair up under her toothpaste tube cap.

"Brush, brush, brush, brush, brush, brush brush brush, we're toothpaste, toothbrush and tooth." they sing, "The best friend a tooth ever had, yes sir. And the dentist, if I might add. The dentist his praises we sing, regular checkups, that's the thing to keep your teeth healthy and strong, so they'll last your whole life long." At the end of the song, they sing, "That's all there is, and that's the truth, brush brush brush brush brush brush."

They're thrilled with their performance. "We're a hit!" says Jeff.

"Yeah, we'll play all the dental conventions!" Jodie adds.

Just then, Sam arrives. They bombard him with questions.

"Sam, you're back!" says Jeff.

"How's the plaque?" asks Muffy.

"How did it go?" asks Jodie.

"Was it a cavity?" Jeff asks.

"Did you have a filling?" Jodie asks.

"Was it thrilling?" asks Muffy.

"How did you like Dr. Melamed?"

"Whoa, whoa! Whoa, everyone and I'll tell you. One question at a time. Well, everything went fine. I did have a cavity, yes, and I had it filled, and I liked Dr. Melamed very much. And best of all, he let me pick a prize from the treasure chest! Yeah. I was a very good boy, you know."

"Well, what did you get? Let's see!" says Jeff.

He puts it on the counter. It's a wind-up set of chattering teeth.

"Oh, Sam!" says Jodie, and they all laugh.


Quizzes:

  • TXL shows us a set of beaver teeth. "You probably know what animal has teeth like these," she says. Then she shows us the beaver. Now she shows another set of teeth, large and imposing looking. To whom do they belong? We have a choice of three animals. A dog, a shark or a kangaroo. The shark snatches the teeth and sticks them in his mouth. "Now wouldn't it be funny if..." says TXL. The kangaroo grabs the teeth and puts them in her mouth. "That's one dangerous looking kangaroo," says TXL. This leaves the shark gumming it.
  • There's something strange about this picture. It's a bird with teeth. TXL tells us that birds don't have teeth. Once we know this, all the teeth fall out. The bird says, "Nobody tells me anything."
  • We see a very odd looking bunny rabbit with very large teeth, actually, tusks. TXL asks us what animal really has teeth like this? The rabbit's teeth go back to normal. "How about a walrus?" she says. Pop! There's a walrus. The bunny hops away. Then the walrus hops away as if he's a rabbit.
  • We see an adorable baby sucking on a bottle. "Did you ever wonder why your baby teeth fall out?" asks TXL. She explains that we're all born with two sets of teeth. At six months, the first set begins to come in. (A tooth appears in the baby's mouth). We get 20 of those teeth. Longer and stronger ones grow in the gums and push the baby teeth out. "This second set is all we'll get, so we have to take good care of them." A bigger child is shown with a full smile. "But did you know that sharks grow a new set of teeth every two weeks? A tiger shark can use up 20,000 teeth in 10 years." An animated shark is gradually buried by teeth. He pops out of the pile of teeth, smiles, and holds up a toothbrush. "How would you like to brush those babies?" TXL asks.

Nursery Rhyme:

  • None

Notes:

  • When Jodie wishes that Sam was around, Sam pops up behind something, puppet-like, without having first walked into the room. While Muffy does this all the time, it's very unusual for Sam.
  • The mime does a fantastic job of miming the eating of taffy. I think it's one of her best miming moments.
  • It's interesting that Sam admitted that Jodie had guessed his number. Apparently, he never considered not telling Jodie the truth since the odds of her picking the right number were, well, one in one thousand! Perhaps this was to impress on us the importance of honesty, or simply to emphasize Sam's good character.
  • I'm used to the word "shot" being used professionally and the word "needle" as a colloquialism, but the dentist here tells Sam, "I just gave you a needle." I don't know if that's normal in Canada or whether they used that word so that the kids would know what he meant.
  • The mime's gargling may be the only time we've heard sounds coming from her.
  • Papa Willoby's admonition to squeeze the toothpaste from the bottom was more relevant when toothpaste was generally in a metal tube. If metal tubes aren't squeezed from the bottom, much of the toothpaste is wasted. These days, most major toothpaste brands are sold in plastic tubes, which are much more forgiving of random squeezing.
  • I wish we had seen Muffy's braces more often. At least when Sam got glasses we saw them from time to time.
Today's Special - Advertisement

Today's Special - Footer

Today's Special site © 1997-2019 Schumin Web Design.
Material that is property of TVOntario is being used under the belief that publication of such material here qualifies as fair use under United States copyright law.
This site is not affiliated with TVOntario or any other entity responsible for the creation and/or distribution of Today's Special.

Main Page - Contact Information - Privacy Statement - The Schumin Web