Nick On Toons: The World Of David The Gnome


Testing, testing, 1, 2. Is this thing still on? Good, good. Greetings Retro Obscurians (sorry Aaron, I copyrighted it just now, while you were busy winning every Name That Game thing in the history of everything) tis I, your loyal and faithful man of the people, Atari Man. Now contrary to popular belief and mere speculation I did NOT in fact vanish because of any of the following:

-Standing too close to Rob Luther’s teeth, thus transported into another dimension.

-Get swallowed up by a random, non Moby Dick related whale.

-Get vaporized by a Sega 32X and turned into a slurpee. Man, I could sure go for one of those right now.

Most of you know why I was gone, but none of that matters because I have returned, and in the nick (not Stephens) of time. Today we’re returning to Nick On Toons, a column that discusses episodes and some general discussions on some classic Nickelodeon programming, you know, before Miranda Cosgrove had to show up, be all dumb, and add a lowercase I to the beginning of everything. Stupid, pre-teen girls. Can you hear me grumbling like an old man who wants some young whipper snapper off his lawn? Good, good, so I am still fairly good at this after all.

Today’s topic is a show that I’ve come to find as fond as people were of it, there were some who were actually afraid of it, but perhaps more in the fact that it was the first cartoon that actually made them cry. Nick On Toons will feature The World Of David The Gnome, a show that yours truly remembers quite well. We’ll be talking about some of the characters, the basic premise of most episodes, and some things I just discovered about the show a few days ago.

Adorable and Nauseating
Chances are if you grew up watching this show, the very first thing you’ll remember is that theme song. I still remember all the words and sing them quite often, sometimes totally rearranging them to make them sound funny, and for me I think I do this because come on, just listen to the theme song, is it or is it not sickeningly sweet and adorable? As a kid it would make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, like a warm cup of hot cocoa on a cold day, or a nice cup of soup with Bob Barker on a day home from school, but as an adult, I wonder if I’m going to have to reach for the Tums or Pepto because my stomach feels nauseous whenever I hear it. However, I would still love to live in a world where birds can talk and fish can sing, especially the fish, because then I could teach them The Rob Luther Song.

"Man, I sure could go for some singing fish right about now."
“Man, I sure could go for some singing fish right about now.”

The World Of Needy, Clumsy People
With a lot of cartoons I watch for this fine column, there are things you notice now that you didn’t when you were little, and in regards to this program it would have to be how needy the folks in David’s world were, when they weren’t being clumsy and hurting themselves. As many of you know, David was a doctor, one of the most trusted in his little world, and I guess it wasn’t polite for him not to make house calls. You’d think a kingdom with a catchy and happy theme song would have affordable healthcare for all, but remember, this was long before Obama came into office, long before people truly began complaining about healthcare at all. Still, wouldn’t it have been cool if David had billed some of these talking animals and other creatures? He could have at least afforded a better place to live.

Then of course we have the trolls, the evil enemies of David and his friends. I’ve often found that trolls are a cop out enemy put into cartoons because creators can’t think of anything better. Not all trolls are bad, and who knows, maybe David DID bill one of them, and thus started a huge war that didn’t end until the show went off the air. Maybe that was their goal, to keep bugging David until he went to one of his people and said “I’ve had enough of this, I’d rather be hanging with my son Richie and The Fonz!” (David was voiced by Tom Bosley of Happy Days fame)

Now come on, are we REALLY going to talk about that time when I was a gnome?

Lastly we have Swift, the fox that is said to take David and his wife wherever they need to go, while David helps scratch him in places he can’t reach (David’s words, not mine) which really doesn’t seem like a fair trade if you ask me. Oh sure, I’m certain David also helps him with health related things (you know, since Swift has full coverage) but an ear scratch for an unlimited amount of free fox taxi rides is like trading the complete Final Fantasy series for a copy of Mighty Max on the Sega Genesis. Oh, David, you crude businessman.

What I didn’t know researching this cartoon was it was originally released as a Spanish cartoon, with scenes that DEFINITELY needed to be edited for our innocent and fragile American children eyes. Some of these edits include David performing surgery on an ailing deer, and another where Swift eats something he isn’t supposed to and pukes it up for Spanish children around the globe to delight in. Personally I would have loved to have seen this as a kid, just so I can ask my parents if I can go out into the woods and feed a fox some Pop Rocks or Fruit Roll Ups, you know, stuff in their usual diets. What does the fox say? Absolutely nothing because he’s throwing up his intestines right now, kids.

Lastly, I stopped watching this show quite early in its run, and I’m not sure why, I outgrew it I guess, but I’m kind of glad I did because reading through the episodes this may very well have been the most depressing and absurd program on Nick Jr, and that’s saying something for a television station that had a talking face and the most annoying Spanish speaking cartoon girl on record at one point, but here’s why. David and his wife are both 399 years old, which just so happens to be 1 year less then the time that not most but ALL GNOMES DIE! Run that through your childhood brain. Two characters you’ve fallen in love with, that have a relationship you hope you have when you’re old are going to die by the end of the show. Nickelodeon isn’t going to tell you that. That stupid Face isn’t going to tell you that. Sharon, Lois, and Brahm aren’t going to show up at your door and sing a song about the coming of Death to gnomes. You’re on your own, skippy. Not only do they die, but they turn into trees.

That’s right, cry your eyes out, Aaron Hickman. I know you wish you could have a gnome kiss right about now, but guess what? You can’t unless you want a splinter!

So if this all isn’t sad enough, Swift is obviously left alone now, and seems really, really sad, as any fox would after losing a dear friend like David.

Until he meets a single female fox and forgets who David The Gnome, David The Tree, or Senor Toothpick Elf. Whatever his name was. He doesn’t care, because he’s got a sweet gal on his arm, and besides, David was a self-serving jerk at times anyways, always asking Swift for a ride, wondering what Swift was up to, how he was feeling, a real pal even when Swift just wanted to be left alone. Gosh, David, you’re such a jerk!

But I love you.

And now I can’t find a gnome doctor in my network.

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