Rainbow: Zippy Is Tongue-Tied
Review By: Gringo

What do you get if you put a bear, a camp hippo and an orange freak with a melon for a head in the same room? Rainbow! That was the name of a children's television show which, mercifully, is no longer being made. Sometime in the late 1970's, someone somewhere thought it'd be a great idea to have these three animal characters living in a house together, under the watchful eye of a man called Geoffrey - one of the only real humans in the show - whose motives you have to question. How do you come into contact with three wacky animals and, even more bizarrely, choose to set up home with them? Maybe he was into screwing bears, I don't know.

Anyway, the principal cast members (i.e. the only ones the producers could afford to pay to return to work each week) were Bungle, Geoffrey, George and Zippy. Their aim was to discuss things like counting, spelling and addictions to narcotics in a way that little children could understand. The hope was children's education would be enhanced. The truth was that no one really cared. Let me introduce all the main characters in turn!

Bungle's a bear. A big, fat, stupid bear. He speaks in a timid, slightly posh voice and his face looks as if someone's repeatedly taken a shovel to it. I hate Bungle with a deadly passion.

Geoffrey's the token human. He looks slightly haggard in nearly every picture I managed to get of him. It's probably the stress and strain of having to live in a menagerie of freaks which is causing that.

George is a camp, pink 'thing'. His species is never revealed, but if I had to guess I'd say he was a hippopotamus, albeit a very small, very homosexual hippopotamus. He has an annoying habit of giggling at every...fucking...thing.

Zippy is the only star of the show. He has a melon for a head, and a zip across it that can be closed. Why, you may ask? Because Zippy is...ho ho...talkative, hence the zip for shutting his mouth!

But the real reason Zippy is such a star isn't because half his face is a zip. Oh no! It's because he's prone to abusing everyone on the show. I'm sure in one episode he said to George "Yes, shut up" and in another bitched about everyone and went on about how great he was. Zippy is great. He has an ego as big as his bizarre head, and a kooky voice. I said kooky! I am so with it!

Anyway, the episode of Rainbow that I managed to steal pictures and sounds from was Zippy Is Tongue-Tied, which you'd assume to be fairly self-explanatory. Zippy, the aforementioned melon-headed freak-beast, is tongue-tied. He keeps trying to say something (maybe coming out?) but can't quite manage it. Of course, the entire mystery of the show then revolves around this, and the clownboats involved speak about nothing but Zippy's stuttering. Seems a bit harsh to pick on someone's trait like that. What next? Take George outside for a good kicking because he's a little bit too pink?

After a pointless scene in which the halfwits play Snakes & Ladders, we're treated to Geoffrey explaining what Zippy's being tongue-tied means. He says, "it just means he can't find the right words to say". So? I can find the right words to say. This show sucks. See? Not so hard. Ignoring my sarcasm (mostly because the show took place over fifteen years ago and I've only just made these comments), some bizarre lady (I think she was called Denise, but I can't be sure) enters the house. After about three seconds reads everyone a story called Chirp Lost His Voice. This woman has a big hat. I will call her Big Hat from now on.

The story revolves around a bird who is being made fun of because he can't sing. He practices in front of a tortoise, an owl and a rabbit before finally getting the confidence to sing in front of his bird friends. The end. No, really, that's the whole story - I've left nothing out. After numbing the minds of everyone in the room by reading out her story, the bizarre Hat Lady then cackles about some sort of "concert in the village hall" which Zippy is going to. Hmm! Maybe this has something to do with Zippy being tongue-tied?!? MAYBE! But even if it does, the mysterious old bag isn't telling! So we're left on a cliffhanger, wondering what it is Zippy is going to do at the village hall, as the show enters quite possibly its most spectacular peak.

You know what's needed after suffering a headache this early into a show? The only thing better than more madness! YES! A MUSICAL INTERLUDE! This really is the highlight of the show, and I love it with all my heart, ever. Three strangers wander into an empty set wearing the worst - and tightest - clothes in the world, before singing a song about how "everybody's tongue-tied sometimes" and that when you are "you wish that you could melt away." If Zippy doesn't listen to the song, he may be tongue-tied forever! Or die! Maybe! But a song by three dropkicks isn't all you get! No, you get brief acting scenes with the multi-talents of our three fabulous singers; Rod, Jane and Freddy. That's their real names.

Download the full song! 300KB of fun!

Firstly, there's a brief scene where Jane can't speak because she's so excited about something. But what!?! WINNING FIRST PRIZE IN THE RAFFLE, OF COURSE! They are told this magical news by Bungle, who appears briefly and then disappears just as quickly. Back to the wacky chorus and the growing migraine! It's an insane scene; three people who were singing a moment ago are now stood about talking absolute crap when a life-size bear called Bungle appears, envelope in hand and silly voice in mouth. When Jane reads the magic news in the envelope, she stutters like a clusterfuck - tying in to the whole tongue-tied theme of the song. It's left to Rod to break the news about winning first prize, to which Freddy (the guy with the big black mullet) pulls the most amusing face...ever in response.

Now, whilst Freddy and Jane can sing with the worst of them, Rod is my new hero, and not just because of his name. He paints a bench, then Jane sits her silly ass down on it, all the while Rod stutters and mumbles, trying to say something. Once she's sat down, he manages to tell her "I've just painted it!" and Jane stands up, stripy paint all over her butt. This isn't why Rod's my personal hero. Oh no! Rod's my hero for his response to Jane's angry question "Why didn't you say so?!". He pathetically replies "I tried!" and I swear, to this day him saying that hasn't failed to reduce me to giggling like a schoolgirl.


Of course, the music could only go on for so long and eventually Rod, Jane and Freddy are terminated...forever! This brings us back to the action involving Zippy and his tongue-tied problems. Now, it might just be me, but the show didn't do a great job of explaining how to overcome being tongue-tied. For the scene that follows the song is of some stage in the worst theatre in the world. We get a brief, miserable scene of two annoying girls playing whistles (quite possibly the most annoying instrument ever created) before Zippy takes to the stage.

Keep in mind he's been stuttering the entire show, and that going on stage would surely compound his fears of public speaking. But no! Not on Rainbow! Common sense has flown out the window. FLY AWAY, MY PRETTY! Zippy recites a poem about a nut tree, but to be quite honest by this point I'd stop caring long ago. Regardless, I suffer for my work (and no, I don't get paid for writing this crapola) and I can now present to you the entire poem which Zippy was getting so worked up about. Hooray!

I had a little nut tree, nothing would it bear
But a silver nutmeg and a golden pear.

The King of Spain's daughter came to visit me
And all because of my little nut tree.

I skipped over water, I danced over sea
And all the birds in the air couldn't catch me.

So essentially Zippy is telling us that he's crap at gardening and can't get his nut tree to produce anything except a sole nutmeg (although it's silver) and a golden pear. Oh, Zippy, you fool! Stop messing with nature! The King of Spain's daughter - hello irrelevance! - visits for no real reason, but just when you think there might be some kind of melon-monarchy love going on, Zippy runs for it. Actually, he doesn't run, he skips over water and dances over sea, which would make him seem quite the clown indeed. This poem is over!

After his big moment on stage, safely back in the scary zoo-house he shares with George, Bungle and Geoffrey, Zippy denies he was tongue-tied, but Bungle reminds him just how much he was stuttering. Amusingly, the melon-headed one then says "Quiet, Bungle, I'm reciting my poem!". Zippy is a winner. And so, the moral of the show: everybody gets tongue-tied sometimes. That's it. I didn't do a good job of reviewing this show, so I'll stop writing now. Sorry.

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