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Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Time For The New Mickey Mouse Club, Kids Incorporated, And More!
In 1989, a brand new version of The Mickey Mouse Club debuted on a very different version of The Disney Channel. It's time to turn back the clock to see the familiar faces you could find during this era on The Disney Channel.
Teen Win, Lose or Draw was a kid-friendly version of the board game-turned game show hosted by Marc Price (the next-door neighbor to the Keaton Family on "Family Ties." Teen Win, Lose or Draw featured guest stars like Danny Pintauro (from "Who's the Boss?") and Sara Gilbert and Lecy Goranson from "Roseanne." Lecy Goranson was replaced by actress Sarah Chalke midway through the game.*
*Not really, but that would have been funny.
Jeff Cohen (Chunk from "The Goonies") teamed up with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the kid-fantasy, "Ask Max." I never saw this, so I don't know if there was a performance of the Truffle Shuffle.
The original "New" Mickey Mouse Club is all here, even though their promotional photo was flipped for some reason and the names on their jackets are backwards.
When Rodan calls in sick, Big Bird battles Godzilla in "Big Bird in Japan."
Seeing Pippi Longstocking here reminds me of a very funny scene from a Warner Brothers "Pinky and the Brain" cartoon from Steven Spielberg's "Animaniacs." Pinky and the Brain are laboratory mice trying to take over the world. In each episode, Brain asks Pinky, "Are you pondering what I'm pondering?" Pinky always has a comedic (bizarre) response, including:
"I think so Brain, but this time you put the trousers on the chimp."
"I think so Brain, but if they called them "Sad Meals", kids wouldn't buy them."
And there was, "I think so, Brain. But me and Pippi Longstocking?!? What would the children look like?! Oh, it doesn't matter, they'd still be loved."
If you want to know more about some of the first new "new" members of the Mickey Mouse Club, check out the Vital Stats on Damon Pampolina, Roque Herring, Lindsey Alley and Josh Ackerman. Nice to see some love here for Milli Vanilli!
The New Mickey Mouse Club proved to be very popular, and the talented young stars put on a great show.
The kids in The Club had their own cool varsity jackets. You could get one too, as long as you had some money.
Mickey Mouse was eventually phased out of his own club, and the show became "MMC," so these items are probably pretty rare.
The New Mickey Mouse Club clock was a big promotional item plugged during previews for The Disney Channel.
It's on sale in this ad, but it was also a special premium for Disney Channel Subscribers.
If you got your friends to subscribe to The Disney Channel, and they sent in a Referral Certificate with proof of installation, both parties got the clock. If your friend was a slacker, it was a good idea to watch them send that Certificate in the mail to make sure you got that clock.
The Disney Channel had other ways to rally their troops and get more subscribers, like offering the chance of a Walt Disney World vacation and a visit to the taping of The Mickey Mouse Club at The Disney MGM Studios in Florida.
You just had to give the Disney Channel the names of three friends you've told about the Disney Channel. Shockingly, there's no request for a phone number or an address. Couldn't you have just listed Eddie Punchclock, Johnny Lunchpail and Sally Housecoat and Disney Channel wouldn't have been the wiser?
The Disney Channel had lots of Sweepstakes offers, including one that parked a Chevrolet Lumina APV on the set of The Mickey Mouse Club.
Chevrolet ads on TV at this time featured animated characters like Donald Duck and Dumbo in live action commercials (very much like "Who Framed Roger Rabbit").
The Hilton hotel chain also had a tie in to The Mickey Mouse Club.
This promotional partnership was formed at the suggestion of a young Paris Hilton. At least that's the story I'm making up.
The Mickey Mouse Club's older sibling on The Disney Channel was Kid's Incorporated, a musical comedy variety show that debuted in 1984. The kids did all kinds of performances, including a music video of the El DeBarge song "Who's Johnny?" from the robot movie, "Short Circuit."
The Mickey Mouse Club was filmed in Florida, but was a bit more "Hollywood," as it featured guest appearances by celebrities like Tiffany and even Donald Trump.
For Kids Incorporated, the cast member that was on the show the longest was Stacy "Fergie" Ferguson (later known as a singer for Black Eyed Peas).
Many people remember Ryan Lambert as Rudy, the tough cool kid in the 1987 movie "The Monster Squad."
The cast of Sesame Street, New Kids On The Block, Roger Rabbit, and Neil Patrick Harris all appeared on the Disney Channel at one point.
This is enough to make a pop-culture fan's head explode.
New Kids On The Block frequently made appearances on The Disney Channel.
TDC Live! delivered all the important Disney Channel news to kids.
The always cool Neil Patrick Harris is featured here for his new show, "Doogie Howser, M.D." and his Disney Channel special, "Purple People Eater."
"Teen Angel" and "Teen Angel Returns" star Jason Priestley is congratulated here on his new sitcom, "Sister Kate."
Mother Goose Rock 'N' Rhyme was a star-studded Shelley Duvall special featuring Bobby Brown (as a dancing mouse), Cyndi Lauper, Dweezil Zappa, and many more actors and performers.
Anne of Green Gables and its spin-offs had a major presence on The Disney Channel for many years. Amazingly, viewers never saw "Anne of Avonlea and the Journey to the Center of the Earth."
The Mickey Mouse Club and Kids Incorporated welcomed some new faces at this time. Jennifer Love Hewitt (known here as "Love") became the newest member of Kids Incorporated years before she was a ghost whisperer.
Also new to The Disney Channel was Kevin Osgood (The Mickey Mouse Club) and Sean O'Riordan (Kids Incorporated).
The Disney Channel crew had big plans for 1990.
Time to party like it's 1999!
The band New Kids on the Block (also known as NKOTB) was formed in 1984, and featured Donnie Wahlberg, Joey McIntyre, Danny Wood and Jordan and Jonathan Knight.
NKOTB became a major fixture on The Disney Channel.
The group appeared in all sorts of Disney Channel concerts and specials.
The Mickey Mouse Club changed as the stars grew up.
Five of the original cast members became a popular musical group called The Party.
The Party toured the country, and was heavily promoted during Disney Channel shows.
The Mickey Mouse Club frequently added new cast members, like Marc Worden and Nita Booth. Many of the actors on the show grew up in front of TV viewers.
The Mickey Mouse Club later evolved into MMC, and added a new mix of talent.
Among the "7 New Kids" joining The Club in its later years were Christina Aguilera, Ryan Gosling, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake.
In keeping with tradition, the new MMC group was featured in all sorts of special events and promotions.
Maybe your school was the lucky winner of the 1993 "Bring MMC to Your School!" contest.
To promote their MMC album, the Club went across the country on Tour, also visiting Target stores along the way.
I wonder where the MMC and the winners of the contest ate lunch. It says "anywhere in your town." Maybe there's some folks that have a nice memory of eating Big Macs with Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera.