Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Creepy Kids TV #5 - SLIM GOODBODY

Every time I write one of these features, I try to think back to my childhood and remember who the creepiest of characters were on TV at that time.  If you grew up in the 80's, chances are you saw Slim Goodbody on PBS or in a video at school.  In fact, after I started this series, the first comment I got on Facebook was, "You have to feature Slim Goodbody!"
My friend Gina, a blogger at Life with the Puppertons (a photo/video blog about her 3 Chihuahuas) and the curator of the Etsy vintage stores Mercanstyle and Mercanstyle2, was the one who suggested featuring Slim.  So, I asked her, "What did you find creepy about him?"  We both agreed that his message was very clean and very helpful.  He wasn't dirty or scary or imposing.  The SUIT was the creepiest part.  I will use Gina's words, "Right... a full grown man with long curly hair dancing around in a nude colored leotard with anatomical depictions of body parts on it... that was pretty much the creepy part."

Whenever I first saw Slim, I remember being uncomfortable.  Not really scared, after all, he was super nice, and I wasn't really freaked out because I was into science and wanted to be a doctor when I grew up (now I just play one when my baby gets a boo-boo).  I'm not sure what made me uncomfortable though.  Was it the fact that Slim's ribs were not attached to anything?  Was it the fact that his fro was taking on Bob Ross proportions and forcing the camera to fade back; thereby, making all of his anatomy seem small and his head of perfectly permed hair larger than life?  Or maybe it was the way his mysteriously unattached large intestine seemed to end at his Ken and Barbie-like genitalia-lacking crotch?  I may never be able to answer this question, but just talking about it seems to help.

One thing is for sure, his pose on the cover of his album "The Inside Story" did not make him any less creepy.

Covers like this prove the need for artistic directors when you make an album.  The photographer probably said, "John, we want you to lay on the floor with your back leg bent so you can really point your void at the camera."

"Point my what?" says John.

"That thing your large intestine is pointing at," he says, "you know, where your junk should be."

"Right, my crotchtal region," says John, "Are you sure that's appropriate?  This is a kids album."

The photographer says, "Of course it's appropriate, there's nothing there! Now look at the camera like you're about to make awkward nerd-love with it!"

In all seriousness, the content of his shows was very high-quality for an educational series, especially when you consider that he wrote most of his own songs. Even more amazing is that Slim Goodbody, also known as John Burstein, is still at it today.  Although, as seen in the picture to the left, he has taken on a more "John Stewart-esque" approach to his hair,  I think the suit also looks less weird now since it is more white than flesh-toned.  If you look at the Slim Goodbody website, you can book a show at your kids' high school for only $650!  That's a steal!  It appears that there may also be less dancing and more multi-media presentation in a Slim Goodbody show today.  This is probably a good thing.  Nobody wants to hear Slim's old bones creaking while he prances across the stage during a song about the importance of the left ventricle.

Animation has always been a part of the Goodbody shtick as well, but the new animated Slim Goodbody looks more like something out of Final Fantasy than an educational program.  Someone probably suggested that it would help connect with the kids.  Someone probably thought it would be less creepy.  And they were both right.  Do you have any memories of Slim Goodbody that you can share?  Feel free to do so in the comment section below.


  1. Thinking that I am glad to have missed him by being too old and then my kids were born too late LOL

  2. That guy came to my elementary school. I remember sitting on the floor in my gym watching his presentation. I don't think I really thought anything weird about him... looking back a dude in a leotard is pretty creepy ;)

  3. It's too bad you missed out Lady Bren! You can always YouTube some classic clips. Maybe you could book him for a school assembly for your kids?! LoL.

    Crystal, I envy your closeness with the great Slim Goodbody.



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