Pappyland is a live action children's television show originally written by Jon Nappa. More than 65 half-hour episodes were written by award-winning children's writer, Benette Whitmore. It was originally broadcast on TLC from September 30, 1996 to December 1999, also on Kermit Channel in Asia. Then, after cancellation, aired reruns until February 21, 2003. The show starred acclaimed cartoonist-artist Michael Cariglio (born in Whitesboro, New York) as Pappy Drewitt, an artist/49er type character who lived in a magical cabin in a bizarre land with many different creatures and people. More than half of the show was shot on bluescreen. During each half-hour segment, Pappy and other characters danced, sang, argued and bickered, taught life lessons and other children's television fare but the main focus of the show was watching Pappy draw pictures. The camera was positioned directly above his paper and he would carefully explain the purpose of each technique used. The purpose was for children viewers to be able to follow along with Pappy and create the same image as he did. Viewers who sent in their artwork, had their drawing shown during the "Hall of Frames" segment near the end and the closing credits. When shown on public television, WCNY in Syracuse, New York presented the show, which was produced by the non-profit Craftsmen and Scribes' Creative Workshop and Creative Media Solutions TV, also based in Syracuse, New York. In fact, the P.O. Box plug mentions Syracuse as being the city where home viewers sent in their drawings. Today Michael Cariglio is hosting "Inspiration Station" on Smile of a Child TV. "Pappyland" is now available on DVD. The series can be viewed on digital streaming device Roku's Family TV channel.
Pappy Drewitt (Michael Cariglio) is an artist who loves to draw, He was dressed in a hat, suspenders, glasses, and a bandana. The theme song suggests that he created Pappyland; although the season 5 episode "Grandpappy's Day for Drawing", which aired in 1997, suggests that Pappy's father (or possibly Grandfather), Grandpappy Drewitt who was also played by Cariglio created Pappyland rather than Pappy himself. He lives in Pappyland Convalescent Home and has many friends who live there. A running gag in the series was that whenever he coloured the picture he drew earlier in the episode he would break one of his crayons. This was done so Pappy could teach kids that you don't have to throw away a crayon just because it breaks. On occasion, when he colored in the picture, he also went outside the lines, thus teaching kids that it's all right to go outside the lines when coloring. In the original VHS, he was portrayed as a hillbilly.
Elmer (Joe Cariglio) is an old, wisecracking, and sometimes grumpy man who sits in a rocking chair in front of Pappy's desk. He tells a lot of jokes to Pappy. He also works at the Pappyland Mines. At the beginning and end of mostly every episode, he would shout "Hey, sonny! Don't you know what time it is?", indicating that it was time to say hello to everyone, and that it was time to leave. He smoked a pipe in the original VHS.
Binky is a talking paintbrush that lives in Pappy's cabin. He likes to paint pictures.
Lily (Puppeteer Marilyn Arnone) is a talking flower who originally lived in a flower field, but later lived in Pappy's Cabin.
Belle (Puppeteer Marilyn Arnone) is a talking telephone who lives in Pappy's cabin. She speaks with a southern accent and sometimes delivers news to Pappy, usually when someone is in trouble.
Mailbird (Ted Long) is a bird who appeared in later seasons of the show. He speaks with an English accent and deliveres Pappy's mail and often crashes into his cabin when doing so. He was very disorganized, but Pappy later helped him get organized.
Sing-a-Song Sam (Michael Curley, born in Syracuse, New York) is a singer who in most episodes sang a song about the lesson learned in the episode.
Buddy Bear (Ted Long) is a bear who loves honey. He lives in a cave in Pencil Point. Like Pappy, he likes to draw, and would sometimes draw for the home viewers in situations where Pappy encountered a problem he couldn't get out of. He has a pen pal named Elizabeth who is hearing impaired.
Chucky Woodchuckles (Puppeteer Chris Grom) is a woodchuck who wore glasses and a propeller hat though in the intro and early episodes, he is seen without them. He lives in a wooded area in Pappyland called Woodchuckles Place. He is very friendly but tended to lose things he borrowed from others, such as Pappy's crayons. Pappy taught him about responsibility.
Tree-O are a group of three trees that lived in a forest. They didn't appear in later seasons, as they were replaced by Woody.
Woody is a tree that lived at the entrance of Pappyland. He once thought he had no friends, but Pappy cheered him up by drawing a picture of him. He appeared in the original VHS, and sang the song "Did you ever Wanna be". He is the only character besides Pappy, Elmer, and Grandpappy to appear in the actual show, but he didn't appear until later episodes.
Pumpkin Pop and Pumpkid are father and son pumpkins that lived on a cart next to Woody.
Turtle Lou (Gabriel Velez) is an Italian anthropomorphic turtle who lives by a river on the path to pencil point. He likes to fish. He originally appeared to look like a non-anthropomorphized regular turtle. Pappy called him "Turtle Louie"
Doodle Bug (Puppeteer Marilyn Arnone) is a bug who was introduced in later seasons. He tries to stump Pappy by doodling something for Pappy to finish. Pappy, however, always wins.
Duggan is a small parrot who appeared in a few episodes. He is usually unjustifiably angry and sometimes violent towards the other residents of Pappyland. A drawing or soothing talk from Pappy often placates him, but more often he uses it as an excuse to criticize Pappy.
Grandpappy Drewitt is a painting of either Pappy's father or grandfather and Snacker Jack's uncle. He also appeared in the original VHS.
Fur Bear was a skinny bear who lived in Pappyland in the original VHS. He spent his whole hibernation riding an elephant.
McBride was a pirate who lived in a ship in a bottle in the original VHS. He is currently searching for his pirate captain, Captain Jack.
Fishface was a mean-spirited fish that Pappy eventually won over with his kindness and drawing. He lived in the lake near Turtle Lou and did appear in later episodes.
Snacker Jack Drewitt is Pappy's cousin and Grandpappy's nephew who appeared in the season 4 episode "Snacker Jack and the Snack Attack". At first all he eats is junk food, but Pappy talks him into eating healthy food.
Uncle Tony is Turtle Lou's uncle that appears in the season 6 episode "Turtle Lou visits Italy".
Donkey Dan is a donkey that lives in a stable.
Eloise is Elmer's sister who appeared in a few episodes of season 3 which aired in 1995.
The Color Taker
- Arnone, Marilyn P. (2005). Motivational Design: The Secret to Producing Effective Children's Media. Lanham, MD : Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0-8108-5037-0
- Connors, Dennis J. (2006). Crossroads in Time: An Illustrated History of Syracuse. Syracuse, N.Y. : Onondaga Historical Association. ISBN 0-8156-8149-6