Yes, it's true....DVD sets for Garfield and Friends have been released. Not cheapie DVDs of random chronological box sets. Some kind of miracle must have happened...or some really bad movie happened that needs a tie-in. This was one of my favorite shows as a kid, and I was certain almost no show I grew up with would be released in a good format until my generation was in middle-age and the big corporations were finally interested in cashing in on our nostalgia. At least I know I won't be seeing Darkwing Duck or Talespin in collectible format until that point. And when I do, half the DVDs will be full of "games" no one plays and a music video by a 9-year-old who calls himself "Baby Cool F." But for Garfield, they were good to us.

Unfortunately, the DVD sets contain no bonus features whatsoever. That's right, no interviews, commentaries, animatics or making-of scenes. If you want to know more about the creative process or interesting trivia, sucks to be you. BUT....I just happen to have a treasure trove of such info! Once again, it's up to me and my site. On this page, we're going to bring you all the great features that should've been on the DVDs!

1. The Klopman Diamond mystery
2. The real story about that farm
3. The correct episode list
4. Why were the Buddy Bears there?
5. The lost seasons
6. Screaming with Binky
7. Those bumpers with that weird squiggly guy
8. International Garfield
9. Comparisons between the broadcast versions and the DVDs
10. Ads you wish you'd forgotten
11. "Friends Are There" song lyrics

To start off, we're going to answer the biggest question anybody can possibly ask about the Garfield and Friends show:
What was the deal with the Klopman Diamond anyway??
Yes, there's an answer to that now, and you have me alone to thank. A website recently interviewed John Cawley, who's worked on many animated shows including Garfield, and the site's forum section asked for questions to ask him. There were many posts, but mine somehow made it on the list. I got the Big Question answered, and while he was there, I also asked about the bottle of Cawley Drops from the "infomercial" Garfield cartoon you don't remember.

J. Cawley: The back story to the "Klopman Diamond" is simply that Jim Davis and Mark Evanier found the name funny and dropped it in whenever they could. As for "Cawley Drops", yes that comes from my name. Up through the 1980s, it was a fun thing to drop in caricatures and names of people on the staff. However, as the 90s came on with more legal issues, studios began to worry about such things and the trend is no longer quite as common.

That's it? That's the answer? .........Maybe you weren't exactly expecting the meaning of life, but I was.

Half the people when I was a kid talked about how much they hated having to watch the stuff in the middle with the pig. In America it was called "U.S. Acres," in any other country it was called "Orson's Farm" to get rid of the "USA" in the title. "U.S. Acres"(or whatever you called it) was seldom as funny as Garfield, so it must have just been something that was thrown together in 10 minutes to fill space and give the show "variety." Right? WRONG.
U. S. Acres was the name of a second strip Jim Davis himself started in 1986, and all the characters in those cartoons were 100% invented by him. Several were funnier in their strip incarnations, however. I'll go into this some more when I get to making a "U.S. Acres" page, because I have the books with the original strips in them....

Check this out. On the Internet Movie Database, some idiot is ranting on the "Garfield and Friends" entry page that the new DVDs will not contain all the episodes. "ACCORDING TO TVTOME, GARFIELD HAS 360 EPISODES AND THE DVDS WILL ONLY HAVE 120!!!" Remember TV Tome? That was the same site that promised a Digimon episode of "House of Mouse." Their Garfield episode guide was listed by cartoon(not by episode, the reason why they're getting 360 of them), it didn't list every cartoon, it showed the wrong airdates for many and in several places the list was out of order. For the correct list, turn to the guy who wrote the show in the first place. Yes. Mark Evanier made a Garfield and Friends episode list on his own site. In addition to that, he's also posted his experiences with the show AND an EPISODE SCRIPT. That would be enough bonuses for any DVD set, but Fox has yet to approach him about adding anything to them.

For those of you who just came to this page through Wikipedia and already saw those other links...hey, where do you think they got them?

In another part of his site that you probably won't find, Mark makes a comment about an earlier show he worked on that, though he might not have realized it, reveals the exact reason for the existence of three bears who were constantly trying to force a lesson down Garfield's throat; the lessson of "if you ever disagree, it means that you are wrong."
When you think about it, that was a strange message to be constantly delivering. "You must always agree with the group" is something I've never heard preached in any real educational show. And why would it be? All those shows shout the opposite: to be yourself. And what if the group wanted to take drugs or something?
It was actually an inside joke. Listen to Mark tell about his experiences writing for 80's cartoon shows:

Consultants were brought in and we, the folks who were writing cartoons, were ordered to include certain "pro-social" morals in our shows. At the time, the dominant "pro-social" moral was as follows: The group is always right...the complainer is always wrong.

This was the message of way too many eighties' cartoon shows. If all your friends want to go get pizza and you want a burger, you should bow to the will of the majority and go get pizza with them. There was even a show for one season on CBS called The Get-Along Gang, which was dedicated unabashedly to this principle. Each week, whichever member of the gang didn't get along with the gang learned the error of his or her ways.

It's funny that I've lived for 22 years and never connected the Buddy Bears to the Get-Along Gang. I really should have. Evanier actually received a complaint letter from a network standards board in regards to the Buddy Bears making fun of them. (It wasn't CBS, though.)

If you checked out Mark's list, you might have noticed many, many later cartoons that you might not remember. The reason for that is, they were never shown again. After season 5, a syndication package was put together and every Garfield run-through on any other station since has used this package. The package contains only the first 73 episodes; there were 121. The Cawley Drops that I mentioned up there were seen on a later episode.
Now that the DVDs are coming, those later cartoons will be seen for the first time in a decade, so it might make it moot that I've had them on tape for all this time. I have seasons 4-7 of Garfield on tape, commercials and all. The truth is, in Season 7 the show started running out of ideas, reusing old plots and making 2-parters out of cartoons that could have had their stories told in 1. They would have done a Season 8, ideas or not, but CBS wanted to pay less money. You know how important money is to Jim Davis....
Anyway, here's some of what you missed in seasons 6 and 7:
Most of the cartoons involving Garfield's show-only girlfriend Penelope
A pushy pig named Aloysius took charge of several Orson cartoons in season 7 and bean-counted every scene, to the annoyance of everyone. His catchphrase: "THAT'S NOT RIGHT!!"
Garfield gained a bird friend who was apparently named "Ludloaf" if my ears are correct. He felt too sorry for this little bird to eat it and always had to dig him out of trouble.
The singing ants who ruined Jon's picnic in season 5 returned in season 7. Oddly, the question Mr. Evanier is most asked on his website is, "Who did the ant song?"
The "Kitty Council" busts Nermal for being too cute to tolerate.
Season 7 kicked out the "Party" theme for some hip-hop piece of garbage. Maybe a season 8 wouldn't have been a good idea if this had been used another year....

I also have tapes of repeats of several 1-3 episodes, and this is important too because many of the "quickies" were also cut out in syndication. Every U.S. Acres (Orson's Farm, whatever) Quickie was cut out, as well as Screaming with Binky. This was the most tragic loss of the whole thing. Every week there was this one short where someone would be doing something important, and Binky would come in and scream at the top of his lungs, ruining it. My whole family loved "Screaming with Binky" and it was a tragedy to not only see it disappear after season 3, but never appear again in reruns. I have several on tape, however. Here are the Binky screams I can gather:

  1. Binky runs onstage and screams right when a ballerina is about to catch another one in midair. "GEEEE, THAT WASN'T VERY GRACEFUL!!!"
  2. A sand castle builder is about to reach the World's Record when Binky screams, he gets startled, and falls off his scaffold, crushing his castle. "OOPS! GUESS YA NEED MORE PRACTICE, RIIIIIGHT??"
  3. A diamond cutter is about to cut the Klopman Diamond in two and must hit it just right, or else it will shatter into dust. Binky runs in and screams at him right when he hits the diamond. "GEE! LOOKS LIKE YA BLEW IT!"
  4. An expert pizza chef is throwing dough into the air when Binky comes in and screams, "HEEEEY PIZZA MAKER!!!" He's chased out of the restraunt by the angry chef, still covered in dough and waving a rolling pin. "I'D LIKE IT TO GO, PLEEEEASE!!!"
  5. Binky is on vacation in Mexico and Wade Duck must do this week's scream for him. "Ahem. Hey. Kids. A-hhe-heem. Heeey. Kids. Um, uh, Heeeey---" Binky rushes in wearing a sombrero and screams, "NOT LIKE THAT, AMIGO, LIKE THIS! HEEEEY, DUCK!!!!" Wade runs away screaming.
  6. It's revealed Binky has laryngitis. Garfield is thrilled, but then he's blasted by a "HEEEEEY, CAAAAT!!" "I thought you said you--" "I do! But I also have great stereo equipment!" "HEEEEEEY, CAAAAAT!!!!"
  7. Garfield announces he has earplugs, so Binky can't bother him this week. Binky screams at Garfield, but he hears nothing. Binky sadly walks away, then Jon comes out of the house:
    "Garfield, time for dinner!"
    "He can't bother me because he can't scream at me!"
    "If you don't come in now I'll just give it to Odie!"
    "These are GREAT earplugs."
    "Okay, have it your way!"
    "Worked like a charm. Hey, I wonder when Jon'll have my dinner ready."
  8. An animator is working on Garfield and Friends when Binky comes in and screams, making him nervous. A badly-drawn Garfield says to a badly-drawn Binky, "I HOPE YOU'RE HAPPY."

Click HERE to see "Diamond Cutter" and "Laryngitis," two Screaming with Binky episodes!

CBS viewers of Garfield will probably also remember the guy seen to the left. This guy was on all of CBS's Saturday Morning bumpers from 1990 to 1994. He also showed up in a Sprite ad, so he must have come from somewhere, but wherever that would be, I have no clue. According to the ad's copyright information, his name was "Fido Dido."

Click HERE to see all the Fido Dido bumpers! If you saw Garfield on some other channel, do it anyway...they're an interesting curiosity.

If you lived in Latin America and turned on Garfield, you would get a Spanish-dubbed version of the show....which differed slightly. Some of Garfield's logo box quips were not used in the Spanish dub because they referenced CBS, Heathcliff, or something else that viewers in the region wouldn't be familiar with. Jon Arbuckle was translated as Jon Bonachón in the dub, Liz as Lisa, Alouisus as Alagüichus and Nermal as Telma. (Telma?)

Madman Murray was Loco Murray, the Weasel was La Comadreja, the Buddy Bears were Los Osos Amigosos (this is gramatically incorrect for Spanish; it's a pun), and Orson was....Orson. The farm animals kept their names, but when they referred to their species ("And the winner of the Orson Award is....Bo Sheep!") they would say the Spanish name of that animal. The weird exception to this was Roy...he was called "Roy Rooster" in English for no known reason.

Most translated programs in that time period couldn't afford translating signs and written words into Spanish via computer pasting whenever a title card appeared or a written message showed, a Spanish voice would be dubbed in that would tell what the words said.
For the first three seasons, U.S. Acres was called (in voice over) "En la Granja," which meant "At the farm." In later seasons, the voice calls it "La Granja de Orson", the direct Spanish translation of "Orson's Farm."

The countries with Spanish as their official language got this version of the show, and they got it uncut. None of the cuts made to the syndicated version in America happened elsewhere....viewers in Mexico can still see Screaming with Binky on TV to this day.

Fact of amusement: In the dub, Nermal referred to himself as "La gatita más bonita del mundo" (world's cutest she-kitten). This wasn't fixed until the final two seasons. Even the translators for other countries couldn't tell Nermal was a guy!

Fact of amusement #2: In the Orson's Farm quickie following "Attack of the Mutant Guppies," the guppies leave with the remark "Let's see if we can get a guest spot on the Muppet Babies, whaddya say."
In the Spanish dub they say they want to get on Sabado Gigante. Which, if you don't know by now, is a very popular variety program among the Hispanic Ones that bares no relation to Muppet Babies whatsoever.

Muchas Gracias to Andrés Sanhueza for the information in this section.

The DVD versions of Garfield look somewhat different from what's been shown on TV, at least in America. By that I mean, for whatever reason they had, they used the international prints.

Original CBS broadcast from 1990

Exact same quickie on the vol. 2 set

Was it a mistake? don't make the same mistake five times in a row. This was intentional, and as for a possible clear reason, I'm stumped. It might have been so they didn't have to make completely different versions for a release outside of the United States....but they haven't released these sets outside of the US at all!

There's another major difference, but it only has to do with the final season, collected in Volume 5. As I said previously, in season 7 Garfield and Friends was given a new "hipper" theme song that sounded terrible. When I played Volume 5, I found the bad theme was not there, replaced with the "party" theme everyone knows. This theme wasn't used outside of America, and again, these are international copies. Or maybe the creators hated that final theme song just as much as I did.
That's one change I can live with, really. If you're from elsewhere, or you grew up with the syndicated Garfield, you don't want to hear what CBS used in 1994.

OR DO YOU? Click for a video of the CBS-exclusive theme song, IF YOU DARE....

"Hey, how come Garfield didn't say anything at the end of that intro? Was every Season 7 episode shown like that?" No...because searching through hours of videotape is a pain, I brought everyone the first recording of this theme I could find, which was also the first time it was ever aired. That day, CBS made a mistake and left out Garfield's variable tagline. It was fixed later.

When I deliver a total nostalgia trip, I DELIVER, folks. In addition to Mr. Dido, we're also about to revisit the typical advertising that ran during a Garfield hour. The most prominent thing about this era was the sheer unbelievable volume of ads for ROBOT BABIES.

How on Earth did I ever tolerate all this without going completely crazy? Every other ad during Garfield was for a robot doll which did two or three specific functions. Some off-camera woman would sing a goopy love song while a little girl would gingerly cradle a plastic baby and kiss its forehead. I never asked the girls at my school about this, but they must have had a strange desire to give birth, yet remained barren in their pre-pubescent bodies. They were so desperate for a child that they started buying evil-looking robotic babies in droves, each one claiming to be more "real" than the last. There's a movie plot in there somewhere....

Speaking of evil things that drove me nuts, it's the BURGER KING KIDS CLUB. Ronald was annoying as well, but he didn't need competition. The Kids Club were a gang of diverse, wholesome, animated magic children. I don't remember them ever really doing anything or going on any adventures, just showing up as some kind of "miracle" in a live-action Burger King. The only one I could tolerate was Kid Vid, and they did eventually shift focus to him, but they used the same "gang" paper bag for far too long. The relaunching of the concept as the "Big Kids Meal" finally killed them off...or did it? YOUR WAY! RIGHT AWAY! AT BURGER KING NOW!!
Do you remember that Little Caesar's ad where the Little Caesar puppets played "Pizza Pizza" to the tune of "Wooly Bully"? That was a good one all right. It was so good that it was mentioned frequently at school for the time it ran, which was a sign of a working ad campaign. Another ad popular with kids was the original Dunkaroos ad, the one with the song "Dunkaroos, Dunkaroos, ya don't just eat, ya dunkaroo!" They didn't use that song again, and I don't know why. Everyone was singing it.....

Of all the robot baby ads I had to sit through, this one's the most infamous to me. If you don't remember it(and how can you not), you're probably staring at the screen in disbelief. "Is that baby doing what I think she's doing?" Yes, she's taking a leak on TV, through a see-thru john, and it is BRIGHT yellow! Only the syrupy song that plays in this ad calls it "Buckets of LOOOOVE!" And it really is a syrupy song, just like the rest of these, only it's singing about a doll whose only function is to pee. If you're of this era, you probably remember where you were the first time you saw this...

CBS used the same promos all year for each of its shows. "The Amazing Live Sea Monkeys," from 1992, has to be one of the weirdest entries. I wish I'd seen even a LITTLE of this was apparently ahead of its time. In this era of Quiznos Spongmonkeys and that dancing Six Flags guy, I'm convinced you could use these things, whatever they are, in an ad campaign and it would take off faster than you can say, "THEY GOT A PEPPER BAR!!"

And up until '92 they ran the old Froot Loops ads where Toucan Sam would still follow his nose and the Full Supply of Vitamin C would leap off the packaging and into the bowl. I examined this ad's copyright date. It was made in 1984! They were running ads eight years old? Sam deserves a better effort than that...
This Barbie got Mattel in trouble. It was the Barbie that said things like, "Math class is haaard!" That particular recording wasn't used for the ad, but feminist groups found out anyway, charged Barbie with trying to make women look stupid, and forced Mattel to change the direction the doll was going. In the next few years they released Barbies where she was a doctor, and involved in other respectable smart professions, including the Star Trek Barbie. But for now, Barbie was still a ditz with a 2-centimeter waist.
This is another Barbie that got Mattel in trouble, but it's not because she was stupid...okay, maybe she still was. She was wearing rollerblades that shot out sparks when you glided her on any surface. ON PURPOSE.
After several little girls blew up when they skated Barbie around hairspray and gasoline and gassy men, Mattel admitted that maybe the Rollerblade Barbie was a mistake.

Unlike Burger King, McDonalds aired separate Ronald-free ads to appeal to older children. This one goes way back...even before "McWorld!" They used to do ads which were simply a bunch of young teens sitting at a McDonalds and talking. This guy is one of those teens, and he's having a dream where he's 100 feet tall and he stomps downtown, picks up the McDonalds and demands food. He's woken up by his friend who says, "Hey Cosmo, how about a BIG MAC??" And there you have it, Kramer isn't the only person in the world named "Cosmo."

If you don't know what THIS is, you are the saddest person in the world.

I could review ads all day, but this page really has to end. So to cap it all off, it's time for the complete LYRICS TO THE ORIGINAL THEME SONG! Too many have forgotten it, but my and my cousin had it memorized. Without further ado, here it comes:

Friends are there,
To help you get started,
To give you a push on your way!

Friends are there,
To turn you around,
Get your feet on the ground for a BRAND NEW DAY!

To pick you up when you're down! BOOM! BOOM!
To help you swallow your pride,
When somethin' inside's
Gotta break on through to the OTHER SIIIIIIDE!

Friends are someone you can open up to,
When ya feel like you're ready to FLIP!
When you've got....the world on your shoulders,
Friends are there to GIVE YOU A TIP!

Friends are there when you need them,
They're even there when you don't,
For a walk in the park,
Or a shot in the dark,
Friends are there....
"I don't care"....
But friends will care....for yooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!