Friday, January 2, 2009

My New Celebrity Crush

I'm excited about this topic. It should be a happy one that does not include too much controversy.

Anyway, I will give you a hint about who I have a crush on.

Watch the video:

Maisy was Jack's favorite show when he was younger. Little did I realize that the people who made all the animal voices were Australian. And I also didn't know that I'd one day have a crush on one of them. My new celebrity crush is....

Shane Dundas from The Upside Down Show.

Jack and I watch that show together almost every night. Although sadly, I think we've seen all the episodes now. I'm hoping to find out that they're making new ones.

Anyway.... Lord Wiki doesn't have much information about them. Shane Dundas doesn't even get his own entry. He shares one with the other guy that makes up their duo: David Collins.

The two guys met in 1988 during a dance class. David accidentally broke Shane's nose. Ouch! I guess that somehow bonded them together. They became known as the Umbilical Brothers.

Their comedy routine includes mime, slapstick, voice stuff, etc. They've performed on various venues including the Sydney Opera House, The Late Show with David Letterman, Melbourne International Comedy Festival, and Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

In October 2006, Collins and Dundas were showcased in a new children's program called The Upside Down Show. It was broadcast in the US on Noggin, and in Australia on Nickjr.

Lord Wiki says the US did not renew the show for a second season. That's totally NOT fair. Maybe Lord Wiki is wrong. Maybe Noggin changed their mind. It's still on TV. Well, because we watch it. But maybe they're just reruns.

That's it for Lord Wiki. He does have some links to other sites. I'm going to check those out.

This one is the official site of the Umbilical Brothers. It has a picture. The guy I'm having fantasies about is the bald one on the right. Oh shucks. When we're in Australia, they're going to be in Berlin. I was hoping to maybe run into them. Oh well.

Although, it seems they're only going to be in Berlin until mid-February. We might knock into each other in late February or March. Do I sound like a stalker? I'm a crazy lady who targets characters from children's shows.

I'm joking. I've never stalked anyone least not in real life. I do stalk celebrities on the Internet--everyday, obviously.

The website says that Dundas was born 12,000 years ago. I don't think the birthday website calculator can calculate information from that far back. Besides, they don't give his exact birthday or anything. Also, they say he's from another planet. Does astrology work the same if you're not from Earth?

Dundas has 27 sisters and an imaginary friend named Bruce. This page gives their history. They went to a theater training festival in the US. They decided their act needed a name. First they chose Schwartz & Eggar. Then they changed their mind and went for Umbilical Brothers. I wonder how they chose both those names. They were on Star Search. They won! I have to say.... Dundas is much more sexier with no hair. Well, at least I think so.

In 1995, they created a show called Heaven by Storm. At the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, that show won a Critic's Choice Award. Okay. It turns out that they did Kid's stuff before Maisy and The Upside Down Show. They made some short films for kids in the UK. It was called Umbilical TV. It was in 1998 that they started doing the Maisy stuff.

In 1999, it seems they became fairly popular in America. They were on various popular late night shows. And Entertainment Weekly listed them as part of their 100 Most Creative People in Entertainment. They recorded a dance single called Don't Dance to This.

In 2004, they had some trouble with a New York producer. Sounds juicy. Okay. I'm beginning to sound boring here. It's best to just look at the timeline they actually wrote. It's fun to read. Here's something interesting. Their show Speedmouse premiered in 2001. The plot involved having a remote control that you could use on your life rather than just the television. You could fast forward the boring parts. Does that sound like a certain movie that came out way after 2001? Coincidence? Maybe. For those of you who haven't seen the Upside Down Show, this also heavily involves the idea of a magic remote control. It's very cute. I guess they got the idea from their Speedmouse show.

OR...maybe they totally forgot about Speedmouse and stole the idea back from Adam Sandler.

The ABC website has a transcript of an interview with them. Dundas says he thinks about things too much. We have something in common! Collins says that Dundas is good at sound effects if he's not thinking about it. Once he plans it and works on it, it's not good. This is with me and imitating an Australian accent. I think I'm good at it (or I'm delusional) if it just comes out naturally. It happens if I watch a show that has Australians on it. I'll usually lose my American accent for the next hour or so. But if I sit there and TRY to do it, it doesn't work.

Oh! The interview has Dundas doing the Maisy voice. I want to hear it! Maybe I can find the interview on YouTube or the ABC website. I hope! Well, I don't see it. Too bad.

Here's another interview transcript. This one is with a show called Radio Ha Ha. I like this quote from Dundas: Anything that’s super traditional and super-respected, we kind of feel an urge to twist, and demonstrate that there shouldn’t be that much respect: don’t take it as seriously as a lot of people do. There are some groups in Europe that we’ve come across that are really serious about their comedy, and, I don’t know — it just seems to close doors, to me. So we made fun of the mime classes, and it started as a joke, really.

That reminds me of what my friend and I did in high school. We were in some poetry group. I think it was one of these elective classes. I've never been good at writing or understanding poetry. But I wrote this awful silly melodramatic poem. I guess it was actually a bit distasteful because it was regarding a tragic true story. In my defense, it was a story I was VERY passionate about. I don't think I meant to write a bad poem. It just happened. And once I had this horrible corny poem in front of me, it was least to my friend and myself. No one else seemed to see the humor.

In the interview, Dundas says they would watch Jackie Chan movies and get inspiration from that. Cool. Oh! When Dundas broke his nose, he and Collins were doing a dance routine together. That's not how I pictured it. I thought the whole class had been dancing and they knocked into each other. I guess their dance was a kind of dance/fighting thing. And it didn't turn out so well. Although I guess it did turn out kind of well because they're now very successful. The school tried to keep them apart. That's pretty ridiculous. It's not like they hurt each other on purpose. And it's not like they kept accidentally hurting each other. I mean if accidents kept happening, I'd assume they were jinxed. But one incident?

I have to say it's not that easy finding information about these guys. I wish I had this topic yesterday when my eyes were bothering me. Here's something very sad. IMDb says there are only 13 episodes of The Upside Down Show. Ah, but there's good news! I think I haven't seen four of the episodes yet.... Marching Band, Birthday Party, Ice-Cream Truck, and Art Museum.

Awesome. I still have something to look forward to. I'm sorting through a lot of crap on Google. There are so many celebrity websites. I click on them and it's pretty much blank. I hate that.

Okay, but I found something here....a newspaper article. It says that when the two guys were asked if they'd do a show for children they said no. I wonder why. And why did they change their minds?

Oh! They've performed for the queen. I'm guessing that's the British one. Right? They've won the Australian Entertainment Industry's MO award seven times for best comedy group. Wow! Impressive.

Here's the explanation for the no kid's thing. They were okay with doing Maisy because that was anonymous. But they wanted to be known as adult comedians. Also, they didn't want parents naively taking their kids to one of their live performances, and then be offended by the language. I'm embarrassed to say. This happened to me. Jack was with me and I was playing around on YouTube. We started watching the Umbilical Brothers stuff and I had to quickly turn it off.

I'm also a bit embarrassed to admit that I enjoy their kids stuff better. I must be really immature.

In San Francisco, Dundas and Collins were approached by the Sesame Street people. It seems Dundas watched Sesame Street as a child. That gave him the encouragement to say yes. This is interesting. They say that Collins concentrates on the kids aspect and Dundas has the job of making the adults happy. It works for me. There is some adult humor in it. I don't mean anything sexual. But there is stuff that I actually find to be funny. It's not a case of forcing yourself to laugh because you want to show your child to you're having fun with their TV show.

A lot of children's television shows and movies have humor to please adults though. The Upside Down Show isn't unique in this aspect. The article says though that at times they've had to stop the cameras because things have gotten a little bit TOO adult. I'd love to see that. Here's another SMH article. It explains why they call themselves the Umbilical Brothers. The duo says they have a strong connection. Collins says, Because we could be on the other side of the room to each other and be having a conversation but there were no words being exchanged. It was more than a physical conversation.

I like what Dundas says even better. It sounds kind of mystical/spiritual....totally my type of person. It's an intuitive thing, a psychic thing. You know those people who are just on your wavelength immediately. You just meet them and go: 'Ah, OK, I don't really have to explain things to you.

The article says they're going to make an Upside Down movie. Really? I'll be so excited! I hope that's still true. Please let it be true! Oh good! It might be. This interview was from November! They couldn't have changed their minds that fast. Right? The Sesame Street people have information on their website. The executive creative director of Nickelodeon said, Exercising kids’ imaginative brainpower and engaging in pretend play turns kids into more skilled creative problem solvers. Playing with the Umbilical Brothers is actually educational. And they’re so funny! Adults are going to love this as much as their kids.

I agree with all of that. I love children's television. I'll be sad when Jack thinks he's too old for it. Maybe that will never happen. I can wish, can't I? No, but seriously. Sometimes, I like the kids shows better than the adult ones. I think they help provide me with emotional growth. And they don't have sad depressing endings when you need a nice pick up. I was feeling really down Tuesday night and thought...Ah! I'll watch Eli Stone! That's usually inspiring. That usually makes me feel optimistic and hopeful. Well, guess what. The last episode had a really creepy and disturbing ending. It was a cliffhanger. So, I ended up feeling even worse. And I can't get the last scene out of my head. Would that happen to me while watching The Upside Down Show? No! It always has a happy ending. It's guaranteed to make me feel at least a little bit better.

Here's an article from the New York Post. I like what Dundas says here. In a sense, what we did was make an adult show for kids. I like that. It makes me sound less immature.

Oh. I really LOVE this guy. He says, Kids watch these things over and over and over again. I wanted to add something that would at least keep it interesting for their parents. Thank you, Shane. You're awesome.

And here's another lovely quote from that Nickelodeons Executive. Kids have so much of their days scheduled out for them and they don't have that much time to be personally inventive anymore.

I have to be careful with that line because it could cause me to go on one of my very long rants. I'll try not too. I'll just say I strongly agree with him. Besides, I think I already did a whole rant on the subject on my homeschooling blog. Or maybe I wrote it in an email to someone. It's actually a subject I rant about a lot. I'll just say it here quickly and simply. Kids need time to play and daydream. They need time to be FREE.

I'm watching an interview now on YouTube. It's some radio thing. The interview seems to have been done this year. I'm not sure WHERE this radio station is, but the duo says the city is LIKE Adelaide. So, where's a place that's like Adelaide? I decided to stop playing guessing games and just do the Google thing. It's a New Zealand radio station. Ah! They mentioned a city and I recognized the name. I played a lot of that geography trivia game on Facebook. Invercargill.

Dundas says the Letterman theater is very cold. I wonder if that's true all the time. Maybe the heating was broken that day. They didn't get gift bags on the show. Bummer. They got to shake the queen's hand. No, this wasn't on Letterman. This was a whole other occasion. Oh well. The interview ended. I just watched some clips from their adult comedy shows. I really do like the kid stuff better. I don't know what that says about me.


  1. Do you know I was wondering why we know longer see them on television much over here. Now I know why..I had no idea they were this successful overseas...CJ may have known but also we saw the adult stuff ..on Rove etc. Are you going to Melbourne? I ask cause I wonder if you can get seats to Rove live...would be interesting. They have a good mix of comedy on rove and it is sort of adult yet childish humour which works for me anyway!

    Am going to check all these links out when I wake up ...interesting topic...thanks and never ever heard of the upside down show before!!! You are really educating me here!!!

  2. Yes, Letterman keeps his studio COLD ALL the time. Long story, but it's how he likes it. :)

  3. Deb,

    I think you're Dave Letterman in disguise. I respect your decision to keep your studio cold. Do you pass out blankets or anything? I hope so!

  4. Magikquilter,

    We're not going to Melbourne this time around. Maybe next time. Tim might have to go to Australia in September. As you can guess, I'm in great sorrow over that ; )

    Anyway, I'm kind of hoping it's in Melbourne since we'll have just been in Sydney. I doubt we'd be able to see the Rove though because it would be hard to get a babysitter.

    I hope you finally got some sleep!! Although that's the good thing about Australian-American friendships. We can be there for each other when someone has insomnia.

    I wonder if the Upside Down show is more popular in the US....kind of like how certain Australian soap operas are more popular in the UK than they are in Australia.

  5. The radio interview that you saw on YouTube was actually in New Zealand - which, depending on who you ask, is like Adelaide. ;)

    There are a bunch of Umbie fans over at their official forum. You ought to pop in and say hello!

  6. Like Kirri said - New Zealand is the unofficial 7th state of Oz :P
    LOVE those boys, they're great! Their dance single was one of our lead-ins to our radio show lol (coz you couldn't dance to anything we played).
    They were regs on a couple of adult comedy shows here; The Sideshow and Good News Week.

  7. Kirri:

    Thank you. Maybe I will drop by!

    Jayne: You had a radio show????

  8. Dina, you most definitely belong on the Umbies forum! You'll love it there!

    Thanks for doing your part to publicize the Umbies. They're good people.

  9. Brenna,

    Hi! I went over to the forum today. It looks fun. I'll definitely come back for more visits.

    Thanks : )

  10. Hey Cuz,
    I've only seen The Upsidedown Show in Australia, I didn't even think it was on in the U.S.

    My friend in Australia just saw them-- maybe it was at the Opera House?

    We go back to Sydney Friday.
    Happy New Year.
    Cheers, Laura

  11. Laura,

    It's on at 10 PM it wouldn't be hard to miss them.

    I hope you had a good Chanukah and New Years!!

    Have a safe flight back home!!!

  12. Now I understand why all the puppets have American accents in The Upside Down Show, lol.

    I love these guys, and while I like TUDS, I like the Umbilical Brothers better.

    One of the best comedy duos we have produced in a while, and really innovative stuff.

    Great change of pace for you! :)

  13. Ariane,

    It took me a while to notice the puppets had American accents. I do notice right away when some of the kids have American accents.

    I don't know. Maybe I expect puppets to be American or something so I notice it less quickly.

  14. It looks like puppet dosen't have a string!

  15. Jack,

    Maybe the puppet doesn't need string!