- Hi everyone! Welcome to Nick.com's Blab-a-torium!
- Tonight we are having a special guest ...
- Craig Bartlett, the genius behind "HEY ARNOLD!"
- Get your questions typed and submitted so we can lay them on him as soon as he gets here!
- Send us your questions for Craig Bartlett—the man behind the FOOTBALL HEAD!
- Craig Bartlett the creator of "Hey Arnold!" will be here in the chat room soon!
- Hi everyone! If you are just joining us, tonight Craig Bartlett will be here!
- Craig Bartlett is the creator of "Hey Arnold!" YAY!
- Type your question in the text box and hit SEND!
- Hey Everyone!! Are you ready to chat with Craig Bartlett?
- I am, Yapper!
- I can't wait! So get your questions ready for the Football Head himself, Craig Bartlett!
- I know. I am such a big fan!!
- I can't wait to hear what this guy has to say!!
- If you are just joining us, welcome to the Blab-a-torium!
- Just type your question in the text box and hit SEND!
- Be sure to type your questions in the text box just below the chat window
- Hey guys, I think we are about to get started
- Who can stump the expert of "Hey Arnold!"? Get ready cuz I think I hear him coming!
- Craig Bartlett is in the building
- He's just getting himself a cup of coffee and we will get going!!
- He's here!!!
- He's here!!
- Hi Craig!!!
- Hi everyone!
- HI CRAIG!!
- Everyone, with us tonight is Craig Bartlett, the creator of "Hey Arnold!"
- Our first question tonight comes from ranidbay
- What made you think of making Arnold's head football-shaped?
- When I first designed Arnold, he was made of clay...
- because I was animating the Penny Cartoons for"Pee-Wee's Playhouse"
- In those days I would pour out a big sheet of clay and cut shapes out like cookies..
- So the football shape was sort of like a cookie cutout and I thought it was funny!
- Craig, can you explain to us what you actually do to create "Hey Arnold!"?
- Excellent question!!
- My job on "Hey Arnold!" mostly concerns the early parts and the later parts of making every cartoon...
- the beginning and the end of every cartoon.
- I work on the story and I'm one of the writers...
- and I direct the voice actors and I cut the voice tracks to length...
- then I hand out the show to the artists. I meet with them and talk about the scenes they are going to draw.
- First we record the voices then we do the storyboards
- then the show is drawn and goes overseas to be animated...later it comes back to me again.
- Then when it comes back I cut the picture to exactly 11 minutes...
- I sit with Jim Lang and we spot the show for music .
- I sit with the sound effects guys and we spot the sound effects for the show...
- then we go to a place in Hollywood where the final half hour tape is made..
- I always go to that because there might be some final detail we want to change.
- I just LOVE the music!!!
- I would never miss that. My favorite parts of the whole process are making the final tape...
- and the beginning when we record the actors.
- What do Arnold and Gerald call their hand shake?
- OOOH! a Stumper!!
- It's simply called their secret handshake
- and you can tell it's a secret handshake by the weird sound it makes .
- They do it different ways. Sometimes they link their hands and wiggle their thumbs...
- Sometimes they just hold their hands next to each other and wiggle their thumbs.
- Do any of the characters relate to you?
- I'm Arnold, but there are some big differences.
- I have parents and I didn't grow up in a boarding house with my grandparents under a freeway...
- but Arnold is the conscience of the show, and I always think of what I would do if I were in the same situation Arnold is in.
- And then Helga is an amalgam of all the girls I loved or loved me when I was in grade school.
- Unrequited love is the main theme of the show!
- I bet all the girls loved you, Craig.
- The next question is one that was sent to nick.com before the chat. Why does Harold have his belly button sticking out?
- Harold is a slob...
- and he's just that kind of a kid who would have a too-short t-shirt, and his belly button sticking out.
- Even when he wears a suit at his Bar Mitzvah he still has his belly button sticking out.
- Aww—it's just baby fat...
- I think he'll grow out of it.
- corey_nick has a great question!
- How come Helga never tells Brainy to get away?
- Well, Helga just thinks socking him should be enough!
- She's a girl of action.
- She's my hero!!
- Helga for President!
- juliac is asking the question on all of our minds ...
- What happened to Aronld's parents?
- Didn't she watch "Parent's Day"?
- I did!
- "Parent's Day" introduces Arnold's parents to the audience...
- who they were and how they disappeared.
- The movie will continue the story
- And on a more personal note, from frisket ...
- Hey, Craig, what's your favorite animated show online?
- I don't know about online, but my favorite animated show on TV is "The Simpsons.."
- It's the biggest influence on cartoon shows today because it's so well-written.
- I love this question from 105!
- How does Arnold get his shirt on over his head?
- Well, he tends to put it on and then button it. He doesn't actually have to pull it over his head...
- I always wondered that myself!!
- He pulls his sweater over his head in "Crush on Teacher."
- We also see him undress in "Helga's Parrot" but we cut away before it's too late...
- I have a question, Craig... Nick Yapper: Why doesn't Brainy, who always finds Helga looking at the heart-shaped picture of Arnold, ever tell anybody?
- Brainy secretly loves Helga...
- cares about her so much that he won't tell her secret.
- It's his way of showing that he loves her.
- In the episode "Helgo on the Couch" he sort of proposes marriage to her...
- he offers her a little ring, a little gum machine ring.
- She just looks at it and chucks it over her shoulder.
- Craig, I think they're trying to stump you tonight! raccon186 asks a tough one
- Why is Gerald the Keeper of all the Legends?
- Oooh, another Stumper!!
- Gerald's just a very good public speaker...
- and over the years the kids just unofficially made him the Teller of Urban Tales..
- Sid is the Gatekeeper...
- so Sid always introduces the urban legend, and introduces Gerald...
- and then Gerald tells it.
- What advice does your grandpa give you in real life?
- Both my grandpas have died, but when I was a kid, my grandpa would give me advice like Arnold's grandpa...
- like "never eat raspberries."
- Arnold's grandparents are like fantasy grandparents, the kind you wished you had.
- They're capable of doing anything, really physically fit...
- really smart and funny.
- Oh a hypothetical question from artluver...
- How do you think the show would differ if Arnold actually lived with his parents?
- That's a good question, I've been thinking about that.
- I think Arnold would probably move away and travel around the world...
- because that's what you see his parents do in "Parent's Day."
- Well, that would be totally different!
- Why is Helga always mean to Arnold when she likes him? And the first time she tried to be nice, HE was mean to HER!!!!!!
- Well, Ihave to defend Arnold...
- because she had been mean to him hundreds of times...
- by the time she was nice to him.
- But more importantly, the reason that Helga always acts mean to Arnold is that she feels she would die of embarassment if the other kids knew her secret.
- I think it would be funny to do an episode where all the kids learn Helga's secret...
- and they just say "Duh!"
- Craig, we have a real stumper here that came in this week to nick.com ... it was asked ...I know Arnold's grandma's name is Pooky, but is that her real name?
- No, Pooky is her nickname...
- that's what grandpa calls her.
- Her real name is Gertrude..
- We see her name is Gerty when grandpa talks about meeting her as kids...
- in the episode "Girl Trouble."
- That's right, the man behing that terrific Nicktoon, "Hey Arnold!" is chatting with us here on nick.com!
- Why exactly are fourth-graders out in the city alone at night? Especially the episodes where Helga and Harold are left at the factory...or where four of them go to Chez Paris?
- The world that Arnold and the kids live in in "Hey Arnold!" is kind of an idealized and romantic world...
- where it's dangerous but it's safe...
- where the kids can go out at night and do all sorts of things...
- and be safe.
- It's our idea of an idealized urban world...
- where there's a real community and everybody cares about each other.
- I know there are episodes liked "Mugged" which are about strangers in the city...
- so we sometimes deal with that.
- But mostly it's about the kind of world where kids can go out day or night...
- and pretty much do anything they want.
- If you have a question for Craig Bartlett, type it into the text box below and hit send!!
- a background question now...
- Where did Stinky live before he moved to Arnold's neighborhood?
- Good question. Stinky is from Arkansas.
- And we chose Arkansas because President Clinton's from there...
- his entire backstory is beautifully told in the episode "Stinky's Pumpkin"
- where we see him tell his whole family's story through the pictures on the wall.
- My favorite picture is his house being towed by a truck...
- they towed his house to Arnold's city.
- midget24 asks a very popular question...
- Craig, will there ever be an episode where Arnold's last name is announced?
- Among the crew at "Hey Arnold!" the question of his last name has become kind of a joke...
- I didn't give him a last name
- because Ithought calling him "Hey Arnold!" was more powerful...
- but there have been so many requests we thought we would just casually mention his name in the movie...
- and then just move on.
- Does Phoebe really have a crush on Gerald?
- Yes, and it's mutual!
- They've sort of been boyfriend and girlfriend ever since the first season.
- Their love is not unrequited.
- I guess that means it's requited!
- That's sooo romantic!
- Why is Sid such a back-stabber?
- Sid's kind of a weasel..
- He's a sweet enough kid but he's sort of a coward and a wimp...
- and you can't count on him for much.
- He sort of cracks under pressure.
- But I really love Sid, he's one of my favorite characters.
- Hey guys, if you're just joining us, we're chatting with Craig Bartlett, the creator of "Hey Arnold!"
- Will Stoop Kid ever be in another episode?
- Good question!
- Stoop Kid makes a cameo in a couple of shows...
- "Cool Party" and we see him in the TV movie "Arnold Saves the Neighborhood"
- which will be our hundredth episode.
- So look for it in Spring 2001.
- If you want to ask the original "Football Head" a question, just type it into the text box below this window and hit send!!
- And another stumper for ya, Craig!
- Where did Arnold get Abner from?
- Abner is Arnold's Pig, right???
- Yes, Abner is Arnold's pig.
- I guess from the animal shelter. He saved Abner from being made into bacon!
- Abner shows up a lot more in the fifth season. he's sort of around the house nowadays.
- In the dinner scenes, he's under the table.
- How can someone like me get started in cartoon drawing, like as a career?
- Nowadays there are a lot of colleges that teach animation.
- Los Angeles has a lot of schools that are excellent...
- including Cal Arts, USC, and UCLA...
- and New York and the other major cities as well.
- My main advice is to draw all the time.
- Get those blank notebooks and fill them with drawings.
- I used to like to carry blank books on the bus. and draw the people who got on the bus.
- When did the show first start out?
- I made claymation "Arnold" shorts, short films ten years ago...
- but I first brought them to Nickelodeon in '93.
- I started work on the "Arnold" pilot in '94...
- and we got picked up to go to a series in '95.
- WOW—has it been that long?! Time Flies!!
- Craig here's a stumper again from the mail we received! What's the name of the episode when Helga and Harold get lost at the chocolate factory?
- It's called "Buses, Bikes and Subways" and it's episode 75b!
- Will you ever show Mr. Smith's face?
- I don't think so...
- I have a feeling Mr. Smith flew away in that helicopter...
- in the episode "Door 16" and was never heard from again.
- Or maybe he still lives in the boarding house.
- He's very mysterious.
- He still pays his rent. He's a very weird guy.
- Have you ever considered doing a live television show?
- Yeah, it would be fun.
- I had a dream once I was in Arnold's actual room...
- and it was perfect in every detail...
- He has the coolest room!!
- and I thought I must be in an Arnold movie!
- The only problem is I don't know how we'd cast someone to play Arnold...
- because of the football head!
- Craig, what is your favorite episode?
- That's tough.
- I guess I'd have to say "Parent's Day."
- My favorite one was "Pigeon Man". I loved that!
- But I'm also very fond of "Helga on the Couch.
- "Pigeon Man" is great!
- I even love the very first one we ever made, "Downtown as Fruit."
- I like the one with the Parrot!
- The one that recites Helga's poem!!
- That's "Helga's Parrot."
- Craig Bartlett, the creator of "Hey Arnold!" will only be with us for another 10 minutes, so send us your questions!!!
- Who was Arnold's first friend?
- Gerald. All of the kids in "Hey Arnold!" met in pre-school.
- It was instant friendship.
- They even did their secret handshake in pre-school.
- They're all friends for life.
- Who is the oldest out of the kids?
- Out of the immediate group, Harold is the oldest...
- He's been held back a lot.
- He's 13, as we learn in "Harold's Bar Mitzvah."
- It's not that he's stupid, he just doesn't apply himself.
- I had the same problem, but I got over it!!
- Are all of the kids who do Arnold's...Helga's...etc. voices nice?
- Yeah, they're great!
- I love going to record them...
- because they're so much fun to hang out with.
- Some of them I've known for 6 years.
- Franny and Jamil have been with the show since the pilot.
- How old is Arnold's grandma?
- Arnold's grandma is about a year older than Arnold's grandpa...
- and he's 81 so she must be 82.
- Only a few weeks older. In "Parent's Day" Arnold says she's the oldest.
- Another one from mail at nick.com this week... What does it feel like having the cartoon you made up on television?
- It's great!
- It's a dream job.
- It's the most fun I've ever had.
- How did Gerald get the hairstyle he has today?
- Five more minutes, Folks!! Craig will be answering just a few more questions!!
- He started combing it up right away.
- He had the same hairstyle in pre-school...
- so I figured as soon as he had hair, he started combing it up.
- He doesn't need any hair care products—it's natural!
- Why doesn't Arnold ever take his hat off?
- It's come off a couple of times but it's been really bad when it comes off.
- Helga steals it from him in "Arnold's Hat"
- and it falls off in "Stuck in a Tree."
- It's really bad when the hat comes off...
- because he almost has a bald spot.
- The reason the hat is so important to Arnold is that his parents gave it to him when he was a baby.
- Craig we've enjoyed having you here with us tonight! Can you tell us all about some of your upcoming projects?
- Two things I'm working on right now...
- a spinoff called "The Patakis" about Helga and her family,
- Ooh!! Inside scoop!!
- and Helga's 15 years old.
- It would be an original show for Nick at Nite!
- The other project is the Arnold movie...
- We've been writing the script and are waiting for Paramount to give it the go-ahead.
- I'm currently finished episodes 90 to 100 of "Hey Arnold!"
- 100, that's huge!!
- The last 3 episodes are a TV movie...
- called "Arnold Saves the Neighborhood."
- And the amazing thing is Helga tells Arnold her secret!
- Craig, before you leave, can you show me the secret handshake?
- Here's the secret handshake! It looks like this
- Wow, this is great info! Thanks, Craig.
- Thanks again for joining us tonight! It was great talking with Craig Bartlet, the creator of "Hey Arnold!"
- Bye everybody!
- Yeah, Craig! You were a great chatter!!
- Don't forget to come back next week when we have our favorite undersea characters .. SPONGEBOB AND PATRICK!
- Next Thursday, July 13th at 7pm ET !! Join us then!
- Thanks for joining us!!
- Stay tuned! Keep watching. Thanks for the cards and letters!
- BYE CRAIG!!!
- And Craig Bartlett has left the building!!
- (practicing the handshake)
- Thanks for joining us, everyone!
- Please come back next week and chat with SpongeBob and Patrick!!!
- You've been a wonderful audience!
- Yapper that was great!! Craig Bartlett was FUN!
- Thanks everyone for coming tonight!
- Transcripts will be available for all nick.com chats in the Blab area...
- These are coming SOON!!
- Folks...this room is closed now. It's time to exit please. Come visit us next Thursday evening at 7pm ET for a chat with SpongeBob and Patrick from "SpongeBob SquarePants!" See ya then