featuring Clyde Crashcup and Leonardo


Originally seen on CBS-TV in prime time from October 14, 1961 through September 12, 1962, The Alvin Show was based on the popular Chipmunk records.  The records were sung by Ross Bagdasarian, who supplied the voices of David Seville and all three of the electronically altered Chipmunks.  Bagdasarian first employed the technique of recording singing voices at a slow speed, then playing them back twice as fast, for his 1958 hit record "Witch Doctor".  Bagdasarian's children, Carol, Ross Jr., and Adam reportedly thought the sped up voices sounded like chipmunks.  Bagdasarian, who originally planned to make the characters rabbits or butterflies, listened to his children and introduced Alvin, Theodore and Simon later in 1958 on "The Chipmunk Song".  The recording was a smash hit, selling more than four million copies just seven weeks after it's release.

Bagdasarian recorded exclusively for Liberty Records and named the three Chipmunks after Liberty executives Al (Alvin) Bennett, Si (Simon) Warnoker and recording engineer Ted (Theodore) Keep.  The Chipmunks were such a success that imitators, such as The Grasshoppers and The Nutty Squirrels, sprang up.


Ross Bagdasarian (1920 - 1972) was a multi-talented performer from the Armenian-American community in Fresno, California. His family owned vineyards that were associated with Sierra Wines.  He had been a stage actor in the original 1939 production of Time Of Your Life, penned by playright William Saroyan, who was Bagdasarian's first cousin. He then moved on to singing and composing (he wrote the 1953 Rosemary Clooney hit "Come On-a My House"), and even appeared as a struggling songwriter in Alfred Hitchcock's 1954 classic Rear Window.  Shortly after the Chipmunks initial success, Bagdasarian was approached by CBS-TV's The Ed Sullivan Show and asked to appear with the Chipmunks. He contacted animator and puppeteer Bob Clampett, who created hand-puppet Chipmunks and assisted Bagdasarian during the appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.

With the success of the Chipmunks, plans were made to produce the animated cartoon series.  Herbert Klynn's Format Films was chosen as the animation studio and preliminary plans were made for the series. Format hit a snag during the development stage and ran into numerous delays and unsuccessful attempts to create visual counterparts of the Chipmunks.  Format eventually came up with suitable renditions of the characters and farmed out some of the animation work to Jack Kinney Productions. This delay enabled The Nutty Squirrels, a Chipmunk imitator, to arrive on TV in animated form a full year before Bagdasarian's The Alvin Show.  The 26 episodes eventually appeared October 14, 1961, as part of CBS-TV's Wednesday night line-up.

The series dealt with the animated adventures of Dave Seville, a song-writing bachelor, and his three musically inclined chipmunk charges.  Alvin was the egotistical, baseball cap wearing  leader of the sweatshirted trio; Theodore was the chubby, giggling member; and Simon was the brainy member.  They were constantly getting into mischief, initiated by Alvin, and forever frustrating poor Dave.  Dave usually showed his displeasure with the antics of Alvin by emitting a loud "Al-l-l Vin-n-n!" yell. Each episode also included a Chipmunk song, a sing-a-long segment, and the misadventures of the great inventer, Clyde Crashcup.

The series failed to find a sizeable audience in prime-time, and was cancelled after the first season.  CBS reran the series on Saturday mornings from September 23, 1962 through September 18, 1965.  It then went into syndication, first through CBS Films and eventually through Viacom.  NBC-TV revived the original series on March 10, 1979, rerunning it on Saturday mornings until September 1, 1979.


Produced by Format Films for Bagdasarian Film Corporation.
Executive Producer - Herbert Klynn.
Associate Producer - Leo Salkin.
Production Executive - Bud Getzler.
Directors: Osmond Evans, Rudy Larriva, Gil Turner and Alan Zaslove.
Story by Leo Salkin, Cal Howard, Bob Kurtz, Ed Nofzinger, Dale Hale, Jan Strejohn,
Al Bertino, Jack Cosgriff, Bill Danch, Chris Jenkyns, Dick Kinney and Ted Pierce.
Art Director - Jules Engel.
Production Design - Sam Weiss, Vern Jorgensen, Ernie Nordli, Dale Barnhart and Cullen Houghtaling.
Musical Direction - Johnny Mann.
Original Music - Ross Bagdasarian.
Ross Bagdasarian (Alvin/Simon/Theodore/Dave Seville/Sam Valiant)
Shepard Menkin (Clyde Crashcup)
June Foray (Daisy Belle and other voices)
Lee Patrick (Mrs. Frumpington)
Joe Besser (Dragon)
Other Voices - Paul Frees, Bill Lee, Johnny Mann, William Sanford


Good Neighbor Ostrich
Squares Sam Valiant, Private Nose
Overworked Alvin Alvin's Curse
Alvin's Alter Ego Stanley the Eagle
Fancy Sam Valiant: Real Estate
Dude Ranch Camping Trip
Bentley Van Rolls The Whistler
Love Sick Dave Jungle Rhythm
Theodore's Dog Hillbilly Son
Little League Eagle in Love
Alvin's Studio Haunted House
Sir Alvin Good Manners
Eagle Music Disc Jockey

(two per show)

Buffalo Gals America The Beautiful
Mexico: The Brave Chipmunks Yankee Doodle
Italy - Oh Gondaliero I Wish I Could Speak French
August Dear Working On The Railroad
When Johnny Comes Marching Home Swanee River
Old MacDonald Cha-Cha-Cha Switzerland: The Magic Mountain
Japanese Banana The Pidgin English Hula
Stuck In Arabia I Wish I had A Horse
Chipmunk Fun Good Morning Song
Alvin For President Home On The Range
Witch Doctor Lilly Of Laguna
Spain Row Your Boat
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot Comin' Thru' The Rye
Coming Around The Mountain Pop Goes The Weasel
If You Love Me Maria From Madrid
Alvin's Orchestra The Little Dog
The Chipmunk Song Alvin's Harmonica
Three Blind-Folded Mice Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
Clementine Sing A Goofy Song
Daisy On Top Of Old Smokey
Whistle While You Work Ragtime Cowboy Joe
My Wild Irish Rose The Band Played On
Jeanie With The Light Brown Hair Funicula-Funicula
Git Along Little Doggies The Man On The Flying Trapeze
Polly Wolly Doodle Down In The Valley
The Alvin Twist Strolling In The Park

 The Alvin Show was sponsored by the products of General Foods,
and the Chipmunks appeared in several commercials for Jello and Post cereals.


In RealVideo, encoded for 56 Kbps.

The Alvin Show
"Jello Commercial 1"

The Alvin Show
"Jello Commercial 2"

The Alvin Show
"Post Cereal Commercial"

See a complete seven-minute cartoon from The Alvin Show

In RealVideo, encoded for 56 Kbps.

The Alvin Show "Mrs. Frumpington"

Ross Bagdasarian/Format Films (CBS-TV) 1961


Clyde Crashcup & Leonardo

Voiced by Shepard Menken (doing an almost perfect imitation of comic actor Richard Haydn's "Edwin Carp" character), inventor Clyde Crashcup and his whispering, balding assistant, Leonardo, appeared on Format Films' 1961-1962 Alvin Show on CBS-TV prime-time. The cartoons followed the adventures of Crashcup, who took credit for the invention of any and all objects mentioned in the episode. He always paid a price for assuming this responsibility, being saved in the end by the level-headed Leonardo.


Clyde Crashcup Invents Jokes Clyde Crashcup Invents Self Preservation
Clyde Crashcup Invents Glass Clyde Crashcup Invents The Chair
Clyde Crashcup Invents The West Clyde Crashcup Invents Baseball
Clyde Crashcup Invents The Bathtub Clyde Crashcup Invents The Wife
Clyde Crashcup Invents Flight Clyde Crashcup Invents The Baby
Clyde Crashcup Invents The Stove Clyde Crashcup Invents Music
Clyde Crashcup Invents First Aid Clyde Crashcup Invents Electricity
Clyde Crashcup Invents Egypt Clyde Crashcup Invents The Bed
Clyde Crashcup Invents The Telephone Clyde Crashcup Invents Do-It-Yourself
Clyde Crashcup Invents The Time Machine  Clyde Crashcup Invents The Shoe
Clyde Crashcup Invents Physical Fitness Clyde Crashcup Invents The Ship
This Is Your Life, Clyde Crashcup Clyde Crashcup Invents The Birthday Party
Clyde Crashcup Invents Self Defense Clyde Crashcup Invents Crashcupland


See a segment from Clyde Crashcup Invents The Wife

In RealVideo, encoded for 56 Kbps.

Clyde Crashcup

Ross Bagdasarian/Format Films (CBS-TV) 1961

See color pictures from The Alvin Show!

Go to The Alvin Show Picture Page

Go to The Clyde Crashcup Picture Page

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Updated January 10, 2007


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