December 2, 2012 by J.C. Lillis
As someone who’s written entire books about fandom, I knew it wouldn’t be long before I passed my sickness down to the next generation. I was steeling myself for a late-to-the party Bieber obsession, or a sudden request to wallpaper her ceiling with One Direction memorabilia. (I was all set to school her in the difference between Directioners and Directionators.)
Not necessary, as it turns out. My five-year-old fell hard for:
The fever was mild at first. She enjoyed his cardigans, liked his habit of “walking calmly with tea,” related to his chronic reluctance to do any actual housework for the Owens family.
And then this happened.
With that devastating one-two punch, Belvedere ascended to comedy-titan status in our house, neatly eclipsing Manny Spamboni from the new Electric Company. The Belvedere Train chugged off to Stage 2 Obsessionland.
I have been a shameless enabler.
We trawled YouTube together for videos, my daughter dictating the search terms (mr belvedere funny). After staring gapemouthed at this lost gem, we spent a decent chunk of the evening speculating about the “birthday surprise” owners of the Belvedere Fun Kit would get:
She then made this fanart and requested I “put it on the blog”:
In the absence of actual Belvedere action figures, she cast this panda in the lead role. (She clarified that this was “because he has a round head,” not because of his flagrant pantslessness.)
Here he is, lazily enjoying a breakfast spread with Elephant Wesley, creating piles of dishes he will no doubt decline to clean up.
And in this tableau, he’s enjoying a picnic by himself with his “old-fashioned car” in the background, the rest of the Owens family having driven him to madness:
I look forward to tracking the fandom’s next developments. By noon today we’d already had a philosophical discussion about why Belvedere, according to the theme song, “drop-kicked his jacket as he came through the door” (and, more importantly, why “no one glared” at this extravagant rudeness). I have also been instructed to DVR all of this week’s syndicated episodes.
I am vaguely aware that this may be setting her up for a lifelong interest in older dudes with British accents, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I won’t be concerned until she starts writing primitive Belvedere/Bob Uecker slash. Or adds “stick-on mustache” to her Christmas list.
P.S. ALARMING FACT: When you type “mr bel” into YouTube, the fifth result that comes up is “mr belvedere sits on his nuts and faints.” I clicked on it later but all that came up was a tribute video and audiobooks of Huckleberry Finn and Uncle Tom’s Cabin. (??) A fresh batch of snickerdoodles to the first person who untangles the Belvedere-balls mystery.
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