Photo by Abc
In April 26 1991, was released one of the most iconic tv shows of the 90’s, ‘Dinosaurs’. The series is about incredibly overweight, even for a dinosaur, Earl Sinclair, who is married to Fran and tries/fails to support 14-year-old valley girl Charlene, 16-year-old Robbie, widowed, cranky Grandma Ethel, and terrible-twos Baby, the true master of the house. Sharp social commentary is featured surprisingly often; Earl is a tree-pusher for the Wesayso Development Corp., which regularly implements schemes to screw their workers even more and destroy the world for marginal profit increment.
Stars: Stuart Pankin, Jessica Walter, Jason Willinger
Creators: Michael Jacobs, Bob Young
To celebrate the 25th birthday, here are some of the curiosities about this show.
- Jim Henson originally got the idea of a live action show featuring animatronic Dinosaurs after being impressed by the technology his Creature Shop was developing for the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film. When the show went into production the same technology was then used to create the Dinosaurs, as Jim Henson envisioned. Many of the Ninja Turtle suit actors even worked as various Dinosaur suit actors for the series.
- Most of the characters’ names are of petroleum corporations (Sinclair, Hess, BP, Phillips).
- A feature film spin-off was planned during the fourth season. But the show’s falling ratings resulted in the cancellation of the show and the planned film.
- Earl is often seen sighing as he walks across a room. This was done to allow the person inside the costume the chance to see where he was going, as the mouth was the only area the could be seen out of when it was opened.
- Earl is 43. Fran is 38. Robbie is 14. Charlene went from 12 (mentioned from season 1 and 2) to 15 (mentioned in season 4). Baby went from 1 to age 2, but because of his terrible attitude, the family convinced him he had turned 3. Mr. Richfield is 42.
- In many episodes, a rock band can be seen on the TV called “Lizzard Skizzard.” While the name is an obvious reference to classic Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, the actual band has far more in common with the many “hair bands” of the late 80’s/early 90’s.
- Another reason for the dinosaur family name to be Sinclair is that when the Sinclair oil company was still in existence, its gas stations had as their logo the image of a green four-legged dinosaur (the brontosaurus or apatosaurus.)
- As of 2016, “Dinosaurs” remains only one out of three former TGIF sitcoms to have had its entire series released on DVD. “Full House” and “Boy Meets World” are the only other TGIF sitcoms to have seen a full DVD release.
- James Belushi wanting to pursue a film career, turned down the role of Earl Sinclair.
- The full-size dinosaur costumes came in two parts, a full body suit and a separate animatronic head. The head contained radio-controlled motors that moved the jaw, lips, eyes, and eyebrows. For closeup speaking and lip-sync, the heads were separated and operated by a team of puppeteers.