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Toonhound presents...






British TV series

Aaagh! - It's The Mr Hell Show!

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Aaagh! - It's
  The Mr Hell Show!!!
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producers: Peafur Productions
                         & Sextant Entertainment for the BBC
       animation: 2D computer 'Hellmation'
         episodes: 13 x 25mins

      'IT WAS YOU-U-U-U-U-U-U-U-U-U-U-U-U-U!'
                                                                  - Serge The Seal's War-Cry


     Light your pipe and pull on your bunnikin slippers. Are you sitting comfortably?
     You'd better be, because "The Mr Hell Show" is one hell of a rollercoaster ride
     through a maelstrom of skits, sketches and screwball comedy loosely knitted
     together buy your host, the red pointy immoral being known as Mr Hell...

      Champion - The Wonder Snail!    Tommy Tomorrow! 

     Semi-regular co-stars include Serge the Seal of Death a gun-toting pup bent
     on revenge for the many crimes of fashion, Josh The Reincarnation Kid who's
     just dying to meet you, Tommy Tomorrow a not-so-super hero of the future,
     Champion the Wonder Snail who's hitting the trail as you read this (and long
     after we've finished, probably) and The Prophet spitting fire and brimstone from
     his thundercloud mountain top, who declares that there shall be a horny
     animated star who will be crowned the King of Cartoon Cultdom...

     And you know what? - He's right."The Mr Hell Show" is loud, fast and rude.
     It's an adult series with swearing and naughty-bits on display. It moves at a
     furious pace and packs an awful lot of comedy into each half hour. Didn't
     enjoy that last skit? - Not to worry, we've already moved on two more
     sketches! Mr Hell himself is voiced by that salubrious old-devil of stand-up
     Bob Monkhouse who also ad-libbed lots of additional material, some of
     which was incorporated over the end credits of each episode. He's also
     perfectly cast, voicing Mr Hell with a vicious twinkle in his eye. When it
     works, the show works very well indeed. The Hound particularly likes the
     Animation Special episode, in which the drug-induced adventures of
     Cokey the Cat are used to lampoon cartoon history, and the sketch
     with Thomas the Tank, a naive kids cartoon creation caught up in a
     crunching political machine.

    Josh...Josh - again!...Not Josh - Champion!

     "The Mr Hell Show" feels very American, but was actually produced by the
     British partnership of David Freedman and Alan Gilbey of Peafur Productions.
     The concept was spawned from a series of spiteful greetings cards by off-the-wall
     comedian-cartoonist Hugh MacLeod. Peafur seized the bull by his pointy red horns
     and ran with him to Universal, but they threatened to dilute the concept down into a
     sweet, safe sitcom format, so the the idea was shelved whilst the Peafur team
     went on to other equally-sweet projects back in England. Indeed, in-between that
     first development stage and the actual finished series Peafur won plaudits
     and awards for their writing work on tv's Foxbusters, Rex the Runt and the
     BAFTA-winning film The First Snow Of Winter. The production finally came
     together as a co-production between Peafur, the BBC and Canada's Sextant

     Members of Peafur's production team included Supervising Art Director
     Jeff "Swampy" Marsh of Simpsons-fame, and Character Designer Barry Baker
     who has worked Disney, Nickelodeon and The Cartoon Network. The team
     fed character sketches into computers to create 'paper puppets' to dress and
     animate as required - a technique they like to refer to as HELLMATION.

     Lewd, loud and in-your-face, Mr Hell's scatter-gun approach wasn't to everyone's
     taste and as a consequence the show proved awkward for some broadcasters to
     place in their schedules. Indeed, the series was shamefully fumbled by the
     BBC who managed to juggle around its late-night Sunday schedule so much
     even die-hard fans struggled to keep up with the changes. The same error
     occurred in Australia, but over there, the clamour for some decent
     scheduling got so loud that the broadcasters were forced to re-run
     that first season in its entirety, in a fixed regular slot!

     Alas, the Peafur partners have now gone their separate ways, Bob Monkhouse
     has passed on, and Sextant Entertainment derailed themselves even earlier.
     But Mr Hell survives, and somehow the red tape has been untangled,
     the creases in the contracts ironed out, and a DVD has finally reached
     our stores. That's right, now we finally catch the all thirteen show, at our
     own leisure, in the comfort of our living rooms, when ever we want.
     And it's still a hoot...


     In the news

     Devil Talk Q&A                          The Hound: Nov 2001
     A chat with Alan Gilbey...               Scheduling hell...

     The Hound: Dec 2006              The Hound: Oct 2001
     Mr Hell coming to DVD...                The BBC launch...

     The Hound: April 2002            The Hound: Jan 2001
     News of an online petition...            Mr Hell Show special...



     2002 Leo Awards - Best Direction
     2001 Leo Awards - Best Animated Series
     2001 Houston World Festival - Best Comedy Series


     Episode titles

    Mr Hell Moves In            Mr Hell Takes Buckingham Palace
    Deep Thought               From Here to Paternity
    Triple Indemnity            Prince Not-So-Charming
    Run Like Hell                 Edukashun
    Animation Special          Big Buzzniss
    Blinded By Science        The Seven Ages
    Hellathon                     Go Away

     Broadcast info

     The Mr Hell Show premiered on BBC2, on Sunday 28th October
     2001 at 10.30pm...


     Mr Hell on DVD

     UK DVD  Aaagh! - It's the Mr Hell Show!!!
                 Region 2 / two-discs / MVM / April 2007

    co-creators:    David Freedman, Alan Gilbey
                          based on an original character from Hugh MacLeod
    for the BBC:     Jon Plowman, Myfanwy Moore, Gareth Edwards
    for Sextant:     Christopher Brough, J. Falconer
     art director:
     Jeff 'Swampy' Marsh
    char design:     Barry Baker
    voices:            Bob Monkhouse (Mr Hell)
                          Jeff Marsh (Josh)
                          Michael Dobson
                          Paul Dobson
                          Scott McNeil


     On the web

      David Freedman brings us his very own blog...

      Alan Gilbey
      And Alan Gilbey has his own home here...

      Gaping Void
      Before the tv show, before Peafur, Mr Hell was a Hugh MacLeod
      creation. Hugh's a Brit abroad, on semi-permanent tour in America, from
      which he presents his crude, often-brilliant, often-unfathomable collection
      of cartoons. A fascinating site - but please take note - there's some dirty
      adult language on display here!...


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© Peafur Productions / Sextant Entertainment  / F2008