Chucklehounds (CBBC, 1984-1986)
Paul and Barry Chuckle are the double-act best-known for starring in the sitcom ChuckleVision, which launched on CBBC in 1987, and ran for over two decades. They had been working in showbiz together long before this though, and they made some of their earliest TV appearances in the late-70s/early-80s on various shows including The Good Old Days and 3-2-1.
But I realised recently that they had a show on CBBC before ChuckleVision, which had a rather unusual idea. They originally starred as the Chucklehounds. They would dress in full dog costumes (as “Big Chuckle” and “Little Chuckle”), and perform their routines, that featured no dialogue, but plenty of sound effects and background music.
They first did this on CBBC’s The Roger The Dog Show in 1983. Now I must admit that I am not familiar with this one. Who is Roger The Dog? I know Sebastian The Incredible Drawing Dog though! Their own show Chucklehounds launched with a Christmas special in 1984, which was followed by a full series in 1986, and every edition was only about five minutes long.
There was plenty of the havoc that they would come to be known for, and their canine capers featured lots of things including trying to sweep a chimney, which soon reached silliness overload. Their reputation must’ve been increasing around this time though, because they also went on to appear on Cheggers Plays Pop (not in the dog costumes though).
I don’t know how it happened, but I presume that someone somewhere decided that they should continue like this, but it would all work much better if we could actually see and hear them. So in 1987, ChuckleVision launched (on the same day as Going Live! and Double Dare), although the repeats of Chucklehounds continued on CBBC until as late as 1988.
I bet that Paul and Barry didn’t realise at the time that they would be a regular fixture on CBBC for many years to come, and they would have another series with the enjoyable game show To Me… To You… I wonder if Chucklehounds will ever be released on DVD, and it would be great if more series of ChuckleVision were released soon (although any time this century will do really).