ZZZap! (or Zzzap) was a British kid’s TV show from the 1990s about an 18 foot comic that’s very much alive.
It ran on the ITV channel from 1993 to 2001, wowing children across the land with its surreal and silly sensibilities.
Today, we’re celebrating its memory by having a look at all that jazz.
The History of ZZZap!
Along with the likes of Danger Mouse, ThunderCats, and The Dreamstone, ZZZap! was one of those shows you couldn’t really miss.
ZZZap! featured a wide variety of characters and viewers would get to follow their various exploits each week.
Cuthbert Lilly (played by Richard Waites), for example, is an insane moron along the lines of Mr. Bean.
Playing on the popularity of comic books, the camera would swoop around the various comic book panels with various characters beckoning viewers into the experience.
The camera would then choose one and you’d get various escapades over the next five to 10 minutes or so.
Other characters included Smart Arty (played by Neil Buchanan), who’d make some artistic stuff along with an endless array of strange noises.
Buchanan dressed up in a caricatured French painter costume for this one. In the early ’90s he also presented popular kids shows such as Art Attack and Finders Keepers.
So, yes, he is an artist and put his skills to good use on ZZZap! Even if you couldn’t recognise him in his costume.
For kids in the ’90s, this section will also have Boccherini’s Minuet and Trio from String Quintet in E forever burned into your memory.
An early introduction to classical music. Educational, you see? That’s kid’s TV at its finest when it does that!
Other characters included The Handymen (two gloved hands, both belonging to Sarah Pickthall) who performed for an audience of hands by making various objects.
Daisy Dares You (Daisy Dare played by Deborah McCallum) was another, kind of like a Dennis the Menace hooligan individual.
As you might be able to tell, all of this lot was with comedic intent.
The show was silly and good fun, providing light entertainment over any weighty/profound kid’s shows from the era (Knightmare, we’re nodding at you).
Looking back at it now, you can see how it’s good fun and clever with its concept. It never outstayed its welcome either, only on air for some 15 minutes!
But it clocked up well over 100 episodes in its run and delighted many a young kid.
ZZZap! had its 25th anniversary in 2018, which Maidstone Studios celebrating with this tweet.
Who remembers the popular children’s TV show ZZZap!? Not only did it first air 25 years ago today but it was produced right here at #Maidstonestudios if you had a favourite character, comment below – we’d love to hear them. #40minsfromlondon #regional pic.twitter.com/ezuIlErtLp
— Maidstone Studios (@maidstonetv) January 9, 2018
Clearly, folks still remember the thing. We certainly do! It was imaginative and made you think. And laugh.
What more could you want? You see? Back in our day we had PROPER kid’s TV shows.
Kids these days don’t know they’re born! Bloody whippersnappers with their… selfies, social media, and skinny jeans. They need zapping!