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Action League Now!
Action League Now!.jpg
Genre Comedy
Action
Slapstick
Created by
Starring
  • Jim Krenn
  • Cris Winter
  • Scott Paulsen
  • Collin M. McGee
  • Alyssa Grahm
Narrated by Scott Paulsen
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons
  • 4 (on KaBlam!)
  • 1 (as a package series)
No. of episodes
  • 51 (on KaBlam!)
  • 12 (as a package series)
Production
Production location(s) Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Running time
  • 4 minutes (individual shorts)
  • 24 minutes (package series)
Production company(s)
Distributor CBS Television Distribution
Release
Original network Nickelodeon
Original release November 25, 2001 (2001-11-25) – February 10, 2002 (2002-02-10)
Chronology
Related shows

Action League Now! (advertised as Action League Now!: The Series when packaged into a half-hour block) is a series of stop motion shorts that aired as part of both All That and KaBlam! on Nickelodeon. It was made using "chuckimation", a combination of stop-frame animation and live-action shots where things are simply thrown ("chucked") or dropped into frame or wiggled around to simulate talking. The series follows the adventures of a superhero league, composed of various action figures, toys, and dolls. The show was created by Robert Mittenthal, Will McRobb, and Albie Hecht.

Most episodes took place in a house of an unseen resident. Many of the characters were voiced by radio personalities from Pittsburgh.

From November 25, 2001 to February 10, 2002, Nickelodeon briefly ran Action League Now! shorts on their own, combined to fill a half-hour timeslot.

Characters

Bill the Lab Guy (Jim Krenn)
A scientist who often messes up his experiments and predicaments. During every appearance, he is guaranteed to be heard saying, "There's nothing I can do," or, "I was afraid of this!" and "I don't see any connection." Bill has a monotone voice and takes himself very seriously as a scientist, even though his experiments almost always go awry. He has a teenage daughter named Quarky who helps him around the lab. He appears to have a love for oldies music and is a personal friend of late musician Lou Rawls. Bill, along with the Mayor and the Chief, was pieced together in part from various Playskool dollhouse figures. His name is a reference to Bill Nye the Science Guy.
Hodge Podge (Jim Krenn)
The Action League's former accountant, Hodge Podge was accidentally thrown into and chopped up in a blender, then horribly rebuilt by Bill the Lab Guy against his will, making him a freak with parts of random toys and household objects (such as a claw for a hand, taken from a crib toy, and the top portion of a fork attached to his chest). Hodge Podge appears to be more hands-on and successful than the Mayor with his initial tactics, even though neither of them ever get their way. He specifically works with mechanics to get his way (brainwashing radio station, custom-built remote control, modified voicebox, etc.).
The Announcer (Scott Paulsen)
The narrator of the program, using various alliterations and overreactions often before and after the short's commercial bridge. He sometimes breaks the fourth wall during an episode. He has a deep, monotone voice, not unlike Bill the Lab Guy's and is never seen, only heard.

The Action League have had various other villains throughout the show's run, including (but not limited to) a gigantic baby simply named "Big Baby", a Mesozoic monster (in reality, a dog Jack Russell Terrier) called Spotzilla, a rival superhero league known as the Danger Society, a bald genius known as Smarty Pants, an enemy of Stinky's past called Red Ninja, a group of evil aliens, a gypsy who cursed The Chief, and a mummy brought to life by The Mayor. Sometimes, due to their own collective stupidity, even the League themselves can be the main cause of a problem.

Episodes

No. Title Original air date
1 "Pilot" March 21, 1998 (1998-03-21)
  • In the Whine of Fire
  • The Wrath of Spotzilla
2 "Action League Goes to the Movies" November 25, 2001 (2001-11-25)
  • Armageddon Outta Here
  • Incident at Chlorine Lake
  • Yurplastic Park
  • A Star is Torn
3 "Smash Hits" December 2, 2001 (2001-12-02)
  • Road to Ruin
  • Nightmare on Memory Lane
  • Roughing the Passer
  • And Justice for None
4 "Science Friction" December 9, 2001 (2001-12-09)
  • Tears of a Clone
  • What's Eating The Flesh
  • The Quarky Syndrome
  • Science Fiction Parody
5 "Action League Rocks!" December 16, 2001 (2001-12-16)
  • Rock-A-Big Baby
  • Hit of Horror
  • In the Whine of Fire
6 "Stinky Diver: Behind the Mask" December 23, 2001 (2001-12-23)
  • Flippers of Fury
  • Mad Dogs and Englishmen
  • Stink or Swim
  • Winds of Evil
7 "The Chief: Look Back in Anger" December 30, 2001 (2001-12-30)
  • Hey! Who Stole My Face?
  • Fatter
  • Grief for The Chief
  • Dog Day Afterschool
8 "I'll Melt for You" January 6, 2002 (2002-01-06)
  • Meltman at Large
  • Melty's Girl
  • Tune Up of Terror
  • In the Belly of the Beast
9 "Monster Mashed" January 13, 2002 (2002-01-13)
  • Attack of Spotzilla (Part 1)
  • Attack of Spotzilla (Part 2)
  • Melty Dearest
  • Rags to Riches
10 "The Many Faces of Evil" January 20, 2002 (2002-01-20)
  • Revenge of Hodge Podge
  • Big Baby
  • Voice of Treason
  • A Flesh of Brilliance
11 "His Dishonor" January 27, 2002 (2002-01-27)
  • Turkey of Terror
  • Chickie Chickie Bang Bang
  • No Fly Zone
  • Testimony of Terror
12 "Naked Came the Numskull" February 3, 2002 (2002-02-03)
  • The Naked and the Dumb
  • Danger for a Dignitary
  • Flesh and Blood
  • RoboFlesh
13 "Thunder Girl: Tracking The Storm" February 10, 2002 (2002-02-10)
  • Thunder and Lightning – Thunder Girl has competition with Lightning Lady, who turns out to be an evil infiltrator.
  • Caged Thunder – The Action League is captured by the Nextdooria Force, whose General plans to dominate the world with missiles.
  • Art of Thunder – The Action tries to recover a picture stolen by The Mayor.
  • Sinkhole of Doom – The Action has to rescue Piers from the sink, while Thunder Girl and Stinky wind up trapped on a ceiling fan.

Guest appearances

Banned episodes

Certain episodes of Action League Now were previously banned in the United States. One specific episode to be put under this ban was the season 2 episode "Caged Thunder" due to its themes of terrorism, due to this the KaBlam episode it was aired with titled "I Just Don't Get It" was put under a ban after the 9/11 attacks. The "Action League Now: The Series" episode "Thunder Girl: Tracking the Storm" which also contained the short was put on a ban after its initial broadcast in 2002, only being re-shown in 2016 on the late night TV block "The Splat" on Teen Nick.

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