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Channel Umptee-3 facts for kids

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Channel Umptee-3
Channel Umptee-3.png
Genre Cartoon series
Created by Jim George
Developed by Jim George
Norman Lear
John Baskin
Directed by Chris Headrick
Don Jurwich
Michael Peraza Jr.
David Schwartz
Bob Seeley
Voices of Gregg Berger
Greg Burson
Alice Ghostley
Jonathan Harris
Rob Paulsen
David Paymer
Neil Ross
Susan Silo
Theme music composer Walter Murphy
Opening theme "Channel Umptee-3 Theme" by Rob Paulsen, David Paymer, and Jonathan Harris
Ending theme "Channel Umptee-3 Theme" (instrumental)
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 13 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) John Baskin
Norman Lear
Producer(s) Jim George
Peggy George
Jeff Kline
Robert Seeley
Ping Warner
Running time 21 minutes
Production company(s) Adelaide Productions
Act III Television
Enchanted George Productions
Columbia TriStar Television
Distributor Columbia TriStar Television Distribution
Original network The WB
Audio format Dolby Surround
Original release October 20, 1997 (1997-10-20) – February 25, 1998 (1998-02-25)

Channel Umptee-3 (also known simply as Umptee-3) is a 1997–1998 Saturday morning animated television series created by Jim George and produced by Norman Lear. It aired on The WB as part of the Kids' WB programming block. This one-season cartoon show was designed to teach kids to appreciate the wonders of everyday things, such as sleep and water. The title is derived from the fictitious number "umpteen". It was also the last television series that Lear was involved in as an executive producer until the 2017 reboot of One Day at a Time.


Ogden Ostrich, Holey Moley (a mole), and Sheldon S. Cargo (a snail) drive around the world in a van with their own underground pirate television station. Channel Umptee-3, which exists between other channels and is broadcast from a mobile station, tries to focus on a specific topic in each episode, but is usually diverted from it and shifted onto another topic; e.g., one episode started out discussing cats, but quickly segued into the subject of ownership (which was the real topic of that show). Meanwhile, "The Frumps" (i.e., Stickley Rickets and his henchmen) would try to shut the station down or increase their own power, but whatever plan they came up with would fail.

The show made great use of stock footage, as did the earlier WB show Freakazoid! Also, the show sometimes made references to well-known movies and TV shows; e.g., the episode "Yours, Mine, and Ours" included references to Cats, Harvey, Star Wars, Dragnet, and The People’s Court, and the title was that of a classic movie.


The Umptees

  • Ogden O. Ostrich (Rob Paulsen) – An excitable yellow ostrich who first came up with the idea for a television program to show everyone that "the world is a magical place" after pulling his head out of the ground one day and looking at the world around him. At the start of every episode, Ogden comes running up the camera yelling "Hey!" over and over.
  • Holey Moley – A pantomime character. He is a large mole who carries a number of portable holes that allow him and his friends to go anywhere.
  • Sheldon S. Cargo (David Paymer) – A large pink snail whose shell is fitted with a unicycle-like wheel to help him get around. Sheldon is the serious, professional member of the team; he tries his best to hold the show together, despite Ogden's almost hyperactive behavior. His name is derived from "escargot."
  • Professor Edwin I. Relevant (Greg Burson) – The station's resident expert on everything. Ogden and the others turn to Professor Relevant for information on the day's topic in almost every episode.
  • Test and Polly (Neil Ross and Susan Silo) – two newscasters who work for Channel Umptee-3.

The Frumps

  • Stickley Rickets (voiced by Jonathan Harris) – The elderly president of a corporation that produces boxes. Because the "Umptee-doodies" (as he calls them) encourage people to take things out of boxes and look at them in a new way, he sees them as a threat to his business. So he constantly plots to shut them down and "put them in a box, where they belong."
  • Pandora Rickets (voiced by Alice Ghostley) – Stickley's wife. She is not nearly as obsessed as her husband where the Umptees are concerned. Pandora even likes to watch some of the shows, although she does not want Stickley to find out. Her name is derived from "Pandora's box."
  • Ed and Bud (voiced by Neil Ross and Gregg Berger) – Two black-suited henchmen who carry out Stickley's orders and are almost never successful. Ed is the taller one, and Bud is the shorter, balding one.

Other voices

Other voice actors who appeared on the show included:


  • Mark Evanier – Voice Director


No. Title Topic(s) Original air date
1 "The Music Show" Music October 25, 1997 (1997-10-25)
2 "Umptee Sunrise" The sun November 1, 1997 (1997-11-01)
3 "The U.F.O. Show" UFOs and extraterrestrial life November 8, 1997 (1997-11-08)
4 "What’s So Funny" Laughter and humor November 15, 1997 (1997-11-15)
5 "The Now Voyagers" Time November 22, 1997 (1997-11-22)
6 "Just Add Water" Water December 6, 1997 (1997-12-06)
7 "Perchance to Dream" Sleep and dreams December 19, 1997 (1997-12-19)
Ogden is determined never to sleep again because of a nightmare he'd had, and his friends try to explain to him that everyone needs to sleep.
8 "Sale of the Century" Money January 2, 1998 (1998-01-02)
9 "The Fear Show" Fear January 9, 1998 (1998-01-09)
10 "The Weather Show" Weather January 16, 1998 (1998-01-16)
11 "Yours, Mine, and Ours" Ownership February 6, 1998 (1998-02-06)
The Umptees win an award in the form of a huge chocolate bunny, and Ogden and Sheldon argue over whether to eat it or display it; this leads to some information about ownership from Professor Relevant. Meanwhile, Stickley's men steal Holey Moley's portable hole, because Stickley believes that there's a fortune inside of it.
12 "The Lying Show" Truth and lies February 13, 1998 (1998-02-13)
13 "Words Are Weird" Words February 20, 1998 (1998-02-20)

Episode status

Due to the short run and general obscurity of Channel Umptee-3, only four episodes and the intro music have been found publicly after its initial airing. Originally, the second, third, tenth and twelfth episodes were posted to YouTube, but they were blocked worldwide by Sony Pictures, leading them to be posted elsewhere, ultimately on the Internet Archive.

Currently, Sony Pictures Television has the full rights to Channel Umptee-3, and has the option to provide the series for streaming content providers. As of 2020, it is not yet available on any streaming platform.

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