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Don't Look Now (1983 TV series) facts for kids

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Don't Look Now
Don't Look Now TV Logo.jpg
Scene from the opening
Genre Sketch comedy
Created by Roger Price
Geoffrey Darby
Directed by Geoffrey Darby
Starring Tina Arthur
Ronda Berkman
Paul Branco
Max Casella
Matthew Flynn
Bajah Freeman
Adam Gulinello
Dhonyale Jones
Dylan Jones
Jon Joseph
Jocelyn Leary
David Perrigo
Lisa Rosman
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 5
Producer(s) Geoffrey Darby
Roger Price
Running time 60 minutes
Production company(s) WGBH-TV, Boston, Massachusetts
Original network PBS
Original release October 2 (1983-10-02) – October 30, 1983 (1983-10-30)

Don't Look Now is an American national children's sketch comedy show produced for PBS by WGBH-TV in Boston, Massachusetts, and created by Geoffrey Darby and Roger Price. It is a clone of their program for CTV and Nickelodeon, You Can't Do That on Television. The first episode aired on October 2, 1983, and showed its final episode on October 30, 1983. It was originally slated to be called Don't Tell Your Mother, but was later changed to its final title, Don't Look Now, due to PBS executive's concern that the title would encourage children to keep secrets from their parents. It was created out of uncertainty that their top show You Can't Do That on Television would continue, and was cancelled possibly due to the complaints of parents for its content, and also Nickelodeon's concern that if had it not been cancelled it may have spelled the end of You Can't Do That on Television.


Season One: 1983 Airdate
"Episode One" October 2, 1983 (1983-10-02)
Dylan must learn how to make donuts, but does a terrible job at it. Violet makes bad food at the Camp Pitup. Lisa plays on a men's football team and scores a touchdown. Dylan asks Lisa to a Police concert, though Lisa is unaware that it is the wrong police who Dylan is talking about. Dylan gets lost at a sewage treatment plant and ends up underground, causing him to miss his date with Lisa.
"Episode Two" October 9, 1983 (1983-10-09)
Jon wears a dress for two scenes that Jocelyn really likes and wants to buy from him, but then ruins the dress when she gets yellow yucked. Bajah is made to drink papaya juice, which she hates, and Jon learns about tugboats.
"Episode Three" October 16, 1983 (1983-10-16)
Max and Paul trick the Pirate into falling off his plank. Lisa calls the fire department hoping to raise money, but gets their voice mail instead. The dad eats his kid's game pieces, so the kids have to find something else to play with - their food!
"Episode Four" October 23, 1983 (1983-10-23)
The gang decides to sell Jon's old bicycle to raise money to buy t-shirts, and instead end up selling Jocelyn's new bike. Jocelyn gets a reluctant Dylan to appear in their ad by promising him a date with Lisa. They owe $750 for making the ad but only raise $75 for selling the bike to Lisa, and Jocelyn is horrified that her bike only sold for $75.
"Episode Five" October 30, 1983 (1983-10-30)
This is mentioned as the last episode. Lisa and Max help The Police make radio cassettes due to a shortage. The network computer mentions the show is boring. Adam learns how to babysit. At the end of the show, the makeup lady finally slips up, utters the magic words and gets Yellow Yucked, to the delight of the kids.

Format and similarities and differences between You Can't Do That On Television and Don't Look Now

The format of Don't Look Now is along the same lines as the first season of YCDTOTV, when it was a local program produced at originating station CJOH-TV in Ottawa, Ontario, in which it also included contests for viewers, as well as music videos. Some of the sketches presented on Don't Look Now were recycled from that season of YCDTOTV. The show shared many similarities with YCDTOTV, however there are some differences that set the two shows apart:

  • Unlike YCDTOTV each episode of Don't Look Now did not have a particular topic for each episode, and there were no opposite skits, or pie scenes.
  • Water was not dumped from above after saying "water", though one character did have a bucket of water dumped on them.
  • "Green slime" was replaced by "yellow yuck" (which was actually a yellow version of the original YCDTOTV slime, but was never referred to as "slime"). The trigger phrase, "I don't know!", became "Don't blame me!"
  • The kids told jokes to each other, but rather than the setting of a locker room, they sat on a bench outside the principal's office. At the end of the jokes, a kid was always called to the office.
  • Unlike YCDTOTV whose number of kids who would star in each episode often varied, Don't Look Now only had a number of five kids starring in each episode.
  • Don't Look Now, unlike YCDTOTV, did not have a preempt opening sketch and would open each episode with a disclaimer saying "Some content may not be suitable for some children, viewer descretion is advised".
  • Just like the kid cast of YCDTOTV the kid cast of Don't Look Now used their real names on the show, but unlike the kid cast members of YCDTOTV who were sometimes related, as some cast were sometimes brothers and sisters of each other, none of the kid cast from Don't Look Now were related.
  • All the kids in the Don't Look Now cast seemed to be very young, preteens perhaps, unlike some of the cast of YCDTOTV, some of which were teenagers, and sometimes even adults, and the adult male character David Perrigo from Don't Look Now seemed to be a lot younger than the elderly Les Lye, who was the adult male character on YCDTOTV.
  • The dad from Don't Look Now who would often have a pipe in his mouth which he would sometimes smoke, was very clean- cut and thin and wore a navy blue dress suit with a white shirt and tie, unlike the dad on YCDTOTV who was very slovenly, overweight, and wore a white shirt with stains.
  • Miss Pell, the classroom teacher from Don't Look Now was very much like Mr. Shidtler, the classroom teacher from YCDTOTV, or Ruth Buzzi's Miss Fit character from the YCDTOTV spinoff Whatever Turns You On, as she was very strict and often said nasty things, and was mean to her students. However, unlike Mr. Shidtler, she never said the phrase "Where does the school board find them, and why do they keep sending them to me?!"
  • Just like YCDTOTV, during one of the home scenes on Don't Look Now, the phrase "Please let me be adopted!" was said once by Max Casella, but the phrase "Don't encourage your mother!" was never said by the dad; also, another key phrase that was often used on YCDTOTV but never said on Don't Look Now was "Sometimes it's so easy I'm ashamed of myself!"
  • Jocelyn Leary from Don't Look Now also claimed to be a rich kid, just like Naida Gosselin from the 1986 104th YCDTOTV episode "Poverty and Unemployment", who in a sense was like Naida, as Jocelyn would also often boast about being rich. However, unlike Naida, Jocelyn was somewhat friendly, helpful and not quite as dictative.
  • Don't Look Now's "Walk the plank" sketches were the equivalent of "the firing squad" on YCDTOTV. Unlike YCDTOTV, the exasperated question asked of the executioner, "What is it this time?", was said only once on Don't Look Now by the pirate, while it was asked in almost every scene by El Capitano on YCDTOTV.
  • Just like YCDTOTV, which had a producer that was mean to the kid cast and often made them do things they did not want to do, Don't Look Now also claimed to have a mean producer who made people do things they did not want to do, like making Bajah drink papaya juice (which she hated). However, unlike YCDTOTV, the producer of Don't Look Now never appeared on the show.
  • There was also a link set on Don't Look Now, but it was much different from the link set on YCDTOTV, and unlike YCDTOTV having a male technical director named Ross Ewich that often appeared on the link set, Don't Look Now had a makeup lady named Bunny, who also frequently appeared on their link set.
  • Don't Look Now also included educational segments in which the cast would visit places like dairy farms, stores, factories, banks, boats, childcare, aquariums, orchestras, sewage treatment plants, and laboratories. This was due to PBS's mandate that the show include some educational content, unlike YCDTOTV, which strived to be as uneducational as possible.

Comparison list

Many of the characters/locations/elements in the Don't Look Now 1983 TV series share similarities to the pre-existing You Can't Do That On Television characters. Comparing Don't Look Now (left) with You Can't Do That on Television (right):


  • Violet = Barth
  • Miss Pell = Mr. Shidtler
  • The pirate = El Capitano
  • Bunny the makeup lady = Ross Ewich
  • Anthony the house dad = Lance Prevert
  • Louise the house mom = Valerie Prevert
  • Prentice Howard Devonshive III = L. Nickelson Dime III


  • Yellow yuck = Green slime
  • "Don't blame me!" = "I don't know!"
  • Walk the plank = The firing squad
  • Camp Pitup = Barth's Burgers
  • "Shut up and eat!" = "Duh IIIIIIII heard that!"
  • "Avast me hearties and you walk the plank!" = "Ready... Aim..."

Role of Adult Characters

Ronda Berkman played the makeup lady, the house mom, strict schoolteacher Miss Pell, and Violet the nasty camp instructor; when the kids would complain about how nasty the food was, Violet would tell the kids to "Shut up and eat!" (an analogue to Barth's "Duh IIIIIIII heard that!" on YCDTOTV). David Perrigo played a pirate, a cameraman, Mr. Richards, and the house dad. He was also the narrator for the educational sequences. The pirate would tell the kids, before they walked the plank, "Avast me hearties, and you walk the plank!" (similar to El Capitano's "Ready... Aim...").

Music videos

Every episode had three music videos. Videos featured on Don't Look Now included:

  • UB40 - "I've Got Mine" - episode one
  • The Police - "Every Breath You Take" - episode one
  • Split Enz - "Never Ceases to Amaze Me" - episode one
  • Billy Joel - "Tell Her About It" - episode two
  • Men at Work - "Dr. Heckyll and Mr. Jive" - episode two
  • Elvis Costello - "Everyday I Write the Book" - episode two
  • The Manhattans - "Crazy" - episode three
  • Toto - "Waiting for Your Love" - episode three
  • Loverboy - "Queen of the Broken Hearts" - episode three
  • OXO - "Whirly Girl" - episode four
  • Donna Summer - "Unconditional Love" - episode four
  • Lionel Richie - "All Night Long (All Night)" - episode four
  • Bananarama - "Shy Boy" - episode five
  • Rick Springfield - "Human Touch" - episode five
  • Stevie Wonder - "Do I Do" - episode five


Name First Appearance Last Appearance Slimed Watered Chilied Syruped Milked
Tina Arthur October 2, 1983 October 23, 1983 Episodes One, Two, Four
Ronda Berkman October 2, 1983 October 30, 1983 Episode Five
Paul Branco October 2, 1983 October 16, 1983 Episode One
Adam Gulinello October 2, 1983 October 30, 1983 Episode One, Five Episode One
Dylan Jones October 2, 1983 October 23, 1983 Episode Four
David Perrigo October 2, 1983 October 30, 1983 Episode Five
Lisa Rosman October 2, 1983 October 30, 1983 Episode One
Max Casella (Max Deitch) October 9, 1983 October 30, 1983 Episode Two
Bajah Freeman October 9, 1983 October 30, 1983
Jon Joseph October 9, 1983 October 9, 1983
Jocelyn Leary October 9, 1983 October 23, 1983 Episode Two, Four
Dhonyale Jones October 16, 1983 October 30, 1983
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