Ants In Your Pants

Hey blog world! When I was little, my favorite DJ was a monkey named Lickety Split! If you were a child (or parent of a child) in the 90’s in Canada, you should hopefully know who I’m talking about. For those of you who missed out and don’t know him, Lickety Split was the host of the Treehouse TV show Ants in Your Pants that ran from 1997-2004. Lickety was a puppet monkey who lived in a tree with his mom (who was talked about often and heard occasionally, but never seen) and three pesky little carpenter ants (who spoke only in rhyme).

Today I found a bunch of episodes of the show on YouTube and honestly I almost cried I was so happy! A piece of my childhood that I thought had been lost with the times had just been unearthed! I took a long walk down memory lane, watched a few episodes and shed a few tears, absolutely overjoyed to see one of my old favorite shows again!

The best way I can think of to describe it is MTV for preschoolers. Lickety had all kinds of adventures in his tree, trying to stay up late, playing with a tape recorder, pretending to be a pirate, and in-between all the treetop fun Lickety played all the coolest music videos for little kids!

I loved to count feathers and then rock out with Al Simmons and his collections! He’s so quirky and fun!

Going “Deep In The Jungle” with Joe Scruggs and singing nanny nanny boo boo to a puppet alligator was fun too! As was hearing about his romance in the Bahamas hilariously messed up by the “psychic singers”!

I’ll never forget how excited I would get every time Charlotte Diamond’s “The Laundry” came on! The exploding washing machine was my favorite part!

Kim and Jerry Brodey were one of my most favorite performers to watch on the show! I have their “Hats On, Hats Off” VHS and when I was little I watched it all the time! “Garbage, No, No,No” was my favorite. Back then, I loved it because of the music. It’s got a tropical island kind of groove to it, complete with steel drums! Now, I still love it because of the music, but now that I’m older, I appreciate the songs message a lot more. Don’t just drop your garbage wherever! You’ve got to put it in the can man!

The Magpies were another one of my favorites! For one thing, they had a keen sense of style. I loved their vests! They also were very versatile with their music. “Robert The Polar Bear” is a soothing a capella masterpiece! The three part harmony is fantastic! “He’s An Emotional Guy” is a whirlwind of fun! Again, I don’t know any names but the person playing Johnny Fink is incredible! He truly does put a lot of emotion into the performance! He plays out each one, even the two most difficult emotions expressed in the song, remorseful and overstimulated extremely well! The Irish jig near the end of the song is also really well done! I love every minute of that video! Fair warning though, if you choose to watch it it will get stuck in your head!

Another staple of my childhood was Judy and David! I never missed an episode of “Judy and David’s Boombox”! I found out recently that they are in fact still on the go and that makes my heart so happy! I think it’s wonderful that they are still performing and bringing fun and dancing to a new generation of kids! My most favorite of their videos on “Ants In Your Pants”, hands down is “Funky Teapot“! It’s the coolest! David’s rap is the best part!

John Lithgow is known mainly for his role in “Third Rock From The Sun”, but to us 90’s kids, he was a silly old man who big kids used to scare the heck out of! Back in the day, he was a children’s entertainer! His song “Big Kids” was one of the songs I looked most forward to hearing on “Ants in Your Pants”. Every time the show came on I’d hope Lickety would play it for me! If not, I’d settle for his rendition of “She’ll Be Comin’ Round The Mountain” which always cracked me up!

Michael Burgess, who played Jean Valjean in the Toronto production of “Les Misérables” (and sang with 16 other international Valjeans in the show’s 10th anniversary concert!) also was on “Ants In Your Pants” back in the day! He had a couple of music videos on the show. My favorite both visually and musically was “Star In My Eye“. The song itself is absolutely beautiful and I really liked that the video was shot on a beach as he played with his children.

While I loved many music videos on “Ants In Your Pants”, there were some videos that I wasn’t the fondest of. One of them was “Aram Sam Sam” by Dutch Robinson. For some reason, it frightened me! I’d scream and run for my mom/dad and ask them to help me change the channel. I watched it again today and wondered what in the world I was so scared of! “The Shark” by Sandra Beech produced the same reaction! After re-watching that one, I’m not scared of it anymore either. Now, I actually think it kind of funny, especially the ending. Douglas John’s “Ug A Bug” was just plain creepy! Especially at the start and end of the video when his face is on the old sepia colored picture of one of his ancestors and is looking around. Yikes! The creepiness factor has not lowered any! Still when I watch “Ants In Your Pants” on YouTube I skip past that one! Some of the songs were rather annoying. “Trucks Everywhere” is one. The repetitiveness, cheesy truck puns and overacting of the singer (Doug Barr) just really annoy the heck out of me! I don’t remember if that’s how I felt about that song when I was little, but rediscovering it now, all I have to say is, to quote the song, “Oh dear, let’s get out of here!”… and listen to Doug’s better song “Dinosaur Chomp“!

I had such a wonderful, magical afternoon today revisiting the childhood gem that was “Ants In Your Pants”! If you would like to share “Ants In Your Pants” with any children in your life, relive your old memories or experience the show for the first time, the Lickety Split YouTube channel is the perfect place to go! You’ll find full episodes and music videos from the show!

Do you remember “Ants In Your Pants”? What was your favorite music video from the show? Tell me in the comments!



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