Have you ever been to Pancake Mountain?
Didn’t think so — but you need to go soon. And you need to take your kids with you.
Pancake Mountain is the coolest kid’s show you’ve never seen. Part surrealistic satire, part indie music showcase (and all fun), Pancake Mountain goes where most kids shows fear to tread.
Actually, we should be talking about the ol Mountain in the past tense. Turns out, the show was too cool for even people who supported it. The show went off the air (or the web — it was mainly an online and limited cable access production) in 2012, but dammit, it was such a great show, and few parents even knew about it, so we’re gonna talk about it in the present tense.
Pancake Mountain was created by Scott Stuckey (yes, of the famous Stuckey’s chain) with the intent of bringing an anti-commercial, punk attitude to children’s programming.
Hosted by wise-cracking sheep(?) Rufus Leaking, the low-budget show encouraged kids to use their imaginations to create scenarios for themselves, all while hipping them to the most awesomey acts in music.
Let’s just say Pancake Mountain picks up where Yo Gabba Gabba leaves off and then blows it away.
The very short list of musical guests over the show’s 12 episodes is daunting and impressive, including Eddie Vedder, The White Stripes, Deerhoof, Shonen Knife, M.I.A., Steel Pulse. The Melvins (yeah, the freaking MELVINS), Henry Rollins, Lily Allen, Nellie McKay, Vic Chesnutt, Guster, Tilly and the Wall, Lez Zeppelin, The Go Team!, Robert Randolph, Shirley Manson and Cypress Hill.
The sketches on the show are just as cool, geared toward making kids think rather than telling them how to behave. And the low-end production and frank language puts the show right there where kids can feel it.
That’s the best thing about Pancake Mountain. You can feel it. And it feels good. It feels like rebellion. It feels like rock-and-roll. It feels like … fun. Of course, the worst thing about Pancake Mountain is that it was too good. It was so uncommercial that it never made it to a network, and the producers eventually pulled funding.
But Pancake Mountain is available on DVD, although a box set of every season is not yet available. Gotta buy it in pieces. Kind of like … pancakes.