Note the “portly dog whose eyebrows float considerably north of his head, and whose ears express deep shades of embarrassment and pride.” That's Ruff Ruffman!

I Love Ruff Ruffman

Watch Fetch With Ruff Ruffman weekdays at 11 a.m. on Western Reserve PBS

I really like some kids’ shows — PBS’s Sesame Street and Wordgirl and the Saturday morning network series Dragon, based on the children’s book series by Dav Pilkey (who, by the way, used to be a Kent resident).

However, I LOVE Fetch With Ruff Ruffman. Never mind that I often get confused and call it Ruff With Fetch Fetchman.

In Ruff Ruffman you’ll find a character that invokes the comedic sensibilities of Rodney Dangerfield and Phil Hartman, commingled in a hilarious animated dog full of neuroses and one-liners. And talk about emotional range. In every episode, Ruff swings from exhilaration to terror, self-aggrandizement to shame.

Joanna Weiss of the New York Times wrote, “Ruff is a refreshingly flawed lead character, manic and egomaniacal; he gives one of the kids bonus points for saying ‘Ruff Ruffman’ a lot. He's a would-be mogul who specializes in bungles and half-baked cover-ups, a portly dog whose eyebrows float considerably north of his head, and whose ears express deep shades of embarrassment and pride.”

Oh, that’s the Ruff Ruffman I love!

In fact, Ruff is so hilarious, so lovable and so watchable (is that a word?) that I think he should be the host of the PBS Kids program breaks. I’ve been pushing Ruff’s agenda on this matter, thus far with no success. But don’t worry, Ruff — I don’t give up easily. For instance, I’ve been trying to talk our programmer into acquiring broadcast rights for Northern Exposure for over 10 years and I think I’m getting closer.

All this Ruff adoration aside, the show has great educational content. Part game show, part reality TV and part spoof, Fetch features real kids, real challenges and real science. Ruff is the animated mastermind who commissions a team of “fetchers” to solve scientific problems, which always have to do with Ruff’s personal problems or grand ambitions. Targeting 6- to 10-year-olds — and a few 47-year-olds such as myself — the series is spontaneous, unscripted and full of twists.

“It’s all about problem solving, teamwork, science and me, Ruff Ruffman,” says Ruff. Right on, Ruffy!

You must take a look at Fetch. Check out a video clip of the show or visit the Web site.

About Me
Lisa Martinez is Western Reserve Public Media’s Vice President of Marketing & Development. [more]


Read past blogs

Counting Down and Counting on You — Dec. 3, 2012

Cat Meets Squirrel, Offers Tour of House — Nov. 5, 2012

More, Please — Feb. 2, 2011

The Child Is Father of the Man — Nov. 15, 2010

In Praise of Simple Machines (And the People Who Know How to Use Them) — Oct. 25, 2010

This week, take time to stop and smell the dirt — April 19, 2010

It’s Like Shark Week for People Who Like Documentaries on the Subject of Religion — March 27, 2010

This is about Extreme Mega NOVA — Feb. 9, 2010

Pride and Prejudice: A Ridiculously Brief History of the Novel in Film — Jan. 31, 2008

Theeere Was Johnny — Jan. 7, 2008

The Name’s the Thing — Dec. 13, 2007

The British Really Are Coming — Nov. 28, 2007

Eavesdropping Heaven — Nov. 20, 2007

The Theoriousness of Theory — Nov. 12, 2007

Queen and Country — Nov. 7, 2007

Rats — Oct. 29, 2007

I Love Ruff Ruffman — Oct. 22, 2007

Eight-letter word for quirky documentary? — Oct. 15, 2007

Does Nova have a contender? — Oct. 1, 2007

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