My daughter is infatuated with The Wonder Pets, a show that features three singing animal superheroes of sorts who work together to save other animals and storybook characters who in trouble. “There’s an animal in trouble, Daddy!” is one of Clara’s constant refrains.
Mandy Patinkin, the Broadway and television actor and singer, inexplicably guest starred in a recent episode that featured him as a groundhog looking for a new home.
I say that his appearance was inexplicable because I’m not sure what benefits the producers of The Wonder Pets derived from Patinkin’s performance. My two-year old did not register his presence as anything but another singing animal in trouble, and I only became aware of his presence after hearing the show from the other room and wondering what animal had decided to overly dramatize and purposefully attempt to outperform The Wonder Pets in terms of his singing.
He stuck out like a sore thumb and did not exactly sound as if he was singing for toddlers.
I sincerely hope his work on the show was pro bono.
But worse, last night I had a nightmare in which Mandy Patinkin invaded all of the other shows I watch. He strode through the streets of Portlandia, occupied Don Draper’s couch, sat beside Jim and Pam in The Office, wandered the sidelines at a Patriots game, and joined Jessie as he cooked up crystal meth in a trailer on Breaking Bad.
In each show, he sang, narrating the action in the overly dramatic, singsong voice that he used in his episode of The Wonder Pets. Every time I changed the channel, Patinkin was there, screwing up another show by crooning to the characters who I have come to love.
I rarely have a dream in which someone is not trying to kill me. Almost every dream of mine is a nightmare. It’s no fun.
But I have to tell you… This was worse.