If you were a child in Australia in the late 1980s in a house with a television set, you would definitely have seen ‘Mr Squiggle the Man from the Moon’. He had a pencil where his nose should have been, a desire to go on space walks and hold his female assistant’s hand while drawing, and side kicks Blackboard, Gus the Snail and Bill the Steam Shovel! Children would send in pages with random marks or squiggles on them and Mr Squiggle would come down in a rocket from the moon at the start of the episode and finish them. He kept up a grandfatherly patter with his assistant and frequently changed his mind through the process. Right at the end, the drawing would be turned upside down and all would be revealed!.Blackboard who was used as the easel was a bit of a grouch and kept barking ‘Hurry Up!’ every now and again.
I don’t know whether my children really enjoyed the show. I mean, Mr Squiggle wore a bowtie and the same clothes all the time! Blackboard, Gus and Bill all looked like they had been made by a kindergartener on a Sunday evening from the contents of the recycling bin, just in time for Show and Tell Monday. And there was never anything to sing along with or dance to. But Mr Squiggle got his own show after a short stint as part of another children’s show and lasted on Aussie daytime television for forty years, in the same clothes, so kids must have loved him.
Today’s Google Doodle Down Under is in honour of the guy who created Mr Squiggle, Norm Hetherington. He would have been 93 years old today. And that is what brought all this on!