Exclusive Interview: ‘Curious George’ Producer Dishes on The Man with the Yellow Hat’s Dating Life, Style
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With the seventh season of Curious George continuing with a special episode about animal shelters on Monday, February 4, 2013 on PBS KIDS (check local listings), The Laughing Stork attempted to get in touch with George to get the scoop on the new episode. Although George was too busy chatting with the likes of Access Hollywood‘s Billy Bush about his recent Emmy win for “Outstanding Children’s Animated Program,” we were fortunate enough to land an interview with the fabulous Dorothea Gillim, executive producer of Curious George for WGBH Boston.
LAUGHING STORK: I think we can all agree The Man with the Yellow Hat looks dashing in his signature color; however, he seems to be in a bit of a style rut. Would he ever consider mixing it up with, say, a more camera-friendly color such as blue? Or perhaps a trendy fedora?
DOROTHEA: The Man with the Yellow Hat would probably describe others as being in a style rut. Yellow rules! He’s a trendsetter. One day, the whole world will be yellow. Such a cheery color!
LAUGHING STORK: George’s curiosity is always getting him into mishaps. Are you afraid that his penchant for mischief – and obvious celebrity — will make him fall prey to the dark side of Young Hollywood like other stars and starlets?
DOROTHEA: One of the truly wonderful things about George is his eternal innocence, so no, we’re not worried.
LAUGHING STORK: In the first season of the show, George accidentally bought one-hundred dozen donuts and did not know what to do with the extras. Could you please give him my contact information in case he makes that mistake again?
DOROTHEA: Sure thing. He’ll probably mess that up too, but innocently and all in the name of fun and education.
LAUGHING STORK: George sounds just adorable when he communicates; however, I can’t understand a word he says. How did The Man with the Yellow Hat become fluent in George-ese?
DOROTHEA: We work hard to make sure George conveys a lot through his tone and body language. Hopefully that’s how the Man and kids at home understand him. And if his thoughts are too complex, we throw in a thought bubble or two.
LAUGHING STORK: Despite his style rut, The Man with the Yellow Hat is quite a catch. He is an explorer, drives a convertible, flies a plane, has a pet monkey, is a doppelganger for Stephen Colbert and must be rather wealthy considering he has a nice apartment in “The City” and a country house. However, we don’t see or hear anything about his dating life. A theory on a lot of the gossip blogs: he is secretly seeing Professor Wiseman. Can you comment on the speculation? They do spend an awful lot of time together.
DOROTHEA: The Man with the Yellow Hat is a very private cartoon character. He prefers to keep his romantic life from the public eye.
LAUGHING STORK: Any insight into George’s misadventures this upcoming season of Curious George?
DOROTHEA: George is making a new friend this season — Marco, an 8-year-old boy who plays the drums in his family’s Pan-Latin band. George and Marco will go on lots of (mis)-adventures this season and, in the process, our audience will learn about Hispanic customs and culture. George will also get lost on the subway, learn how to barter, and meet the Vietnamese family that opens a store across the street. These episodes and others support this season’s theme of exposing preschoolers to social science. Of course the show will continue its mission to foster understanding of science, math and engineering through lots of monkey mayhem.