Today's Special (TV Series 1981–1987) Poster

(1981–1987)

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I'm not crazy!!!!!!!!!
maxvaughn30 January 2005
I used to watched this show when I was so young that I could barely talk. But I remembered it. I always thought the mannequin and the woman store clerk should end up together, cause well, I was just a a weird kid. But anyway, for the past two decades every time I mention this show people look at me like I've been smoking something and I couldn't remember the name of it for the life of me so I couldn't prove anything. But here it is!!! I really loved this show. I liked how they always had so much imagination and all of the games they played became reality. Children's TV today doesn't have as much thought put into it. They focus more on the learning part of it as opposed to the story or way kids should be able to pretend things about a show like I did with this one. I miss television like this for children.
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This show rocked!!!!
dootuss18 January 2002
I remembered watching this show as a little kid back when it was on Nickelodeon. It took place in a department store, and it had this manequin who had a magic hat that could make it come to life. I also remember that if he lost it, he would turn back into a manequin. There was also a lady in a hot-pink jumpsuit (I think her name was Jody), a security guard that had a face like Walter Matthau and a Hobo's face combined, and Muffy the mouse who always said a rhyme, and had a cool two-story mouse hole. Pure genious!!!

I really liked this show. It's a shame Nickelodeon dosen't air it anymore. If they didn't air so many stupid Nicktoons (like Spongebob Squarepants), or any other dumb show for that matter, this show probably would still be on. Nickelodeon has really lost it. All these stupid shows they air now have ruined this network after this show (and shows like "You can't do that on television" "Danger Mouse", and "Pinwheel) and many other good ones made it something for kids to watch, and learn from.

This show ruled 10/10.
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A little piece if History
devstk28 January 2004
This was a show that was very cute and funny. I was about 7 or 8 when it was on. I can remember the characters Jodie and Jeff, Sam the security guard and Muffy the mouse. It was pretty funny, the stuff that they would do when the store closed down. The show was all about a mannequin who came to life when a magic hat was placed on his head. I think the store was supposed to be in Canada. One episode I remember well, was when they decided to have a Cafe' on the roof, and it started to rain. All the bread sticks got wet! As with the last person's comments, no one that I have asked remembers the show either. I think this was one of the first shows I watched on Nickelodeon. Hopefully, someday, they can recover the series, and bring it out on DVD for children today.
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Hocus Pocus Alama Gocus!!
godeltsihw22 June 2002
Today's Special was a childhood favourite of mine. The show took place late at night in a Simpsons Sears store. Run by a puppet night watch man named Sam Crenshaw and his computer 'TXL', the show revolved around a mannequin named Jeff. Late at night Jeff would come to life and learn new things along with Muffy the Mouse and Toy Department Clerk Jodie. However if Jeff ever left the store, or his hat fell off, he would become a mannequin again. By placing his hat on his heat and reciting the magic words "Hocus Pocus Alama Gocus" Jeff would come back to life.

Like most children's shows, you learn along with the show. Each episode of Today's Special had Today's Special.. a word that would be featured in the episode that you would learn about. If I remember correctly, the woman that played Jodie went on to become a news anchor for CBS and CBC news.
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Gertrude
alden101012 January 2003
Anyone else remember this song?

Gertrude ol' girl My hearts in a whirl 'Cause these goodbyes Are hard to combine. I'll try not to cry As we say goodbye.

Sam and Jody sang that at the car dealership when Sam was trading in his old car for a newer model. The dealer rolled his eyes, but for Sam and the kids at home, this was serious trauma! I guess that's why I still remember it. Oh, but it ended happily. Sam got the new car and Jody bought back the old one.
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A great show!!
chastity77929 April 2002
I rank this show in the top ten shows of my childhood. I was very young when I watched this on Nickalodean. I have asked countless people if they remember it and no one has, except my father. I remember there was a word of the day every episode. I loved Muffy the mouse, I thought she was beautiful. I would do anything to be able to see an episode of this show.
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No one remembers
angeljem29 February 2004
For the longest time I could not figure out why no one else remembered this show. Finally I asked my mom and turns out I was only like 2 1/2 years old when I watched it (I'm 19 now). I do not remember any certain episode really well, but I remember Jeff coming to life with the plaid hat and what the store looked like. And after reading "Hocus Pocus Alamgocus" that has come back to me too! It's too bad so few remember it. Most only know shows like Fraggle Rock and Zoobileezoo. Kids shows really just aren't what they used to be.

By the way, anyone know how many years Today's Special went for? I watched it on PBS since I never had cable.
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The garbage on Nick these days-makes me cringe!!!!
AWERTH27 December 2003
This is the only show that had and still has meaning for me. Jeff has released 2 CD's of his with brilliant singing- I own them both-- Nickelodean used to be fantastic in the 80's-

Today's Special, You Can't Do That On TV etc...

Muffy was how I get interested in writing poetry, -I always thought that there was an undertone of love between Jeff and Jodie-- like Michael and Bonnie on "Knight Rider"--

A few episodes stick out---

Going treasure hunting for Pirate Pete's gold---as Jeff goes on his own hunt throughout the store- we learn about map reading and how to read a compass---

Phil the Alcohalic--strong episode---dealt with Alcohal

Jeff not knowing he needs sleep to remain alert

The crooked commercial director who visits- he promises a spot in a commercial for Muffy to advertise Jeans, but the tables are turned when he meets Mort= Junior where he wants to take Muffy as part of his collection of toys cause he gets to greedy- Junior- the ultimate Man-Child!!!!

Waldo visits in a sour mood- and needs a special remedy gathered

from our 4 cast members!!!

Jody and Jeff trapped in the stalled elevator- the aid of a wheelchair boy comes to their rescue--

Valdy personally meets Jodi and the cast sing one of his songs with him---

Mort starts a fire in Muffy's apartment to keep warm--Sam sprays it out--

Sam and Jeff eat a whole bag of cookies-getting big stomach aches--

Memories where Jeff sings in my opinion his best solo in the series

When Jeff needs to help a young lady realize it's OK to move

I COULD GO ON FOREVER!!!!

A while back, a comment was posted at how Jeff- since he was a mannequin-did not know about how the world worked----, and that he was considered naive due to the fact he was indeed a mannequin (Did not know what a family was, or did not know what sleep is)

His perceptions of the topics throughout the series from his point of view make him far more smart than his 3 fellow cast members (Jody Sam Muffy and Mrs Pennypacker, Waldo and Mort occasionally)--than what he is seen as---

Jeff in fact seems to know more than he realizes in each episode
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Best Canadian children's show
jootsyfruit13 December 2004
Today's Special is an under-rated, top quality children's show, the likes of which are not exposed to today's children which is a shame. I remember watching this in the 1980s and although I made fun of it as a kid (only to look cool while watching it) I liked it then and in retrospect, I see how excellent this show is.

The show consisted of Jeff (mannequin), Jodie (department store display builder), Sam (night watchman) and Muffy Mouse (rhyming mouse resident). Jeff Hyslop was a triple threat star, with a marvelous singing voice and dancing ability. The fact he starred in this makes this show above what is offered on TV today. Directed at children, the dialogue and stories never talked DOWN to them and dealt with issues like moving, disability, honesty and even alcoholism with sensitivity and respect to kids. As a Canadian, I especially liked the references to our country's culture too. I can still sing the songs and the only regret I would have is that this show is not available for my future kids. I hope someone at TVO will wake up and resurrect Today's Special.

My favorite memories include Jeff taking a bite out of a lemon and when Muffy's butterfly, Hazel died. By the way, the dialogue was incredibly witty... some truly funny moments occurred throughout the 7 year run!
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Ah, the memories...
LynzMac9 October 1999
I remember this show! I used to watch it back when I was little. It took place after-hours in the childrens' department of a mall, and was complete with a living manequin, kids, a mouse named.. Fifi or something just as cute, a puppet security guard... and lots of kid fun! I remember one episode when the security guard had to go to either the ear or eye doctor. I was hoping there would be a cast list posted here. Oh well, maybe in the future.
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Come Join in the Fun!
Synergy-512 September 1999
Today's Special was nothing less than one of the most imaginative and innovative of Canadian children's programming. It's blend of live-action,puppetry and animation is reminiscent to the famous Jim Henson "Muppet" technique,and the beautiful colours and storylines have made it the most successful children's show in Canada.The adorable rhyming Muffy Mouse,the handsome singing and dancing mannequin Jeff,the puppet security guard Sam,and the kind young display designer Jodie were all characters that children of all ages could find themselves identifying with.I think that TVO should release all the Today's Special episodes on video,so that everyone could experience this magical world in what looks like from the outside just a normal department store in Toronto.If you like Today's Special, Bookmice,with the talents of Nina Keogh (Muffy Mouse) is also a wonderful show,this one taking place in an inner-city library.
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A tweed-loving mannequin and friends
sagehen75 August 1999
A PBS favorite from my youth (along with Square One and 321 Contact, of course). Jeff is a department store mannequin who comes to life at night once the store is closed and his special beret-like hat is placed on his head. Jody is a real life person who is a friend of Jeff (and also fond of pink pantsuits, from what I recall). Sam is the puppet Walter Matthau-esque security guard, a gruff old man, but with a very entertaining computer. He's also friends with the puppet mouse (Muffy?). Hijinks ensue and emotions flow (especially from Jeff: how does he deal with his handicaps?) every night at this department store!
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On Todays Special!!
SuprGro827 June 1999
There was Jeff the Mannequin, Jodie the sales lady, Muffy the mouse, and Sam Crenshaw. They all had fun in the department store at night when Jeff the mannequin would come alive. He had to put on this plaid hat and there was a rhyme. Like alakazam something. I wish they still showed this stuff on Nick. The eighties were a great time for kids shows!!
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Hey, I remember that show...
JupiterAmy22 September 2000
Out to lunch today (in more ways then one) with some friends, we started discussing shows we watched growing up. We solemnly agreed that kids today are so sadly robbed of the quality of 80's TV. So we sat reminiscing, spouting lists of shows from He-Man to David the Gnome. Then I bring up: "Hey you remember this show about a mannequin, if you took his hat off he froze...and there was a mouse?" "Yes!", one says, "Today's Special!" And suddenly the memories come rolling in. Even when it was on the air, this show got a lot less credit than it deserved. Even I, who reveled in this show as a child, had forgotten its name, and basically its whole concept. But I do remember involving shows with emotional complexity, very rare in the world of children's programming. With humor, and Muffy! One of the Muppet-esque heroines of my developmental years! Plus, I think I may finally figured out what "demented puppet show" my older sister keeps telling me I forced her to watch. I obviously had no problem with it, she tells me I cried if I couldn't watch it. Say something about first exposure education, don't you think? Anyway, I can't in hindsight view it as anything other than a very happy memory of a really incredible show.
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Shout It Loud And Clear...
gonzoriffic16 May 1999
Another favorite from the early days of cable TV, "Today's Special" appeared on Nickelodeon as part of their daytime children's programming, along with such shows as "Pinwheel" , "Live Wire", and "Out Of Control". It took place in a large department store "after hours", and each episode had a theme. The main character was Jeff, a mannequin who came to life when his magic hat was placed atop his head. I seem to remember a female character that was human, plus a puppet "security guard" that looked like an old man. He was shown in the show's introduction locking up the store, because the action always took place when the store was closed. Jeff only came to life during this time, and if his hat was removed, he'd turn back into a mannequin.
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The BEST children's show ever made.
derekb272 October 2004
I'm serious when I say that too. I'm a 23-year-old male college student and there is no other children's show I want on DVD as badly as I want this one. Let's fight for a DVD release; it just needs to happen. If you haven't yet, please go to www.tvshowsondvd.com to vote for a release of this show (in season sets). This show has a small but devout cult following and that's something else that makes it great. It was one of the most magical things that I have ever seen. Everything from the songs and dances to the original storyline was amazing. I used to have most of these episodes taped when I was little, but I do not have those anymore. In the good old days Nickelodeon had great shows like these (and "You Can't Do That On Television"). I've always liked the quirkier children's show.
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today's special was a great show
clarkeinvestigations28 January 2005
This was a favorite show of mine growing up. My brother and I would watch it every day and wait for the "balloon" episode. I wish it would come out in a box DVD set for my daughter, or at least come on the reruns. If anyone ever finds it, please let us know where we can get it. One of my favorite things with the show was how Jeff didn't have any common sense. He would do things like brush his teeth with a hair brush, then we would yell at the TV saying he was doing it wrong. It was also funny to hear the Canadian accents. Jeff was always saying, "I'm sorry" to Jody, but it was pronounced, "sawrey". It's a great show and maybe it will come back on reruns someday.
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Finally!
emsjayshay2110 October 2004
I found others who thought this show rocked...way better than the stuff Nickolodeon has now. I adored this show and watched it everyday, along with pinwheel and you can't do that on television, which was sketch comedy at it's best (originals of SNL excluded, of course-they were older)and I would love a DVD of the seasons, my 4 year old would love it. I remember thinking that Jodie was so cool, being able to be at a big store overnight. Things I learned about the show since searching; I didn't know it was Canadian (they have some good shows, check out Degrassi: The New Generation)I also didn't know it was on PBS, and I surely didn't know that it was 28 minutes, 50 seconds long, and Nickolodeon cut out precious minutes of this show.
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Can't stop reminiscing
Adam8786 June 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Spoiler

I always thought although this is a kids show, it has a underlining

maturity behind it--it dealt with real life situations that could happen to kids and adults, and to clear it up--the marshmallow episode was "Waldo's Hat"-Jeff finds Waldo shrunk in his top hat on the counter of the children's department--Waldo warns him from inside"Don't touch

that hat, Jeff", Jeff not hearing him, touches it, and falls in the Hat and joins Waldo --the marshmallows came from Sam's pocket when he threw them in--they turned gigantic since they were already small-- and yes-- waldo and Jeff use the use the big marshmallows as stepping stones to climb out--but they don't have enough--so they topple on one another!!!!

I know perfect descriptions of certain episodes of this series--i know a lot of them by heart!!!!
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remembering nickelodeon when it was good.
Madmatthew9 July 2003
im a little young to be reminiscing about old nick shows, im 17, but i vividly remember some of these shows from some of my earliest memories. i can hardly remember "pinwheel," but i remember the brightly colored title screen. i can remember the opening title scenes for "today's speacial," where they toss a manaquine a hat and he turns into this really geeky lookin guy, and this ugly woman in a pink suit, and this huge puppet riding an escalator. i remember "you can't do that on television" when they slimmed everyone and frequently got people wet, and the introduction to the opposites. i remember some british mouse. i remember "wild and crazy kids." i remember "hey dude" vividly because it was my favorite show.(remember, i am a child of the early 90's) i remember "salute your shorts," and that became my favorite show. i remember "roundhouse," where they all sang in sort of a snl format, and this dude rolled around in a motorized and electonosized(made up word)la-z-boy. I remember "welcome freshmen" was right before "seventeen." i loved welcome freshmen, but i would never watch seventeen. "double dare" and "family double dare" and "celebrity double dare" where they always had a buch of pro wrestlers and athletes come and play with a bunch of kids, and mark sommers was the host, he now works on food tv.

Old Rock of Ages, it looks like we got us a war. A slam-bang, gut bustin', mother-lovin' Navy war.
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Hocus Pocus Alamagocus!
timeerkat21 April 2003
I too grew up on this show. In my 20's now, I can still remember various bits and pieces. For instance, the ending of the opening was a blue background with yellow blinking lights all around the edge, and the words "Today's Special" in yellow in the center. "Today's Special, shout it loud and clear! Today's Special!" Of course I remember Jody's pink pantsuits, and Jeff's plaid hat and Hocus Pocus Alamagocus!, and Sam's computer who knew everything, and Muffy's two-story mouse hole.

Some episodic memories include when Sam put cotton in his ears because of the construction by his house, but later on he couldn't hear well so he went to the ear doctor who took out the cotton and explained why we should never put anything in our ears, even cotton. Then there was the episode when Muffy fell into the janitor's mop bucket and couldn't get out, and through the episode everyone was looking for her. Then there was the episode where Jody and Jeff were on the roof, and right after Jody went downstairs Jeff's hat fell off so he was stuck up there. And I distinctly remember an episode where moving men packed Jeff into a wooden crate and put him on the back of a moving van. I think I can vaguely remember the episode with the butterfly who dies.

I wish I had any episode of this wonderful show to watch. This was by far one of the best shows ever on television, and I hope that whoever produced it does this show the justice it deserves, brings it out of storage and blows off two decades of dust, and releases it on video for the masses to enjoy for years to come.
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every kid should grow up on today's special!
LisaMob27 December 2002
I can most definitely be counted among those who were obsessed with this show as a kid, have fond but fuzzy memories of it, and see nothing of its caliber on children's television today. As more than one user as noted, few children's programs have the desire to tackle the real emotions that kids face in a realistic and educational way. This show delt with taboo kids issues such as illness, sadness, death, and disabled children (I distinctly remember the episode with a child who was in a wheelchair and had an electronic table that he communicated with--I was three when I was watching this show and was able to grasp this concept!)...yet it was by no means depressing--on the contrary, Today's Special was a very upbeat and touching show to watch! Jody is the patient teacher and mentor, while Muffy is the lovable rhyme speaking mouse that everyone dotes on...Sam is the oft-dimwitted yet equally lovable security guard whose gigantic, "cutting edge" (it is literally the size of a refrigerator) computer TXL saves his job more often than not. Jeff is the most crucial to the show, however, as he is the character that sees the world as a child does, and he is learning all about the way the world works. The whole concept of this show seems so brilliantly simple, yet I've never seen it done before or since.

We have only one episode on tape, and it is the one with Hazel the butterfly. In this episode, you not only learn all about butterflies and friendship through Muffy and Hazel's special relationship, but about death...she is just a butterfly I realize, but she dies in the end and it is very touching, but not an overwhelmingly sad thing for a child to watch. Just about every episode could be applied to some ordeal, big or small, that a kid is going through--Muffy breaks her leg and has to go to the hospital, Muffy has the mooching cousin Mort who overstays his visit and eats all her cheese, for shame!! If and when I have children, you can bet that I will be tracking down every episode of this classic, wonderful series.
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One of My Favorites
seo2a9 October 2002
Today's Special was an excellent show. It was probably my favorite TV show when I was little, followed by it's Nickelodeon companion Pinwheel. The show was Canadian and is very hard to come by now. It is a shame that Nickelodeon does not show such great shows like it used to: Today's Special, Pinwheel, The Noozles, Hey Dude, etc...
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The Reason Why I Like Marshmallows
jcshowcase8 August 2002
I grew up on the show "Today's Special," and I loved every minute of it. My favorite episode of all (the one I remember most vividly) was the episode where the entire cast was shrunk down to minimal proportions. They were stuck in a top hat, and they had to use colored marshmallows to get out. To this day, I eat marshmallows and think about this show. That has to mean something in the grand scheme of things. Here I am, in my twenties, and I remember this show like I just saw it yesterday. No shows today hold a candle to any of the old shows like "Today's Special."
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The rest of them.
Bom-Ber20 August 1999
All I really have to say is that this was a great show. Also, the other cast members of Today's Special were Jodie, Sam (the puppet guy) and Muffy (the mouse). Muffy always talked in rhyme. Well anyway, I just wanted to write so that people would remember the other cast members (besides Jeff)
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