|"And Now Let's Talk to Some Kids"|
|Number in season:||4B|
|Original Airdate:|| November 19, 1998|
September 9, 1999
|Written by:||Joe Fallon|
|Storyboard by:||Stéfanie Gignac|
"The Chips are Down"
The Magic Toolbox comes to Mr. Ratburn's class to put some of the kids on TV.
Arthur asked the viewers if they ever noticed that people's personalities fit them perfectly. Then Mr Ratburn says that they needed more homework and quizzes. Then Buster is laughing at a joke from a book he was reading. Then Francine tells Muffy she wasn't going to the mall and that she was going to play soccer and that Muffy was going to play with her. Muffy says that she is so rude. Then Arthur tells the viewers to imagine what it would be like if they had other personalities. It would be weird. In. Busters voice: For tonights homework, find a funny joke. And if they make him laugh, they get an A. Francine says what she said. Then Binky ( in Muffy's voice.) says that she's going to the mall because they have the cutest sneakers. In Arthur's house, Arthur is sleeping on his desk until Pal in Mr. Ratburn's voice questions him if he's doing math or daydreaming and then does the 7 times tables after he says that 7 x 3 is 21. Arthur tells Pal to stop and tells the viewers how weird that would be. Pal then tells Arthur to scratch him behind the ears after homework.
After the title card, Arthur, Buster, and D.W. were watching the Let's Talk to Some Kids segment on the Magic Toolbox. D.W. says if they are gonna choose Arthur. Then she imitates Arthur which makes Buster laugh, but annoy Arthur. The next day, Mr. Ratburn's class were having a quiz when Mr. Haney comes in saying the people behind Let's Talk To Some Kids has chosen Mr. Ratburn's class. At recess, Arthur, Francine, and Sue Ellen gave their ideas, except Brain, who is doing a science project. They are extremely confident to the point that Francine believes she will become the new star of The Magic Tool Box. Sue Ellen and Arthur also think about their appearances on television, comparing it to performing solo on stage. Sue Ellen says that TV needs action, and wants to perform Karate. At home, Arthur and Buster are practicing for their TV appearances, much to D.W.'s annoyance. Arthur is playing the piano and Buster is telling jokes. Buster believes that he is going to get his own TV show. The next day, they are continuing their practicing with Fern joining them by reciting poetry. Arthur's friends discover he is not practicing to be on TV. Arthur's friends try to get Brain TV-interested, but to no avail. They become desperate, suggesting that he should be "Kazoo Boy". The Brain continues to say he is not afraid, but he is simply not interested in the TV show. The next day, it was time to film Mr. Ratburn's class. Muffy asks the film crew if she should change her dress. Ratburn tells her to please be seated and then Muffy says "How rude! I was just trying to project an effective media image.".
In a plot twist, everybody that was previously excited about appearing on stage (or on TV) now are afraid of the spotlight. When they were asked to talk about The Solar System, they realized they spent all their time preparing for superficial entertainment and were not expecting a televised quiz. Brain is the only exception. He was expecting it the entire time. They beg Brain to help them and he kindly gives him their lines. The rest of the class finishes their scenes and remember their lines but with little energy. Arthur, Buster, and Francine used the lines and cues given by The Brain while the camera focused on Binky, George, and Fern. Binky said that the solar system is bigger than he is, Fern recited "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star", and George was shown constantly forgetting what he was going to say. Francine finally finishes by saying "Mars is the fourth planet. It is my favorite planet because Mars is red. Red is my favorite Color. So it is my favorite planet: The Planet Red --- I Mean MARS!"
In the future, Brain in his older-self made a teleporter. Arthur and Francine in their older-selves watch the Magic Toolbox on TV, singing the theme song off key. The final scene closes with deer jump around outside not far from their house.
- George Lundgren
- Jenna Morgan
- Fern Walters
- Maria Pappas
- Unknown Female Aardvark (Number 3)
- Teenager's Mom
- On the TV show, Let's Talk to Some Kids that Arthur, Buster, and D.W. were watching, there is an aardvark girl with a hairstyle similar to Francine's and with barrettes, but shorter.
- During the intro, Pal can be heard talking like Mr. Ratburn, but wasn't officially given the ability to speak until in The Secret Life of Dogs and Babies.
- There are two parodies of the Arthur intro in this episode: One is when Buster is imagining himself on TV, and the other is when Francine is imagining the Brain having his own TV show. The latter parody also includes a parody of "Arthur's New Puppy" titled "Brain's New Puppy".
- This episode implies that Arthur and Francine marry in the future and have not seen Buster in a long time.
- The name of the episode is a play on the phrase, "And now, a word from us kids," referential of the segment featuring actual children shown as interstitial content between stories on most Arthur episodes, save those which featured "Postcards from You."
- Buster hoping to get his own show is foreshadowing Postcards From Buster (although almost all the kids imagined having their own show).
- This episode, along with 4A, (Background Blues) both feature scenes that take place in the future, except "And Now Let's Talk to Some Kids" features a future scene at the end, while Background Blues shows it at the beginning.
- This is George's first speaking role.
- The 4th Wall is broken several times in this episode. When D.W. imagines Buster on TV (in the place of Arthur) he falls forward instead of backward, out of the television, in a smaller form, and lands in front of her. This excites D.W. but she changes her mind about Buster offering her a co-star role by saying "No, thanks. You'd try to make me look like a brat or something." hinting at her awareness of her role in the Arthur show itself.
- Also, Francine imagines Brain in the place of Arthur doing nothing except thinking about getting a new puppy, but not actually doing it. She then says it is almost as sad as when Francine didn't get a puppy last year. Arthur then takes notice of this curious sentence. She is talking about the Arthur's New Puppy episode the entire time.
- Another noticeable character that did not appear by herself on the segment of The Magic Toolbox is Maria, because of her stutter.
- The Brain actually appeared on footage of The Magic Toolbox, behind Arthur when Arthur was talking about orbit.
- Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers are not available for this episode's parody with Brain in the place of Arthur.
- Francine mentions that she didn't get a puppy last Christmas, despite the fact that she and her family are Jewish. In the book Arthur's Christmas that was first published fourteen years before this episode went on the air, Francine was seen sitting on Santa Claus's lap, but never revealed which holiday she celebrates with her family.
- When the kids watch the completed episode of the show in school, Francine's interview comes last. When the elderly Arthur and Francine watch the tape again in the future, Francine appears before Muffy and Buster. (But this could have been editing done after recording the tape)
- Continuity: In the first half of the episode (Background Blues) shows that VHS had been converted to Datagrams. But at the end of "And Now Let's Talk To Some Kids" it shows Arthur and Francine with a VHS cassette. However, the VCR is located in the armrest of the floating Barkazoid.