The Season 4 Handy-Dandy Guide

We're now half way through 1994. Our first glimpse at the season was an appearance by some of the dancers on the Nickelodeon Kid's Choice Awards. There we saw Bryan Anthony and Natasha Pearce for the first time, but didn't learn their names until the season started. Commercials began airing for a live episode of Roundhouse. As it went, the cast would host SNICK on June 4, 1994 - and then Roundhouse would air live after SNICK, in the 10pm time slot. They kept this time slot through the summer with The Adventures of Pete & Pete taking its old 8:30 place. After summer was over, Roundhouse was kicked out of SNICK completely. New episodes aired Sundays at 7:30pm, which was normally reserved for reruns. Around this time, fans began receiving letters from the cast stating that the show was in danger of cancellation. Letters started pouring in to Nickelodeon from the fans with seemingly no avail. I, personally, got about 19 form letters in response stating that Roundhouse had completed it's episode order of 52 episodes and that was that. At the time I felt that fans were making no difference to the situation, but I have since learned that we did indeed make an impression on Nickelodeon. There were however conflicts on the executive level which ensured Roundhouse's end, regardless of our actions. Reruns aired for a year, but by 1996, Roundhouse was off the air entirely.

As with season three, our first look at the show was of an episode filmed somewhere in the middle of the season's production. So when we watched Roundhouse Live, we saw Bryan, Natasha and David Nicoll on the show for the first time, even though they had already filmed most of the season. Gone were the third season additions; Jennifer Cihi, Amy Ehrlich and Shawn Muñoz. Returning from season two was Lisa Vale, who again sang the theme song. The font used for the logo and the credits changed for this season, altering the look of the show a bit. In my opinion though, the biggest shock Roundhouse Live offered was a noticeably pregnant Julene Renee (7 months along I think.) When the season resumed as normal, literally the next week, the episodes aired that were filmed months earlier, and Julene was hardly showing at all.

There was a heavy air to the show in the final episodes - the vultures were circling, but it never stopped Roundhouse from making jokes about their impending cancellation. The cast was visibly upset about the group's parting in the last episode. The last image of the show was John driving away in his motorized easychair with a cardboard sign on the back that said, "will do toilet humor for food."

The order these episodes have been placed in is based on airing order and educated guess (the length of Shawn's hair.)

401 natural disasters

(Ivan, Natasha)
Directed by: Rita Sheffield
Songs: "Sunrise" "Everything's Gonna Be Alright"

The family moves to Hollywood where they experience mudslides, earthquakes, tornados, etc.

402 changes

(Nicoll, Julene)
Directed by: Rita Sheffield and Paul Hoen
Songs: "Changing Shades of Grey" "Too Much To Handle"

Bernie goes to Junior High and is overwhelmed by changes. Meanwhile, Dad thinks he's Elvis.

notes: John wrote "Changing Shades of Grey."

403 guilt/trial

(Nicoll, Ivan, Alfred)
Directed by: Rita Sheffield
Songs: "It's Not Over" "Nothing But the Truth" (VB)

Les has to defend his friend Joey in a mock school trial.

404 good luck

Directed by: Rita Sheffield
Songs: "No Lucky Charm" "Oil 'N Vinegar"

The show Claptrap (a cute self-parody) is looking for new talent. Paul gets a chance to audition, with the help of his lucky underwear.

405 history of the anyfamily, part 1

(Ivan, Natasha)
Directed by: Rita Sheffield
Songs: "What Time Is It" (VB) "Time Wheels Turning"

In the first part of the only Roundhouse two-parter, Fred and Jill Anykid come across a blender that's really a time machine! They travel to ancient times and meet their ancestors. The also find that the past is filled with as much commercialism as the present. When they return to their time, they destroy the blender to prevent any further time travel mischief - but have they interfered with history and changed the fate of their parents and themselves?

"Find out next week… if we're still on."

406 history of the anyfamily, part 2

(Natasha, Ivan)
Directed by: Bruce Gowers
Songs: "Making History" (VB) "Time Travel Cha-Cha"

Having destroyed the blender from last week's episode, Jill and Fred are troubled about how to return to the past. Luckily, the future Jill and Fred travel to give the present Jill and Fred a time traveling out-house (AKA "Jill & Fred's Excellent Head-venture"). They must use the out-house to go back to the past to correct the effects of their prior interference with history.

notes: This two-parter is the only instance where the cast is dressed identically in two episodes.

407 summer camp

(Ivan, Micki)
Directed by: Rita Sheffield
Songs: "What Took You So Long" "Boy Scouts To Men"

Jack and Diane go to camp for the summer, but shortly become homesick.

408 dropping out of school

(Ivan, Lisa)
Directed by: Rita Sheffield
Songs: "Could It Be You" "Drop Out" (VB)

Skip drops out of school to pursue his skateboarding career.

409 live episode/making mistakes

(Ivan, Natasha)
Directed by: Rita Sheffield
Songs: "Don't You Choke" (VB) "Nobody's Perfect"

In an episode performed and aired live on June 4, 1994, KC learns to deal with making mistakes.

notes: Alfred co-wrote the bumper, "Don't You Choke." In the end credits, the camera finds Lisa's baby and then-hubby in the audience. Natasha points out some folks in the crowd as well. The only perceivable mistake made in this episode that would be edited out in later airings was a technical error in act 1 during the Faux Pa sketch. The camera follows John when he is actually supposed to leave frame. Very minor errors made that are so small they're probably not even worthy of a retake are: Mark has shirt difficulty in the third act Scrawny Paper Towels sketch, and Natalie has a word flub in the third act "It's A Blunderful Life" sketch. Ivan's mention of Dominic at the end, and Mark & Sid's body slam at the end of act 2 were improvised.

410 school projects/innovation

(Ivan, Sid)
Directed by: Rita Sheffield
Songs: "Break These Chains Set Me Free" "Give Me A Second Chance"

Darrell Anykid has to come up with an underachievement Project for school to compete with child genius Donald Chump.

notes: Episode was choreographed by Ivan Dudynsky.

411 obsession

Directed by: Rita Sheffield
Songs: "I Love You"

As stated in the show: "A delightful Cinderella parody about obsession with surprisingly few fart jokes."

notes: During the closing theme, David Sidoni holds up a sign that reads, "50th Episode, thanks for watching." A bit in this episode features Stage Manager, Gary Stella.

412 war

(Ivan, Mark)
Directed by: Rita Sheffield
Songs: "We've Got A War On Our Hands" "Let's Make Peace"

For a political science lesson, a classroom is divided into two nations that must get along for the school year. War breaks out.

notes: This is the only episode in which the entire cast is dressed by theme.

413 endings

Directed by: Rita Sheffield
Songs: “Before You Know It”

The kids graduate from Anytown Junior High. Ivan's character quickly realizes that this means Roundhouse is cancelled. He spends the remaining 18 minutes trying to save the show.

notes: Stage Manger Gary Stella and Gaffer George Harvey have lines in this episode. Ivan's actual mother has a line. The Honda Accordion sketch was actually written for the divorce episode, #204. In one of my favorite RH moments, John and Shawn parody a dance bumper. Instead of doing the closing dance, images of the crew flash through this final credits sequence.