Archie's Funhouse

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Archie's Funhouse TV Poster Image
Comic book stars' sketch comedy is dated but still fun.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Educational Value

The show intends to entertain rather than to educate. 

Positive Messages

Female characters come across as superficial and boy-obsessed, and their physical appearances are a consideration in how attracted the guys are to them. Certain character traits (laziness, vanity, denseness) are played for laughs in skits and jokes. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

The show's purely comic feel and brisk clip leave little time for character development, but, for the most part, they're all good sports about rotating the job of being the brunt of a joke. 

Violence & Scariness

The characters run into things, have objects dropped on them, and suffer a myriad of mishaps in trademark cartoon fashion, but injuries are rare. 

Sexy Stuff

Some of the characters tease about romantic relationships. The girls in particular often seem intent on winning the favor of their respective crushes, and the guys' disinterest is played for laughs. 

Language
Consumerism

The show is one of many inspired by the characters of the Archie comic books. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Archie's Funhouse comprises rapid-fire comical skits, slapstick humor, jokes, and musical segments featuring songs by the Archies. The content is clean, and the humor is often corny, but there's a persistent sexism embedded into the otherwise entertaining cartoon. Female characters tend to moon over the guys, and these one-sided crushes are played for laughs, as is the physical appearance of an unattractive girl whose attempts are chronicled in a recurring segment called "How to Catch a Man."

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What's the story?

Archie (voiced by Dal McKennon) and the gang are back in action in ARCHIE'S FUNHOUSE, a sketch comedy-style cartoon based on the popular Archie comic books. Betty (Jane Webb), Jughead, Reggie (John Erwin), and the rest of the Archie crew trade jokes, stage skits, and pull gags on each other, with the show playing out in front of a live audience of kids. Also included in each episode are a few of the Archies' musical performances.

Is it any good?

The fact that Archie's Funhouse is unlike anything today's kids are likely to have seen gives it a certain novelty status. For all the, er, vintage quality that stands out in scenes of the circa-1970 audience members, the entertainment portion of the show is fairly timeless humor. After all, bad puns and slapstick humor can bridge any time gap, right?  

Another feature that stands out as a reflection of its time is the gender dynamic among the characters. Whereas we've come to expect qualities such as self-sufficiency and an element of romantic indifference in our modern female characters, this group isn't shy about batting starry eyes when their objects of affection are nearby. It's all fairly harmless and never amounts to anything solid, but older kids might notice the difference. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how classic shows such as this one fare among modern offerings. Is the humor still relevant? In what ways does this series show its age?

  • How does the media portray female characters in general? Is there a marked difference between those in older series and those created today? What traits do you notice that differ between the two groups? 

  • Did you like the music featured in this show? Do you think a band of cartoon characters could achieve any popularity today? How much of a celebrity's popularity is related to his or her appearance? How does this influence your expectations of what's considered attractive?

TV details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love classics

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