Bodger and Badger was a long-running children's programme produced and aired by the BBC almost continuously since 1989. Nine series were made and it has effectively gone into syndication on British children's television. In this brave new era, when bands play dirty electro-stomp, or neo-punk glitch-pop, writer and actor Andy Cunningham pioneered mashed-potato comedy. To give the gist of the show, I'll quote the BBC's summary of the first few series and the wiki summary of the series six titles:
A sitcom aimed at young children that originally followed the adventures of an odd-job man, Simon Bodger, and his pet badger (a puppet). In the first series Bodger worked at Troff's Nosherama where he tried to keep the existence of his badger a secret. The second and third series had the pair at Letsby Avenue Junior School, where once again Simon tried to hide Badger from prying eyes.

Badger bashing a vacuum with a mallet, Badger throwing mash, Bodger getting splattered with mash, Badger breaking a vase in which Mousey is stuck, Bodger getting squirted with water, Badger hitting Simon on the nose with a spoon, Badger pulling a lever, Badger pouring mash potatoe powder over Mousey, Bodger lifting his head out of a bowl of mash.
Now - there's nothing unusual finding children's programmes a little sinister. The uncanny cheer of Teletubby land makes for chilly viewing. Rosie and Jim and the Old Ragdoll made me shudder. Simulated effervescence, in general, creeps us way the fuck out. But let's just have a quick look at this paragraph from the BBC. First off, the excellent reassurance that the badger is a puppet. (No animals were harmed, etc, PETA.) More interestingly, Bodger keeps his 'badger' "a secret". Later he tries to hide him from "prying eyes". What exactly are we dealing with here?

That Badger is Bodger's alter ego, and that Badger fetishes mashed potato are givens. I think it's also pretty incontrovertible that Badger is Bodger's id, squirming under the weight of his superego and finding solace and sexual healing in mashed potato. Let's turn to the Bodger and Badger theme song for more insight:
Everywhere he goes, Bodger always knows,
Badger, his badger mate is never far away.
Bodger and Badger, Bodger and Badger.
La, La, La, La-lah,
La, La, La, La-lah.

Everybody knows, Badger loves mashed potatoes;
He makes them into shapes and eats them everyday!
Bodger and Badger, Bodger and Badger.
La, La, etc.
Bodger and Badger are never far away!
Bodger and Badger are never far away. Are they a monomaniacal collective unconscious, always on the periphery? Or, as in James Hogg's Confessions of a Justified Sinner, is Badger a Satanic Emissary, Bodger's doppelganger, sent to wreak potato-mediated vengeance on Calvanists everywhere? Andy Cunningham's religious views remain unknown at time of writing. Perhaps it is a sign of where the world is headed that Bodger and Badger is listed as a comedy. Watching Bodger's mounting hysteria, constantly suppressing his subversive, tumescently unpredictable phallic badger, comedy never entered my mind. I watched Bodger stumble from one odd job to another, fuelled by shame and rage and humiliation. Each promising fresh start is sabotaged by his pet badger (a puppet).

Comedy? No. Rather, Bodger and Badger spelled out in flecks of vomit and fresh tears; despair.

Written by:
Andy Cunningham

Andy Cunningham - Bodger
Andy Cunningham - Badger

First aired 1989-99; BBC is currently reshowing series 8.
Many morning spent weeping in front of the screen.

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