Fans of both Hammy the Hamster from Tales of the Riverbank and Friends got a special treat on Friday when Mashable‘s The Water Cooler YouTube account uploaded a new short film entitled, Hamsters, billing it as Central Fluff: Friends Remade With Hamsters. Though the video doesn’t promote itself as being related to Hammy Hamster, the similarity, given that it includes hamsters, is undeniable.
The YouTube video takes place in a remake of the Friends Central Perk set with the title Hamsters splashed across the screen in the same style as the Friends television show. The Friends theme “I’ll Be There For You” by The Rembrandts plays along as hamster versions of each of the cast members, except David Schwimmer, make appearances. The Rembrandts single charted as high as number 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the fall of 1995.
There’s Jennifer Hamsterson, Hamster Cox, Lisa Hamster, the real David Schwimmer (whom TV Guide reports “you cannot adopt“), Matt Le Hamster, and Hamster Perry. The TV Guide reference to Schwimmer seems to refer to either a Friends episode, possibly “The One with the Birth Mother” from 2004 or perhaps the fact that Schwimmer has been seen as getting in the way of a Friends reunion, and was said to have “flaked” on the idea, as reported by IMDb and the Inquisitr. Readers who have more insight into why David Schwimmer “cannot be adopted” are encouraged to leave comments below.
Friends ran for 10 seasons from 1994 to 2004 and a total of 236 episodes were produced. The sitcom has received a high 9.0 out of 10 rating on IMDb. Friends was nominated for Primetime Emmy Awards in every year of its run except its first, and it won several along the way, including Michael Lembeck taking Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series in 1996, Lisa Kudrow taking Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 1998, Bruce Willis taking Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series in 2000, the entire production crew taking Outstanding Comedy Series in 2002, Jennifer Aniston taking Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 2002, and Christina Applegate taking Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series in 2003. The wildly popular comedy also took several Golden Globe Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards, and ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards, among many other nominations and awards.
Tales of the Riverbank first appeared on television in 1960 and was a concept of Englishman David Ellison and Canadian Paul Sutherland, who met in Toronto in 1958, launching the careers of Hammy the Hamster, Roderick the Rat, and Mr. Guinea Pig, among many other rodents, according to Telly Nation.
Hammy Hamster, as many children would refer to both the character and the show, was originally shot in black and white, with 26 original episodes being created. Johnny Morris, a Welsh voice actor, narrated the original show, but was let go when another 26 episodes were produced, beginning in 1972, when the BBC had begun a policy of not allowing human voice-overs for animal characters. The next 26 episodes were filmed in color. Another 26 5-minute episodes were then produced, with Johnny Morris back as the narrator. Since then, another 52 half-hour episodes have been produced in Canada by David Ellison and Paul Sutherland, completing a long and successful run for the beloved children’s show.
Ellison, the creator of Hammy Hamster, now runs a website, Further Tales of the Riverbank, where fans can check up on the latest happenings with the Tales of the Riverbank series. DVDs are available for purchase and documentaries about Hammy Hamster and Ellison are available for viewing. The site also includes a biography of the producer.
The Hamster Friends mashup is sure to bring back fond memories for enthusiasts of both shows. Be sure to leave comments below about your memories of the programs and any insight you may have into the David Schwimmer “cannot be adopted” mystery.
[Screenshot Courtesy Mashable Cooler Time / YouTube — David Schwimmer Photo by Jason Merritt / Getty Images — Jennifer Aniston Photo by Frazer Harrison / Getty Images]