|Chudd Chudders (voiced by Rupert Degas)|
|The Earl (voiced by Lewis MacLeod)|
Cartoon Network Europe
Skatoony was a live-action/animation hybrid game show where real children competed against cartoon characters. The hosts were animated too.
In 2001, Skatoony began as a competition microsite on the Cartoon Network UK website co-developed by James Fox and Brian Boyle, who the latter left Cartoon Network before the series premiered. In 2006, the first full length Skatoony TV show premiered on the Cartoon Network UK channel. However, a few phone-in shows such as Skatoony Scribble. Skatoony Vacation, Skatoony Balloony, Skatoony Quizmas, Ready Steady Skatoony, Skatoony Quizoff and Skatoony Truckatoony existed before as a sort of continuity during school holidays. These phone-in shows ended in 2005. The British version of Skatoony was filmed at MTV Studios at Camden and in London with schoolchidren from around the world auditioning as contestants.
According to creator James Fox, the process of producing a Skatoony episode was very complicated and developed over all of the series.
"First we’d plan out an episode and part script it. Then we’d take that to the studio and record the quiz element, weaving the script into conversation with the kids using “stand-in” actors instead of cartoons. We created slime and grunge out of various pastes, mostly wallpaper paste! Then we’d take the footage back to the animation studio and build the show from the original script and the live action footage."
Three children, along with three cartoon characters, competed in three rounds. The contestants each sat in a box on an animated podium called the Quizblock, and each box was a different colour (green, pink, and blue for the children, adult: purple, yellow, and red for the cartoon characters).
Round 1: Bang On! or Bogus?
In this round, Chudd asked a series of rapid fire true/false questions. The contestants had to buzz in and say "Bang On!" (true) or "Bogus!" (false). At the end of the round, the two contestants with the lowest scores were eliminated.
The Next Two Rounds
These were played in a variety of formats, and they rotated on a regular basis. Two more contestants were eliminated in the second round, and a final one was eliminated in the third round.
Round 2 Formats
- Same Sound Name Round – This was only played in the first series. Each contestant was given three placards, each depicting a picture corresponding to a particular word, with all three words rhyming with each other. Chudd's questions in this round all had an answer that would either match or have the same pronunciation as one of these three placards. Contestants were only awarded points for presenting the correct placard; giving the correct answer verbally while presenting the wrong placard didn't award points.
- Wearin' the World? – This was only played in the first series. Each contestant was given three hats, representing three countries. All of Chudd's questions this round had answers corresponding to one of those three countries, and contestants had to wear the correct hat in order to be awarded points. Giving the correct answer verbally while wearing the wrong hat (or not wearing the hat at all) didn't award points.
- Draw What You Hear, and Shout Out When You Know What You've Drawn! – Chudd would use words to describe a picture to be drawn by the contestants, and the contestants had to infer what they were drawing from Chudd's instructions. Chudd would continue with the description until one contestant gave the correct answer.
- Alphabet Soup – This was only played once. Each contestant was given four alphabet symbols embedded in a liquid. Chudd's questions all had answers that begin with or rhyme with one of the letters of the alphabet. Contestants were only awarded points for presenting the correct letter of the alphabet; giving the correct answer verbally whilst holding the wrong letter didn't award points.
- Colourful Language – This was only played once. Each contestant had four boxes in front of them, each with a different colour. Chudd's questions were all about the colours written on the box. They had to give the colour written on the box, not the one coloured.
- Throw If You Know – This was played in the last two series. Each contestant wore a big round hat with three balls, each with a different type; Chudd's questions were about them. If they got it right, they had to throw the correct ball to Chudd. In the episode Rollercoaster, the balls were replaced with moons, stars and red balls (planets).
- Blindfold Buffet – This was only played in the second series. Unlike other rounds, it was played in outer space or the ocean, but never the studio. In front of the contestants were five different foods/animals, which served as answers to the questions that were answered. They had to pick up a handful of the right answer, then buzz in. However, all four contestants were blindfolded, so that they couldn't see the food in front of them. Contestants were only awarded points for presenting the correct food; giving the correct answer verbally whilst holding the wrong food didn't award points.
- Cheery Tunes – This game was only played once. Contestants had to guess the tune of a nursery rhyme that The Earl was playing.
- Goldie Pops' Deeply Dipping Game – This was Goldie Pops' personal game, and only played once. It was similar to Same Sound Name Round, except the three rhyming answers were in tanks of yucky sludge, and the contestants had to pick the answers up with their teeth, like apple bobbing.
- Colour Me Quizzy – This was played in the last two series. The four contestants each had three boxes of coloured paint in front of them. They had to dip their face in the correct colour, then hit their buzzer. Contestants were only awarded points for the correct colour that was on their face; giving the correct answer verbally whilst the wrong colour paint was on their face didn't award points. In this round, the child contestants (and human toon contestants) had to wear goggles to protect their eyes. In the episode Cafe Le Quiz, they substituted the paint for mustard (yellow), brown sauce (brown), and mushy peas (green).
- Quick Pic Picking! – This game was only played once. Contestants had to guess the animal pic Chudd was describing.
- Animal Swap-a-Butt – This was only played twice. Fernando Fernando Fernando had his group of hybrid freaks. The contestants had to guess the two correct animals, to earn a point.
- Talkin' Backwords! – This was played twice in the last series. In this game, Chudd would go around the Quizblock and ask each of the contestants a question in turn; BUT they had to give their answer back to front.
- Blinking Brain Box – This game was also played twice in the last series. In this game, Chudd wore a helmet that showed his thoughts, but they were jumbled. The contestants had to figure out what he was thinking of, and they could earn up to 5 points, depending how fast they could figure out what Chudd was thinking of. This round made the easiest way to eliminate both toon contestants in each episode.
Round 3 Formats
- Hoo Flung Dung! – In this round, Hoo, the "Artistic Gorilla", would throw his "paint" (though claimed to be dung by the round's title, on other occasions it was implied to be ordinary poo) onto a canvas. The "paint" would form into a particular shape, which the contestants had to identify. A particular feature of this challenge was the fact that some of the "paint" was splattered on the contestants.
- DangerBox – This was only played in the first series. In front of each contestant were three boxes, each of which contained a particular type of food, be it something nice or nasty. Contestants had to open a box and eat its contents BEFORE giving the answer to each question Chudd asked. Contestants were not allowed to pick a box more than once. Refusing to eat what's in a box would deny the contestant both the question and the points with it.
- Fast Food – This was played in the first two series. The contestants competed head to head in a speed quizzing challenge. Each contestant would have as much time as it took for the other to consume a specified quantity of food.
- Egg Noggin! – Presented in front of each contestant was a row of eggs, some of which were raw and some of which were hard-boiled. The two contestants had to listen to the general knowledge questions, and then buzz in when they knew the answer. Contestants were awarded one point for each correct answer. Regardless of whether the contestant gave the correct answer or not, they then had to select an egg and break it against their forehead. A bonus point was awarded if the egg chosen was hard-boiled, but if it was raw, the egg yolk would go all over their face. Enough eggs were provided so that neither contestant could run out of eggs.
- The DangerGrid of Doom – This was played in the last two series. The DangerGrid of Doom was a huge robot with a panel of twelve numbers, each containing a nasty surprise such as drenching the contestant in various yucky goo or a deduction of points. Contestants answering correctly were allowed to choose one panel from the grid as a nasty surprise to unleash on their opponent. Conversely, contestants answering incorrectly were subjected to a nasty surprise chosen by their opponent from the grid.
- Viking Flung Dung! – This game was only played once, although it did have the same rules as Hoo Flung Dung!
- Stinky Drinky – This was played in the last two series. Contestants had to answer general knowledge questions. If they got a question right, their opponent had to drink one of the yucky drinks lined up in front of them. But if they got the question wrong, they had to drink one. Just like Blindfold Buffet, this round was never played in the studio; instead, it was played somewhere else. In this case, it could be in a spooky cave, inside their boss' stomach, or out in the desert in the middle of nowhere.
- Mystery Pie Roulette – This game was played in the last two series. Contestants had to answer general knowledge questions. If a contestant got a question right, their opponent had to eat one of the mince pies lined up in front of them. The catch was that there wasn't mince in the pies at all; it was something horrid. But if a contestant got a question wrong, they had to eat a pie themselves.
When contestants were eliminated, they were catapulted out of their seats, while everyone was singing the show's signature tune, You're Outta Here! All losing contestants were catapulted into factories containing something nasty, and, on some occasions, were not seen at all for the remainder of the episode.
At the start of each new round, the remaining contestants' scores were reset to zero.
In any case, the last remaining contestant (always one of the children) won the game.
Bonus Round: Skatoony Quiz Champ Challenge
The winning contestant had 90 seconds to correctly answer ten questions. Each correct answer was worth one point. When half the time (45 seconds) had gone by, the clock stopped and The Earl offered a "Halfway Deal" which meant that the contestant could trade in time for points. Depending on how many correct answers they gave, it was either three points for 25 seconds (if they had less than five), two points for 20 seconds (if they had five exactly), or one point for 10 seconds (if they had six or seven). If the contestant had at least eight points here, the clock stopped just long enough for The Earl to tell them that he didn't need to make the offer. If the contestant could reach ten points before the clock reached zero seconds, they won a prize; if they could reach ten points within the first 45 seconds, however, they became a "#1 Skatoony Quiz Champ Champion."
The prizes for winning the bonus round changed with each new series as follows:
- Series 1 – A Sony PSP (although on two episodes it was a video iPod)
- Series 2 – A Nintendo Wii
- Series 3 – An iPod Touch (although on two episodes it was a Nintendo DS)
In between rounds, short segments (usually part of a storyline) featuring eliminated animated contestants (and on occasion, eliminated child contestants) interacting with Chudd or the Earl also appeared during the progression of the show.
Rupert Degas' other voice work includes Bubba the Gorilla in Chop Socky Chooks (Aardman Animation's only attempt at an anime-based series, which also aired on Cartoon Network), as well as being a regular on Thomas & Friends for two years.
Lewis MacLeod provided the voices of five characters in another Cartoon Network show, The Amazing World of Gumball (Principal Brown, Rocky Robinson, Mr. Small, Miss Simian, and the Doughnut Sheriff). He is currently the voice of Postman Pat, having replaced the late Ken Barrie in 2016.