Chuckimation Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chuckimation

Action League Now!
Action League Now!.jpg
Created by
Narrated byScott Paulsen
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons
  • 4 (on KaBlam!)
  • 1 (as a package series)
No. of episodes
  • 51 (on KaBlam!)
  • 12 (as a package series)
Production locationsPittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Running time
  • 4 minutes (individual shorts)
  • 24 minutes (package series)
Production companies
DistributorCBS Television Distribution
Original networkNickelodeon
Original releaseNovember 25, 2001 (2001-11-25) –
February 10, 2002 (2002-02-10)
Related shows

Action League Now! (advertised as Action League Now!: The Series when packaged into a half-hour block) is a series of stop motion shorts that aired as part of both All That and KaBlam! on Nickelodeon.[1] It was made using "chuckimation", a combination of stop-frame animation and live-action shots where things are simply thrown ("chucked") or dropped into frame to simulate movement, and wiggled around to simulate talking.[2] The series follows the adventures of a superhero league, composed of various action figures, toys, and dolls. The show was created by Robert Mittenthal, Will McRobb, and Albie Hecht.

Most episodes took place in a house of an unseen resident. Many of the characters were voiced by radio personalities from Pittsburgh.

From 1998 to February 10, 2002, Nickelodeon briefly ran Action League Now! shorts on their own, combined to fill a half-hour timeslot.


The Flesh (Jim Krenn)
"He's super strong and super naked!" – A blonde, muscular, dimwitted bodybuilder who never wears clothes. His catchphrases include simple, immature terms such as "Ouchies!", "Oopsies!", and "Yummies!". The Flesh is rather clumsy and usually gets in the way of the other Action Leaguers when they're trying to save the day (by injuring them), but means no harm. His super power is super strength and he has been shown capable of lifting things many times his sizes such as buses and bricks. The figure used for Flesh was a modified Conan the Adventurer action figure.[3]
Thundergirl (Cris Winter)
"She flies ... like thunder!" – The only female member of the team, as well as the only one with the ability to fly. She usually accompanies her flight with a song similar to the tune of John Williams' Star Wars theme with the lyrics, "Thundergirl flying like thunder," (This was dropped later on in the series). Thundergirl does not appreciate Meltman's crush on her, and usually ignores his professions of love (and sometimes slaps him). She does not seem to think of herself as an equal to the rest of the League, thinking of herself as superior instead. A recurring gag is her statement that she will use her super strength only to realize too late that she doesn't have super strength. The figure used for Thundergirl was a Sindy doll's head on an unknown superhero figure body. Her image is a combination of Barbie and She-Ra.
Stinky Diver (Jim Krenn)
"A former navy commando with an attitude as bad as his odor!" – A mustachioed diver who is often seen in or around toilets. He speaks with an Australian-type accent, even though an episode title ("Mad Dogs and Englishmen") suggested him being English. In the same episode as mentioned above, it is revealed that he became cold after his mom ratted him out to the enemy during the Gulf War for money. As his name makes obvious, Stinky has a foul odor, but the Action League seems to have gotten used to it and don't mind it most of the time. Owns a beach house (in reality, a life-size portable toilet) and a vast collection of toilet paper, which come in many different colors. He is the most frequent driver of the Action Mobile, the League's official transportation device (a big, red remote-control car). Although he lacks any superpowers he has the ability to pull a spear gun out of thin air and can fire a seemingly endless amount of plastic missiles. Stinky is an altered 1994 G.I. Joe Shipwreck action figure.[4]
Meltman (Scott Paulsen)
"With the power to... melt!" – Meltman has the "power" to melt and is the smallest and weakest member of the Action League. He has a long-running crush on Thundergirl, who does not reciprocate his feelings for her. As melting is his only ability, Meltman is quite unhelpful and a borderline burden and is considered by the rest of the League to be their personal servant, often fulfilling such chores as getting them sodas, donuts, and other things. For this reason, Meltman is always looking for ways to get the League to appreciate him. In two different episodes, it is revealed that his full name is Barry Meltfarb, although he claims to have changed the surname to his superhero name. As he once stated to a viewer he has never used his power since there is no need for it. The Chief considers him to be "as yellow as a jar of mustard at a jaundice convention." Meltman is a Robin Hood figure that was melted with a blow torch.
The Chief (Collin M. McGee, majority; Victor Hart, first few episodes)
[citation needed] The head of the Action League, the Chief is an angry, frustrated man who frequently yells at the Action League for their mistakes and unintended backtalk. His catchphrase is "Blast it!" and "You morons!" He once got a heart transplant from Bill the Lab Guy. He also once successfully awoke from a coma, induced by the Flesh's carelessness, after having had to listen to all of the incidents in which the League had injured him during his extended sleep. The Chief was made by putting together and modifying parts from Playskool "Play People" dollhouse figures.[5]
Justice (Alyssa Grahm)
The Chief's beloved Golden Retriever and best friend. Technically a member of the Action League, Justice serves as the Lassie of the show, warning fellow members of the League of dangers that they were otherwise unaware of. Featured in almost every episode as a background character, with its only starring role being in "Dog Day Afterschool".
The Mayor (Jim Krenn)
"His dishonor" – The Action League's archenemy. The reasons for his dislike of the Action League are unknown, but his hatred is obvious. His catchphrase is "Uh oh, here's trouble" or "I hate Mondays" whenever he's about to be defeated. Instances in which the Mayor attempts to destroy the League include sucking them up with a massive vacuum cleaner, and blowing them away with a giant fan. Many of his schemes revolve around making money. In one episode, his pseudonym was revealed to be "Louis D. Mayor" (a reference to Louis B. Mayer). He also appears to have a fixation with becoming a celebrity, a successful musician, or a National Football League player. In the episode, "Sinkhole of Doom" it was revealed that the Mayor has a son. The Mayor was pieced together from various Playskool dollhouse figures.[5] The voice that Jim Krenn used for the character was initially used by Krenn as a parody of then-Pittsburgh mayor Tom Murphy.
Bill the Lab Guy (Jim Krenn)
A scientist who often messes up his experiments and predicaments. During every appearance, he is guaranteed to be heard saying, "There's nothing I can do," or, "I was afraid of this!" and "I don't see any connection." Bill has a monotone voice and takes himself very seriously as a scientist, even though his experiments almost always go awry. He has a teenage daughter named Quarky who helps him around the lab. He appears to have a love for oldies music and is a personal friend of late musician Lou Rawls. Bill, along with the Mayor and the Chief, was pieced together in part from various Playskool dollhouse figures.[5] His name is a reference to Bill Nye the Science Guy.
Hodge Podge (Jim Krenn)
The Action League's former accountant, Hodge Podge was accidentally thrown into and chopped up in a blender, then horribly rebuilt by Bill the Lab Guy against his will, making him a freak with parts of random toys and household objects (such as a claw for a hand, taken from a crib toy, and the top portion of a fork attached to his chest). Hodge Podge appears to be more hands-on and successful than the Mayor with his initial tactics, even though neither of them ever get their way. He specifically works with mechanics to get his way (brainwashing radio station, custom-built remote control, modified voicebox, etc.).
The Announcer (Scott Paulsen)
The narrator of the program, using various alliterations and overreactions often before and after the short's commercial bridge. He sometimes breaks the fourth wall during an episode. He has a deep, monotone voice, not unlike Bill the Lab Guy's and is never seen, only heard.

The Action League have had various other villains throughout the show's run, including (but not limited to) a gigantic baby simply named "Big Baby", a Mesozoic monster (in reality, a dog Jack Russell Terrier) called Spotzilla, a rival superhero league known as the Danger Society, a bald genius known as Smarty Pants, an enemy of Stinky's past called Red Ninja, a group of evil aliens, a gypsy who cursed The Chief, and a mummy brought to life by The Mayor. Sometimes, due to their own collective stupidity, even the League themselves can be the main cause of a problem.


No.TitleOriginal air date
1"Pilot"March 21, 1998 (1998-03-21)

  • I've Been Working on Derailroad - The Action League is called in to prevent his dishonor, the Mayor, from crashing trains.
  • Stinky on Ice - Stinky Diver becomes trapped in a bowl of gelatin and the remaining League members must rescue him.
2"Action League Goes to the Movies"November 25, 2001 (2001-11-25)

  • Armageddon Outta Here - The Action League goes into space to prevent an asteroid from crashing into Earth.
  • Incident at Chlorine Lake - A giant fish threatens the lives of swimmers at the beach.
  • Yurplastic Park - The League becomes trapped on an island populated by dinosaurs cloned by Bill the lab guy.
  • A Star is Torn - Posing as a director, the Mayor scouts Thunder Girl to star in a movie featuring lethal stunts.
3"Smash Hits"December 2, 2001 (2001-12-02)

  • Road to Ruin - The League must put a stop to the Mayor's plan to litter the road with trash.
  • Nightmare on Memory Lane - Meltman loses his memory and the rest of the League tries to help him recover it and an important formula.
  • Roughing the Passer - The Action League acts as bodyguards for NFL quarterbacks, who are under threat from the Mayor.
  • And Justice for None - The League must prove themselves true heroes when a tribunal decides to terminate them.
4"Science Friction"December 9, 2001 (2001-12-09)

  • Tears of a Clone - The Mayor creates clones of the League as a distraction while he pilfers all the incredibly breakable china.
  • What's Eating The Flesh - When the Flesh contracts a contagious body eating virus, Bill the lab guy seeks a cure before the rest of the league get it.
  • The Quarky Syndrome - Bill the lab guy's daughter, Quarky, becomes a superhero after being exposed to nuclear waste from the Mayor's nuclear reactor.
  • Science Fiction Parody - Aliens come to Earth in peace, until the League's stupidity causes them to turn hostile.
5"Action League Rocks!"December 16, 2001 (2001-12-16)

  • Rock-A-Big Baby - The loud music of a Kiss concert awakens Big Baby, and the League must save the band from the cranky infant.
  • Hit of Horror - Hodge Podge uses a radio station to brainwash the public into destroying the Action League.
  • In the Whine of Fire – Meltman wins the heart of popstar Blandi while protecting her from the Mayor, who wants to eliminate his competition for most popular musician.
6"Stinky Diver: Behind the Mask"December 23, 2001 (2001-12-23)

  • Flippers of Fury - When an old rival, Red Ninja, returns for revenge, Stinky must brush up on his martial art from his sensei, Master Pu.
  • Mad Dogs and Englishmen - Still reeling from a past betrayal, Stinky bonds with a stray, unaware he's actually the Mayor's evil attack dog.
  • Stink or Swim - Stinky is reminded of a traumatic event, and developed a fear of diving.
  • Winds of Evil - The Mayor uses a giant fan to blow away the League's homes, leaving them with one option: staying at Stinky's toilet.
7"The Chief: Look Back in Anger"December 30, 2001 (2001-12-30)

  • Hey! Who Stole My Face? - After an accident switches his face for the Chief's, the Mayor takes control of the Action League.
  • Fatter - An angry gypsy places a curse on the Chief, which causes him to eat uncontrollably until he explodes.
  • Grief for The Chief - After the Chief is hospitalized by another of their screw ups, the League thinks back to all the times they've caused him pain.
  • Dog Day Afterschool - The Mayor traps the Chief's dog, Justice, in a rocket bound for space.
8"I'll Melt for You"January 6, 2002 (2002-01-06)

  • Meltman at Large - Tired of feeling useless, Meltman takes a formula that makes him grow giant.
  • Melty's Girl - Meltman gets a new girlfriend and lies about being a big superhero called Dr. Melt.
  • Tune Up of Terror - Hodge Podge takes the league on a wild ride when he takes control of the Action mobile.
  • In the Belly of the Beast - It's up to Meltman to save the day when the Mayor traps the other league members in a vacuum cleaner.
9"Monster Mashed"January 13, 2002 (2002-01-13)

  • Attack of Spotzilla (Part 1)
  • Attack of Spotzilla (Part 2)
  • Melty Dearest - Meltman becomes parent to a giant spider after mistaking it's egg for a ping pong ball.
  • Rags to Riches - A mummy is brought to life after the Mayor steals a jewel from its sarcophagus.
10"The Many Faces of Evil"January 20, 2002 (2002-01-20)

  • Revenge of Hodge Podge – The League's former accountant turned supervillain seeks revenge on the League for turning him into a monster.
  • A Flesh of Brilliance - Flesh is rendered a genius and matches whits with the villainous Smarty-pants.
  • Big Baby - The Mayor puts the Big Baby on display only for him to escape and take Quarky captive.
  • Voice of Treason - Hodge Podge gets hold of a voice changing device and uses it to put the Action League into a trap.
11"His Dishonor"January 27, 2002 (2002-01-27)

  • Turkey of Terror - As a gesture of peace, the Mayor invites the League to Thanksgiving dinner, but plans for them to be stuffed in the turkey.
  • Chickie Chickie Bang Bang - The Mayor smuggles in a pair of Easter chicks, that multiply into a ravenous swarm that threatens the world food supply.
  • No Fly Zone - Thunder Girl's power to fly is removed by the Mayor, who holds two kids for ransom in a birdhouse.
  • Testimony of Terror - The League is tasked with protecting a witness to the Mayor's crimes, a boy who likes to play dangerous pranks on his protectors.
12"Naked Came the Numskull"February 3, 2002 (2002-02-03)

  • The Naked and the Dumb - The dimwitted Flesh must pass an exam in order to renew his hero licence.
  • Danger for a Dignitary - The Flesh must take the place of a lookalike ambassador after he injures the dignitary.
  • Flesh and Blood - A couple introduce themselves as the Flesh's long lost parents, but are really crooks wanting to use him to commit a robbery.
  • RoboFlesh - The Mayor creates an evil robot double of the Flesh to destroy the League.
13"Thunder Girl: Tracking The Storm"February 10, 2002 (2002-02-10)

  • Thunder and Lightning – Thunder Girl has competition with Lightning Lady, who turns out to be an evil infiltrator.
  • Caged Thunder – The Action League is captured by the Nextdooria Force, whose General plans to dominate the world with missiles.
  • Art of Thunder – The Action tries to recover a picture stolen by The Mayor.
  • Sinkhole of Doom – The Action has to rescue Piers from the sink, while Thunder Girl and Stinky wind up trapped on a ceiling fan.
EX"Other Episodes"

  • Where Pigeons Dare - The League is tasked with protecting the eggs of the recently deceased Pigeon Queen.
  • Danger Society - The League faces dissolution when a competent group of heroes sets up shop.

Guest appearances[edit]

Banned episodes[edit]

Some episodes of Action League Now are banned in the United States. One specific episode to be put under this ban was the season 2 episode "Caged Thunder" due to its themes of terrorism.[7] Due to this, the KaBlam episode it was aired with titled "I Just Don't Get It" was put under a ban after the 9/11 attacks. The "Action League Now: The Series" episode "Thunder Girl: Tracking the Storm" which also contained the short was put on a ban after its initial broadcast in 2002, only being re-shown in 2016 on the late night TV block "The Splat" on Teen Nick.


In a Chicago Tribune article, Jennifer Mangan complimented the series' originality, calling it "the most innovative entrant in KaBlam!'s cartoon catalog."[8] Jane Hall of the Los Angeles Times wrote that Action League Now! "has the weird, aggressive humor of the old 'Mr. Bill' pieces on Saturday Night Live."[9] Naming the show among other KaBlam! segments, Deadline Hollywood's Mike Fleming wrote positively of its "absurdly unforgettable characters."[10]


  1. ^ Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 3. ISBN 978-1538103739.
  2. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. p. 463. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  3. ^ "Conan the Adventurer Figure". Archived from the original on 16 January 2009. Retrieved 25 January 2009.
  4. ^ "1994 Shipwreck". Archived from the original on 29 January 2009. Retrieved 25 January 2009.
  5. ^ a b c "Playskool Figure ID". Archived from the original on 30 March 2010. Retrieved 1 March 2009.
  6. ^ "You'll Love Our Selection". IMDb. November 1998.
  7. ^ "20 Banned Nickelodeon Episodes You Never Got to See". 16 November 2017.
  8. ^ Mangan, Jennifer (October 10, 1996). "Childish fun". Chicago Tribune.
  9. ^ Hall, Jane (October 7, 1996). "A Nick off the old block". Los Angeles Times.
  10. ^ Fleming, Mike (January 27, 2016). "Paramount, Jared Hess Channel Classic Nickelodeon Shows For 'NickToons' Film". Deadline Hollywood.

External links[edit]