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Old 09-08-2006, 04:16 PM
Interrobang!? Interrobang!? is offline
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So, how many wells did Timmy fall down, anyway?

How many wells must a boy fall down before they call him a man?

This morning, Morning Edition did a story on the remake of the original Lassie movie. And in passing, someone mentioned that Timmy "fell down a lot of wells."

Which got me thinking. Timmy falling down a well is the classic "help, Lassie!" scenario in pop culture. But how many times did that happen in movies and on the TV show? And if it didn't happen that often, why is this the example that gets invoked all the time?

I was more of a Benji fan when I was a kid, so I've seen maybe two episodes of Lassie ever, so I have no idea. (I'm looking for a GQ-level answer, but figured this should go in CS because it's about entertainment.)
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Old 09-08-2006, 05:10 PM
2lazy2pee 2lazy2pee is offline
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According to this FAQ page, Timmy never did fall down a well. In fact, the only character that ever fell down a well was Lassie, in Season 17's two-part episode, "For The Love Of Lassie," aka "The Well Of Love," which aired 2/28 and 3/7/71.

Timmy did fall in a lake twice, though, in "Transition" and "The House Guest."
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Old 09-08-2006, 09:20 PM
kunilou kunilou is offline
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A little off-topic, but I remember an interview with June Lockhart (who played Timmy's mom for 6 seasons) talking about the unbelievable things they asked Lassie to do.

In one episode, she was caught in a bear trap and told Lassie to go home and get a C clamp (she pantomimes a "C" with her hand.) Lassie gallops home, fetches a knife and gallops back.

Lockhart tried to free herself with the knife, and when it didn't work, told Lassie to go back home and get the clamp.

The second time, Lassie got it right.
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Old 09-09-2006, 07:58 AM
mobo85 mobo85 is offline
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The website 2lazy2pee links to also points out all the dangerous situations Timmy did get himself into.
  #5  
Old 09-09-2006, 08:02 AM
AncientHumanoid AncientHumanoid is offline
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FORTY TWO
















sorry ...
  #6  
Old 09-10-2006, 11:15 PM
Wile E Wile E is offline
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I don't know what it's really from but it seems the "What's that Lassie? Timmy fell down a well?" line if from something spoofy and not the actual series but it sure has been around a long time.
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Old 09-10-2006, 11:27 PM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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Originally Posted by mobo85
The website 2lazy2pee links to also points out all the dangerous situations Timmy did get himself into.
Which included getting stuck in two mines and in a pipe. I suppose "fell down a well" just sounds better than ""fell down a mineshaft" or "got stuck in a pipe."
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Old 09-11-2006, 02:54 AM
2lazy2pee 2lazy2pee is offline
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"What's that, Lassie?" "Bark! Bark, bark!" "Timmy fell down the well again? Well, throw down a bar of soap. It's Saturday night, so he might as well take a bath."
  #9  
Old 09-11-2006, 11:02 AM
Gangster Octopus Gangster Octopus is offline
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Well there was the time Timmy O'toole fell down a well in the Simpsons...sort of...not really...
  #10  
Old 09-11-2006, 11:46 AM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is offline
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"We're going to need another Timmy!"
  #11  
Old 06-23-2012, 01:12 AM
idebbi idebbi is offline
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NoClueBoy.....42 indeed!!
  #12  
Old 06-23-2012, 02:28 AM
AncientHumanoid AncientHumanoid is offline
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Took ya long enough!
  #13  
Old 06-23-2012, 04:30 AM
Toucanna Toucanna is offline
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Originally Posted by Interrobang!? View Post
{snip} And if it didn't happen that often, why is this the example that gets invoked all the time? {snip}
I watched the show when I was very young and don't remember much of it. I do remember hearing the line, "What's that girl? Timmy's fallen down the well?" in the '80s as part of a stand-up comic's riff on how ridiculous the show became when it made Lassie seem capable of understanding complex human speech.

I can't remember the comic's name, but I think it was a white guy from the USA, who was not a newcomer. Some possiblities are: George Carlin, Robert Klein, Robin Williams, Steve Martin. I tried Googling before posting to see if I could ID the comic, but nada.
  #14  
Old 06-23-2012, 05:58 AM
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is online now
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Originally Posted by Toucanna View Post
I watched the show when I was very young and don't remember much of it. I do remember hearing the line, "What's that girl? Timmy's fallen down the well?" in the '80s as part of a stand-up comic's riff on how ridiculous the show became when it made Lassie seem capable of understanding complex human speech.

Well, it wasn't just that - it was also that the humans could understand dog speech, to the point where "Bark-bark, woof!" could be instantly and correctly divined as a succinct account of a perilous situation. Clearly if Lassie were to continue vocalizing, the listening human would also glean the exact GPS coordinates of the calamity and Lassie's various suggestions for a speedy resolution in accordance with OSHA guidelines.

"What's that, girl? Be sure to bring our carbon monoxide detectors and protective eyewear, as specified in Sections 3 and 6 of the Occupational Safety Handbook, 1954 edition? Good idea."


Anyway, the concept of "fallen down a well" got a big boost in 1987 when it happened then-toddler Jessica McClure, and it seemed every reporter in the world converged on the site to describe the two-day rescue effort.
  #15  
Old 06-23-2012, 08:09 AM
postcards postcards is offline
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Originally Posted by kunilou View Post
In one episode, she was caught in a bear trap and told Lassie to go home and get a C clamp (she pantomimes a "C" with her hand.) Lassie gallops home, fetches a knife and gallops back.
Lassie obviously expected her to hack off her foot.
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Old 06-23-2012, 08:10 AM
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is online now
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"What's that, Lassie? You want to play a game?"
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Old 06-23-2012, 08:22 AM
Skara_Brae Skara_Brae is offline
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Dave Barry had a bit about Lassie...Something about how her owners were the most inept farmers ever, always getting pinned under their own tractors or getting stuck in mineshafts...How did they find time to farm anything? He speculated they must survive on farm subsidies that Lassie filled out the paperwork for.
  #18  
Old 06-23-2012, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by kunilou View Post
Lockhart tried to free herself with the knife, and when it didn't work, told Lassie to go back home and get the clamp.
Was she stuck for 127 hours?
  #19  
Old 06-23-2012, 08:36 AM
running coach running coach is online now
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Originally Posted by Bryan Ekers View Post
"What's that, Lassie? You want to play a game?"
"Bark, bark, growl, woof, woof!"

SPOILER:
"Yes, Global Thermonuclear Warfare"
  #20  
Old 06-23-2012, 08:58 AM
enalzi enalzi is offline
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Enough about Timmy and Lassie, what I wanna know is how many times did someone get stuck in an underwater cave on Flipper.
  #21  
Old 06-23-2012, 09:14 AM
Son of a Rich Son of a Rich is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skara_Brae View Post
Dave Barry had a bit about Lassie...Something about how her owners were the most inept farmers ever, always getting pinned under their own tractors or getting stuck in mineshafts...How did they find time to farm anything? He speculated they must survive on farm subsidies that Lassie filled out the paperwork for.
I'm no Barry fan, but that's good.
  #22  
Old 06-23-2012, 12:35 PM
Ulfreida Ulfreida is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kunilou View Post
A little off-topic, but I remember an interview with June Lockhart (who played Timmy's mom for 6 seasons) talking about the unbelievable things they asked Lassie to do.

In one episode, she was caught in a bear trap and told Lassie to go home and get a C clamp (she pantomimes a "C" with her hand.) Lassie gallops home, fetches a knife and gallops back.

Lockhart tried to free herself with the knife, and when it didn't work, told Lassie to go back home and get the clamp.

The second time, Lassie got it right.
This is not a truly far-fetched scenario -- except imagining that a dog is capable of abstract thought sufficient to make the connection between a shape made by a hand and a tool. Many dogs, including my own, will respond to "find it" or "go get it" with an attempt to bring what is requested without a firm idea of what it is (unless they've been taught a large vocabulary), using a "is this it?" approach. One of my dogs has found and brought all sorts of lost things she was sent after that she had no 'word' for, including a hat dropped in the woods and an entire flock of sheep.

There's a wonderful late 19th century book of stories by Ernest Thompson Seton, a staple of my childhood in my grandmother's house, called Wild Animals I have Known, which included some dog stories. Fictionalized but based on his own experiences as a naturalist and hunter. In one, his dog Bingo brings him a wolf trap wrench (admittedly close at hand, but out of reach), when he gets caught in one while out trapping. Bingo does bring several other items first.

Maybe the Lassie writers stole it from him.
  #23  
Old 06-23-2012, 12:55 PM
kaylasdad99 kaylasdad99 is offline
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Originally Posted by Wile E View Post
I don't know what it's really from but it seems the "What's that Lassie? Timmy fell down a well?" line if from something spoofy and not the actual series but it sure has been around a long time.
A young Ellen Degeneres used it in her stand-up routine (she sequed into it after remarking on how her outfit and hairstyle made he look like Timmy).
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Old 06-23-2012, 12:59 PM
kaylasdad99 kaylasdad99 is offline
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It occurs to me that it's a good thing Timmy never became proficient with a musical instrument. Lassie would have locked him in his room if he came home saying he'd been invited to go to a summer workshop at Wolf Trap...
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Old 06-23-2012, 08:40 PM
Toucanna Toucanna is offline
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A young Ellen Degeneres used it in her stand-up routine...
OMG! You may be right! After I posted my WAG, I started thinking it may have been Elayne Boosler's joke. Last night, I searched Google videos forever but couldn't find it.

EDG aired a compilation of clips throughout her career. At about 1:08, there's a clip of her doing her Lassie joke: http://m.youtube.com/?reason=8&rdm=3...zvoXhstI&gl=US. No mention of a well, but I'll keep searching.
  #26  
Old 06-23-2012, 08:54 PM
Eve Eve is offline
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One of my favorite Lassie cartoons: http://pics.kuvaton.com/kuvei/lassie_comic.jpg
  #27  
Old 06-23-2012, 10:44 PM
VarlosZ VarlosZ is offline
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How about the time Timmy got bit by a snake?
  #28  
Old 06-23-2012, 10:45 PM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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"Lassie! I'm trapped on all fours with my hands down this grate. Go get help!"
woof woof woof
"Um, what do you mean I smell like a bitch in heat? NO LASSIE! BAD DOG!"


Of course, the well was only a symbol of Timmy's unresolved existential angst.
  #29  
Old 06-24-2012, 12:11 AM
Boyo Jim Boyo Jim is offline
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Obligatory link to In Living Color's Lassie 90, with Lassie cast as a slum dwelling pit bull. It was a continuing bit -- here's another.
  #30  
Old 06-24-2012, 12:25 AM
t-bonham@scc.net t-bonham@scc.net is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kunilou View Post
A little off-topic, but I remember an interview with June Lockhart (who played Timmy's mom for 6 seasons) talking about the unbelievable things they asked Lassie to do.

In one episode, she was caught in a bear trap and told Lassie to go home and get a C clamp (she pantomimes a "C" with her hand.) Lassie gallops home, fetches a knife and gallops back.
Obvbiously, Lassie brought her a Carving Knife.
  #31  
Old 06-24-2012, 12:30 AM
boytyperanma boytyperanma is offline
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Originally Posted by Chimera View Post
"Lassie! I'm trapped on all fours with my hands down this grate. Go get help!"
woof woof woof
"Um, what do you mean I smell like a bitch in heat? NO LASSIE! BAD DOG!"


Of course, the well was only a symbol of Timmy's unresolved existential angst.
But Lassie was a girl. Played by a male dog...
  #32  
Old 06-24-2012, 01:59 AM
Doug K. Doug K. is offline
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Originally Posted by 2lazy2pee View Post
According to this FAQ page, Timmy never did fall down a well. In fact, the only character that ever fell down a well was Lassie, in Season 17's two-part episode, "For The Love Of Lassie," aka "The Well Of Love," which aired 2/28 and 3/7/71.

Timmy did fall in a lake twice, though, in "Transition" and "The House Guest."
Not true. Episode 24 of the first season (which was originally called Jeff's Collie) was titled "The Well" and involved Jeff and Lassie helping rescue a man who had fallen down a well.

http://www.locatetv.com/tv/jeffs-col.../episode-guide
  #33  
Old 06-24-2012, 10:22 AM
randwill randwill is offline
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How did she use a C clamp to escape from a bear trap?
  #34  
Old 06-24-2012, 10:44 AM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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But Lassie was a girl. Played by a male dog...
Of a breed where you can tell gender at a glance. Female collies don't have that magnificent mane. I have to wonder why they didn't just name the dog Laddie.
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Old 06-24-2012, 11:05 AM
doorhinge doorhinge is offline
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How did she use a C clamp to escape from a bear trap?
The C clamp would be used to compress the spring that was holding the trap closed. Normally, you would stand on the spring to compress it and then set the trigger with a stick.
  #36  
Old 06-24-2012, 11:20 AM
randwill randwill is offline
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The C clamp would be used to compress the spring that was holding the trap closed. Normally, you would stand on the spring to compress it and then set the trigger with a stick.
Thanks. Ignorance fought. I'll always carry a C clamp when hiking in the woods.
  #37  
Old 06-24-2012, 11:26 AM
johnpost johnpost is offline
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How did she use a C clamp to escape from a bear trap?
Quote:
Originally Posted by doorhinge View Post
The C clamp would be used to compress the spring that was holding the trap closed. Normally, you would stand on the spring to compress it and then set the trigger with a stick.
Quote:
Originally Posted by randwill View Post
Thanks. Ignorance fought. I'll always carry a C clamp when hiking in the woods.
that will only help you if you step in a bear trap.

what if you fell down an abandoned mine shaft?

best to always take Lassie.
  #38  
Old 06-24-2012, 11:39 AM
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what if you fell down an abandoned mine shaft?
Then you need an "A" clamp.
  #39  
Old 06-24-2012, 12:14 PM
boytyperanma boytyperanma is offline
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Thanks. Ignorance fought. I'll always carry a C clamp when hiking in the woods.
Or stick with the time proven strategy of not stepping in bear traps.
  #40  
Old 06-24-2012, 12:54 PM
johnpost johnpost is offline
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Thanks. Ignorance fought. I'll always carry a C clamp when hiking in the woods.
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Originally Posted by boytyperanma View Post
Or stick with the time proven strategy of not stepping in bear traps.
that would make for a boring tv adventure show.
  #41  
Old 06-24-2012, 01:20 PM
doorhinge doorhinge is offline
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Thanks. Ignorance fought. I'll always carry a C clamp when hiking in the woods.
When hiking in known "bear country", which would be the primary reason a "bear trap" would be in use, it's always best to hike with a slow running, tasty-looking, friend. just sayin'
  #42  
Old 06-24-2012, 01:24 PM
boytyperanma boytyperanma is offline
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that would make for a boring tv adventure show.
I guess that's true, but to be fair even with people getting caught in bear traps Lassie wasn't a very exciting show.
  #43  
Old 06-24-2012, 01:46 PM
boytyperanma boytyperanma is offline
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Back to the thread Jon Provost, the original 'Timmy' wrote a book 'Timmy's in the Well: The Jon Provost Story'

http://www.amazon.com/Timmys-Well-Jo.../dp/0615313515

So the meme seemed to catch even the people that were involved in the series.

Here is a list of situations Timmy did find himself in.
  #44  
Old 06-24-2012, 02:28 PM
Kenm Kenm is offline
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I don't get no respect. Why, when I was a kid I was so ugly. . . .

How ugly were you?

I was so ugly I had no friends; my mother hung a pork chop around my neck so the dog would lick me.

Wikipedia:
Quote:
Typically, there were two dog trainers on the set, each teetering on a stepladder only Lassie could see and waving a chunk of meat at the dog. "It would look as though Lassie was looking at Jon (Provost), but he was really looking past Jon at the piece of beef",[32] Lockhart recalled in 2004. When Provost delivered his line, the trainer behind Lockhart would whisper "Lassie!" and wave another piece of meat. Lassie's head would turn to Lockhart who would deliver her line. Then the trainer behind Provost would get Lassie's attention again, and Provost would deliver his next line.
  #45  
Old 06-24-2012, 04:04 PM
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Of a breed where you can tell gender at a glance. Female collies don't have that magnificent mane. I have to wonder why they didn't just name the dog Laddie.
Other than size, female and male rough collies look the same. There is the smooth-coated collie, but there are males and females in that breed, too.

Last edited by garygnu; 06-24-2012 at 04:05 PM.
  #46  
Old 06-24-2012, 09:03 PM
t-bonham@scc.net t-bonham@scc.net is offline
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but there are males and females in that breed, too.
Gee, maybe that's typical of dog breeds in general?
  #47  
Old 06-24-2012, 09:59 PM
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is online now
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Gee, maybe that's typical of dog breeds in general?
All except the Transylvanian hound.
  #48  
Old 06-24-2012, 11:16 PM
Monkey Chews Monkey Chews is offline
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Lassie, Schmassie. I always preferred the adventures of Timmy and Halvsie, the Two-Legged Dog.
  #49  
Old 06-24-2012, 11:20 PM
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Enough about Timmy and Lassie, what I wanna know is how many times did someone get stuck in an underwater cave on Flipper.
At the end of the Mad Magazine Flipper parody we see Flipper unzipping the porpoise suit to reveal that he is being played by Lassie. So, same thing.

I never remembered a well either. I remember the old phone, though.
  #50  
Old 06-25-2012, 12:18 AM
Toucanna Toucanna is offline
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{snip}. I have to wonder why they didn't just name the dog Laddie.
Because this book was published 19 years before the first "Lassie" story was: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lad,_A_Dog
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