Unlike every other show I’ve written about, I have not seen a single episode of Denver: The Last Dinosaur, though I know the theme song. How is this possible, you ask? Adolescent attention span. At my ripe old age of not-telling-you, I’m not about to remedy this. Instead, I’ll re-watch the opening theme song and, set against the backdrop of my vast knowledge of cartoons of the time, will guess what the show was about. Please feel free to use my description to update Wikipedia.
Young Billy Freepuller and his friends were skating, biking, and skateboarding one day around an abandoned construction site in Camden, New Jersey, when they happened upon a time machine. The egg-shaped machine revealed a young dinosaur prince who came to our era seeking the greatest hero of our time, Dee Snider of Twisted Sister. Discovering he arrived a year too late, as the band had broken up in 1987, the prince was crushed. Billy, ever wearing his ushanka (hat with ear flaps), even in the dead of summer, decides to adopt the prince.
After learning the prince’s name is 18 syllabels long and nearly unpronounceable to humans, Billy name’s him Denver, after the city he’s longed to visit where his odd winter fashion choices would fit in. Billy, noticing Denver was still in a funk over Twisted Sister breaking up takes him out for burritos at the local taco truck. Burritos quickly become Denver’s favorite food, which he consumes every episode, and led to his catch phrase “totally tubular!”, after the cylindrical shaped cuisine.
Samantha, the girl, I think, in sunglasses, suggests Denver use his time machine to go back one year. This is when Denver realized the fallacy in the machine’s construction: The ship being egg-shaped meant Denver needed to hatch in order to leave it, as there were no doors. This caused the machine to be utterly destroyed, stranding him in the present, unless the kids could raise enough money to fix the machine. Jeff, the one in the Hawaiian shirt, finds a flyer saying that Twisted Sister is having a one night only reunion show in Denver. The group decide to go on tour themselves, with Denver on lead vocals and guitar, earning enough money to fix the machine, and travel to Denver.
Most episodes were about the nightly gig, or finding a burrito for Denver afterward. The conflicts centered on whether the show would be successful or not. To alleviate their fears, Denver would use a piece of the machine to show them the future, letting them know if the show would be a success or not. This was a thinly veiled metaphor for acid.
Sadly, the show was cancelled in its second season, with the series finale having them finally raise enough funds to fix the time machine, and travel to Denver. The third season was going to shift focus from music to more of an action oriented show, as TMNT was gaining popularity at the time. Every episode ended with a PSA about the dangers of drug use, but were so oddly specific they acted more like instructions. The episode “Stand Tall Mr. Freepuller” was only aired once, as it dealt with the risks of masturbation. A heavily edited version can be found on the DVD.
So that’s Denver: The Last Dinosaur. Maybe. Probably not. Whatever.
Did you watch Denver? Did you update Wikipedia for me yet? Comment below!
Tony writes for his own site, thecredhulk.com, about comics, video games, movies, TV and more, six days a week. You can follow his updates on Facebook or Twitter. Drop by and tell ’em hi.
No, this wasn’t a creative writing assignment.