During a recent conversation with a fellow Australian, the subject of Skippy came up. It was, essentially, Australia’s answer to Lassie - involving the tried-and-tested format of a young boy and his intelligent animal pal. In fact, the iconic line “Click click, What’s that Skip?” made it well into popular culture, parodied on popular Aussie skit shows such as Fast Forward and more.
The opening credits of the series, which began in 1966, were probably just as iconic as the show itself. Although our 2012 aural sensibilities make it seem incredibly outdated, it’s still just as catchy as it was back then: I’ve been singing it in my head all afternoon, and I challenge you not to do the same after watching it below.
For those hailing from Sydney, particularly the North Shore/Suburbs: Skippy was actually filmed practically in your backyard. According to Wikipedia, the shooting location was Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, and its adjacent Waratah Park Earth Sanctuary.
The series eventually stopped running in 1970, but not before it was dubbed into Spanish in Mexico, where it’s known as Skippy el canguro, enjoying some popularity in Cuba and Span as well. It was aired in then-Czechoslovakia in the 70s and 80s, and is still broadcast in Iran. It’s not, however, shown in Sweden – psychologists there feared the show would mislead children into believing animals could do things that they could not actually do.
There was also a short-lived revival of the series in 1992 called The Adventures of Skippy, which aired on Animal Planet in the USA in 1997. This probably led to US TV references in shows such as House, when a patient mocked Australian character Robert Chase (played by Jesse Spencer) by repeatedly calling him “Skippy the bush kangaroo” or simply “Skippy.”
If you’d like to continue watching, there are a few episodes available on youtube which cannot be embedded. You’ll find a list here.