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Children's Show Hosts

Barney the Dinosaur - Magical prehistoric host of BARNEY & FRIENDS/PBS/1991+, an educational series aimed at preschoolers that was the No. 2 PBS kids' show behind the perennial SESAME STREET.

Barney the Dinosaur

With the inspiration and guidance of the six-foot tall, purple dinosaur (voice provided by Bob West), this sing-along, dance-along, play-along and learn-along children's program encouraged youngsters to be creative and be happy.

Created by former Dallas schoolteacher Sheryl Stamps Leach, Barney the Dinosaur debuted in the well received 1988 home video series Barney And The Backyard Gang.

Barney's closing theme song (slowly sung to the tune of "This Old Man") communicated the sweet sentiment "I love you/You love me/We're a happy family/With a great big hug and a kiss from me to you/Won't you say you love me too?"

BARNEY AND FRIENDS was produced by Lyrick Studios but in 2001, HIT Entertainment acquired the company for $275 million.

In the fall of 2006, the program introduced a new character named Riff, The pint-sized cousin of Barney's pals BJ and Baby Bop.

Although many children loved the show, it drove some adults a little crazy. For example, late night talk show host David Letterman compiled the "Top 10 Horrifying Secrets of Barney the Dinosaur" which included news of an indecent proposal Barney allegedly made: "Offered Fred Flintstone $1 million for one night with Dino."

An excerpt from the May 3, 1993 issue of The New Yorker relayed the story of a "serenely good-natured mother of a four-year-old girl (who) made a confession in midtown Manhattan: 'I bought the Barney book...I read it to my daughter in the Barney voice. My husband looked at me with mistrust...but I did it'." Afterwards she concluded I wish I could shoot Barney."

Riff, front center, a new character on the
Barney & Dinosaur friends, Baby Bop (left), Riff (center)  and B.J.

The plot line of a 1993 issue of Cracked Monster Party, a $1.75 Mad-style satire magazine featured the segment "Barney Goes to Jurassic Park" where Barney gets stomped, chomped and blown away by security guards.

To add insult to injury, three boys (10, 11 and 12 years old) pummeled and attacked, a Barney the Dinosaur impersonator at a K-Mart grand opening in Galveston, Texas in 1993.

Municipal Judge Thomas Youngblood, Jr. scolded the boys; gave the youngsters until their 17th birthday to pay the fines ($200 each) or risk arrest; ordered them to keep a curfew of 6:00 PM; and instructed them to stop hanging out with each other. Psst!, the guy inside the Barney suit is David Joyner.

Theme Song Lyrics

Barney is a dinosaur from our imagination
When he’s tall he’s what we call A dinosaur sensation
Barney teaches lots of things
Like how to play pretend
A-B-C’s and 1-2-3’s and how to be a friend
Barney comes to play with us
Whenever we may need him
Barney can be your friend too
If you just make believe him
(Sung to "Yankee Doodle")

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