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Wayside (also known as Wayside School) is a Canadian animated sitcom created by Louis Sachar, developed and written by John Derevlany for Teletoon, and produced by Nelvana Enterprises. The series is based on the children's book series Sideways Stories From Wayside School.
The show was briefly aired on Nickelodeon in 2007.
The series takes place at the fictional Wayside School, an unusual Escher-esque 30-story grammar school. The school had been accidentally built "sideways," with one classroom in each of the 30 stories instead of 30 classrooms on one floor. Like in the books, there are actually 29 floors in the school; the imaginary 19th floor is inhabited by the imaginary Miss Zarves. The series revolves around a new student at the school, named Todd, and his adventures adapting to life as a student at the top floor of Wayside School.
At Wayside, every floor appears to have lockers, stairs, classrooms, doors, and light fixtures. The first floor contains the principal's office; the school campgrounds, the sixteenth floor contains the faculty lounge and pool; the fifteenth floor contains the cafeteria and kitchen; the (technically nonexistent) nineteenth floor contains a chute blocked by wooden boards, which is rumoured to be the classroom of the legendary Ms. Zarves; and the thirtieth floor contains Mrs. Jewls' classroom.
Every floor also appears to be a different colour. To add to the school's Escher-esque style, all of the features of the floors—doors, lockers, stairs, etc.—are placed in very unusual ways, as seen in the Escher artwork, Relativity. All of the floors' features are either right-side up, upside-down, sideways, or suspended high above the floor, as seen with several lockers.
The main characters:
Todd (voiced by Michael Cera in the pilot; Mark Rendall in the series), a transfer student who attends Mrs. Jewls's class on the thirtieth floor and struggles to adapt and conform to Wayside's offbeat academic structure, but often gets sent home early on the kindergarten bus. He has no siblings, but he has had two pet fish, his deceased goldfish, King Arthur I, and his current green catfish, King Arthur II.
Dana (Lisa Ng), Wayside's resident overachiever who obsessively maintains the school's rules and acts as Myron's campaign manager and best friend. In Cabbage My Boy, it is claimed by Todd that she has "a million siblings", and in Imperfect Attendance, she has arrived to school on time her whole life, even in the(realistically impossible) pre-preschool.
Myron (Martin Villafana), an overweight, power hungry, and self-centered student who wishes to become class president. He has no pets, but used his baby brother, Fido, as a pet for pet day. He also has two other brothers that never appeared in the series. He also never gets tagged in the game of tag, as revealed in He Is It, because being "it" means being the most powerful kid on the playground. He, on numerous occasions, has acted like a baby, normally when he doesn't get what he wants.
Maurecia (Denise Oliver), a tomboy who wears roller skates and has an enormous crush on Todd, although he doesn't feel the same for her. However, he has shown some feelings for Maurecia, mainly in Rat In Shining Armor. She claimed to have a big family in Cabbage My Boy. Before Mrs. Gorf came along, she was once a gentle girly girl.
The main members of the school faculty are;
Mrs. Jewls (Kathy Najimy in the pilot; Kathy Laskey in the series), Todd's offbeat yet endearing teacher who frequently sends Todd home early on the kindergarten bus for slight misdemeanors. She has a father named Papa Jewels, who appeared in Teacher's Parent Conference. In the episode Age of Aquarium, it was shown that Principal Kidswatter got her name wrong three times when she applied for her job.
Principal Kidswatter (Kedar Brown), often referred to as Mr. Kidswatter, the uptight and eccentric school principal who doesn't like doors, as he renames them goozacks after he bans the usage of the word door in the pilot, and does not care for the students, as he calls them the What-cha-ma-call-its. Although that may have slightly changed in Kidswatter's Opus, where he substitutes for Mrs. Jewels' class on her day off, and he actually enjoyed it. Although, when Mrs. Jewels took her class back when she came back, he cried at the end, admitting he was going to miss them, just as the kids were going to miss him, because they were all making sad, shiny pupaled faces when Maurecia says, "Thanks for everything, Principal Kidswatter.", after he bids them farewell. In Louis Gets Some Class, it is revealed that his first name is Louis.
Louis (Sergio Di Zio), the relaxed, friendly yard teacher at Wayside who is the most popular person at Wayside. His middle name is Nick, as revealed in Myth Of Nick, where he, as a student, is the main character of "Nick Stories", where he does things that seem to interest the kids.
Ms. Mush (Jayne Eastwood), the Eastern European head chef of the school cafeteria and nurse who is best known for her wisecracking personality and horrible cooking skills. She comes from the land of Mamaland. She still shows loyalty to the Mamaland school, even though she works for their rivals, as shown in Mascot Madness and Mad Hot.
Supporting students in Mrs. Jewls' class include;
Shari (Lisa Ng), a girl who wears a smoky purple hooded jacket, and frequently sleeps in class. When she's not near the school, she likes to do extreme sports activities with her family(including her younger brother, her baby sister, and her parents), including Kung-Fu, skateboarding, skydiving, mountain climbing, and riding in a monster truck, owned by her parents. She has been awake for a short period of time in Oh Great Leader, Cabbage My Boy, Myron Vs. Normy, Mrs. Gorf, Music Lessons, and Kidswatter's Opus.
Stephen (Terry McGurrin), a boy who dresses like an elf for Halloween everyday. His family does the same, only with different holidays. His father as Santa Claus, his mom as the Easter Bunny, and his little sister as a Turkey Pilgrim. In Be True To Your Elf, it is revealed that he wears grey colored clothes under his costume, and in the same episode, he created a normal alter ego named Mr. Normal.
Jenny (Denise Oliver), a girl who has fabulous blonde hair, is a stunt performer, and dresses in an Evel Knievel-esque. She was the first of many students to tell stories about Nick, the main focus in Myth Of Nick, who happens to be Louis. She didn't have her bike until Pull My Pigtail. In Daring Love, it is hinted that she might have a crush on Myron.
The Three Erics , three students with similar attire that typically do activities in unison, including;
- Eric Ovens (Peter Oldring), the largest of the Erics, who has blonde hair.
- Eric Fry (Martin Villafana), the tallest, and most athletic of the Erics, who is African American, and has purple hair.
- Eric Bacon (Terry McGurrin), the smallest of the Erics, who has red hair.
John (Terry McGurrin), a boy who is upside down, and comes from a family of upside down inventors and scientists. For reasons unknown, his voice gets lower in Upside Down John.
Joe (Peter Oldring), a boy who has a large, orange afro. In Joe In Fro, it is shown he has a fondness for nature life.
Bebe (Denise Oliver), a girl who is a master artist. She spoke a few times in season one, mainly in Music Lessons, but is completely mute in season two.
Leslie (Lisa Ng), a girl who performs tasks with her long pigtails and usually looks angry for reasons unknown.
Rondi (Denise Oliver(Season One); Terry McGurrin(Season Two)), a rather large girl who's almost always happy. She was shown brushing her teeth once in Todd Falls In Love.
An unnamed female student (Denise Oliver) who wears a purple/pink vertically striped dress and has lemon-lime colored hair. It is assumed by the fans that her name is Deedee. She only spoke once in Myth of Nick.
Recurring characters who are either members of the school faculty, or pets, include;
Mr. Blunderbuss (Dwayne Hill), the adventurous fourteenth-floor teacher who often goes on hunting safaris throughout worldwide jungles. He mainly appeared in Mrs. Gorf.
Fluffy, Maurecia's green, short tempered porcupine, who despises Todd, due to Maurecia having a huge crush on him.
Ms. Mush's Octopi, one of them she always tries to cook for lunch and fails, Poobinski, and the other being a foreign exchange student from Mamaland, Stewy.
Minor and one time characters or antagonists include; (A)=Antagonist (NA)=Non-antagonist (U)=Unidentified
Mrs. Gorf (Julie Lemieux), an evil substitute teacher for Mrs. Jewels who had the ability to transform her students into apples before being accidently transformed into one herself by Maurecia. (A)
Le Chef (Peter Oldring), the former French chef in the teacher's lounge who was to be appointed cafeteria chef in place of Ms. Mush, but was later evicted from the school due to his obnoxious demeanor, and the fact that Ms. Mush beat him in Todd's cooking challenge. He appeared again in Le Race, where he challenged Mr. Kidswatter to a challenge of Parkour, with the prize to Le Chef being complete control over the whole school of Wayside. (A)
Miss Zarves, the nonexistent teacher on the, technically, nonexistent nineteenth floor. She was only referenced in Dana Checks Out. (U)
Papa Jewels (Peter Oldring), Mrs. Jewels' father, who wants his daughter to give the best education she can give. He only appeared in Teacher's Parent Conference. (NA)
School District Supervisor (Terry McGurrin), a man who is Mr. Kidswatter's boss, and looks like a leprechaun that Mr. Kidswatter encountered twice. He only appeared in Be True To Your Elf. (U)
Hoy Hoy Hoy Dumb Bells, Mamaland rivals of Wayside who appeared in Mascot Madness and Mad Hot. (A)
Ms. Aywil Kiseu (Julie Lemieux), Head of the school of the Hoy Hoy Hoy Dumb Bells. Her full name is pronounced "I Will Kiss You". She used to date Mr. Kidswatter, but she dumped him 21 years, 3 months, and 12 days ago in Mad Hot.
Timmy Tricky (Kedar Brown), Todd's Mamaland look alike and rival. He is often called Timitry. He appeared very large and had dirty blonde hair in Mascot Madness, but appeared slightly similar to Todd in Mad Hot, only taller, has slightly darker skin, and has dirtier red hair.
Unnamed Students (Kedar Brown, Julie Lemieux, Denise Oliver), three other students that appeared in Mascot Madness and Mad Hot. Two of them look similar, but one of them is a boy with no visible hair, and the other is a girl with short pink pigtails, and one of them is a short girl, and has green hair that cover her eyes.
The show has received generally mixed to favorable reception from critics and viewers with some criticizing the show for lacking in originality.