Lance Armstrong and Arthur. What to do?

Do you know the TV show Arthur? It is a very good kids show on PBS, involving anthropomorphic animals (including Arthur the Aardvark), most of whom are middle school students, who face the daily struggles of life with families, schoolyard dynamics, difficult teachers, etc., and learn lessons and and all that stuff. One of the more memorable episodes is the one where the beloved Cafeteria Lady, Mrs. McGrady, has cancer and Lance Armstrong, with bunny ears (everybody has to be an anthropomorphic non-human animal), comes to town and helps make everybody feel better. Here’s the trailer for that “special” episode, in which Armstrong himself plays the role of, well, himself.

Madam Agathe Charbonneau resting after being awarded her Tour de France medal.

Now, it is known that Lance Armstrong not only used steroids to gain an advantage in his bike racing, but that he has steadfastly refused to acknowledge this, and many of his co-competitors have done the same thing. So, when they go to strip Armstrong of his medals, and then go to give the medal to the next guy down the line, that guy will not be worthy of it because he also used steroids, and the next guy and the next guy and the next guy, until finally the Tour de France medal for a given year is going to be awarded to some lady who was walking down the lane to the bakery shop to pick up a loaf of bread and the race happened to be going on and she was the only one not in the race and not standing there watching the race so she gets the medal. Good for her.

I’m imagining a new Arthur episode in which Francine (the jock) is caught using steroids in preparation for the Statewide Kickball Tournament, but refused to admit it despite overwhelming evidence, and then Lance Armstrong comes along and … well …

What do I do, Mr. Armstrong? Get a lawyer or just come clean? What did you do?

But seriously, what are they going to do? I suppose they can’t show that episode again. It seems to me that Lance Armstrong should cover the cost of replacing it with something different. What do you think?


“Photo” of Lance and Francine from PBS. Photo of french lady from flickr user elderc.


  1. #1 Uncle Glenny
    October 22, 2012

    I thought I heard (radio) they weren’t going to bump anyone else up, just leave the wins blank, although this is contra what both you and John Cole say.

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    October 22, 2012

    I wouldn’t know who to believe here.

  3. #3 Uncle Glenny
    October 22, 2012

    Today’s NYT article doesn’t say either way. Maybe I hallucinated.

  4. #4 Uncle Glenny
    October 22, 2012

    Just like the Tour de France has opted not to reallocate Armstrong’s titles to another rider, instead leaving the record books blank for those years, there have been no winners from all this, and plenty of losers.


  5. #5 Greg Laden
    October 22, 2012

    OK, so who’s gonna tell Madam Charbonneau?

  6. #6 Sasha
    January 19, 2013

    I was thinking the exact same thing.

  7. #7 Stephanie Robinson
    January 30, 2013

    The kids on Arthur are actually in 3rd grade. I should know, it has been on in my house almost every week for probably eight years! I too wondered what they were going to do about the Armstrong episodes. They’re still showing them, because my youngest is watching “Binky vs Binky” which features Armstrong right now. IMO they should take them out of rotation.

  8. #8 Greg Laden
    January 30, 2013

    They seem so mature for 3rd grade!

  9. #9 John McKay
    Somewhere near Seattle
    January 30, 2013

    I was always a little disturbed that Arthur, an aardvark, has no nose.

  10. #10 Greg Laden
    January 30, 2013

    Are you suggesting that he is an imposter?