“This is the song that doesn’t end….” I’d continue, but it just goes on and on. If you’re somehow unfamiliar with the tune, it’s essential listening from Lamb Chop’s Play-Along. The ringleader and star of the song was none other than Charlie Horse.
Lamb Chop was obviously the main attraction of Lamb Chop’s Play-Along, but Charlie Horse was critical to its success. Charles was a bit of a troublemaker and had a case of “bigshotitis” (very relatable). These are traits one might expect from an older brother, and Lamb Chop and Hush Puppy never seemed worse for wear. Charlie’s shenanigans were a necessary foil to the rest of the group’s dynamic.
Charlie Horse entered into the family business in the early 90’s, as the Chop crew started the aforementioned Lamb Chop’s Play-Along. The show was very successful, even inspiring blog posts 25 years later. All good things must come to an end, however, and that’s just want happened here in 1995. There’s a saying in show business, though; the show must go on. Not this one, but maybe a new one.
Charlie brought the family back together, along with some new friends, to start Charlie Horse Music Pizza.
This show was for parents and kids, and made an effort to focus on music even more so than Play-Along, as their mother Shari Lewis saw it as an issue affecting school children at the time with music programs being cut. Unfortunately, Lewis passed away from pneumonia while battling from cancer. The show was cancelled not long after, lasting a little over one season.
Charlie took a year off, but ultimately wanted to continue his craft. He moved from the small screen to the silver screen as he was cast as Bullseye in Toy Story 2, the sequel to the acclaimed Toy Story.
While not a speaking role, Bullseye allowed Charlie Horse to tap into his youthful and energetic talents. Working along side industry legends Tom Hanks and Tim Allen was great for Charlie for perfecting his skill, but joining a mega-franchise and entering the Disney-Pixar machine creates demands outside of the studio lot. Marketing and publicity requirements didn’t allow him to take on many other roles.
Charlie would return as Bullseye in Toy Story 3, but before that he was able to take on the small but titular role in Lucky Number Slevin.
Lucky Number Slevin is a relatively overlooked Josh Hartnett vehicle that I would personally recommend. Charlie’s role is very small (see above), but literally the movie wouldn’t happen without him. He absolutely nailed this one (see above).
Horse took some more time off after Toy Story 3 as he prepared for his greatest role: BoJack Horseman in BoJack Horseman.
BoJack Horseman was a Netflix show that received a lot of love from critics, and is a bit of a cult hit. The show actually just ended early this year. A little known fact is that BoJack Horseman is based on the life of Charlie Horse’s grandpa, Mister Ed. The personal connection only made the demanding role that more challenging. Horse’s work did not go unnoticed, as he and the Horseman team won many awards over the years.
Charlie Horse didn’t take on a lot of roles in his career. He was very selective with his projects, choosing to focus more on the characters and storytelling than chasing stardom. Certainly not the path that many would’ve seen from a young Horse, but one that led to a long and respected career. Charlie Horse has now chosen to retire in Kentucky and is focused on his stud duties.