Akin to the Spider-man and Letter Man segments on The Electric Company, The Bloodhound Gang was 3-2-1 Contact's answer to the entertaining mini-show within a show.

The Bloodhound Gang were three school kids who worked for a detective agency (if memory serves) after school. They were: "Vikki" (played by Nan-Lyn Nelson), "Ricardo" (Marcelino Sánchez), and "Skip" (Seth Greenspan). I don't really remember the other two, but Vikki kicked ass.

Since this was a segment on 3-2-1 Contact, a science show after all, the crimes were usually solved due to the kids knowledge of science.

The theme song (sung by Damaris Carbaugh) to introduce the segment went something like this:

"Whenever there's trouble,
we're there on the double...
we're the Bloodhound Gang.

If you've got the crime,
we've got the time...
we're the Bloodhound Gang."

I seem to remember that the segments were split; so in the first piece you got the crime and investigation, then near the end of the show [3-2-1 Contact], they'd show the second half where the gang used their TAG status to divine the solution. Unlike the Bradys, these two-parters never took the Gang to Hawaii, the Grand Canyon, or a just-opened theme park.

Each new episode seemed to start with one of the gang answering the agency's phone thusly:

"Bloodhound Detective Agency — 'whenever there's trouble we're there on the double' — Mr.Bloodhound isn't here..."
That Mr. Bloodhound was never in!

Here are some episodes that I remember parts of:
(warning, if you've printed this out, somehow travelled back in time, and are a die-hard PBS fan there may be episode-ruining spoilers ahead!)

  • someone was kidnapped, but because there was a small hole in the side of the van, it made a pinhole camera-type image on the interior of the van. This fact helped the kidnapee recognize areas he was taken to.
  • someone was tricked into believing there was a ghost in their yard because they saw a weird white apparition — turns out it was done by attracting hundreds of moths with pheromones. I think this is the same episode where a cardboard silhouette affixed to a model train was used to establish an alibi (it cast a shadow on a curtained window as it rolled by).
  • an unsuspected twin extorts money from his brother. The ransom is placed in a trash can on a wintry day. The Bloodhound Gang watches the can but no one approaches it, but for some woman in a raincoat who pours some liquid into it. They figure it was a actually a man because of the way the raincoat was closed (I guess women put the right flap over the left flap in front or something), figured it was the twin because he was also left handed, and figured out the money never left the can after garbage men emptied it because the money was frozen to the bottom (due to the liquid being poured on it earlier).
  • a van containing an expensive ice sculpture is stolen. By the time the van is found the sculpture has melted leaving only sea water behind. They gang solves this one knowing that the sculpture was made of fresh water. Also, the drivers alibi: he said that he could smell the chocolate factory when he drove, but the gang found out that the wind was going the opposite way that day. This put him on the only other road — the one that went along the ocean (from where he could easily procure the sea water). Book 'em, Dano!
  • a man with amnesia who could only remember the words "Johannes Kepler" — turns out the man was an astronomer. Not sure if there was a crime involved or if it was just this mystery — perhaps having forgotten our code of laws he jaywalked on the way to the agency.
  • an expensive antique clock is stolen, several large bags of salt are found nearby — turns out an employee bagged the clock and sunk it in the well (that old chestnut, eh?), planning to add salt to the well later and make it rise to the surface. I believe they may have been the only investigators that had to demonstrate their hypothesis by using an egg, a glass of water, and plenty of salt. This may also be the episode where the culprit's alibi is shown to be false because he said he'd turned on the shower for a few minutes, and then seen the theifs reflection in the bathroom mirror. Vikki gives him what for by demonstrating that his hot shower would have rendered the mirror too foggy to show a clear reflection.
  • several classic cars are stolen from a car lot during the night. The owner is astounded because his string of security lights make it "almost broad daylight". Turns out the man who sold the lot the security lights gave him a string where you can un-screw one bulb and it breaks the circuit. Knowing this, he did some unscrewing and some stealin'. The Gang risks Mr.Bloodhounds beloved classic car (giving the gas tank only about a teaspoon of gasoline — just enough, they figure, to start the engine and take it a couple of feet out of the parking lot) to catch the theif.

Hailing from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Bloodhound Gang was founded in 1993 by vocalist Jimmy Pop Ali (born James Franks) and guitarist Lupus (we don't know his real name). The band's first EP: "Dingleberry Haze", was released in 1994 on Cheese Factory records. After fair local success, the band was signed to Columbia Records, and released "Use Your Fingers", a hilarious album featuring many short sketches and use of samples. The album failed to sell, and the band returned to Cheese Factory (which soon after became Republic Records).

With the addition of a full band: bassist Evil Jared, drummer (and a pretty good one, too) Spanky G, and DJ Q-Ball, the band released 1996's "One Fierce Beer Coaster". The first single from the album, "Fire, Water, Burn" achieved a fair amount of commercial success, and the band left Cheese Factory/Republic again in favor of Geffen Records. "Use Your Fingers" was soon reissued, and suddenly found success on the US Top 100. The second single from 1FBC, "Why's Everybody Always Pickin' On Me" (which strangely enough included John Denver in the video), was released soon afterwards.

While the band has been accused of "schoolboyish immaturity", their talents, diverse stylings, and hilariously vile antics (like vomiting all over each other and the crowd while on stage), have led them to a niche in rock history, albeit a raunchy little one. They claim bands as wide ranging as the Wu-Tang Clan, Depeche Mode and Weezer as influences. In 1999, the band released their third full-length album, "Hooray for Boobies". The single "The Bad Touch" attained success, and the album sold well, mostly to teenage boys with dirty senses of humor.


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