January 25, 2006

Goodnight Johnny, Goodnight Ed

In the great green room, there was a telephone and a red balloon...

We read Goodnight Moon to Mia every night. It's part of our routine. She loves it. Upon hearing the first lines and seeing the first page, she smiles and waves her arms, excited. Before having a child, I'd never actually read the book before. I've grown quite fond of it. As the narrator slowly and quietly says goodnight to all the things in the room - the comb, the brush, the bowl full of mush and the quiet old lady whispering hush - I get a little squishy inside. Squishier when I watch my adorable daughter smile and coo, absolutely enthralled by the simple story. But there's a point in the story that always makes me sad. Until recently.

One page is devoid of illustration and finds the narrator saying goodnight nobody. Saying goodnight to nobody sounds exceptionally lonely to me. One evening, I began thinking, who should fill that blank space, that emptiness? And, since my mind works in fairly unusual (I'd like to think of it as quirky) ways, the first name I came up with was Ed McMahon. Yes, late night talk show sidekick, television's Ed McMahon. I haven't been able to keep a straight face through Goodnight Moon since.

ed copy.jpg

Posted by Chris at January 25, 2006 07:28 AM

Is it bad that, while reading this, I started humming "Goodnight My Someone" from The Music Man??

Posted by: Empress at January 25, 2006 07:57 AM

You have way too much time on your hands sir!

Posted by: Jeff A at January 25, 2006 08:12 AM

ah...i used to read goodnight moon to my older two every night...but isabella is asleep before i put her in her crib, so i don't get to read it....

...but when i do, you can bet i'll try the ed mcmahon route :)

Posted by: ali at January 25, 2006 08:23 AM

Ed McMahon is a good choice.

Posted by: Bill at January 25, 2006 08:43 AM

Coincidentally, the book is ruined for me too after reading this post.

But that page always bothered me.

Not quite as much as "goodnight mush". It's just not necessary.

Posted by: Sarah at January 25, 2006 08:51 AM

Ed McMahon is the first person that came to your mind? Um...yeah...It's not my common practice to think about Ed McMahon, but at least you'll have fun explaining it to Mia when she's old enough to ask who he is (if you're still using him as part of the story when she's old enough to ask, that is).

Posted by: Jessie at January 25, 2006 09:36 AM

That is a very good choice! Have to fill that page up with someone or something. I too would have been doing that. Just too depressing to have a blank page and no one to say good night too.

Posted by: Just Me1issa at January 25, 2006 09:37 AM

Yeah, that page bugs me. But I think maybe Ed McMahon is my baby's bedtime story would disturb me more.

Posted by: HR Mommy at January 25, 2006 09:39 AM

LOL - I love that book - though we don't have it - my nieces do, and I love reading it to them. Instead we read Sierra "Five Wishing Stars".

And Ed McMahon? What's with that?

Posted by: Marie at January 25, 2006 09:40 AM

I've never read Goodnight Moon - I admit it. But I do miss Johnny Carson.

Posted by: Heather at January 25, 2006 09:45 AM

Ed McMahon? You need to start watching more TV to update your crazy imagination!

Posted by: Neil at January 25, 2006 09:45 AM

Heh. I'm with Sarah, I was always more bothered by the "goodnight mush." What's that all about? I know babies eat mush, but it's bedtime and even if the baby just ate the bowl's just ... sitting out. That can't be hygienic.

And now I've officially given this too much thought.

Posted by: Fraulein N at January 25, 2006 09:58 AM

We read Goodnight Moon most nights to our daughter as well, and now you've all ruined it for me. I have always thought Goodnight Moon to be perfect. Now I just have to insert a character to keep my mind off of Ed. I only associate him with Publisher's Clearing House, oh and also Star Search. Then I will just get upset because I filled out one of those forms in the mail for my mom when I was a kid never won 10 million. And I never got 4 stars either.

Posted by: kim at January 25, 2006 10:15 AM

This was MY favorite book as a kid and I read it every night to Keli as a wee one, too. I never had a problem with "goodnight nobody" however. Interesting...

Posted by: Keri at January 25, 2006 10:22 AM

Oh great. Now I'm going to think of Ed McMahon every time I read that page. Actually, maybe I can insert something a little more kid-friendly. Like ">Screech.

Posted by: dad on a wire at January 25, 2006 10:25 AM

Oh great. Now I'm going to think of Ed McMahon every time I read that page. Actually, maybe I can insert something a little more kid-friendly. Like Screech.

Posted by: dad on a wire at January 25, 2006 10:26 AM

My first thought? That Ed McMahon had died. My second thought after reading the post, Goodnight Nobody is a sad line. Very sad.

Posted by: alfredsmom at January 25, 2006 10:28 AM

did you cut out a picture of ed mcmahon and paste it on that page?

Posted by: jodi at January 25, 2006 10:53 AM

The first story I ever read to my son was "Love You Forever". I still can't get through it without choking up, even though I think parts of it are a little psycho.

Posted by: Queen of Ass at January 25, 2006 11:04 AM

Hey isn't this post in the wrong Rude Cactus site? I would expect to see it over at the other one, you know with the books ;)

Posted by: Kate at January 25, 2006 11:24 AM

I think "Goodnight nobody" is a good line. Teaches her that she will sometimes be alone (but not in spirit).

Posted by: anon at January 25, 2006 11:46 AM

Meredith likes looking for the mouse on each of the 4-color spreads. So, now I'll be thinking of Ed and constantly searching for that tiny mouse.

Goodnight, Nobody, indeed!

Posted by: FP at January 25, 2006 12:03 PM

yep, nobody is more of a nobody than Eddie... lol


Posted by: Dawn (webmiztris) at January 25, 2006 12:18 PM

Our third child is just about done with "Goodnight Moon" and I for one will miss it terribly. I've been reading it aloud for about 9 years now, and I've never tired of its soothing rhythm. For the record, count me on the side of those who don't think "Goodnight nobody" is sad. How 'bout "Goodnight mush" though -- ever think how that page feels?

Posted by: Karen at January 25, 2006 12:38 PM

Well Ed always had Martha Quinn (yes, original mtv vj, Martha Quinn) to say good night to him. However, I'm sure being the dapper chap he is, he doesn't mind a good night from even a rude cactus.


Posted by: JJ at January 25, 2006 12:44 PM

Definitely quirky!

Posted by: Jazzy at January 25, 2006 01:03 PM

Heeeeeeeeere's Eddie...

You aren't the only quirky one, my friend.

Posted by: Wicked H at January 25, 2006 01:16 PM

There's something about that damn story isn't there? I have a good friend who has a 1-year old (often pictured on my site) and each and every time I see him read that story to his son before bedtime...I develop a little bit more of a crush on him.

The story has magical powers....it really does...I bet Ed McMahon exorcises them though...so it's all good!

Posted by: wn at January 25, 2006 01:57 PM

Ed McMahon always cracks me up. And he is sort of like Dick Clark wherein he never ages! I remember as a kid I used to wonder EVERY time I would hear a knock at the door if it would be Ed McMahon with my prize winnings. Alas, it never happened. It was usually Avon ladies.

Good Night Moon is a fantastic book - I have read it to little Patrick, however he prefers Curious George or any book on dinosaurs, since he is into this phase where he makes sound effects. He likes to roar right now. There isn't much opportunity to roar in Good Night Moon!

Posted by: Snickrsnack Katie at January 25, 2006 02:06 PM

Goodnight, Ed!

Now I too will laugh every time I see that book. Thanks bunches - they already think I am crazy... I mean... Quirky. That's it Quirky. Yeah.

Posted by: Odd Mix at January 25, 2006 02:38 PM

Goodnight Moon is one of our favorites too. My son is 3 now and we still read it all the time. He said his first word while we were reading it. LIGHT! and he pointed up to the light when we read the goodnight light part. oy! now i'm getting all teary eyed.

Posted by: Pinky at January 25, 2006 02:45 PM

Ha! That's freakin' hilarious! Psh...Ed McMahon...where does he come up with these things?!

Posted by: Kristina at January 25, 2006 02:50 PM

We read that book all the time too. Maggie has lately been fixated on the fireplace. "HOT!" she says every time you turn to a page with the fireplace.

I like the "Goodnight Nobody" part. It just made me think of a little person snug in their bed in the quiet night-time and not scared.

And then I found your Ed Mc Mahon addition infintely amusing. Your mind might be even more random than mine, and that's pretty darn random.

Posted by: Meghan at January 25, 2006 03:48 PM

The only thing I can think of that might be as funny is "Goodnight Dick" with a picture of Dick Martin and Dan Rowan from Rowan and Martin's Laugh In from way back when I was a kid...

Posted by: JuJu's Mom at January 25, 2006 04:09 PM

Goodnight Ed McMahon! What a great idea! I give it 4 stars! You made it to the semi-finals!:)

Posted by: Janet at January 25, 2006 04:26 PM

And a picture of... A cow jumping over the moon. We know that one well... And I think Ed's a great addition. :-)

Posted by: Lisa B at January 25, 2006 05:17 PM

I LOVE Goodnight Moon!

Posted by: Kelly at January 25, 2006 07:37 PM

Well you know, the mush isn't hurting anyone... It's just lying there minding it's own business, waiting for someone to notice and perhaps send a few kind wishes it's way...

Now the old lady on the other hand... WHAT is up with her?? She knows the routine!! Every night it's the same thing... we say goodnight to everything in the room so no one feels left out, even the poor lonely bowl of mush... And yet she STILL goes on with the hushing and the shushing...

Couldn't she just wait till the end of the book when everyone is asleep and there is no hushing required?? Sheesh!!

Posted by: Deepblue at January 25, 2006 09:02 PM

so good night moon comes in a spanish version, and i am sure other languages.

get crackin dad! at least the spanish version.


Posted by: melanie at January 26, 2006 06:24 AM

and we have moved on to Dr. Suess... the kid LOVES the Suess man.

Posted by: melanie at January 26, 2006 06:25 AM