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Lena Dunham’s favourite childhood show was ‘Under the Umbrella Tree’

North Stars
January 23, 2013

At 26 years old, Lena Dunham is TV royalty as the creator, writer, and star of HBO's hit series "Girls." She's dating the guitarist of fun., and she is pretty much the last word on what's cool for twenty-somethings around the world. Such a successful creative mind must have been surrounded by works of art from an early age, right?

Right! In a conversation with Alec Baldwin on his podcast "Here's the Thing," Dunham revealed what TV show she watched every day as a child. What show was it? Well, it's Canadian and it's awesome.

"My favourite show when I was little was 'Under the Umbrella Tree,' which is a Canadian show about a woman who lives with three puppets. And it was on every morning at 7 a.m.," Dunham told Baldwin after he asked her about her weirdest TV obsession. He responded with the quintessential Baldwin-esque "Good God."

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"There were three of them named Iggy, Gloria and Jay. Iggy was an iguana, Gloria was a groundhog, and Jay is a blue jay and he lived out back in a bird house," Dunham continued. "They would talk to you about recycling, or help out their old neighbour who fell down the street. They were just nice puppets. But looking back, it's kind of like a a child molester on the lam with her three victims."

Well, that interpretation sure puts a sour twist on the line "Do you ever wonder what can happen under, under an Umbrella Tree?"

Coincidentally, "Under the Umbrella Tree" premiered on the CBC in 1986, the same year Dunham was born. It lasted seven years, ending in 1993, producing more than enough happy morning memories to send Dunham off into a lifelong career of creative genius and fearless attitudes about individuality, feminism, and self-esteem, which she often speaks about quite bluntly.

Continuing her conversation with Baldwin, for instance, the topic turned to the controversy surrounding Rihanna and her relationship with Chris Brown.

"I used to be really into Rihanna ... But I follow her on Instagram and I just think about how many little girls beyond what I could even comprehend are obsessed with Rihanna. Like you know, she left Barbados, she’s had this amazing career, she’s won a Grammy," Dunham said. "And then she gets back together with Chris Brown and posts a million pictures of them smoking marijuana together on a bed. And it cracks my heart in half in a way that makes me feel like I’m 95 years old."

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Dunham told Baldwin that she takes herself seriously as a role model for legions of young girls, which can be seen in her response to Howard Stern calling her a "little fat girl," her unabashed pride in her body, and her "Girls" character Hannah Horvath's aloof attitude towards her appearance.

"She's chubby, but that's not where her anxiety comes from ... I feel like we have very few female characters on television who don't look like models and aren't constantly discussing it," Dunham said.

And what's Dunham's source of inspiration? "I'm obsessed with my mom," she told Baldwin.

A great mom and a childhood brought up on "Under the Umbrella Tree"? No wonder Dunham is such a success.

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