Aired: 1991-2004 (Nickelodeon)
DAD: Charles “Chaz” Finster (voice of Michael Bell) / Widower
DAD’S JOB: Unknown – something white collar, inventorish
KIDS: Chuckie (Christine Cavanaugh)(2)
WHERE’S MOM?: Died after a long illness.
STAND-IN “MOM”: None – unless “It takes a village…”
(This is paraphrased from Billy D’Augustine’s excellent Rugrats page at http://www.gti.net/azog/rugrats/, which unfortunately has just been abandoned.):
Chaz is the father of Chuckie. A widower, he is the single parent of his 2-year-old son. Chaz is the only single father of the series. Most of Chaz’s parenting skills come from the writings of a Dr. Lipschitz, who is the Dr. Spock of Rugrats. Chaz is a realistically-portrayed, frazzled single dad, trying to juggle work, fatherhood, and housekeeping by himself. Most of Chaz’s hobbies are of an introverted nature (chess, Latvian folk music) . Apparently Chaz isn’t left with much time to hone his social skills.
Update May 10, 1997: Chaz is officially a widower, as shown in a Rugrats Mother’s Day special, and pointed out by alert viewer Christina TSingleDad@aol.com) . The Mother’s Day special goes into detail about Chuckie’s mom’s illness and death in the hospital. A very moving episode. By the way, Chuckie’s Mom, Melinda, is voiced by Kim Catrell.
A wave of the Punky Brewster Memorial Pigtails to Christina (TSingleDad@aol.com) for the update. Thanks, Christina!
AND a flap of the Fran Drescher Memorial Miniskirt to Meghan Gleason for filling me in on details about Chuckie’s mom. Thanks, Meghan!
Update: The Mike Brady Clock has kicked in, with the marriage of Chaz Finster in the Nickelodeon movie Rugrats in Paris, in 2000. As a series, Rugrats now has until 2009 to finish its production, or face the dreaded Brady disqualification.
Further update: Alert Viewer Varakorn Ungvichian writes in with some chronological corrections: “The series premiered in August 1991. Chazz got hitched in November 2000. (Rugrats in Paris was actually a FALL film…) Thus, by my calculations… That actually means the ‘Rats have til Feb 2010!”
Actually, we’ll start the Brady Clock at January of 2001, as Chaz doesn’t appear married on TV until then, so it buys the show another month. Of course, this assumes a 20-year run of the series. Good luck, Finsters.
A flap of the Benton Quest Memorial Lab Coat to Varakorn Ungvichian for the corrected Mike Brady calculations. Thanks, Varakorn!