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The Great List of Everything
The Great List of Everything

The Pencil

| 3 min

Based on a French-language comic book, The Great List of Everything features artists Cathon and Iris, two wildly imaginative young women who share their unbridled passion for everyday objects. The two friends’ quirky humour, broad knowledge, and endless curiosity will make you want to learn more about these objects. Travel with them through history as they explain the origins of everything from the fishing rod to the refrigerator to the toothbrush. But don’t believe everything you hear! Voiced by Angela Galuppo and Cat Lemieux, both seasons of The Great List of Everything were produced by La Pastèque and the National Film Board of Canada in collaboration with Télé-Québec, and with the financial participation of the Shaw Rocket Fund.


Credits
  • director
    Iris Boudreau
    Cathon
    Francis Papillon
  • writing
    Iris Boudreau
    Cathon
  • producer
    Marc Bertrand
    Anne-Marie Bousquet
    Solen Labrie Trépanier
  • executive producer
    Martin Brault
    Frédéric Gauthier
    Christine Noël
    Julie Roy

Episodes

  • Iris has finally acquired a cell phone—her first. Cathon would love to help her learn how to use it, but Iris insists on figuring it out all by herself. How did people communicate before the telephone was invented, anyway?
  • Iris and Cathon are shocked to discover how big and heavy the first microwave oven was. Turns out that inventing it involved melting a bar of chocolate.
  • Cathon bakes Iris a very special kind of bread for her birthday, and pretty soon the two friends have gone down the rabbit hole, in search of the origins of bread. They even tell the tale of a whole army sculpted from bread.
  • Cathon has a new best friend—Ruben the goldfish. Iris’s latest hobby is fishing. A fine kettle of fish to be sure. The fishing rod is an amazing piece of gear, but where did it come from?
  • Cathon has borrowed her aunt’s camera and wants to take some nice pictures of Iris. But she discovers that her best friend isn’t particularly photogenic. The two pals explore how people preserved memories in the past.
  • Iris wants to send her grandfather a birthday card. Touching, right? But Cathon doesn't want her friend to raid her collection looking for a stamp. Did someone really once pay $9.5 million for a single stamp?
  • Cathon has found something wonderful in the recycling bin—a birdsong clock. But Iris isn’t totally on board with her friend’s taste, so she seeks a compromise. She wonders how people told time before clocks.
  • Cathon proudly shows off her new glasses. Iris is at a loss for words—she’s speechless with admiration. Where do eyeglasses even come from, and how did people first get them to stay on their noses?
  • Iris is about to greedily devour her lunch—a mountain of fries—and her friend gives her a lecture. In Cathon’s opinion, fries are not a balanced meal. And yet they’re in Canada’s Food Guide. Or are they? Maybe not.
  • Iris and Cathon are at the beach, and they both have new swimsuits. Cathon makes fun of her friend’s choice of beachwear. You’ll learn a lot about the origins of the bathing suit.
  • Iris loves noodles so much she could eat them morning, noon, and night. Cathon prefers using them to make little gifts for her friend. Any idea where noodles actually come from?
  • Iris believes that every time you turn the lights on or off in a room, it costs 25 cents. Cathon sets her straight, and then explains where the light in lightbulbs comes from.
  • Iris wants to help out by doing Cathon’s laundry, but accidentally shrinks her friend’s favourite pair of pants. When were trousers first worn? And is it true that women were not always allowed to wear them?
  • Rummaging around in Cathon’s massive collection, Iris finds the perfect pencil to write to her grandpa with. Which leads to the question: Was the lead pencil really invented in a bathtub?
  • Iris surprises Cathon by coming back from a grocery run with a bag full of an insane amount of a treat they both adore! As they enjoy a scrumptious sandwich, our friends wonder: Is it true that the Maya invented peanut butter?
  • It won’t come as a shock to you to learn that Iris’s and Cathon’s teddy bears are polar opposites! But who created this perennially popular stuffed toy? And did you know that a woman in the US has a collection of over 8,000 of them?
  • As they climb an impressively long staircase, Cathon notices that her friend Iris isn’t in the best of shape. On the subject of stairs, is it true that the ones in Chand Baori, in India, were originally built for rolling-somersault competitions?
  • Hot dogs and the beach: a classic pairing! Between a sea voyage and hot-dog eating competitions, Iris once again amazes us with the quantity of condiments she’s able to ingest in one go! Come to think of it, why exactly is it called a hot dog?
  • At the local ice rink, Iris tries out her grandpa’s old skates while a quizzical Cathon looks on. Have you ever wondered what skates looked like before metalblades were developed?
  • In the spirit of sustainability, Iris offers to leave her bathwater for Cathon—but a minor detail gives her pause. Fun (or maybe not-so-fun) fact: during the Renaissance, people avoided bathing for fear that microbes would get into their bodies!
  • Iris whips up a batch of her famous banana smoothies, but Cathon isn’t the biggest fan of her friend’s recipe. Speaking of bananas, word has it that the banana split was invented by one David Stickler, who was an apprentice pharmacist!
  • A devastated Cathon must face a cruel fact: she must bid farewell to her old fridge, which has brought her so many good times. But before the refrigerator was invented, how did people keep their food from spoiling?
  • Cathon is excited to show Iris her latest flea-market find: a new mirror. But is it true that if you break one, you can expect seven years of bad luck?
  • When she finds out what kind of sleepwear her friend likes, Iris bursts out laughing! One thing’s for sure, Iris and Cathon don’t subscribe to the same definition of “pyjama party.” Apparently, way back when, wearing these clothes to the beach was the height of fashion!
  • While brushing her teeth with Iris, Cathon discovers another of her friend’s crazy ideas: instead of toothpaste, Iris uses hot sauce! They go on to explain that before the invention of the toothbrush, people kept their choppers clean using twigs!

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