Caillou is a popular Canadian educational children’s television series which ran from September, 1997 to October, 2010. The TV show is based on the books by author Hélène Desputeaux and it focuses on a four-year-old boy named Caillou who is slowly learning about life and the world around him. For years, this beloved preschooler has entertained children from all around the world and annoyed their parents. However, the one question on everyone’s minds was: “Why Does Caillou Have No Hair?”.
Does Caillou Have Cancer?
The highly imaginative four-year-old boy is prone to daydreaming and loves his stuffed dinosaur named Rexy, his teddy bear Teddy, and his pet cat Gilbert. But, there’s one funny thing about Caillou: he is bald, while his little sister Rosy has a full head of hair despite being smaller than him. So, parents and kids who watch the show can’t help but wonder: “Why can’t Caillou grow any hair?”. Well, according to the most popular urban legend, Caillou has cancer and is going through chemotherapy treatments, so this is the reason why his parents are sympathetic and always let him get his way (even if he’s being super bratty or whiny). According to this story, although he’s very young, Caillou is aware of his disease and tries to cope with the difficult situation by using his strongest tool: his vivid imagination. He’s not sure if he’ll be able to grow up, so he uses his imagination to go on adventures and imagines himself as different characters such as firefighter, doctor, or even a superhero. Because of this urban legend, many parents won’t let their children watch Caillou because they don’t want them watching a TV show about a kid with cancer. According to another darker urban legend, the boy is already dead and that’s why his grandmother is the one telling the stories about his life and his adventures in order to keep the memory of her loving grandson alive.
However, these stories are not true. The TV series was apparently based on a much younger character from illustrated children’s books. In the original books, Caillou was depicted as a nine-month-old baby, but he has hair when he grows up. Nonetheless, the producers of the show thought that giving the character hair would make him unrecognizable. They decided to keep Caillou hairless, so viewers could still identify him, but also to show children that having different or “unusual” looks is perfectly fine. They probably never thought that Caillou’s baldness will become such a controversial topic among viewers, especially parents who won’t let their kids watch the cartoon.
If you’re interested in finding out more about Caillou, here are some interesting facts about this beloved cartoon character!
The name Caillou actually comes from the French translation of the word “pebble”, which means stone. Reflecting her philosophy of respect for kids as adults, Dr. Françoise Dolto usually asked children to give her pebbles as a way of “paying” her for the consultations. The author and publisher of the “Caillou” books, Christine L’Heureux named the character to honor Dr. Dolto’s work and contribution.
However, there might be another reason why the creators of the TV series have chosen the name Caillou. The word “caillou” can also mean “bald head” and since the character is known as the the little bald-headed boy, this makes perfect sense.
Many parents of young children are simply annoyed by Caillou and they think that he is a terrible role model for kids around the world. There are many reasons why parents hate this spoiled boy so much:
- He is whiny, throws tantrums, and he is always complaining about everything.
- He is self-centered and asks “why” about everything: “Why do I have to sleep?”, “Why do animals have eyes?”.
- The theme song is annoying and says the word Caillou a countless number of times. The song will probably drive you nuts after a few seconds, but once you hear it you can’t get it out of your head.
- Even though he pretends to love his sister Rosie and his friends, you know it’s all a big lie. Every time his little sister gets something, Caillou becomes jealous and whines about her getting more than him. Every time his friends come over, Caillou loses it when he has to share his toys with them.
Caillou’s mom and dad are not really the epitome of good parents. His parents are terrible and there’s definitely something off about them. For example, when Caillou is moody and throws a temper tantrum, his parents look cheerful – they don’t ever get mad at him and act like all is normal. Instead of teaching him good manners and letting him know that he needs to adjust his tone and behavior, they always give him what he wants at the end, almost as a reward for his bad behavior.