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Citizen Cheikh

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"Citizen Cheikh"
Citizen Cheikh Title Card.png
Season/Series: 23
Number in season: 1b
Original Airdate: United States October 14, 2019
Canada March 16, 2020[1]
Australia February 22, 2020
Written by: Elena Lesser
Cliff Ruby
Storyboard by: Karine Charlebois
"Fright Night"
"When Duty Calls"
Read transcript

"Citizen Cheikh" is the second half of the first episode in the twenty-third season of Arthur.


Cheikh is worried that if he and his family become American citizens, then they will have to abandon their Senegalese culture.


Arthur is seen playing Dark Bunny VI: Curse of the Moomy on his video game console in the den, and he is excited to win 500 golden scarabs in-game. He then says to the viewers, "Don't you just love surprises?", and thinks that surprises are the best, at least, most of the time. Some examples are shown, such as Buster finding out that he has cavities at the dentist's office, or Brain not being able to make the best-tasting lemonade ever. Arthur, still playing his game, says to the viewers that that's why they're surprises, because you never see them coming. D.W. then surprises Arthur when she walks into the den to tell him that dinner is ready. Afterwards, Arthur is excited that he got to the next level, only to be surprised that the moomies are replaced by D.W.s. He then runs out of the den.

Citizen Cheikh

After the title card, D.W. and Bud are outside at preschool, where they ask each other what they have packed for lunch. Cheikh shows up, and D.W. asks him if they can trade for one of his fatias. Cheikh explains that his mom forgot to pack three of them, and only packed him one, because she and his dad are studying for some big test. D.W. understands, saying that Arthur once put his sneakers in the refrigerator because he was studying so hard.

Later, in Cheikh's bedroom, he is playing with a "Leaping Lion" wrestling action figure, but D.W. is bored, and she asks him how many times The Leaping Lion can win. Cheikh tells her that The Leaping Lion could win "a million, billion times if he wanted to", and that he's the best wrestler in Senegal, where Cheikh is from. D.W. then asks him if he wants to play his drums, to which he agrees. But after they start playing the drums, Cheikh's mom tells him and D.W. to please play a little quieter, since she and Cheikh's dad are trying to study. After playing quietly for a little while, they don't find it that fun. Cheikh hopes that his parents' studying will be over soon.

Later, in the Ice Cream Shop, Cheikh is visiting his cousin, Brain, when Cheikh's parents arrive to tell him that they have a "wonderful surprise": they're going to become American Citizens. Brain congratulates Cheikh and his family, and gives out ice cream sundaes to all of them.

At preschool the next day, Cheikh is wondering what being an American Citizen means. He starts to wonder if he will have to give up his things from Senegal, such as his drums, or his fatias. D.W. and Bud hope not, because they like those things, too. Cheikh then asks D.W. and Bud if they are American Citizens, and they say they are, or at least, they think so.

At the Reads' house, in the den, Arthur says to D.W. that they are American Citizens, while he and Buster are building another model of The Grain Reaper. D.W. also asks Arthur if they had to pass a test, and he says to her that if you're born in the United States, that automatically makes you a citizen, and Buster adds that no test is required. D.W. asks Arthur, "What do you get when you're an American Citizen?", and he says to her that you can vote when you're 18. D.W. then has a fantasy where she votes for herself as President, and after her fantasy, she likes the idea. Buster also says that you get to eat "Stars and Stripes stew", and Arthur asks what that is, to which Buster says that it's something that he and his mom have every year for The 4th of July. D.W. asks Buster what's in it, and Buster says that it consists of tomatoes, mashed potatoes, and blueberries. Arthur sticks out his tongue in disgust at the thought of it, and Buster tells him to not knock it until he tries it.

After hearing about Stars and Stripes stew, D.W. gets an idea. She invites Bud over to help her make it using his mashed potatoes, and her tomatoes and blueberries.

At preschool, D.W. and Bud show Cheikh the stew, and they all try it. Bud likes it at first, but D.W. and Cheikh don't like it that much, and D.W. also spits it out into her napkin. Bud then takes another bite, and realises that it wasn't as good as the first bite. Bud also wonders if they are bad Citizens for not liking the stew, and D.W. says, "probably".

Later, at the park, Binky notices Cheikh with D.W. and Bud, and Binky tells Cheikh that he found out from Arthur that he is becoming a United States Citizen, and he introduces him to Uncle Slam, who Binky claims is the best wrestler in the world. After Binky gives Cheikh one of his old Uncle Slam shirts, Cheikh wonders if he will have to give up his Leaping Lion things and change over to be a fan of Uncle Slam.

That evening, Cheikh's mom reminds Cheikh in his bedroom that tomorrow will be when he and his parents will be sworn in as Citizens of the United States. After his mom says good night to him, Cheikh falls asleep, and starts having a dream where the preschoolers click their lips at Cheikh for sneaking in fatias and wearing his dashiki under his normal shirt. When Cheikh's Leaping Lion action figure appears out of nowhere, Uncle Slam notices it in the back corner of the room in the preschool, and he starts crying because he thought Cheikh was going to join his fan club. After Cheikh wakes up from his dream, he starts to put his items from Senegal away.

The next day, Brain is with Cheikh and his mom at the toy store, and Cheikh is going to get an Uncle Slam action figure, until Brain tells him that there are new Leaping Lion action figures. Cheikh wants to get one, but he then asks why he has to be an American Citizen, because he isn't old enough to vote, he doesn't like Stars and Stripes stew, and he isn't a fan of Uncle Slam. Brain then asks what Stars and Stripes stew is, and Cheikh tells him that he doesn't want to know. Cheikh's mom then asks Cheikh why he thinks that he has to like those things, and Cheikh says that he will have to give up his things from Senegal, and only like American things. Cheikh's mom tells Cheikh that he doesn't have to give up his things from Senegal to be an American Citizen, and Brain tells Cheikh that America is made up of all sorts of cultures, using Autobionica toys as an example. Cheikh's mom tells Cheikh that she and his dad want to become American Citizens because it will give them, and Cheikh, more opportunities. Cheikh then asks if he can get the Autobionica toy instead.

During the Naturalization Ceremony, Cheikh and his mom and dad become American Citizens. After the ceremony, they stop by the preschool, where everyone congratulates Cheikh and his parents on becoming American Citizens. They celebrate by having fatias and playing the drums. Meanwhile, Cheikh asks Bud if he wants a fatia, but he doesn't want one, because he has a stomachache from eating Stars and Stripes stew all week. Cheikh tells Bud that being an American Citizen means that you're free to like what you want, and Bud asks him, "You couldn't have told us that earlier?". Then the episode finishes.



  • This is Cheikh's second major role in an Arthur episode following His debut, "In My Africa."
  • Timeline:
    • The faulty Mutant Muck Monster from “Arthur’s Toy Trouble” is standing in the toy store.
    • In the opening, Arthur plays a video game from the Dark Bunny "Curse of the Moomy" video game series, which first appears in "Crushed."

Episode connections[edit]

  • Arthur and Buster are seen building a green version the Grain Reaper which originally appears red in "Ungifted."
  • The statue of Jacob Katzenellenbogan from "Elwood City Turns 100!" is seen outside town hall. In reference to a running gag that began with that episode, Jacob's last name is misspelled on the plaque. However, this time it is written Katzennellenbogan. The original misspelling was 'Katzenelenbogan' with one 'L'.

Cultural references[edit]

  • The title of this episode, just like "Citizen Frensky," is a reference to Citizen Kane.
  • Cheikh is a fan of Senegalese wrestling.
  • A djembe is a kind of West African drum.
  • Yaay is Wolof for mother. Wolof is the principal dialect of Cheikh’s old hometown Dakar, Senegal.
  • A dashiki is a colorful shirt that is popular many African countries, particularly in West Africa.