No, I've never watched Arthur, or any of the newer shows but I am familiar with the character (I actually think he's an aardvark. Don't know why he doesn't have the long nose.)But the episode you just described doesn't sound any different than what Bug's Bunny cartoons used to do. They would take a movie or actor of the day and do a parody of it. I certainly didn't get all the humor until I was older, but it was no less entertaining to me as a child. I think these shows are created to entertain parents as well.
What about Blue's Clues? Isn't that on PBS? I have seen that one, and I thought it was great. I just know that you can't beat Sesame Street. Guess I'd better learn about these newer characters so I can watch with Starling!
The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.