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What the hell are you staring at?"
February 20, 2014 12:58 PM   Subscribe

"I'm just one more duck detective who works with a pig and lives with the twin sister of his dead wife, three sons on two bodies and a comatose mother-in-law who's got so much gas she's a fire hazard."
~ Eric Tiberius Duckman

Background
Therapist: "Are you sexually active?"
Duckman: "I'm very sexually active!"
Therapist: "I mean, with another person."
Duckman: "Oh.... Uh, no."

The animated show Duckman aired from 1994 - 1997 on USA Network for a total of 70 episodes. All can be seen on YouTube.

Jason Alexander plays the eponymous Duckman, a crude, foul-mouthed, unscrupulous, misogynistic, cheap, cynical, sleazy, incompetent private investigator, sexual deviant and terrible father on a show which contained "possibly the most bizarre animation that ever aired on TV, thanks to the folks at Klasky-Csupo." (Urban Dictionary.)

Gregg Berger voices Duckman's business partner, Willibald Feivel Cornfed, known as Cornfed. He's the show's Joe-Fridayesque straight man.

There's a short, incomplete wiki.

Showrunner David Misch:
"I arrived its second season and reveled in the freedom of animation and (mixed blessing) anonymity. We tried to be not only funny but innovative, incorporating musical numbers, live-action sequences and lots of satire. We also had some pretty good guest stars, including Ben Stiller, Kim Catrall, Heather Locklear, James Brown, Brendan Fraser, Joe Mantegna, David Duchovny, Lisa Kudrow, Ice-T, Burt Reynolds, Dana Delaney, Leonard Nimoy, Janeane Garofolo, Coolio, Robert Klein, Jeremy Piven and Carl Reiner.

When an episode that parodied Forties thrillers ("Noir Gang") came out well, we did other tributes to favorite genres, including Bob Hope/Bing Crosby “Road” pictures ("The Road to Dendron") and Forties scare comedies, like the ones with Abbott & Costello and The Three Stooges ("Duckman and Cornfed in Duckman and Cornfed in 'Haunted Society Plumbers'", with a surprise guest star at the end)."

Disclaimer
Like South Park and Family Guy, Duckman embraces crude humor and political incorrectness.

Naturally, it has its own TV Tropes entry: "As with Family Guy (a show that might be considered its spiritual successor), curious viewers watching their first episode of Duckman should keep two tallies - one for the number of times you laugh, and one for the number of times you feel insulted and/or begin to vomit. If the first tally is larger than the second, you're a fan."


Episodes
Season One
1) I, Duckman
2) T.V. or Not to Be
3) Gripes of Wrath
4) Psyche
5) Gland of Opportunity
6) Ride the High School
7) A Civil War
8) Not So Easy Riders
9) It's the Thing of the Principal
10) Cellar Beware
11) American Dicks
12) About Face
13) Joking the Chicken

Season Two
1) Papa Oom M.O.W. M.O.W.
2) Married Alive
3) Days of Whining and Neurosis
4) Inherit the Judgment: The Dope's Trial
5) America the Beautiful
6) The Germ Turns
7) In the Nam of the Father
8) Research and Destroy
9) Clip Job

Season Three
1) Noir Gang
2) Forbidden Fruit
3) Grandma-ma's Flatulent Adventure
4) Color of Naught
5) Sperms of Endearment
6) A Room With a Bellevue
7) Apocalypse Not
8) Clear and Presidente Danger
9) The Girls of Route Canal
10) The Mallardian Candidate
11) Pig Amok
12) The Once and Future Duck
13) The One With Lisa Kudrow in a Small Role (a.k.a. Planet of the Dopes)
14) Aged Heat
15)They Craved Duckman's Brain!
16) The Road to Dendron
17) Exile in Guyville
18) The Longest Weekend
19) The Amazing Colossal Duckman
20) Cock Tales for Four

Season Four
1) Dammit, Hollywood
2) Coolio Runnings
3) Aged Heat 2: Women in Heat
4) All About Elliot
5) From Brad to Worse
6) Bonfire of the Panties
7) Role With It
8) Ajax and Ajaxer
9) With Friends Like These
10) A Trophied Duck
11) A Star is Abhorred
12) Bev Takes A Holiday
13) Love! Anger! Kvetching! (a.k.a. Ain't Gonna Be No Mo No Mo')
14) Duckman and Cornfed in 'Haunted Society Plumbers'
15) Ebony, Baby
16) Vuuck, as in Duck
17) Crime, Punishment, War, Peace, and the Idiot
18) Kidney, Popsicle and Nuts
19) The Tami Show
20) My Feral Lady
21) Westward, No!
22) Short, Plush and Deadly
23) How to Suck in Business Without Really Trying
24) You've Come a Wrong Way, Baby
25) Hamlet 2: This Time It's Personal
26) Das Sub (a.k.a. Class Warfare)
27) Where no Duckman Has Gone Before
28) Four Weddings Inconceivable

The series ended on a cliff-hanger. To the ire of the show's fans.

Bonus
* Special: What the Hell Are You Staring At?
* Special: Designing Duckman

Other Media
Before the show, there was Duckman the comic. The character originally appeared in 15 issues of Dark Horse Comics.
posted by zarq (52 comments total) 133 users marked this as a favorite

 
I greatly regret that when Duckman was on, I was too young to really appreciate it. That show was brilliant.
posted by kafziel at 1:01 PM on February 20 [5 favorites]


Oh my god a Duckman FPP today is the greatest of days.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 1:03 PM on February 20 [11 favorites]


I treated tapes of this show in middle school like how some kids treat copies of Playboy.
posted by The Whelk at 1:04 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]


You drew silly mustaches everywhere?
posted by filthy light thief at 1:07 PM on February 20 [9 favorites]


As a child, this show terrified me and enthralled me in equal measure, as well as giving me way too much information about the sexual motivations of total creeps. I use to have nightmares about Duckman. But I kept watching...
posted by Juliet Banana at 1:08 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


zarq: Showrunner David Misch:

I read that as David Milch for a second and my brain started leaking out of my ears.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:09 PM on February 20 [7 favorites]


You drew silly mustaches everywhere?

Those were no mustaches.
posted by louche mustachio at 1:12 PM on February 20 [5 favorites]


Duckman: Because when you *assume,* you... you... - Wait. There's a trick here. I used to know it...
posted by Chrysostom at 1:13 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]


I'm debating unsubscribing from cable and Netflix and Hulu Plus and Amazon and just subscribing to Metafilter's "fulltvshow" tag. Thanks.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:14 PM on February 20 [16 favorites]


Rock Steady, I would watch the hell out of that show, though.
posted by zarq at 1:14 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Great post, I will be watching some Duckman tonight! I used to watch this all the time, but the only one I really remember was the "Dod" episode
posted by Hoopo at 1:19 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


And yeah this is one of many shows I shouldn't have watched at a young and impressionable age and ties into why my sense of humor is so dark and bizarre.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 1:23 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


YES, a thousand times YES. This used to play on Teletoon (Canada's Cartoon Network) in re-runs late at night back in the late 90s and early 2000s. I have a warm and somewhat moist place in my heart for this show.
posted by LMGM at 1:27 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Oh thanks. I'd forgotten about Duckman and how much I loved it.

Well, how much I loved Cornfed. He stole every scene.
posted by notyou at 1:28 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


I only really watched one episode, but I don't remember much about it beyond a rant about being triple billed by a phone sex operator because, really, who is going to report it to their credit card provider? My girlfriend at the time didn't seem to find it as funny as I did.
posted by Badgermann at 1:29 PM on February 20


When I discovered Frank Zappa was involved with Klasky Csupo it in some way it all started to make sense.
posted by asok at 1:34 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


Oh, man. Fond memories. Thanks for this!
posted by ChrisR at 1:34 PM on February 20


It was like watching Liquid Television without having to sit through the crappy bits.
posted by asok at 1:38 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]


Arguably more jokes/puns/laughs per minute than any other TV show EVER. We should start a Kickstarter to get a DUCKMAN: THE MOTION PICTURE going.
posted by davidmsc at 1:40 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


GOD I LOVED THIS SHOW.

Also, do we have confirmation that Fluffy and Uranus were at least indirect inspiration for Avenue Q's Bad Idea Bears?
posted by psoas at 1:44 PM on February 20


Actually for me, Fluffy and Uranus were the prototypes for Filler Bunny, of Johnny The Homicidal Maniac fame.
posted by LMGM at 1:48 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


My wife and I still say "Are those free range apples?" to each other every time it's remotely relevant. The night of our wedding we retired to a B&B with some friends and wound up watching Duckman and The Critic. Not a bad day, all in all.
posted by mollweide at 2:02 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]


louche mustachio: Those were no mustaches.

Oh, you were fond of the tentacle faces, in the style of Zoidberg? I understand, tentacle faces are fun!
posted by filthy light thief at 2:03 PM on February 20


I'm quite enjoying the currently-airing "Rick and Morty" which seems similar in its willingness to just wallow in darkness.
posted by phearlez at 2:04 PM on February 20 [4 favorites]


Oh god, I didn't get ANY of these jokes as a wee one, oh GOD my mother's policy that all cartoons must be good for kids was SO VERY WRONG.

This is also how I ended up seeing Cool World at the tender age if ten.
posted by The Whelk at 2:08 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]


I'm quite enjoying the currently-airing "Rick and Morty" which seems similar in its willingness to just wallow in darkness.

This is head and shoulders the best animated show on television currently. You can watch full episodes on their site. Seriously, if you haven't seen it go watch one right now, people.

It's the only thing i've seen in sooo long that's just ready to really make the kinds of jokes these mid 90s shows did, and have that kind of tone. It reminds me of watching rockos modern life as a kid...

Oh god, I didn't get ANY of these jokes as a wee one, oh GOD my mother's policy that all cartoons must be good for kids was SO VERY WRONG.

Yea really. I wasn't allowed to watch the simpsons, but stuff like this and ren and stimpy? go to town.
posted by emptythought at 2:25 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Oh man, because my dad's a big Zappa fan, this was one of the shows that I got to stay up late for. I loved it, to the extent that the noir comedy I wrote for my high school theater troupe was basically just fanfic with humans instead of animals.
posted by klangklangston at 2:27 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: like watching Liquid Television without having to sit through the crappy bits.
posted by Chrysostom at 2:39 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Man, this was ...well animated for TV. Lots of stretch and bend, not a whole lot of repeated talking heads, really fluid deformed expressions.
posted by The Whelk at 2:40 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


What am I staring at?"

Excellence in broadcasting, that's what!
posted by sneebler at 2:57 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


You thrust your pelvis, HUNH!
posted by myopicman at 3:07 PM on February 20 [4 favorites]


Ah, man, I watched the first two seasons faithfully then lost the plot once I went to college.

Time for more King Chicken!
posted by rewil at 3:23 PM on February 20


One of my favorite Duckman get-under-the-censor-radar moments:

Cornfed: "Duckman, you have the adrenal gland of an accountant who was dyslexic." Duckman: "Bulltish!"
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 3:30 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


YOU PUT YOUR DOWN DOWN
YOU THRUST YOUR PELVIS - HUUNGH!
YOU THRUST YOUR PELVIS - HUUNGH!
YOU THRUST YOUR PELVIS - HUUNGH!
YOU THRUST YOUR PELVIS - HUUNGH!
YOU THRUST YOUR PELVIS - HUUNGH!
YOU THRUST YOUR PELVIS - HUUNGH!
YOU THRUST YOUR PELVIS - HUUNGH!
YOU THRUST YOUR PELVIS - HUUNGH!
YOU THRUST YOUR PELVIS - HUUNGH!
posted by blue t-shirt at 3:36 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]


Duckman was my Fritz the Cat.
posted by blue t-shirt at 3:39 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]


I loved that show! can't wait to replay it. I first got interested when I found out that Duckman's dim-witted son is voiced by none other than Dweezil Zappa.
posted by TedW at 3:58 PM on February 20


Cornfed is attempting to infiltrate some company by getting a job there.

INTERVIEWER (reading Cornfed's resume): Were you really a member of the Irish Parliament?
CORNFED (in the same deadpan Jack Webb voice he always uses): Sure an' begorrah.

Great show. Great post, zarq!
posted by Gelatin at 4:26 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


"But Daaad, I thought we were going to get some flan?"
posted by octobersurprise at 4:30 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Rick and Morty shows what happens when you give Dan 'Community' Harmon an infinite canvas, but DON'T leave him to do it alone.

Duckman was what South Park and Family Guy SHOULD'VE BEEN. When I have one of my many complaints with either of those shows, it often leads to "well, Duckman would have..."

And a few extra words about Klasky-Csupo, who initially animated the 'Simpsons shorts' on the Tracy Ullman Show before it went to series and FOX hired Film Roman (the same people who made Garfield & Friends) to 'stabilize' the character design and get the grunt work outsourced to South Korea. A year later, K-C showed that they COULD do a full length series with the first of several shows for Nickelodeon, the now-cliche'd Rugrats. IMO, K-C's second best series after Duckman was "Aaahh!! Real Monsters!" with its almost-totally original monster designs (except monster school headmaster The Gromble did have a resemblance to Yellow Submarine's Blue Meanie to me), which was in production at about the same time. A Golden Era.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:46 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


I remember animation nerds being upset that K-C had become the default look for Nickledelon and tended toward "ugly" designs but man they had one of the most distinctive house styles out there.
posted by The Whelk at 4:51 PM on February 20


Truly one of the greats. I think it's time for some binge watching.

YOU THRUST YOUR PELVIS - HUUNGH!
posted by Saxon Kane at 4:54 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


( also, Watching these the first time as an adult, I think Duckman gets away with things ( good and bad) because it's so damned fast, they pack so, so many gags into the running time. )
posted by The Whelk at 4:54 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Probably my favorite line reading in the show.
posted by Grimgrin at 5:04 PM on February 20 [4 favorites]


My wife owns a Duckman snowboard. I get an unreasonable amount of satisfaction out of that.
posted by vorpal bunny at 5:33 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]


My brother and I, when we need a proper mad scientist laugh, will still use King Chicken's laugh.

I think I know what I'll be doing this weekend.
posted by tau_ceti at 5:38 PM on February 20


Duckman explains what is wrong with modern life.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 5:41 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


oh geeze did I watch that a bunch.. Frank Zappa's kid voicing the dumb son . "daaaaadd".. good times ..
posted by k5.user at 5:55 PM on February 20


I forgot this show even existed. Thanks for reminding me, zarq!
posted by crossoverman at 6:16 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Ha! My friends and I were just reminiscing about this show yesterday night. (I too caught it on Teletoon at an impressionable age.) The two bits that have always stuck with me were "hostage negotiator" James Brown singing "DUCKMAN! HUH! GIVE YASELF -- UP!" over and over, and this exchange that I'm probably paraphrasing but can't source anymore:

AJAX: Ow. Ow.
DUCKMAN: Ajax, why do you keep saying 'ow'?
AJAX: Charles is kicking me.
CHARLES: No I'm not! You're kicking yourself!
AJAX: Oh yeah. Sometimes I'm so stupid I could kick myself. [beat] Ow.
posted by Monster_Zero at 8:06 PM on February 20


The breath of fresh air (?!) which is Duckman went out in the UK on the BBC years & years ago, and then disappeared -- for good, as it turned out.

I am in your debt, zarq.
posted by On the Corner at 11:41 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


"This is just the break I needed after a long day of making art and being insane."
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:56 AM on February 21 [2 favorites]


I loved Duckman SO MUCH. Cannot wait to get home and watch it all over again.
posted by sarcasticah at 10:50 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]


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