Hellooooooo Nurse!
May 30, 2017 11:06 AM   Subscribe

Running from 1993 to 1995 on Fox Kids, and then another year on Kids WB, the adventures of the Warner Brothers (and the Warner Syster), the mad science mice Pinky and the Brain, the Bernadette Peters voiced cat Rita and her dim dog sidekick Runt making their way through musical adventures, the hapless Buttons taking care of reckless toddler Mindy, and a host of others, the Animaniacs (a follow-up to Tiny Toon Adventures) was one of the top cartoons of its day. Winner of 8 Emmies, it recently appeared on Netflix, the entire run watchable in order. With crazy antics, great musical numbers, and a lot of silliness, it is well-loved by most who watched it. And now... Steven Spielberg is bringing back Animaniacs.
posted by mephron (97 comments total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
 
no that's ok
posted by blue t-shirt at 11:07 AM on May 30, 2017 [4 favorites]


Well, this is the best news ever! Animaniacs and the rest of that era of cartoons defined a part of my life, and I welcome them coming back! Yay!
posted by hippybear at 11:08 AM on May 30, 2017 [5 favorites]


Are you thinking what I'm thinking?
posted by rtha at 11:09 AM on May 30, 2017 [43 favorites]


I think so, rtha, but if we called it Petafilter wouldn't people think it's about flowers?
posted by mephron at 11:10 AM on May 30, 2017 [90 favorites]


I'm sorry/you're welcome, everyone. This is my terrible power at work again. Whenever I revisit a thing, that thing gets remade/rebooted/brought back for a new season.

If you would like to see your favorite thing come back as a zombie (or maybe as a good thing! roll the dice! good idea/bad idea!) I now accept lists of up to 3 items per person at a small fee of $2 per item.
posted by byanyothername at 11:10 AM on May 30, 2017 [5 favorites]


Sure rtha, but how are we going to get Cortex to allow enough inline images of cats?
posted by turkeybrain at 11:11 AM on May 30, 2017 [32 favorites]


this is delightful

maybe if we are super lucky the success will encourage them to bring back Freakazoid

see what you can do about that, byanyothername
posted by Countess Elena at 11:11 AM on May 30, 2017 [8 favorites]


god help me, but I am watching Freakazoid, no charge. I learned everything I know about French from that show!
posted by byanyothername at 11:12 AM on May 30, 2017 [13 favorites]


Eisenhower and Mamie
posted by middleclasstool at 11:15 AM on May 30, 2017 [3 favorites]


Fabooo!

byanyothername: Qui a coupe le fromaaaaaaage!
posted by SansPoint at 11:18 AM on May 30, 2017 [3 favorites]


I want more good idea/ bad idea skeleton guy!
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 11:25 AM on May 30, 2017 [5 favorites]


I hope they keep all the Old Hollywood references. I first learned about a lot of the Golden Age stars through this show.
posted by Sangermaine at 11:26 AM on May 30, 2017 [8 favorites]


'K. BYE BYE I LOVE YOU!
posted by Faintdreams at 11:30 AM on May 30, 2017 [6 favorites]


Will George Wendt be eating beans during it?
posted by drezdn at 11:32 AM on May 30, 2017 [8 favorites]


(I was just talking to someone this week how most of the Loony Toons Characters have mostly disappeared in the 21st Century)
posted by drezdn at 11:33 AM on May 30, 2017 [3 favorites]


I tried showing this to my kids, but they didn't get it.

Maybe some new material is in order?
Toilet Painter go down the hooole!
posted by Chuffy at 11:36 AM on May 30, 2017 [2 favorites]


Maybe some new material is in order?

Or new kids?
posted by Sangermaine at 11:37 AM on May 30, 2017 [24 favorites]


Maybe some new material is in order?

Yes, poit narf. A lot of the jokes referenced then-contemporary pop culture.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:38 AM on May 30, 2017


Maybe some new material is in order?

Or new kids?


I heard there were some one block over.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:39 AM on May 30, 2017 [4 favorites]


Maybe some new material is in order?

Yes, poit narf. A lot of the jokes referenced then-contemporary pop culture.


I yearn for the days when Clinton jokes revolved around Bill's sax-playing
posted by cottoncandybeard at 11:41 AM on May 30, 2017 [26 favorites]


Animaniacs taught me who Jerry Lewis was, and it was pretty much all I needed to know. It was also an introduction to the actual personality of Orson Welles, who had previously been just an old Hollywood face to me.
posted by Countess Elena at 11:42 AM on May 30, 2017 [6 favorites]


True story: Rob Paulsen and Jess Harnell were touring the US doing autographs at WB Stores. At the signing I went to, one of them paused, and triumphantly showed the entire line the miniature anvil someone had brought to be signed. So apropos.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:44 AM on May 30, 2017 [11 favorites]


I hope that Chicken Boo comes back. He was my favorite. They could have him run for president against Trump or something.
posted by eeek at 11:47 AM on May 30, 2017 [14 favorites]


Must. resist. rabbit hole. while. at. work.
posted by soren_lorensen at 11:54 AM on May 30, 2017


All the names of new countries we've gotten since the 1990s don't scan well.

I'm against this.
posted by Space Coyote at 11:56 AM on May 30, 2017 [3 favorites]


I tried showing this to my kids, but they didn't get it.

The freshest content is over twenty years old. That said, a lot of the humor was aimed squarely at adults.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:58 AM on May 30, 2017 [2 favorites]


The US badly needs a Wheel of Morality, so I approve.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:58 AM on May 30, 2017 [9 favorites]


I think so, Brain, but wouldn't the fingerprints joke be gross instead of funny now?
posted by Quindar Beep at 12:00 PM on May 30, 2017 [5 favorites]


"I found Prince!"
"No no, Finger prints!"
*Prince smiles*
"Eh, I don't think so."
edit: dang it, that's twice in one day now.
posted by leotrotsky at 12:02 PM on May 30, 2017 [13 favorites]


The magic of a lot of referential humor was it was a lot of the stuff that was made before I was born but would become very interested in once I graduated high school (e.g. Goodfellas, Usual Suspects... George Wendt I guess?). I feel like that's a good sweet spot and it mirrored a lot of stuff on SNL I didn't get ("I guess the Joe Pesci show skit was funny because... Italian accents?"- 2nd grade me, probably)
posted by midmarch snowman at 12:03 PM on May 30, 2017 [1 favorite]


Can't get enough of that Bubba Bo Bob Brain.
posted by bongo_x at 12:04 PM on May 30, 2017 [2 favorites]


I will also accept a reboot of Tiny Toons.
posted by leotrotsky at 12:05 PM on May 30, 2017 [14 favorites]


Also those pigeons making Sopranos references is going to just be sad.
posted by Space Coyote at 12:06 PM on May 30, 2017 [1 favorite]


My kids, 5 and 8, love the animaniacs.

During the election, my son saw that Bill Clinton was on stage and asked, 'Is he going to play the sax?'
posted by Nanukthedog at 12:07 PM on May 30, 2017 [11 favorites]


Just as long as they do more songs. I have trouble thinking of any of the songs from Animaniacs that I don't adore.

(This is in the show, I haven't watched the movie, although the take on Hungarian Rhapsody is excellent.)

Also, I just realized that the Senses Song and Tom Lehrer's Irish Ballad have almost the same melody for the chorus and it's weirding me out.
posted by Hactar at 12:08 PM on May 30, 2017


The main thing I had to explain to my niecephews is who was Jerry Lewis and why did they make fun of him so often.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 12:09 PM on May 30, 2017


I spent many years watching Looney Tunes wondering what the hay characters singing "Mammy" was about.

(and now I'm kind of sorry I know)
posted by emjaybee at 12:11 PM on May 30, 2017


Also those pigeons making Sopranos references is going to just be sad.

New pigeons making references to Game of Thrones?
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:12 PM on May 30, 2017


Polka, Dot!
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 12:13 PM on May 30, 2017 [1 favorite]


All the names of new countries we've gotten since the 1990s don't scan well.

Rob Paulson said last year they were going to do an Animaniacs tour, and he was doing an update of Nations of the World, so we may still do this!
posted by mephron at 12:22 PM on May 30, 2017 [2 favorites]


I yearn for the days when Clinton jokes revolved around Bill's sax-playing

Good night, everyone!
posted by octobersurprise at 12:23 PM on May 30, 2017 [8 favorites]


My 7 year old son has been devouring the animaniacs on Netflix. I'm cautiously optimistic.
posted by mbd1mbd1 at 12:28 PM on May 30, 2017


Perhaps this is a good place to mention The Animanicas Reference Guide on Tumblr.
posted by Wolfdog at 12:33 PM on May 30, 2017 [4 favorites]


Argghhh no Animaniacs in Netflix Italia. Stoopid content region restrictions give me rage face.
posted by romakimmy at 1:00 PM on May 30, 2017 [1 favorite]


This show was how I learned it was Constantinople, now it's Istanbul, not Constantinople.

(really, they showed a map and I was like whoa bc I'd heard of both places but never matched them up.)
posted by sio42 at 1:07 PM on May 30, 2017 [1 favorite]


I die a little more inside every time my kids reiterate that they just don't get "Animaniacs", but they grudgingly concede that some of the songs are pretty good.
posted by wintermind at 1:08 PM on May 30, 2017 [1 favorite]


I occasionally watch an Animaniacs on Netflix, but man, a lot of the jokes have NOT aged well. Slappy the Squirrel did an entire show segment mocking Reed Hundt as Reef Blunt, about some long-forgotten mid-1990s upheaval at the FCC. I remember watching that Slappy episode when it was new and laughing my toes off, it was so topical and on-point. But now, I can't even remember why it might've been funny.

OK, so mid-1990s it's slightly possible that I was high af when I watched this, so maybe it wasn't funny then either.
posted by workerant at 1:19 PM on May 30, 2017 [4 favorites]


Animaniacs is the kind of show that would make jokes that your grandparents would laugh at. Which does explain an end-of-show gag they lifted from the Jackie Gleason show ("Miami audiences are the greatest!").
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:25 PM on May 30, 2017


I still use "Weed Memlo" as a test name when working on forms, so this is relevant to my interests.

That being said, I really want to know what the pitch meeting for this show was like. "This is going to be chock-full of things kids love: references to old-school Hollywood and Maurice LeMarche's impeccable Orson Wells impression. In fact, we're going to do an entire cartoon about an outtake that none of these kids have ever heard."
"Brilliant! Also can you include an incredibly painful Mindy and Buttons cartoon all the time that nobody enjoys ever?"
"Yes!"
"You're hired!"
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 1:26 PM on May 30, 2017 [14 favorites]


I enjoyed Animaniacs and Tiny Toons a lot when they were new (to the point that I ripped them off for a couple dumb talent show bits decades ago), but that was almost definitely because there were fewer channels and I was too dense to realize that playing outside was a better choice. The really great parts of these shows were few and far between.
posted by mattamatic at 1:28 PM on May 30, 2017


The freshest content is over twenty years old. That said, a lot of the humor was aimed squarely at adults.

They'd drop an anvil on someone every now and then to keep the kids happy, so it was win-win!
posted by Gelatin at 1:29 PM on May 30, 2017 [1 favorite]


What will replace "While Bill Clinton blows his sax?"

While Spicey blows his facts?
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 1:39 PM on May 30, 2017 [3 favorites]


Also those pigeons making Sopranos references is going to just be sad.

(Spoiler for a decade old TV show below)

I'm now imagining a 10 minute slow burn cartoon where Pigeon Adriana takes a car ride before getting whacked and let me tell you, I feel like a monster at how happy it's making me.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:42 PM on May 30, 2017 [5 favorites]




his show was how I learned it was Constantinople, now it's Istanbul, not Constantinople.

(really, they showed a map and I was like whoa bc I'd heard of both places but never matched them up.)


So, not a They Might Be Giants fan then?
posted by emjaybee at 1:49 PM on May 30, 2017 [1 favorite]


Animaniacs is the kind of show that would make jokes that your grandparents would laugh at.

This is the enduring appeal of the Muppets, though, so it's a thing. And my own guess for why the premise of the last show crashed and burned.
posted by Quindar Beep at 1:50 PM on May 30, 2017


I have been using the phrase, "Wow, dumber than advertised!" a lot more these past few months, so it's only fitting that the originators of it make their triumphant return.
posted by stannate at 2:01 PM on May 30, 2017 [2 favorites]


I was as big an Animaniacs fan as anyone when it was on, but even I had to admit that it was only ever about half-good. The Warners were great, everyone loved Pinky and the Brain, Chicken Boo was mostly good if a bit one-note, and I have a soft spot for Slappy Squirrel. Weighing against that is Katie Ka-Boom, Rita and Runt, and the Goodfeathers, which were never funny, ever. Buttons and Mindy had moments, but was mostly not-great.

The Hip Hippos were just remarkably unentertaining, to the point where I would turn off the television when they were on. Do you know how hard it was to get young me to turn off the television? Golf couldn’t get me to do it, but those fucking hippos did so regularly.

Once the nostalgia factor wears off, I'm not confident about the reboot's ability to rank well when compared to the past twenty years of animated programming.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 2:11 PM on May 30, 2017 [3 favorites]


I'm looking forward to see how the Warners interact with all the other great pianists in history.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 2:16 PM on May 30, 2017


The Hip Hippos were just remarkably unentertaining, to the point where I would turn off the television when they were on. Do you know how hard it was to get young me to turn off the television? Golf couldn’t get me to do it, but those fucking hippos did so regularly.

Oh, oh yeah. I remember that one and hating it. Same with most of the Rita and Runt stuff, largely because the humor would just stop dead for the musical numbers.

But when Animaniacs was firing on all cylinders, it was brilliant TV. If they keep the killer and have less filler, I'll be pleased.
posted by SansPoint at 2:20 PM on May 30, 2017 [3 favorites]


I tried showing this to my kids, but they didn't get it.
Maybe some new material is in order?
Toilet Painter go down the hooole!


Part of it might be that the "go down the hooole" joke is from Tiny Toons.

If you want more contemporary Animaniacs stuff, here's Pinky and the Brain reading and reacting to one of Trump's tweets. (Please pardon the surrounding website, I couldn't find it on YouTube again.)
posted by JHarris at 2:33 PM on May 30, 2017 [4 favorites]


That being said, I really want to know what the pitch meeting for this show was like.

Topical from about a year ago: The Pitch Meeting for Animaniacs from The Toast.
posted by daisystomper at 2:39 PM on May 30, 2017 [7 favorites]


Annoying Animaniacs: Hip Hippos, Mindy & Buttons, Rita and Runt (even if Rita could sing), that damn candle that tried to get us misty-eyed over the founding fathers
Middle-ground: Goodfeathers, Chicken Boo, Pinky and the Brain (when not well-written)
Great: Warner Brothers & Sister, Slappy Squirrel, Pinky and the Brain (at its best)

I am conflicted about PatB. The premise is one of the greatest ever animated, and when the writing lived up that premise it was terrific. But there were a fair number of duds.

The greatest thing about Animaniacs that I remember though is the incidental music. It's the only cartoon since the classic Warner Bros. shorts that I know of to get that kind of music right, using it to accentuate the motions and action, not super zany or overplayed, just giving that extra edge to the action. I remember Tiny Toons doing that pretty badly. Freakazoid used it pretty well too.

Freakazoid needs rebooting too. Maybe we could get more than two Lord Bravery cartoons!
posted by JHarris at 2:41 PM on May 30, 2017 [1 favorite]


It's sad to say, but this show, which I once loved, has aged terribly. It is now difficult to watch. I'm not hopeful about a reboot. I think it'll crash and burn.
posted by painquale at 2:45 PM on May 30, 2017


Mindy & Buttons were best in the original French.
posted by ZeusHumms at 2:48 PM on May 30, 2017


Joy! And trepidation! I was so, so disappointed by the Powerpuff Girls reboot. I hope this is good. I really need for this to be good.
posted by sarcasticah at 3:08 PM on May 30, 2017


(And yes, can the reboot omit Buttons and Mindy, please? Ugh, hated Buttons and Mindy.)
posted by sarcasticah at 3:10 PM on May 30, 2017


What will replace "While Bill Clinton blows his sax?"

While Spicey blows his facts?


..while The Donald makes up facts?
posted by ApathyGirl at 3:19 PM on May 30, 2017


Animaniacs is the reason that I know (and will never forget) that Lake Titicaca is on the border of Bolivia and Peru.

🎶 "Lake Titicaca! Lake Titicaca! Why do we sing of its fame? Lake Titicaca! Lake Titicaca! Because we like saying the name!" 🎶
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:33 PM on May 30, 2017 [1 favorite]


Also, all you Rita haters.. if you haven't seen (and loved) Les Miseranimals, then you haven't seen seen Shakespeare the way it was meant to be done.
posted by ApathyGirl at 3:46 PM on May 30, 2017 [9 favorites]


It's sad to say, but this show, which I once loved, has aged terribly. It is now difficult to watch. I'm not hopeful about a reboot. I think it'll crash and burn.

Oh come on, it worked really well when they updated Bugs Bunny.
posted by happyroach at 4:14 PM on May 30, 2017 [1 favorite]


Animaniacs was hit and miss, and even at the time I wondered just who the target market was supposed to be, other than 'snarky 90s teen who unironically loves musical theater and appreciates classic Hollywood gags', i.e. me. But I am proud to say the resident teenager loves it as much as I did then, even if periodically we have to pause so I can explain why that joke was actually fall-off-the-couch funny, same as when we watch Gilmore Girls.

If Animaniacs Live comes to your town, you 100% should go. Fun fact: Rob Paulsen's audition tape was the countries of the world song, which he recorded in one take. And yes, they have added a new verse with updated names. Although I like how the original dates itself so precisely to a time when both Germany and Czechoslovakia were unified.
posted by Flannery Culp at 4:42 PM on May 30, 2017 [2 favorites]


i cannot believe how many mindy and buttons haters there are - it is a great simple concept old school warner bros cartoon - yes, it's predictable and never surprising - so were the coyote and road runner

i demand more mindy and buttons

i also demand that the four lads and captain kangaroo be given their proper appreciation for instanbul, not constantinople
posted by pyramid termite at 4:56 PM on May 30, 2017 [1 favorite]


Animaniacs was sometimes brilliant, sometimes forgettable. But I think it's aged much better than Tiny Toons Adventures, which I didn't enjoy much even back then. And Freakazoid is funnier now than originally!
posted by JHarris at 4:59 PM on May 30, 2017 [1 favorite]


In old school Warner Brothers cartoons, the victim of the abuse generally brought it upon themselves, and deserved it. I'm pretty sure at least part of the hate for Mindy and Buttons is that Mindy is the one who deserves to get squashed / roasted / blown up / scolded, but Buttons is the one that actually gets it.
posted by Wolfdog at 5:00 PM on May 30, 2017 [5 favorites]


but mindy's so cute and lovable!! and buttons is so dedicated!!

it's a sweet cartoon
posted by pyramid termite at 5:04 PM on May 30, 2017 [1 favorite]


In the WB cartoons, it depends on the age. Earlier cartoons tended to have more anarchic characters, not quite heroes but agents of chaos. This is the early "Woo-hoo!" Daffy Duck I'm talking about, and when Bugs Bunny would torment people just to be a wiseguy. It took a while for Bugs to find his moral self.

I'm sure foop could talk a lot more about this. I'm surprised he's not reported in the thread yet, if there were a foopthread anywhere this would be it.
posted by JHarris at 5:12 PM on May 30, 2017


NICE AND CHUBBY BABY
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 5:13 PM on May 30, 2017 [3 favorites]


I dunno, I just don't think "heap undeserved scorn and abuse on the handsome, devoted and heroic dog" isn't ever going to be one of your most popular cartoon formulas.
posted by Wolfdog at 5:30 PM on May 30, 2017 [3 favorites]


DANA DELANY!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:58 PM on May 30, 2017 [5 favorites]


So, not a They Might Be Giants fan then?


Eh, they're more of a Tiny Toons thing.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:02 PM on May 30, 2017


even at the time I wondered just who the target market was supposed to be, other than 'snarky 90s teen who unironically loves musical theater and appreciates classic Hollywood gags', i.e. me

'Snarky '90s grad student who loves WB-esque cartoons, clever word-play, plenty of pop culture references, and getting high.'

(I sort of want to ask for new Duckman cartoons, but I really don't because they'd probably be terrible.)
posted by octobersurprise at 6:05 PM on May 30, 2017 [2 favorites]


If you're a Megadeth fan, btw, that was a Duck Dodgers thing.
posted by Wolfdog at 6:09 PM on May 30, 2017


What a time for me to be spending three hours in the laundry room, but, hey, I'm clean...

Point #1: It was the Tiny Toons, not the Animaniacs, who did something with TMBG's Istanbul (Not Constantinople).

Point #2: The WORST effect of cross-pollinating Tiny Toons and Animaniacs, was adding the character Elmyra to Pinky and the Brain when it went Prime Time. Ironically, the worst thing about most of the Tiny Toons characters was being too closely tied to their Looney Tunes inspirations, but Elmyra was the worst for going too far in the opposite direction.

Point #3: The thing that ultimately doomed Freakazoid was debuting the same year as The Tick cartoon; there was barely room for one Superhero Parody on the slowly-dying Saturday Morning cartoon block, and both shows frequently sailed over the heads of the intended audience. Still, I think the Best. TV. Batman. Ever. was the Brave and the Bold series for its ability to avoid taking itself seriously (hello, Batmite!!) while being ALMOST DC canon, and it should be the model for every future Superhero show with a sense of humor.

Back to Animaniacs, Point #4: The one thing I will never forgive the Acs for is the Slappy Squirrel "Who's on First", which was stolen (without credit) from a comedy album 15 years earlier by the Credibility Gap, featuring Future Simpsonian Harry Shearer and Future Squiggy David L. Lander.

Point #5: Any quantity of Mindy and Buttons was too much, but by the end of the first run, the show just about reached the point where Chicken Boo and the Goodfeathers were starting to run out of 'running joke' steam. (IMO, YMMV)

Point #6: "Bill Clinton plays the sax" was only used in the first season, when the 1992 Presidential campaign was still fresh in everyone's short-term memory. Later seasons used either "We've got wisecracks by the stacks" or "We pay tons of income tax". Topical for today would probably be something about Game of Thrones ("while the Iron Throne shows its cracks"?) Maybe "all for you amnesiacs" to get into reintroducing the characters, or "and the internet overreacts".

More thoughts after I put away my funny t-shirts.
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:53 PM on May 30, 2017 [5 favorites]


I really only tuned in for Pinky and the Brain, but we would stop work every afternoon we could and watch it. Yes, we were adults at work. I'd watch the Warner's when I had the chance, rarely watched any of the others. I call my self a fan, but I mean PatB and the Warner's.

And you guys are driving me crazy that no one has brought up that the TMBG's song is a cover.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Istanbul_(Not_Constantinople)
A #10 single that went Gold in 1953, plus a couple dozen other covers.
posted by bongo_x at 7:21 PM on May 30, 2017 [2 favorites]


I remember bouncing off Freakazoid! when I first encountered it, but I think about it almost as much as The Tick. "Hey Freakazoid, wanna go out for a mint?" gets said a lot around here.

And again, I'm not sure who their target audience was for it, but my goodness did they nail it. There's one episode where Freakazoid encounters a super villain voiced by Mark Hamill, who offers him "his very own Harlan Ellison" if they join forces. Not to mention the one where Ricardo Montalban reinterprets his speech as Khan and it's just amazing.

It's on a level with the Angry Beavers Halloween special that guest starred Peter Graves.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 8:04 PM on May 30, 2017 [2 favorites]


Point #3: The thing that ultimately doomed Freakazoid was debuting the same year as The Tick cartoon

What doomed Freakazoid! was the severe tonal shift between the first and second seasons, where the episodes stopped being quite as random and zany and became full episode-long adventure stories. Yes, some of the second season episodes are quite good, but it wasn't the show that attracted its existing fans to begin with, and nobody who didn't like season one was going to try out the show again in season two, and the shift turned existing fans off.
posted by hippybear at 2:29 AM on May 31, 2017


Wheel of Morality, turn, turn, turn! Tell us the lesson that we should learn...
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 3:46 AM on May 31, 2017 [5 favorites]


Animaniacs came on the air right around the time my younger brother was on a solid Marx Brothers kick. He'd watched Duck Soup at a day care movie afternoon or something, and was slowly going through the canon as fast as our infrequent trips to the video rental place could work.

I got the feeling that when he saw me laugh at Animaniacs gags, that he felt like the grandad who enjoyed the homage but found the original superior.
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 4:13 AM on May 31, 2017 [2 favorites]


*derail*
My favorite Marx Brothers bit didn't even include the Marx Brothers.\
First Mate: Captain, there are four stowaways in the cargo hold!
Captain: Did you see them?
First Mate: No, sir.
Captain: Then how do you know there are four of them?
First Mate: They're singing Sweet Adeline.
*/derail*
posted by Billiken at 6:22 AM on May 31, 2017 [3 favorites]


*derail*
My favorite Marx Brothers bit didn't even include the Marx Brothers.\
First Mate: Captain, there are four stowaways in the cargo hold!
Captain: Did you see them?
First Mate: No, sir.
Captain: Then how do you know there are four of them?
First Mate: They're singing Sweet Adeline.
*/derail
*
It's a good joke, but it always bothered me because it implies Harpo was singing, too.
posted by cottoncandybeard at 9:14 AM on May 31, 2017 [3 favorites]


While the return of Animaniacs is theoretically a good thing, wouldn't it be better without the "filler" portions?
No one enjoyed the no-Animaniacs side plots with Buttons and Mindy, Rita and Runt, et al.
posted by Delia at 1:06 PM on May 31, 2017


You couldn't be further from correct with that comment.
posted by hippybear at 3:06 AM on June 1, 2017 [1 favorite]


True story: At one point I took all the Animaniacs DVDs that I own and ripped them piece by piece into high quality video and saved them all as individual pieces in a folder so I could load the folder into VLC and hit random and have 99 episodes worth of Animaniacs segments happen at random in basically one gigantic running Animaniacs show.

And then one day I accidentally erased the hard drive I had those on and I lost all that work. I might do it again someday. Maybe.
posted by hippybear at 3:17 AM on June 1, 2017 [4 favorites]


Sorry Delia, I'm with Hippybear. The fact that Pinky and the Brain was well liked enough to merit it's own spin-off show should have told you that.

There was a bit where the squirrels were at Woodstock and did take on "Who's on First" with the band names ("The Band", "The Who", etc.) that I still fondly remember.
posted by VTX at 9:25 AM on June 1, 2017 [1 favorite]


VTX: You mean This one?

So good.
posted by SansPoint at 9:39 AM on June 1, 2017 [1 favorite]


What doomed Freakazoid! was the severe tonal shift between the first and second seasons, where the episodes stopped being quite as random and zany and became full episode-long adventure stories.

I think what doomed Freakzoid was existing at a time when WB animation wasn't quite sure what to do with it. That it got a second season at all was the amazing thing.

The second season of Freakazoid did drop the shorter story format, meaning the weird revolving cast of comedy heroes (Lord Bravery, The Huntsman, Fatman, Toby Danger and the Lawn Gnomes) were relegated to cameos, if that. But its longer stories were just as crazy as the shorter ones.
posted by JHarris at 5:53 PM on June 2, 2017


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