His brain's overloading / It has a chocolate coating / Textbook case for Sigmund Freud / Freakazoid! Freakazoid!
July 31, 2009 12:09 PM   Subscribe

Freakazoid! tells the tale of a hyperactive teen super hero whose personality is a bit of Jerry Lewis, Chris Farley and Batman. The show ran for two seasons from September 9, 1995 to June 1, 1997, with Cartoon Network airing reruns until March 8, 2003, and is available in full, online (YouTube Playlist). The love for the show lives on, with an amateur movie adaptation, memories from the cast, and other bits of show history.

The show was initially planned as more of a teenage superhero show, somewhat in the feel of Spiderman, but that changed as things were worked out. In an interview, Bruce Timm said "every time we'd have a meeting with Steven [Spielberg], the concept would kinda change, and it kept leaning more and more towards zany comedy." Some of that original superhero feel came from Mike Allred's Madman. In a Fanboy Radio podcast interview (jump to 1:37:30), Allred says Bruce Timms told him "they had issues of Madman open and were told, 'Do something like this.'" (podcast via a comment on a Freakazoid! season 1 DVD review)

Bonus fun:
For a look at the Madman world, check out full issue #1 (hosted byNewsarama) of Madman Atomic Comics.
Freakazoid lyrics from songs on the show.
Freakazoid episodes, dubbed in German, and Freakazoid videos on Veoh

Random music videos:
Midnight Star - Freakazoid and Freak-A-Zoid Robots, related in name only.
posted by filthy light thief (46 comments total) 55 users marked this as a favorite
Ahh! I've had this song stuck in my head since last night.
posted by wcfields at 12:10 PM on July 31, 2009

Previous Allred on the Blue: a discussion on Allred's The Golden Plates, a 12 volume adaptation of the Book of Mormon. He talks about his intellectual and spiritual interest in Mormonism in the linked podcast.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:11 PM on July 31, 2009

Additional random note: the watermark on those episodes is for the Digital Archive Project.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:14 PM on July 31, 2009

You forgot to mention the Candlejack meme which...
posted by explosion at 12:17 PM on July 31, 2009 [5 favorites]

Don't forget the major revamp the show received between seasons. The first year, the show was a definite descendant of Animaniacs, with many different characters, segments, even styles of animation. Who could ever forget The Huntsman, The Lawn Gnomes, and Toby Danger?

The second season, they abandoned all that in order to create half-hour Freakazoid adventures. They even reference this in the show itself, with Freakazoid having to apologize to all the secondary characters for dropping them from the series.

Warner Bros. had a real golden period in the early-to-mid Nineties. Animaniacs, Pinky & The Brain, Freakazoid!, and Hysteria. All great stuff. It's a shame that whole effort sort of fizzled out, but not before it left us with some of the best sets of animated television produced in decades.

(We won't mention Pinky, Elmyra, and the Brain. That should never have happened. Ever.)
posted by hippybear at 12:18 PM on July 31, 2009 [5 favorites]

A watch! With the power to turn BEAVERS into GOLD!
posted by Jon_Evil at 12:21 PM on July 31, 2009 [2 favorites]

I wasn't a big fan of Freakazoid - a bit too Zany!! for my taste - but I remember catching Guitierrez's All-Time Favorite Blupors (at 5:48ish) and thinking it was a hoot. (Here's a blog post from Rugg with more about the blooper clips.)

Mostly I like the misspelling "blupors."
posted by Metroid Baby at 12:29 PM on July 31, 2009

This was my all time favorite cartoon (with Animaniacs an extremely close second). I've actually been singing the theme song randomly over the past month. Thank you thank you thank you thank you for this post.
posted by educatedslacker at 12:40 PM on July 31, 2009







posted by buriednexttoyou at 12:42 PM on July 31, 2009 [4 favorites]

Hey Freakazoid, wanna go watch a bear ride a unicycle?

Hey Freakazoid, wanna go out for a mint?

Hey Freakazoid, wanna go build go-carts?

Hey Freakazoid, wanna go to the honey harvest festival in Acme?

Hey, cut it out.

/Cosgrove rules.
posted by educatedslacker at 12:54 PM on July 31, 2009 [3 favorites]

It was weird watching UP! cause it was Cosgrove.
posted by TwelveTwo at 1:02 PM on July 31, 2009

posted by Askiba at 1:06 PM on July 31, 2009 [1 favorite]

Hey Freakazoid, wanna go to JellyWorld?

I hear the waterfalls are made out of a rare albino jelly.
posted by buriednexttoyou at 1:08 PM on July 31, 2009

Son, you're dumber than a bowl full of wet mice.
posted by RakDaddy at 1:10 PM on July 31, 2009

hippybear: "Who could ever forget The Huntsman, The Lawn Gnomes, and Toby Danger?"

Hunt, hunt, hunt
He's the Huntsman

I for one
"Into action" is his cry
From the forest to the city
He will run there in a jiffy

have no problem
To sock evil in the eye
Marty Feeb was a poor hunter

at all
Hungry without dough
'Til the day he saved a chunky elf

with forgetting
From being eaten by a crow
The elf rewarded Marty Feeb

about stuff like
With a magic sack of corn
He gained strength and speed and shiny teeth
And as the Huntsman was reborn

the Huntsman theme song.
Hunt, hunt, hunt
He's the Huntsman
He'll whip the pants off the bad guys

No, none at all.
If there's an emergency
Sound the Horn of Urgency
And summon the Huntsman
"Into action" is his cry!


posted by PontifexPrimus at 1:20 PM on July 31, 2009 [6 favorites]

One of the especially fun fact from the other bits link above the fold: the character Cosgrove isn't just drawn to look like Ed Asner: it actually is Ed Asner. And the guy who looks and sounds like Ricardo Montalban really is him. Ditto Jonathan Harris, from Lost in Space. And Paul Rugg posted a memorial to Ricardo Montalban following his passing, reminiscing about Montalban's work on Freakazoid. The people behind this show had some fun connections, or knew the right people.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:21 PM on July 31, 2009 [2 favorites]

Holy cow, I've been pining for Freakazoid DVDs forever and from the "Froynlaven" link I find out that they've been out for like a year. Great post; my friends and I still bust out quotes from this show and fall to fits of giggling pretty regularly.
"Do you want to continue, or do you want to talk about the sandwich some more?!"
"...a little more."
posted by Monster_Zero at 1:28 PM on July 31, 2009

I believe Freakazoid coined the term "Toyrific" (or at least revealed the inside-marketing term to the world). For that alone, I am thankful.

It was also a true cavalcade of perfectly-cast celebrity voices; not just Ed Asner, Ricardo Montalban and Jonathan Harris, but Jack Vallenti as Himself, Stephen "Flounder/Axelrod/Vir" Furst as FanBoy, David Warner as The Lobe, Stan Freberg as Bo-Ron and Craig Ferguson as kilt-wearing computer genius Roddy McStew!!! (plus Joe Leahy as Our Narrator and Frnak "Scooby Doo" Welker as Additional Voices)
posted by wendell at 1:44 PM on July 31, 2009 [1 favorite]

And when Frakazoid and The Tick were on Saturday Morning TV at the same time... THAT was truly the (short-lived) Golden Age of Funny Superhero Cartoons. (Although "Batman the Brave and the Bold" is a welcome but more-deadpan-subtle current addition to the genre)
posted by wendell at 1:48 PM on July 31, 2009 [2 favorites]

While a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mongolia, I meet the largest tabby cat I had ever seen. I named him after Dexter's cat, but I incorrectly remembered Mr. Chubbikins' name. Ah well, Mr. Chumpakins is pretty darn close.
posted by soupy at 1:49 PM on July 31, 2009


Go ahead, try it. Huggbees.

Great post. I recently discovered that the show was on youtube and have been working my way through them. Even after you remove the nostalgia goggles the WB cartoons from that time period still hold up very well today in a way that most Saturday-morning cartoons don't. Although I watch shows like Tiny Toons and Animaniacs now and there are so many pop culture references that just went completely over my head when I was a kid.

(Although "Batman the Brave and the Bold" is a welcome but more-deadpan-subtle current addition to the genre)

I've only seen a couple of episodes, but I've enjoyed what I've seen so far. I think a lot of superhero fans have dismissed the show without really watching it because it isn't done in the Bruce Timm-style, which is a shame.
posted by kosher_jenny at 2:17 PM on July 31, 2009 [2 favorites]

Not "toyriffic", it was "toyetic", which means a piece of a children's animated show which seems to have been created to be made into a toy.
posted by hippybear at 2:19 PM on July 31, 2009 [1 favorite]

Emmet Neverend!
posted by Rora at 2:51 PM on July 31, 2009

Ah, Weena Mercator as The Hopping Woman.

Such a performance. Such memories.
posted by rewil at 2:54 PM on July 31, 2009

posted by The Whelk at 3:06 PM on July 31, 2009


(I'll stop now, cause I can literally do this all night)
posted by The Whelk at 3:09 PM on July 31, 2009 [1 favorite]

Well, I'll just pick it up for you, then.

posted by buriednexttoyou at 3:56 PM on July 31, 2009


I still can't figure out why Steven Spielberg was one of the best things to happy to cartoons in my lifetime.
posted by chairface at 4:00 PM on July 31, 2009

I almost did an FPP about this. I don't know why I desisted. Thank you for it!

I was in high school at the time, and I still rushed back from class to catch Freakazoid. Or was it Animaniacs that I rushed to catch, and Freakazoid that I woke up to watch on Saturdays? Anyway, I was a big fan of what the WB was doing in the '90s. I was also a big fan of that amazing Usenet thing that I could get through the computer, and so I checked out the alt.fan newsgroups for the WB shows. And that taught me my very first important lesson about the Internet . . . *shudder*
posted by Countess Elena at 4:13 PM on July 31, 2009 [1 favorite]

Oh wow can I make some ramen noodles and shrink to four feet tall and put my head dangerously close up to the glass of my monitor and have my dad in the next room yelling at me saying that I should be doing something productive? That would complete this rush of nostalgia I am feeling.

Sometimes when I see a show like this that I used to love and I haven't watched in years I remember very specific details about that time in my life: watching Babylon 5 makes me think of the first time I ever at e Velveeta; an episode of Animaniacs reminds me of the time I cut my foot on a bent nail on the exposed wood of our floor. Freakazoid reminds me of eating spicy ramen (I can even remember the patterns on the glass bowl I would eat out of), in my underwear, accidentally spilling some of the steaming hot broth onto my bare legs, probably because I laughed too hard.
posted by festivemanb at 4:19 PM on July 31, 2009 [1 favorite]

I loved Paul Rugg from his Manny the Uncanny days - and now that I've found out he has a blog, I might have to pee myself a little. The dude is so awesomely underused in his comedy skills.

And I almost mispelled it as Paul Rudd, above, which reminds me how excited I was when I thought Rugg was going to be in Wet Hot American Summer. I never cried so much in my entire life. I wonder if Rugg gets drunken, misdialed calls from Judd Apatow in the middle of the night, beckoning him to join in the debauchery.
posted by AzraelBrown at 4:49 PM on July 31, 2009

Oh man. Bring on the Fruit Loops. This was my squandered childhood, right here. I miss cartoons like that.
posted by Schlimmbesserung at 6:22 PM on July 31, 2009

I can't believe no one's mentioned LORD BRAVERY. If the show had gone on I have no doubt it would have become the Pinky And The Brain of Freakazoid. And it only got two episodes. Toby Danger, in all its proto-Venture Bros. goodness, only got one episode!

Stephen Spielberg also, somehow, brought us Boom Blox. How can one man be so awesome?

The trilogy of cartoon awesome at the time was Freakazoid (two seasons), Earthworm Jim (two seasons) and The Tick (three glorious seasons). I have no doubt that WB made F! and EJ only because they saw that Fox was doing something amazing with The Tick. But then it turned out that Fox didn't really know what to do with The Tick, and all these shows got cancelled at pretty much the same time. Sigh.

Of course, now Saturday Morning Cartoons are dead
posted by JHarris at 7:09 PM on July 31, 2009 [1 favorite]

Ahhh, Lord Bravery. Brought down before his time, and by a trademark dispute.

Seriously though this was the best thing on TV and I remember rushing home from school in high school because Cartoon Network was showing it at 4pm. Good times.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:37 PM on July 31, 2009

Spielberg makes a lot of awesome things...

and then he makes it all come back to aliens in the end. Why?
posted by tmt at 9:04 PM on July 31, 2009

and then he makes it all come back to aliens in the end. Why?

Because the aliens represent the futility of the quest on a long enough timespan and the horror of David's emotional programing. And that part was pure Kubrick, not Spielberg. It's the most depressing ever ever.

posted by The Whelk at 11:51 PM on July 31, 2009 [1 favorite]

I downloaded all of these. I like when they play the some clone of the "Dactyl Terror" VR game, because I had just played it in real life before I saw that episode.
posted by runcibleshaw at 1:27 AM on August 1, 2009

I still can't figure out why Steven Spielberg was one of the best things to happy to cartoons in my lifetime.

Fact: All Spielberg movies would have been better as cartoons.
posted by buriednexttoyou at 4:59 AM on August 1, 2009

I had no idea all of this existed. Well, save from the original cartoon, of course, which I loved. For whatever reason I remember it providing valuable imagination-time fodder whenever I had to walk beans.

I always forget this needs to be mentioned, but if you don't know what 'walking beans' means, see here.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 6:06 AM on August 1, 2009

"Huggbees" is the word for regular hugs in my household.

Thanks, Freakazoid!
posted by educatedslacker at 12:49 PM on August 1, 2009

My all-time favorite Freakazoid bit is this back-and-forth.

F!: So, Cosgrove, how come you never married?
C: Well, I like to eat a lot of meat.
F!: ...you can eat a lot of meat and still be married, Cosgrove.
C: ... Oh. ....Wish I woulda known that.
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 9:35 AM on August 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

So... does anyone have a link to all the episodes of Pinky and the Brain?
posted by educatedslacker at 9:54 AM on August 2, 2009

Good ole Arms Akimbo.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:56 AM on August 3, 2009

So... does anyone have a link to all the episodes of Pinky and the Brain?

Did you realize that 65 episodes of Pinky and The Brain? I did not, until now.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:56 AM on August 3, 2009

It took ages, but they finally have released all of Freakazoid! and Pinky & The Brain on DVD. They've also released three-quarters of Animanaics, and some amount of Tiny Toon Adventures (I'm not as sure about how much of that has been released.)

If you're a fan of these shows, I heartily recommend you pick up the DVD sets. Not only with they blow you away with the picture quality (easily better than broadcast), but they have extras here and there and the episodes are not chopped all to hell.

Plus, if you buy 'em, you're not only helping support the brilliant creators and participants in the projects, but you're sending a clear message to The Powers That Be about the kind of entertainment you like.

I really really want that last set of Animaniacs to be released. What's the hold-up?
posted by hippybear at 9:27 AM on August 3, 2009

Fascinating. Amazon is now selling Video On Demand, and apparently the have the entire first season of PaTB available at $1.99/episode.
posted by hippybear at 9:35 AM on August 3, 2009

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