The Duck Factory

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NBC (ended 1984)

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The Duck Factory

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Welcome to The Duck Factory guide. "The Duck Factory was set in a small, run-down Hollywood studio peopled by the loony crew who produced a TV cartoon show called Dippy Duck. The newest employee was Skip Tarkenton, an eager, young cartoonist fresh from the Midwest and bursting with excitement at his first professional job. His wide-eyed innocence contrasted sharply with the cynicism of his co-workers: Brooks, the fatherly artist full of doubts about his own brilliance; Andrea, the sarcastic, man-hungry film editor; Marty, the two-bit gag writer; Roland, the only black storyboard artist in the business; and Wally, the voice-over narrator who had a repertoire of so many cartoon voices that he had long since forgotten his own voice. ...the place was virtually leaderless when Skip arrived, so the whole crew turned to the reluctant newcomer to save Dippy Duck--which was constantly on the brink of cancellation by the network. This brought the enmity of Aggie, the pushy, penny-pinching business manager who thought she should be in charge, but also the appreciation of [Sheree], the sexy, young bimbo...who was...now the studio's owner." (Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh, The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946-Present) Two veterans of 1960's cartoons came together to create this mix of live action and animation, which featured a then-unknown Jim Carrey in a now-unthinkable straight-man's role. Not to mention veteran voice actor Don Messick doing what he did best. Despite the presence of a laugh track, The Duck Factory was one of the very few MTM comedies to not be filmed/taped in front of a studio audience -- which probably doomed its chances right there, as the days of successful single-camera sitcoms were over by 1984. NBC and Brandon Tartikoff did give the ahead-of-its-time show a plum time slot -- between Cheers and Hill Street Blues (the latter of which it would cross over with) -- but did little to promote it. (Perhaps they had already used up all their yearly promotional dollars on The New Show.) Then Tartikoff ran several episodes out of order, and cancelled it after just a few weeks on the air, like pretty much everything else he put on that season. That summer, the show was nominated for two Emmys -- and won them both. A little trivia: The Duck Factory featured writer/producer Jay Tarses in one of his rare acting gigs on a show that wasn't his. A few months before it premiered, Jim Carrey made an uncredited, bit-part appearance on a show that was his, Buffalo Bill. And you know what Tartikoff replaced Buffalo Bill with? This. Talk about bittersweet! "Most folks think that it's a strange occupation Some folks call us a deranged aggregation We can't help it We're just happy this way Mama always wanted me to be a physician Dad said he'd rather I become a beautician But we can't help it We're just happy this way 'Cause it sure beats workin' for a livin' It ain't much, the livin' these days Yeah, it sure beats workin' for a livin' We're just happy this way Yeah, we're just happy this way (Workin' for a livin')" Theme song "It Sure Beats Workin' for a Livin'" written by Mark Vieha performed by unknown The Duck Factory is produced by MTM Enterprises, Inc. Broadcast History ----------------- Apr 1984-May 1984, Thu 9:30-10:00 Jun 1984-Jul 1984, Wed 9:30-10:00 First telecast: April 12, 1984 Last telecast: July 11, 1984 Show type: Single-Camera Sitcom Number of episodes: 13 Media: 35mm film

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Don Messick

Don Messick

Wally Wooster/Voice of Dippy Duck

Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey

Skip Tarkenton

Clarence Gilyard Jr.

Clarence Gilyard Jr.

Roland Culp

Jay Tarses

Jay Tarses

Marty Fenneman

Jack Gilford

Jack Gilford

Brooks Carmichael

Teresa Ganzel

Teresa Ganzel

Mrs. Sheree Winkler

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