Season 1 Episode 7


Aired Saturday 10:00 PM Apr 30, 2010 on TVtropolis

Episode Recap

Howard says today's episode is about comedy and cartoon characters do it all such as ignoring the laws of gravity until a character looks down. Howard relates that cartoon character's sole job is to make a viewer laugh. To that end, unpredictability and elements that can't be done in reality make up the comedy that kids learned on Saturday mornings. Howard states that early cartoon comedy were influenced by real life characters such as Charles Chaplin and Gilbert Gottfried notes that the worse thing imaginable can happen in a cartoon with no long term effect. Howard states that there are no limits on cartoon comedy and it shows in some cartoons written by Jay Ward and others. Howard says the fourthe rule of cartoon comedy is that explosives only cause temporary injury and Daffy Duck is the character who works with explosions better than any other cartoon character. Daffy Duck was based on studio head Leon Schleshinger's speech pattern though the animators worried that Leon, who was unaware of what they had in mind, would react neagatively. However, Leon loved the test film and was never told the true source for Daffy's sputtering style of talk before he passed away. Howard states that over the top reactions in animation are known as "wild takes" and director Tex Avery is considered the pioneer of wild takes. Avery animated entire cartoons around these exaggerated reactions and Avery's boss Bob Clampett added motion to further enhance these wild takes in his animated features. A number of celebrities cite Mel Blanc as the king of voice actors and list some of the hundreds of characters that Mel voiced over the years. Mel Blanc's son Noel relates that his father could switch to seventeeen different characters without missing a beat. Mel did sound effects at first and auditioned for an executive who was so impressed that he was introduced to several important animators. Mel Blanc prided himself on studying for characters such as Porky Pig and Bugs Bunny for the character Yosemite Sam, Mel could only do the voice on Fridays as it would take him the whole weekend to allow his throat to recover from the raspy accent he used for it. Mel was the first voice artist to get a screen credit for his work and by the time he passed away, he had blazed a path for many voice artists to follow. Howard relates that props such as anvils and pianos are important to cartoon comedy. Howard goes on to say that for a good gag, anvils are a good place to start and anything heavier is great with ACME a great company for props. Wile E. Coyote is ACME's best customer for all the props he used to attempt to catch the Road Runner though several celebrities wonder why the coyote continued to use ACME after so many failures. Howard talks about how cross dressing is an old gag in animated comedy and Bugs Bunny was the king of getting a laugh dressed as a woman. Elmer Fudd was often befuddled by the sight of Bugs in a female disguise and never seemed to clue in to the truth. Howard relates that animated comedy dates back to J. Stewart Blackton in 1896 who worked with inventor Thomas Edison and developed the early animated movie Humourous Phases of Funny Faces, which was the forerunner of all animated features to follow. Howard announces that animation's ultimate cartoon comic is Bugs Bunny, a rascal who is admired by many for different reasons and has been the #1 cartoon character for seven decades and has appeared in hundreds of movies.