The Wacky World of Tex Avery

You know, the question, ‘Was The Wacky World of Tex Avery a good or a bad show?’ can easily be answered just by watching the intro:

What in the mother of Satan is that piece of fuck? It looks like someone shoved a camera into the diseased brain of a hyperactive schizophrenic hyena on a sugar rush, filmed what was inside, and then spliced the footage with footage from an ADD-inflicted baboon’s brain. If there is one person who watched that intro and said, ‘That looks like a fun and enjoyable show.’ I would like to meet them so I can drown them for the good of mankind.

The show is utterly horrible and this intro is all the proof we need. There we go, the end. Wasn’t that worth the hiatus?

Okay, I’ll write a bit more. I’m pretty sure if you’re an animation fan, you know about Fred “Tex” Avery, who created Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Droopy, and created some of the most memorable short cartoons of all time, which are still entertaining to watch today with their slapstick and pacing. Surely a new TV show paying tribute to the man and his work would be just as entertaining right?

Right?

Just how bad is The Wacky World of Tex Avery? Well, it has very bloody little to do with Tex Avery and his cartoons (apparently, they wanted to use Tex Avery’s characters but couldn’t get the rights). There’s a character called Tex Avery in the show, but he’s a fucking cowboy. Yes, a cowboy. The animation and writing styles are too placid and generic to be inspired by Tex Avery’s energetic work, and comes off as more a bad rip-off of Ren and Stimpy or Animaniacs. Really, a dog character, Power Pooch, has Ren Hoek’s trademark human fingernails and spine protruding through his back. Even the people behind this show didn’t like it; Tex Avery’s daughter just let them use her father’s name to get her kids into college, there’s a deleted blog post about how much the animators hated working on the show, and one of its four IMDB reviews is hateful words from someone involved with its UK broadcast.

Wacky World took on the form of an anthology show, comprising of seven mini-shows, each of them excruciating. Take, for example, the aforementioned Tex Avery. What we have here is basically just a poor man’s version of Popeye, with cowboy Tex and outlaw Sagebrush Sid (both voiced by Billy “Philip J Fry” West) vying for the affections of some cowgirl named Chastity. Well, I guess this is what they meant when they said they were trying to pay homage to Tex, since the title character shares his name and acts like an annoying copy of Bugs Bunny (only instead of “What’s up doc?” he has an ear-splitting “I don’t think so”. Oh yeah, and that Bugs was funny while Tex is just obnoxious). If you’re expecting a good parody of spaghetti westerns, you won’t find it here. Hell, if you’re looking for a parody of spaghetti westerns period, you won’t find it here. So we have plots like Tex trying to thwart a bear, only for that bear to be…part of an union with another bear who gives him demerits? Wha?

And there are other cartoons too, oh are there other cartoons. Three of them have the exact same fucking plot: a mean person tries to do mean things but then an annoying person annoys them until they stop. Freddy the Fly has a hobo fly annoying a rich woman…and that’s pretty much it. Genghis and Khannie has a barbarian lion trying to conquer various countries, only to be annoyed out of it by little panda girl Khannie…and that’s pretty much it. The title character of Pompeii Pete is an ancient Roman centurion in the modern day, so you think it’s going to be some Just Visiting deal, but nope. The Pete shorts focus more on one Dan the Man, and how his plans are messed up by Pete being annoying…and that’s pretty much it.

Most of the premises for these mini-shows only have material for one cartoon, and nowhere is that more apparent than the Einstone segments. Einstone is an intelligent caveman who invents modern contraptions, and yet the other cavemen are too stupid to use them. A premise that can really only sustain one short, and yet Einstone has several. The same joke, repeated over and over and over AND BLOODY OVER. It’s not even that much of an original premise; remember those Flintstones episodes where Fred tried to become an inventor? Also, Einstone has no ears, what’s up with that? There’s also Power Pooch, a superhero dog, and Maurice and Mooch, about a fox trying to eat a chicOH COME ON. Okay, you’re paying homage to the guy who defined Looney Tunes, but Maurice and Mooch adds nothing new to the whole chase thing. Mooch the fox tries to eat Maurice the chick, he fails, the end. And Maurice is a baby chick, so it’s not like Mooch will get a decent size meal. Hell, one of the episodes even has an Elmer Fudd-lookalike with a captured rabbit walk past Mooch, so they’re pretty much admitting they’re unoriginal. Admitting you’re unoriginal doesn’t make it okay.

I might have been able to forgive their unoriginality were the jokes actually funny, but…do I need to say it? You may think unfunniness doesn’t have a form, that like someone who wasn’t Albert Einstein said about evil, unfunniness is simply the absence of funniness. There is an embodiment of unfunny though, and it’s this cartoon. There is so much concentrated unfunny in this show that it’s the leading cause of death among clowns.

One Genghis and Khannie has Khannie guide Genghis up a mountain…and for one scene, the mountain suddenly turns into a big board game. You can almost hear the writers, sweat dripping down their brow, gasp, ‘Laugh…please. Please.’ I wanted to like Power Pooch’s “The Return of Dr. Hydrant” because I admittedly kinda like the idea of a dog superhero having a talking fire hydrant as a villain, but the humour in that one was so awkward. It opens with Power Pooch agonising over what seems to be an important decision…but then he realises he can have both a burger and a shake. Hardy bloody ha. It gets worse. Power Pooch’s sidekick is kidnapped by Dr. Hydrant. While in Hydrant’s lair, Pooch bursts through a door that he thinks will lead to a staircase but actually leads outside. Pooch’s reaction? ‘The fiend! He’s replaced the stairway with an exact duplicate city filled with millions of robot citizens!’

….I got nothing.

So what more can be said about this show? I would say ‘Watch Tex Avery’s actual cartoons instead’ but almost anything is better than this trash.

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About jabberw

A writer of short stories and reviews, who likes to dabble in other creative media as well.
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