Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Cat and Birdie Warneroonie Super Looney Big Cartoonie Show

Here are 2 opening variations (they made at least three) of possibly the worst cartoon compilation show ever produced. To make room for Pokemon and other garbage in the late 90's, Kids WB decided to throw all of their original comedy cartoons together into one show. It was usually an hour long and combined segments from Animaniacs, Tiny Toons, Looney Tunes, Pinky and the Brain, and Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries. It was eventually cut down to a half-hour, with Looney Tunes and Sylvester and Tweety dropped altogether.

They must've had higher hopes for it than they carried out. There was even a series of bridging segments featuring "Karen and Kirby", The two kids who controlled the pinball machine in the opening. Though forgettable, they had the distinction of being created by our pal Jerry Beck.

Fans on the Toon Zone message boards used to have a field day with this, coming up with ridiculously long names for it (and the WB must have too, considering how often they changed it.)



6 comments:

Jon Cooke said...

Interesting, I had never seen the second version before (the one with the Tiny Toons gang in it)...so, I had never had the honor of seeing "Karen and Kirby" in action (sorry, Jerry!).

I recall the first version of Cartoony Show was also used by the WB Network to burn off the remaining new episodes of the failed "Pinky, Elmyra and the Brain" series... a show that hasn't aired anywhere since.

Anthony said...

Yep, The Big Cartoonie Show was also created to help burn off episodes of the dreadful bomb of a series "Pinky, Elmyra and the Brain", along with freeing up room for the WB's Pokemon-overload...

As easily mockable as that hatchet-job-of-a-show's title was, I still watched it; at least in those days Looney Tunes could still be seen *somewhere* on US TV, unlike now...

Nic Kramer said...

Gee, I thought those Kira and Kirby segment were good, if somewhat gross. Then again I have a weird intrest and taste in animation.

Jerry Beck said...

I haven't seen those openings in a long time. Makes you wish those shows were still on the air, huh?

The story behind Karen & Kirby is a long interesting one, and one of these days I will post it on Cartoon Brew (along with some full length episodes on You Tube). Here are some random clips which do do reflect the "charm" of the series.

The voices were Richard Horvitz (later to be Invader Zime) and Cheryl Chase (aka Angelica on Rugrats).

There is so much to say about this project... George Maestri was a writer on Rocko's Modern Life and a computer animation genius who happened to produce the first season of South Park. He quit the show after six episodes and that's when we met. (I'm leaving out a zillion details). While I was working for Disney TV in 1997-98 we tried creating a G-rated "South Park" for ABC "One Saturday Morning" (remember that?) called "Mouseketeers" starring Karen and Cubby.

Disney wasn't interested and I quit (another long story), but George and I took the idea to Fox Kids and Kids WB. Both wanted it! We went with Kids WB and spent a year in development hell. In the summer of 1999, they asked us if we could produce 13 interstitial segments for THE BIG CARTOONIE SHOW, Karen & Kirby would be the hosts of the show.

We started in July and the first one had to be on in September, so the whole project was done very fast. I recall we were still producing the last one in November or December. By that time the show was moved from Saturday mornings to weekday afternoons. This was the period when Kids WB changed from funny animals (Animaniacs, et al) to Boys Adventure (Pokemon, Men In Black, etc.).

We set up studio at Warner Bros. in the Sherman Oaks Galleria where Batman was in production down the hall. There is a lot more to the story, but writing and producing these cartoons was a blast.

Like I said, I'll post the feature length version of this story someday in the future on Cartoon Brew. If anyone has any specific questions about K&K, let me know.

Glowworm said...

I tried watching that show once and was disapointed because the sole reason I was watching it was because there were suppose to be Looney Tunes on it-there weren't any that day.

Ryan W. Mead said...

I always thought that Karen and Kirby appeared to be ripoffs of the "Henry and June" characters from the "Kablam!" series that ran on Nickelodeon at the time. Whether or not they were the inspiration, I have no idea, but I was surprised when I found out Jerry Beck created the characters.

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