I was talking with the uber-talented Pauly D about which cartoon character was the most annoying, and my first pick was Donald Duck.
Is Donald Duck funny? Absolutely not. Is he a stupid duck with a speech impediment? Yes.
Ironically, the first writing job I had when I moved to Los Angeles was writing for a Donald Duck cartoon. In case you didn’t know this, the Disney Company is very aggressive about the copyrights of their signature characters. They once got a second grader from Topeka, Kansas imprisoned for 20 years when she was caught drawing a likeness of Minnie Mouse on her schoolbook cover. (that’s a joke, Disney lawyers)
Because of their strong hold on their characters, Disney doesn’t just let you write for Donald Duck. They first give you what seemed at the time to be a 600 page “Bible” — a book of what Donald Duck could and could not say. Now, If you know anything about Donald Duck, he doesn’t really talk. He quacks in a high pitch voice about two and a half octaves higher than anyone can comfortably hear without damage to the ears. Until I read “the Donald Duck Bible,” I didn’t know that some quacks are allowed, and others verboten. For instance, he can quack something like “Aargh,” but he would never be allowed to say “Oy.”
And you still think Jews run Hollywood.
Donald Duck wasn’t the star of the show. The “demographic” effect of the growing youth culture had now changed cartoons forever. It was assumed that kids didn’t want to see adult cartoon characters anymore. They wanted to see other runts like themselves. So, no more Bugs Bunny. Now, it was Baby Bugs. No more Donald Duck as the star. Now it was his three obnoxious nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie. To make things worse, Huey, Dewey, and Louie were “updated” to be more current. They were now three hip-hopping rap dudes/ducks with their hats on backwards.
You can see the irony here. Disney is so worried about someone messing with their precious characters, but they themselves were dressing the nephews in the latest fad — one that would be old hat in two years. If breakdancing was in today, would Mickey be breakdancing down Main Street in Disneyland? Probably.
One cartoon character I always liked was the advertising icon, Charlie the Tuna.
Now that tuna was hip — always with the beret and sunglasses! He didn’t have to fake it, like Huey, Dewey, and Louie. I was sad to learn that Charlie’s creator, advertising copywriter Tom Rogers, died recently in Charlottesville, Va. He was 87.
Starkist’s website does not have one mention of the man who pretty much made their company a success. I think we should boycott Starkist until they mention copywriter Tom Rogers on their website. Until then, I’m only eating Bumble Bee.
I’m glad they never changed Charlie the Tuna. I wish they never changed the Brawny Man.
I know the old Brawny Man looked a little like a 70’s porno star, but the new guy is just way too clean-cut. When I use my Brawny paper towel, I want to think of that big ‘ol lumberjack guy chopping down that tree with his big ol’ hands. The new Brawny guy looks like he just walked off the “Queer Guy” set. This new “sensitive” guy never chopped down a tree in his life. I bet you he gets his hands manicured. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s even an environmentalist who doesn’t even believe in chopping down trees. Today, I was in my local “99 cent” store and I saw a whole pile of the new Brawny paper towels. That’s right, Brawny paper towels in the “99 cent” store! ‘Nuff said.
Sometimes, it is necessary to update a icon. Betty Crocker has been selling cake mixes to housewives since 1936.
(Betty Crocker in 1936)
Life magazine recently posted several of the various “Betty Crocker”s, to show how Betty has changed through the decades — to match the image of what is considered a “modern woman.”
(Betty in 1955)
(Betty in 1965)
(Betty in 1969)
(Betty in 1972)
(Betty in 1980)
(Betty in 1986)
As a guy, my preference has to be the 1986 Betty Crocker. She has a “devil-may-care” attitude in her eyes. She’s the only Betty Crocker that I can visualize having sex with her assistant chef, banging against the Masterchef Oven while she waits for the angel food cake to finish baking.
Betty today looks like a boring assistant manager at Bank of America, someone who might go on a date with the new Brawny man after meeting him on Match.com.