Monday, October 15, 2012

A NYCC 2012 Moment # 1.

At the 2012 New York Comic Con, I got to pose with some guy walking the floor in a very good Freakazoid! costume!  (Blue face, lightning streak in flowing black hair, etc.)  

But, alas… not all was completely authentic…

I gave him the traditional-style Cosgrove straight-line:  Hey, Freakazoid, wanna go to the New York Comic Con?” 

He replied: “Sure do!” 

I said: “No! No ! No!  You’re supposed to say‘DO I?!’Now, let’s try it again!”

He laughed, we proceeded with “Take Two”, and he got the bit right.   It was almost like being on the show itself! 

Do the costume, know the lines, I always say! 

…“Beep-Beep” is still out there! 


scarecrow33 said...

Freakazoid--I used to laugh out loud watching that show! I agree that one who wears the costume should know the character!

Can't wait for more NYCC moments!

Joe Torcivia said...

Scarecrow, the humor in FREAKAZOID! was uniquely wonderful – and it should have become the “Rocky and Bullwinkle of the Nineties”… but NOOOOO. It will always be a favorite of mine and is an influence on the comics scripting that I do – along with The Simpsons and Family Guy!

If it is ever in your power to do so, time-wise and geographically, you must attend New York Comic Con! It is now everything I used to love about San Diego about 15 or so years ago!

There will be another “NYCC Moment” coming up tonight – and maybe more after that.

…And we still need to get to “Beep-Beep”! (After all the build-up, it’s sure to be a letdown!)

Comicbookrehab said...

Joe, I think the reson FREAKAZOID! had a short lifespan was because it was actually a troubled production. It started developing as an earnest superhero cartoon, partly because Spielberg was impressed with "Batman:The Animated Series" and wanted to do a show with that team. Then the direction changed to comedy because Amblin/WB scored a hit with Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brain, so it's possible that the series bible was compromised. Sure, the show had a lot of great moments, but behind the scenes it must have been like winning a yacht race on a bathtub.

In the meantime, the closest we got to a FREAKAZOID! comic book was an issue of Animaniacs where guest stars Freakazoid and Cosgrove take the Warner Brothers Studio tour and run into the Lobe...and Yakko, Wako and Dot.

Joe Torcivia said...

You’d better believe I have that comic, ‘Rehab!

And, while the troubled production stuff is certainly true, the prime factor in Freakazoid’s demise was moving the show to 8 AM, partway through Season Two. Even I didn’t follow it avidly after that, until it resurfaced on (what was once) “Cartoon Network”. There it had great success; certainly judging by the number of times those few episodes were rerun.

Why a revival was never attempted once it “found its audience” at last, is something I’ll never understand. Like FAMILY GUY after its hiatus, the staff was still intact.

Ryan Wynns said...

Joe, 'rebah, and whoever/anyone else:

Does anyone remember Earthworm Jim? During the 1995-96 television season, it immediately followed Freakazoid! each week during The WB's Saturday morning lineup. It was based on a video game, but surprisingly -- and going only by my memory -- it was a witty, somewhat satiric show, and had similar sensibilities to Freakazoid!

The first year of "Kids' WB" was virtually perfection, wasn't it?

Joe wrote:

until it resurfaced on (what was once) “Cartoon Network”. There it had great success; certainly judging by the number of times those few episodes were rerun.

And that's an understatment -- for a while, Cartoon Network carried reruns of the series (only 24 episodes total!) Monday-Friday at 7 P.M. EST! I remember that, each time that I tuned in during that (re-)run, hoping that I was making a measurable impact on its ratings!

It's worth noting, though, that back then, Cartoon Network had a habit of running (most often, Hanna-Barbera) series that had been produced as network Sat A.M. shows and had only lasted one or two seasons ... ensuring that their total episode count decidedly came up short of, say, 65 (wink, wink). I'd be interested to see what kind of ratings Cartoon Network's Mon.-Fri. Freakazoid! airings were garnering in comparison to their contemporary Mon.-Fri. airings of, say, Hanna-Barbera's Godzilla or Thundarr the Barbarian. Like almost the entirety of anything in those days that Cartoon Network aired, the rest of pop culture and mass media took little note.

A few years later, if Freakazoid! were produced for -- or even just rerun as part of -- Adult Swim, it may have found its audience! (Although, opinions may vary as to whether or not that'd be a good thing!) ;)

-- Ryan

Joe Torcivia said...


My guess would be that the ratings for FREAKAZOID! were good (perhaps even great) merely BECAUSE those 24 episodes were repeated and repeated at 7PM for such a long time. Followed by the original 25 episodes (1969-1970) of SCOOBY-DOO WHERE ARE YOU, which I presume were equally as good for the same reason.

They preceded the “new” toon series like DEXTER’S LABORATORY, JOHNNY BRAVO, COW AND CHICKEN, etc., which were the primary showcase attractions for Cartoon Network, so you KNOW they wanted solid lead-ins. Then came such standards as THE FLINTSTONES, BUGS BUNNY, ACME HOUR and more. (Ah, such memories!)

Also recall, during the period discussed, there were only 20 episodes of FREAKAZOID! that were run, because they pulled four of them that made even the slightest reference to the late Princess Diana in the year or so following her death. So the “run concentration” for FREAKAZOID! was greater still.

My memories of EARTHWORM JIM are much more vague, because it has not had an afterlife in syndication. I believe a DVD of the series will soon be released, and I might want to revisit it and see for myself how close to FREAKAZOID! it was.

I’d give the “Perfection Vote” to the SECOND year of Kids WB, because virtually everything was retained, and SUPERMAN was added. After that, they added BATMAN (making it greater still), but had dropped FREAKAZOID! So, that’s more of a wash. But, you’ve gotta admit, that for those few years until POKEMON began its destructive process, it was the greatest all-ages Sat-AM lineup ever!

Your observation regarding FREAKAZOID! as a candidate for “Adult Swim” is a great one! Considering how it gave new life to FAMILY GUY and FUTURAMA, I believe THAT might have been what was needed to re-start FREAKAZOID! Alas, as with Sat-AM, he was always too “Freak-a-early”!

Great stuff, as always, Ryan! You really should comment more often! :-)