Baggy Pants was the world's first superhero. Now he's the oldest. But this elderly crime fighter (and his equally elderly super-heroine wife) still have a few tricks up their sleeves as they continue to combat crime.
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Baggy Pants was a cartoon cat based on Charlie Chaplin. He featured in the Baggy Pants section of the cartoon, naturally, and didn't talk. The Nitwits, in a separate section, were based on characters from Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In. The voices were supplied by Laugh-In regulars Ruth Buzzi and Arte Johnson. Written by
For at least half this show, "Baggy Pants and the Nitwits" was as funny as anything on TV. But then there's that other half....
Y'see, it's like this: in the first half, the focus is on the character Baggy Pants, who looks for all the world like Charlie Chaplin reincarnated as a cat. In his part, he basically goes through kiddie versions of his original's antics. For some reason, seeing a cat-like Charlie was pretty redundant (at that time, I was already familiar with Chaplin's work) and just simply not as funny in this watered-down version. In fact, it was just biding time until the second half....
The Nitwits took over the last half, where retired superhero Tyrone (voiced by Johnson) and his long-suffering wife Gladys (voiced by Buzzi) go into action to fight unspeakable foes (like a woman in a chicken suit, a moving blob of water, etc.) and all the while act and look like their dopplegangers back on the original "Laugh-In" series.
The dialogue, sounding mostly improvised by Johnson, was a riot and, to be sure, he got the best lines that way. SAMPLE - complimenting his walking cane Elmo (don't ask): "You are a good cane - remind me to take you jogging with me tomorrow!"
Well, at least it was a half-good show to watch on Saturday mornings. Back in 1977. If they ever release it on video, I hope they just go with the GOOD half.
Five stars for "Baggy Pants and the Nitwits". Yay, Tyrone; sorry, Charlie.
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