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Louis Gossett Jr.
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Skip Tarkenton is a young animator who's just started with a low-budget animation company that produces "The Dippy Duck Show." As new guy, Skip is often the brunt of office politics, and has to deal with his own lack of confidence. Written by
A treat for cartoon fans, and a shocker for some of Jim Carrey's...
Thought up by veteran MTM writer-producer Allan Burns, "The Duck Factory" was set backstage at an animation studio specialising in "The Adventures of Dippy Duck." This delightful but short-lived comedy got a video release when Jim Carrey's career took off, and disappointed people expecting to see him clowning around the place; as the talented young animator newly arrived at the studio and who's charged with retooling the show (his first suggestion is to kill off a main character, but when the producer objects, Skip [Carrey's character] quickly bounces back with "Did I mention this takes place in outer space?" As anyone who's seen enough Hanna-Barbera shows will attest, this gambit is hardly unrealistic...), he mostly plays straight man to the more off-tilt people around him. He's never been as good since. (I'm serious.)
As a lifelong cartoon fan, this behind-the-scenes show was a treat - one episode taking potshots at well-meaning but often misguided PC consultants was particularly good (the show fell victim to whining about cartoon violence and agreed to tone it down, but the results were so dire that they went back to the old fashion - and this was several years before "The Simpsons" did the episode with Marge taking on Itchy and Scratchy!). Plus the cast included the great Don Messick as the star of their voice cast and Jay Tarses as the show's writer who wanted to be more; "The Duck Factory" may only be a footnote in the MTM story, but it deserved to be more. And note: Apart from the abortive pilot "Carlton, Your Doorman" (as in "This is..." - it revolved around the unseen character from "Rhoda"), this was MTM's only foray (so to speak... if you're not a cartoon fan, you won't get the joke) into animation.
"Where's the cat?" (QUACK!)
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