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This 2.5 minute segment within the first 10-minute episode of the anthology series Весёлая карусель (Merry-Go-Round), was the very first appearance of "Nu pogodi". It consisted of three consecutive but separate sub 1-minute sketches. Already it features the familiar childlike androgynous hare being fervently but unsuccessfully stalked by the hapless cigarette-smoking hooligan wolf reciting his familiar catchphrase.
This first pilot has the same writers and some of the same technical crew as the main series that would debut later that same year from the same SoyuzMultFilm studio. Absent however from this pilot are the main series' director V. Kotyonochkin, cinematographer Petrova, Art Director Rusakov, almost all the animators and the entire Art Department of the main series. And it shows. Although the writing has the same quality and wit and appeal, the characters look different and are drawn much more crudely. Indeed all the drawing is much cruder and lacking in detail compared with the main series, rather like the difference between the Simpsons in the Tracey Ullman show vs the 1989- series.
"Nu pogodi" would go on to make further brief and obscure appearances in other anthology programs outside the canonical 20 episodes. In the late 1970's the satirical series "Фитиль" ("Fitil" meaning Wick) would include four "Nu Pogodi" sketches, each 2-3 minutes long, mocking shoddy industrial work practices. These were made by the same studio and key creative people of the official series. These were as good as the official episodes, but shorter, more adult, wordier and with a narrator doing intrusive voiceovers at the end to explain the real life incident which inspired the sketch.
A 5-6 minute sketch (Televypusk 1) was created in 1980 for a New Year's Eve anthology holiday special showcasing the best in Russian animation, and again for New Year's Eve 1981, the latter being split into two consecutive stories (Televypusk 2-3). These were made during a 4 year hiatus in the official series. The premise of all these sketches was that the Wolf would enter the TV world and the hare would manipulate the TV set to influence what happened in the TV world. Though written by one of the writers (A. Kurlyandsky) and directed by an occasional animator (A. Butyrin) from the official series, these were made by a different studio (Ekran). And although Rumyanova voices the hare, Papanov didn't participate. As a result, although the quality is good and the drawing style is similar, the characterisation is slightly different from the canonical episodes and the themes more adult.
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