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Earl Hamner, Jr. and Rod Serling's cheesiest
While this episode is not exactly bad, it is a bit too cheesy to be taken seriously. Especially as a fan of MST3K, if you have seen their take on the movie 'Teenagers From Outer space'. The storyline is much the same- aliens who look human and speak English land on earth with intentions of wiping out humans, albeit with different reasons and different methods. In this episode, the aliens want to kill all living creatures on earth with germ warfare because of our hatefulness (or something...) instead of just not caring about collateral damage while looking for grazing land for their "gargon herds" (giant lobsters). But most of the elements are roughly the same- the youngest of the aliens disagrees with the others about their plan to kill everyone, falls in love with an attractive teenage girl, and tries to sabotage the other aliens' plans, and is branded a traitor and is hunted down. While "Teenagers" ends with the young alien heroically dying to save the humans, this one ends with the young alien being assumed insane because of his warnings the humans of what's about to happen. And being dragged away by a sheriff's deputy who happens to also be an alien. While the humans are oblivious of what will happen in a short time....
The Mouse That Jack Built (1959)
Makes a great introduction to the wonderful Jack Benny
I'll be honest. If you aren't familiar with The Jack Benny Program, your eyes will probably glaze over when you see this cartoon. I strongly urge you to ignore those feelings. Jack Benny and his cast were responsible for some of the finest comedy of the 1930's to the 1960's. This cartoon is a loving tribute to the most famous running gags of Benny's jokes. Benny's supporting cast was key to his success, and every one of them but Dennis Day and Phil Harris made it into this cartoon. My advice is to find some of the free Jack Benny shows that are available on the internet and listen to them. Once you are familiar with Benny's comedy, this cartoon makes a lot more sense. One final note: In the cartoon, the voice of Ed the guard was provided by Mel Blanc, instead of his regular voice, Joseph Kearns.
Duck Amuck (1953)
Thanks for the sour persimmons, cousin!
Duck Amuck is a brilliantly done cartoon. Too often cartoons are just seen as a bunch of random wacky jokes, but Chuck Jones adds another level: character driven comedy. To be sure, this cartoon is VERY wacky. But but what makes this cartoon really work is the exploration of the character of Daffy Duck. Chuck Jones was the driving force behind Daffy's change from a hyperactive, insane character who harassed others for no apparent reason into the scheming, easily angered, self centered character he is best known as today. In Duck Amuck, Jones crystallizes his vision for Daffy's new direction, showing him as a character who wishes to put on a good show for his audience, but is so easily frustrated that everything seems to be working against him. Instead of going with the flow, he flies off the handle at everything that goes wrong, which in turn is worsened by whoever is doing all of this stuff to him. In his best characterization, Daffy manages to be sympathetic enough that the audience still roots for him, even though he probably deserves whatever he has coming to him. In his worst characterization, his greediness and anger take over to the point he becomes completely unsympathetic. This cartoon and the so-called "Hunter's Trilogy" feature Daffy's best characterization, the cartoons featuring Daffy and Speedy Gonzales made in the mid 1960's have the worst.