Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Freak-a-Commentary

At a sound stage in Hollywood, Tom Ruegger, Paul Rugg and myself provided DVD commentary on several first season episodes of Freakazoid! The DVD is due to be released this summer. I learned things I hadn't known working on the show. For example, composer Richard Stone gave Tom the melody for the main title and Tom then wrote lyrics to match. (Winning an Emmy in the process.)

Paul kept the session moving with leading questions and compliments. Tom filled in with his knowledge of the artwork and what went into the making of each episode. I mostly sharked along, looking for spots to shoehorn in one-liners. In any case, I was reminded that animation can be fun and miss working with Tom and Paul. But I shall always be proud to say that I once wrote for the guy with lightning in his hair.

7 comments:

Jaime J. Weinman said...

It's great that you got to do commentaries, and I say this as a fan of the show since it premiered. I remember the moment that made me fall in love with the show, from a segment you wrote -- out of nowhere, a creepy man comes who has a watch with "The power to turn beavers into gold." That was the nuttiest thing I'd ever seen on "kids" TV, and I was hooked.

I can't wait for the DVD and I hope it sells well enough that they bring out the second season as well (and give you guys the chance to do some commentaries on those).

John P. McCann said...

Jamie,

Thanks. There is indeed talk of releasing the second season. If I hear anything, I'll post it.

All the best,

John

keeper1st said...

And so you should be proud. That was the funniest cartoon series ever, hands down. Of course, much of the reason it was so funny was you yourself!

When discussing it with Tom recently, I called Freakazoid "intelligent stupidity", which he thought was right on the mark.

John P. McCann said...

Thank you, Keeper.

It just goes to show that fun and earning a living need not be enemies.

keeper1st said...

Indeed. One hears voiceover artists say that all time, that the real work is stuff they don't get paid for -- i.e. auditioning, phone calls, etc.

It was a honor to meet all you guys 'n' gals at the height of those WB days, before the kablooification. There was a definite impression of yes, there's plenty of deadline pressure, but you were having a good time at it and proud of what you all produced.

In the years that followed, so many fans would ask me "Why did they decide to stop?" as if it was your own choice to lose your jobs. I still get asked to ask folks like Tom or yourself to make super funny shows again, as if you'd say, "Oh, gosh, I never thought of that!" Silly puppies.

I do like to keep an eye out for the stuff you do manage to be allowed to produce. While I know all about the horribleness surrounding a certain fishy production, the two episodes I've seen bearing your name did have the best lines. How nice that some funny managed to sneak past that evil entity known as "Executive in Charge of Story Development" a.k.a. "The Person with the Big Damn Morality Mallet".

Tom told me that your Animalia stories have plenty of "McCannisms" so I look forward to those, and anything else you get your funny paws into. I know that Animalia didn't end up being what it was originally hoped to be, but it works well as a fun adventure series. And it's not a game of Whack-a-Moral like that other show...

Mattieshoe said...

Great to hear there's gonna be commentaries!

I was pretty disappointed by the Lack of commentaries on the Animaniacs DVDs.

John P. McCann said...

Mattishoe,

We did a running commentary on three episodes plus individual interviews.

Hopefully they'll load up this time.