Thursday, January 14, 2010


More memories from the boxes. Here's my life at Warner Bros. that year.

Cleaned up my office after the Northridge earthquake rearranged everything. (And damaged the parking structure for about a year.)

Wrote a detective noir Animaniacs episode called The Big Nap which died quietly in script. (Alas.)

Went to New York with Jean, Tom, Paul, Nick Hollander, Peter Hastings, Randy Rogel, and Tom Minton for the Peabody Awards. We were introduced to the head of Time Warner, Jerry Levin, whose office temperature was around 106 degrees leading us to question his humanity.

Wrote songs for Animaniacs including Attila the Hun, U.N. Me, I'll Take an Island, and—with Paul Rugg—The Ballad of Magellan. Later, translated three of them into scripts. (My last episodes for Yakko, Wakko and Dot.)

Attended my first Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. Tom and Richard Stone won for the Animaniacs theme song. (That was the year the wrong show was submitted by mistake.)

Developed an animated show with Alan Burnett called True Romance. I think artist Bob Doucette came up with the idea. I don't remember who did the artwork, but it was hilarious. An adult, soap opera parody, it officially perished after around five months. (Paul Rugg and Eric Radomski were also involved.)

Worked with artist Alfred Gimeno on a wild idea of his called The Diver. (If Alfred still has any of the artwork, I'll see if he'll let me post it here.)

Developed a live-action show with Alan Burnett, Paul Rugg, and Randy Rogel called Information Station. The idea was to blend surreal comedy with educational content. My notes aren't that clear, but there was one character named Danny the Front-Yard Dinosaur. An indolent beast, he lived in a lawn chair and ordered kids to get him cold drinks. (This show also took the dirt nap.)

Took a pass rewriting one of the first Sylvester and Tweety scripts.

Tom, Paul and I went to the theater in the Sherman Oaks Galleria and saw Ed Wood. ("Pull the string!" would show up in "Dance of Doom.")

Worked with Paul, Tom and Paul Dini on revamping Freakzoid. Wrote my first script with a character called Baron Magneto who was down with magnetism and threatening to attract every kitchen magnet in a four county area. (I can't find the script, and maybe that's not bad.)

We knew the WB was in the works and they needed content. Busy darn year.


Keeper said...

Heh... that Baron Magneto idea sounds like a Dr Doofenschmirtz sort of plan (cf. Phineas & Ferb, one of the only funny animated shows in production these days).

John P. McCann said...

I have to say, Keeper, that was the year I thought WB would provide decades of gainful employment.

I don't think WB lasted more than one.

Anonymous said...

Fun post, John.. lotsa memories. You sure have some wild stuff packed away in those boxes!

Tom R

Armando Torre said...

Wow! what's that about a revamping of Freakazoid? I'm [obviously] a bit confused what's the date of the Baron Magneto script?

Man! I'd love to see the Freakazoid scrips that didn't get a green light. While I was doing Frakazoid articles for my wiki, I read some rumors about a Freakazette episode. I wonder if that's the case with characters like Kid Carrion and Eye of Newt, which had really cool designs but were never developed.

John P. McCann said...

Baron Magneto was 16 years ago.

There was artwork and a board for Freakazette, but I can't remember what the story was about.

Kid Carrion appeared minus lines in Relax-o-Vision.

Keeper said...

Sean Carolan, a random IRC user (and comedy writer) who happened upon our #animaniacs channel, liked our sense of humor, and after a few days asked "What is Animaniacs, anyway?" ended up writing for the Animaniacs comics and, he said, had submitted the script for Enter Freakazette. He had said it got to the board stage just before news came that there would be no third season.

I think what Armando was asking about when referring to the revamping of Freakazoid was when you guys took over from Bruce Timm -- a subject discussed in the DVD extras.

John P. McCann said...

I don't remember any clear starting point for Freakazoid, just that by around October it became our focus.

I think Freakazette get axed between seasons one and two, as did the last episode of the Huntsman where he actually solves a crime.