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I have a confession to make. Yes, it’s time to come clean.
I love to watch SpongeBob SquarePants.
For the uninitiated, SpongeBob is a cartoon on Nickleodean about a sea sponge who lives in a pineapple at the bottom of the sea in a place called Bikini Bottom. He has a pet snail named Gary and his sidekick is a pink starfish named Patrick, and they make life miserable for their neighbor, a blue squid named, appropriately enough, Squidward Tentacles.
Silly, inane and ridiculous stuff, I know. But hey, how much more crazy is this than some of the stuff we watched as kids.
The advent of television helped popularize such stalwarts of culture as Huckelberry Hound and the Jetsons, Fred and Wilma Flintstone, and the Roadrunner and his nemesis, Wile E. Coyote. The creative team of Hanna and Barbera gave the Disney camp a run for their money when it came to animated success with the likes of Yogi Bear and Boo Boo and Deputy Dawg. I always had a soft spot for the Warner Brothers creations. Bugs Bunny had way too much attitude, which always made old Elmer Fudd go nutty over that “wascally wabbitt”. Then there was Daffy Duck, no relation to the Disney family of ducks. His lispy delivery couldn’t be topped. It’s hard to imagine that one man was responsible for so many of the voices of these cartoon characters. Mel Blanc started out as a radio guy in 1927, and later became the most familiar person in our cartoon heaven. He was responsible for Bugs, Daffy, Porky Pig, Tweetie Bird and his foil, the “puddy tat” Sylvester. Blanc created Speedy Gonzalez, Foghorn Leghorn, Yosemite Sam and even did Barney Rubble and Mr. Spacely, George Jetson’s boss. On Blanc’s tombstone are the words: “That’s All, Folks.”
Then there was that guy named Walt Disney, who gave us Mickey Mouse, his best girl Minney, and all the friends of the family. They say Disney wanted to name his creation Mortimer. Now that would have been a mouthful for the Mousketeer’s to spell. I recall watching the Wonderful World of Disney every Sunday evening, seeing Donald Duck and Daisy. Donald of course never wore pants, something that to this day disturbs me greatly. And just who were Huey, Dewey and Louie? They say they were Donald’s nephews, but I long have held that they were the offspring of Donald and Daisy. Think about it. Did “Unca'” Donald have a brother or sister? Why were they always with Daisy? And just what is the story with Uncle Scrooge? Uncle…yeah, right. Grandpa, maybe. And don’t get me started on Goofy. I know Pluto was a dog, but just what was Goofy? The mystery continues to this day. Uh-hilk.
Since I’ve owned up to liking SpongeBob, I might as well continue this session of “True Confessions.” My brothers and I also were fans of Rocky the Squirrel and Bullwinkle J. Moose. This includes Dudley Do-Right and Sweet Nell, Snidely Whiplash, Tooter Turtle and Mr. Wizard and the perfectly-cast spies Boris and Natasha.
If you think our warped tastes were limited to cartoonery, wait til I get started on how we worshiped “F-Troop”, so much so that my brother named his dog “Corporal Agarn”.
But that’s a sad story for another time.
(Suburban Journals of St. Louis, September, 2008)
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write by ROGER CHINN