Looney Tunes on Nickelodeon
Like my article on the Rudy & Gogo Show, this also counts as a show rather than an advertisement. But when will there ever be a DVD or Blu-ray release on this when you’re able to watch most of the Looney Tune shorts on DVD and Blu-ray. So I made up my mind to do an article on it, cause it had plenty of promos and it’s something that you won’t find on todays Nickelodeon. Anyways with that said if you were a 90s kid like me, and remembered everything that aired on Nick during that decade, then you’d most likely remember this one. While being categorized as a show, it’s one of the handful of Nick shows that is compiled of short films to fill up a half hour slot on the channel. That’s right there was a point in time when Nick had the rights to air certain Looney Tune shorts on their network. The same goes with the UPA cartoons, the makers of Mr. Magoo. For those who don’t remember this, be prepared for a long lecture on this show. For those who remember it be prepared to feel nostalgic.
This show first aired on Nick back in 1988, back then Nickelodeon was a completely different channel back then. They didn’t have their own brand of shows so the majority of what they aired was nothing but cartoons made from different companies as well as Canadian & UK cartoons. It was only two years before they established their own animation studio to produce and over see their own cartoons. But until then, they only had these cartoons for now and despite that they don’t bear the Nick logo a lot of them were really memorable for their time. If memory serves me correctly, I think this channel was how I was exposed to Looney Tunes in the first place. Or it could have been the old VHS tapes I watched multiple times until I was able to reenact them by heart, or one of the other channels that aired Looney Tunes at the time. This may sound crazy but back then there were multiple channels that aired Looney Tune shorts. The only channels I recalled watching Looney Tunes other than Nick was ABC, TBS, TNT, WB & Cartoon Network. Each network either had privileges to certain categories of the Looney Tune category or had access to all of the short films except for the ones you can’t air on TV including the Censored 11 & any of the short films that depicted racism or alcohol. Luckily some of them were able to air some of the good ones intact as oppose to how ABC heavily cut up the really good shorts cause they were sensitive on the use of violence.
Let’s talk about the openings for the compiled show. These openings are how we know it’s for Nickelodeon cause it has Nick written all over it. Only two were made from my knowledge, the first one was made up to some point in the mid 90s while the other one was used for the rest of the decade. It’s basically a remix version of the Merry Go Round Broke Down theme that is played in almost all of the Looney Tune short films. The theme that will make people say “That’s Looney Tunes!” whenever they hear it. While the majority of it is clips of various Looney Tune shorts with the Nick logo placed in the background. The one thing I like to point out is that this intro was played back when this show aired Bosko short films. Who’s Bosko you might ask? Well no one special other than the first Looney Tunes character who predates Bugs, Daffy, & Porky all together and only appeared in a total of 39 short films excluding the MGM own short films that are more politically incorrect than Warner Bros’s Bosko. Which was one of the reasons why Bosko was banished from TV in the first place. Course Hugh Harman and Rudolf Ising, both categoried him as an “Ink kid” and not a black kid upon his creation. But that statement wasn’t good enough, not when Bosko did some skits that are straight from a minstrel, and it’s not wise to air a cartoon with any association with minstrel for all of the kids to see. Bosko’s films weren’t anywhere near being categorized in the Censored 11, cause those cartoons are more obscured in comparison when it comes to stereotypes. How ironic that Warner Bros’ first cartoon character is a forgotten one and is in the dark while Bugs Bunny holds the glory. Imagine if Mickey Mouse was forgotten and got replaced with a different character. Then again Mickey was no stereotype to begin with.
So some point in the mid 90’s Bosko ceased to show up on Looney Tunes on Nick, I was probably the only kid at school who actually knew who Bosko was. Then again I was also the only kid who knew who Buddy was, who was refer to as the white version of Bosko but despite how he’s less of a stereotype for a cartoon character, Buddy never out lived his Looney Tune successors and was placed in the forgotten bin for being too bland. Even his cartoons cease to air on Nick either cause he was bland or cause his short films were never colorized. The majority of Looney Tunes that were in black in white were colorized on certain channels. It’s interesting to see what color my favorite black and white characters are, but I usually prefer the B&W mode cause that’s how they were originally intended back in the day before color was cheaper to use in cartoon films. Anyways I talked about two forgotten Looney Tune characters, now let’s talk about the second and last intro and the issue of censorship on these beloved classics.
The second intro is the one most people would know about cause it’s the last version of the show to be used. For this one it’s a different remix on the Merry Go Round Broke Down theme and different clips of various short films. That includes Bugs having a seizure, Daffy scolding Elmer for not knowing what a Rabbit looks like, Foghorn play an accordion with Bawnyard Dawg’s head inside it, Road Runner scaring Wile E. which sends him into the air, Daffy shouting “Juronimo!” and an explosion where we see Bugs falling in the sky with ship debris. And yes folks, no Bosko in sight for this intro. As evidence that Nick wanted to erase his existence from this show to begin with. It wouldn’t be another decade until people are able to see certain Bosko shorts on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection. I have my fingers cross he’ll appear in the Platinum Blu-ray Volume 3 collection. Anyways for this article I like to discuss the issue with censorship on Looney Tunes. At an early point in my life I actually seen several of these Looney Tunes short uncut on TV. I’m dead serious, cause I know what ones I’ve seen on video and what ones I have seen on TV. I’m guessing the whole censorship thing didn’t come to effect until the mid 90s cause a majority of the ones I seen uncensored can’t be aired on TV period either due to the usage of drugs, racism, or violence. If you haven’t notice most of my screenshots on this article are either depictions of violence or a stereotype. That is because I like to show all of you photographic evidence that these edits that have occurred are real and the uncut versions of these shorts are nothing like the ones on TV. I know prejudice is a bad thing for our culture, but I like to make it clear that I love these cartoon shorts for the way they are and the original directors of the shorts worked hard in making them possible. And the fact that half of them are effected by censorship is a real crying shame. Specially with the decades worth of hate crimes, suicides and mass shootings in America have prevented them from ever airing on TV uncut. If you take your mind off of those issues, these cartoons are really worth watching. See them all in their entirety if possible, cause do what I do and say no to censored cartoons.
By 1999, Nick abolished their own Looney Tunes show and since then they never aired any Looney Tunes on their network again. By that time, all of the shows on Nick were produced and supervised by Nickelodeon themselves. It was a sign of the times cause practically all of the channels abolished Looney Tunes from their own air waves. All except for Cartoon Network which is the only American channel to air Looney Tunes today. The shorts are aired with that new Looney Tunes Show which is a TV episode series with all of the recognizable characters drawn in a more smooth designs. I only seen clips of it, and it’s OK from what I’ve seen of it. My main complaint is that all of the stuff the made the originals classic are absent from the series. While kids who watch it will be surprised how the original short films are actually censored for TV. The only way you can ever see uncensored Looney Tunes is by DVD or Blu-ray. But make sure it’s a set that has the uncut versions as oppose to the censored sets that try to fool you into thinking it’s the uncut set. That’s all there is to say about this show, it’s a compiled show so there’s not that much new material to go by other than shorts that were created 50-40 years prior. Enjoy the intros and promos below and for the rest of September will be nothing but Atari console articles.