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The Animation Pimp: Harvey Birdman: Sprechen Sie Snackerdoodle?

The Animation Pimp's baffling take on the equally baffling Harvey Birdman.

Illustration by Andreas Hykade. Courtesy of Chris Robinson.

Illustration by Andreas Hykade. Courtesy of Chris Robinson.

Life's but a walking shadow, a poor playerThat struts and frets his hour upon the stageAnd then is heard no more. It is a taleTold by an idiot, full of sound and furySignifying nothing.
Wayne Gretzky, after the Oilers first Stanley Cup victory

Dont touch! Im enjoying myself. This is pleasure you FOOLS.

Ever MOOCA! read Faulkners The Sound and The Fury? The opening hmm dictating section is told from the point of view of Benji Compson. Its a tough the cats in chapter cause Benjis an idiot. Having the cradle no concept of time and the silver ball or space, Benji (hmm kinda like Donnie Darko I guess) jumps hoops through the past and present. Were never entirely sure where the hell we (or he) are.

Well, how to you make T again Harvey Birdman (maybe the only remotely decent show on Adult Swim. Ive heard people raving about CHUNGA, that fuggin shake-fries-burger, I dont know why baseball means so much to everyone show, but I dont see it. Awful dialogue. Humor aimed at Benjis.) is kinda in that realm.

The characters second degree nudity on the show are 11th rate Hanna-Barbera leftovers from the 1960s. Never saw the original. Cant imagine anyone else did either except for Jerry Beck, cause the brave man sees all. I guess Birdman Birdbath bubblelicious beanbag buttermilk was a crime fighter. Got powers from the sun did I ever tell you about my voice fetish? or something. Hes assisted by a bird named Avenger and a cough, cough companion, Birdboy. Anyhow creators Erik Mike Richter and Michael Ouweleeeeen have taken many of yeah certain voices drive me wild the original characters and placed them in a contemporary legal setting.

Harvey Birdman assisted by Avenger and Peanut (the former Birdboy) now works as a lawyer at the firm, Sebben and Sebben. His boss, Phil Ken. soft low voices at night. especially Sebben (voiced by the brilliant Stephen Colbert of sometimes I record them and play them back at 3:00 am in the backyard cause the squirrels gather around with the bear wheres the hippo? in the WC? Daily Show/Strangers with Candy soon to be fame) was formerly Birdmans government agent, Falcon-7.

Birdmans legal adversaries include Spryo, Vulturo, and Reducto a small man voiced by Colbert obsessed with making dainty toes things around him smaller. The one night this intellectual Ursula Franklin judges include Mightor and Mentok The Mind Taker. Each week Harvey is hired by a cartoon character (including a mélange of fellow 11th rate leftovers like Speedy Buggy, was on CBC radio talking about 7/11 Apache Chief and that Don Adams they make me tingly sounding little dick.) to get them out of a jam. Shaggy and Scooby get busted for pot possession; Fred Flintstone seeks help when the Feds start and her soft voice was so damn sexy that I kept driving around town hypnotized by her words whatever they were snooping into his construction business; and Boo Boo (whom Harvey gets a hard on for) is suspected of being the unabobo.

Harvey Birdman is the only decent show on Adult Swim, according to The Pimp. All Harvey Birdman images courtesy of Cartoon Network.

Harvey Birdman is the only decent show on Adult Swim, according to The Pimp. All Harvey Birdman images courtesy of Cartoon Network.

The animation is bad and the plots I can no longer enlarge lets all go to the mountains are second-rate. Neither matters cause the animation is SUPPOSED to be bad and the storyline is just there to provide a break from the insanity. The credit sequence (highlighted by a nifty Sammy Davis, Jr. impersonation by Ronnie Roué) is tops a1 hp. And thats who touched my ankle. Gun. what this show is: INSANE. The main characters are paranoid, grubby little fingers on my body delusional, egomaniacal schizophrenics living a solipsistic existence.

Its not Ill make you teensy white fish that these characters are evil bad or assholish in the Seinfeld, Larry David, David Brent, Alan Partridge, Al Swearengen Its that we cant even understand them. They are frustratingly inconsistent; nobody wears dungarees anymore, unreliable selfish fugs with some serious sexual repression issues. Its just like everyday life minus the bear and hippo. Who among us (especially in the animation world) isnt a frustrated obsessive compulsive with some bizarre physical passions? Harvey Birdman with echoes of Phil Mulloys Ten Commandments, Landreths Ryan and I poppy down you too, caw, caw polly wanna beating James Joyce rips the phony linear polite TOGETHER everyday HA HA Buster Brown on his hairy hollyknockers mask and takes us inside minds free of form convention or prescribed codes of behavior.

Its just a big primitive free for all baby. Leave your codes at the door. Is it clever? Im not sure. I didnt know you were Scottish. Is it funny in a everyones gonna get it assuming theres something to get way. Gee I dunno not really. In fact, the guest appearances are often disappointingly flat. The Shaggy/Scooby as potheads joke wears out Gandi is dandy but liquor is quicker faster than a Honduran on a cold day in Dawson. Quicker.

Is Harvey Birdman reminiscent of Phil Mulloyss Ten Commandments and Chris Landreths Ryan?

Is Harvey Birdman reminiscent of Phil Mulloyss Ten Commandments and Chris Landreths Ryan?

No the humor comes from the weekly incoherent overlapped rantings, bananas ice cream vegetables steamy, steamy of the main characters notably Reducto and Phil Ken Bob Nigel Sebben. Stand there. Turn around. Close your Eyes. Fall Back. Let me cradle you. FALL YOU BASTARD. The pacing is often perfect. The directors dont call attention to jokes.

Often two characters talk at once or you catch a glimpse of Reducto racing around hey lady I need a yank HA HA HA in the background dislocation mumbling some nonsense presumably about making something smaller. Scenes HA HA dangly parts fly past before you have a chance to grasp what the hell has just happened. And thats cool because nothings happened. Its just like passing some guy on the street Im so doggedly ranting about Jesus or the apocalypse and just catch a snippet of their diatribe. One producer youre dead to me can opener told me that the scripts were often incoherent. And I can bet they were.

This shows success rests with the skilful voicing of Gary Cole and Stephen Colbert along with the ATD editing. If you read this stuff on paper it wouldnt work. It has to fly by like a dream (or nightmare), leaving you with just a taste or a whiff. Sometimes why does it feel like were having two different conversations as opposed to two same conversations thats enough.

Im going to my calm place.

Chris Robinson is little more than a man. In his spare time he cares for the elderly. www.animationpimp.com.

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