Animated Discussions
by Rudy Panucci and Melanie Larch

Ambiguous Animations

This Saturday a rare television event will occur–NBC will broadcast an episode of the long-running Saturday Night Live which stands a good chance of being really funny and entertaining from beginning to end! How do we know this? This week, Saturday Night Live is a special compilation show that collects 90 minutes of Robert Smigel’s “Saturday TV Funhouse” shorts into one convenient spot. There will be new introductory segments hosted by Ace and Gary, “The Ambiguously Gay Duo,” their first appearance in four years.

Ace and Gary are voiced by Stephen Colbert, and Steve Carell, who were virtual unknowns when they first took the roles. Robert Smigel, the creator and writer of these animated shorts, has gone on to greater notoriety as the voice behind Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog. The shorts range from poignant (the Christmas cartoon, where Jesus returns and is repulsed by everything he sees, until he catches the Peanut’s Christmas special) to silly (The Ex-Presidents), but they’re all worth watching, and short enough that, unlike the typical SNL skit, they get to the punchline before the audience loses interest.

“Saturday Night Live’s TV Funhouse” airs Saturday at 11:30 PM on NBC.

Kids’ WB News

Word on the Saturday Morning cartoon front: This fall, when netlets The WB and UPN merge into The CW, the Saturday Morning cartoon block will be called “Kid’s WB on The CW”. The network is dropping Pokemon and Yu Gi Oh, after years of declining ratings. New shows include new versions of “Tom and Jerry” and “Scooby Doo”, and a cartoon version of DC Comic’s “Legion Of Superheroes“, which oddly enough, will not be in the same style or continuity as their recent appearance on the JLU cartoon.

Our Long National Nightmare Is Over

Thursday night is supposed to be the last night that Adult Swim shows “Saved By The Bell“. We can only hope for two things: First, that the ratings were so low that they take the master tapes of “Bell” and bury them in a landfill; Second, that this was all just a really sick joke on the part of the Adult Swim guys, maybe making fun of the idiocy of Cartoon Network starting to show live-action films. Next week, the midnight Monday-Thursday timeslot on Adult Swim will be filled with The Oblongs, which was a really funny short-lived prime time cartoon a few years ago. The theme song was by They Might Be Giants, and Will Ferrell provided the voice for the limbless dad. It’s well worth checking out.