Saturday, June 23, 2007

Saturday Morning Cartoons!

Foghorn Leghorn - One of my favorites growing up was The Bugs Bunny-Road Runner Show. It was a Saturday morning cavalcade of classic Warner Brothers cartoons. While not my favorite, I've always had a soft spot for Foghorn Leghorn. The character was based radio comedian Kenny Delmar's character, Senator Beauregard Claghorn. He was a regular on The Fred Allen Show and even made a film centered around the senator. You can get a sample of his southern speechifying in the movie It's A Joke, Son! by clicking HERE.

This is one of my favorite cartoons where Foghorn is pursued by Prissy the chicken looking for a husband. It features a very inventive Rube Goldberg-style trap at the end.

While Foghorn is certainly a great character, I don't think the dog makes a very good nemesis. He's too likable. I don't want to see him get hurt!

ROBOWRITERS ASSIGNMENT - I meant to post this yesterday, but didn't get it in time. Chris Othic filled in for me while I was at Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me! Comes pretty much straight from John Vorhaus' book The Comic Toolbox. John Vorhaus' book is to skecth comedy writing as Viola Spolin's book is to improvisational theater. It's probably the best book out there on sketch comedy writing, even though the references are a little dated and he's a little too fixated on The Golden Girls. Creepy in a finding your mom sexy kind of way.

Create a list of comic characters based on the following categories:

Comic Perspective: A character’s unique way of looking at the world, which differs in a clear and substantial way from “normal world view.

Exaggeration: Takes comic perspective and pushes it way out there to the end of the line.

Flaws: Failings or negative qualities within a person’s attributes or aspects. They create emotional distance between the character and viewer so viewer can safely laugh at them. Whoever that guy is, he’s nothing like me.

Humanity: Qualities of character that build a bridge between character and the audience so the audience will care. The sum of a character’s positive human qualities that inspire either sympathy or empathy or both. I like him, he’s like me.

Choose one of the characters you created and do a ten minute free writing exercise in the voice of the character.

Create a scene based around your character. Use the free writing exercise as a jumping off point if you wish. The scene can be anything you like (clash of context, inappropriate response, fish out of water, etc.) but make your comic character the focus of scene.