November 15, 2014

DUMB AND DUMBER: THE SERIES



DUMB AND DUMBER: THE SERIES
(ABC, October 28, 1995-February 3, 1996)

Hanna-Barbera Productions, New Line Television



MAIN CAST:
Bill Fagerbakke – Harry Dunne, various
Matt Frewer – Lloyd Christmas, various


 

            The third of three Jim Carrey films turned into an animated series, Dumber and Dumber: The Series was based on the film Dumber and Dumber.




            When Forrest Gump uttered his famous phrase, he never met these two. The directorial debut of the Farrelly brothers, the film focused on two best friends: Harry Dunne (Jeff Daniels) and Lloyd Christmas (Jim Carrey). They were good natured guys who happened to be incredibly stupid. Lloyd, a limo driver before he was fired, falls in love with his last client, Mary Swanson (Lauren Holly), who leaves a briefcase full of money behind at the airport she’s brought to for her kidnapped husband’s ransom. Lloyd sees it and decided to return the briefcase to her. They began a road trip to Aspen in Harry’s dogmobile from his former dog grooming job with the kidnappers in hot pursuit, bumbling through every situation and keeping just head of the crooks.



Harry, Lloyd and Otto the van.

            The film was released on December 16, 1994. Despite negative reviews, the film was a commercial success and developed a cult following. It launched the careers of the Farrelly brothers and solidified Carrey’s bankability in Hollywood. Looking to cash in on the success, New Line Television partnered with Hanna-Barbera, a sister company also owned by Turner Broadcasting System, to produce an animated series based on the movie.



A beaver named Kitty.

            The show followed the continuing misadventures of Harry (Bill Fagerbakke) and Lloyd (Matt Frewer) as they traveled across the country in their dogmobile (now named “Otto”), taking odd jobs that they can’t seem to keep down and stupidly stumbling through events. In true Hanna-Barbera fashion, the pair was given a new pet: Kitty, a female beaver that was much smarter than her owners. Bennett Yellin, one of the writers on the film, served as a writer for the series, which, naturally, featured comedy that was greatly toned-down for the Saturday morning audience. While Harry and Lloyd had a passing resemblance to their movie counterparts, the designs by C. Miles Thompson and Craig McCracken looked just different enough to avoid likeness rights issues.

 
Series title card from video streaming sources.

            Dumb and Dumber: The Series debuted on ABC on October 28, 1995. It was one of the last non-Disney productions to air on the network before the studio acquired it and jettisoned anything not from their catalog. It would also become Hanna-Barbera’s final network television offering as Turner shifted the studio’s focus into producing content exclusively for their own networks; namely, Cartoon Network. The series was comprised of episodes split into two story segments written by Sib Ventress, Ben Hurst, Michael Ryan, Philip Murphy, Brent Aspland, Steve Bluestein, Billy Kimball, David Reynolds, Len Janson, Ken Koonce, Glenn Leopold, Michael Merton, Chris Parrish, Jason Butler Rote, and John Jacobs, with Patrick Moran serving as story editor. David Feiss designed the intro, with a theme and music composed by Mark Mothersbaugh. Animation duties were handled by Sunwoo Animation.


The DVD cover.


            At 13 episodes, it was the shortest-running series based on Carrey’s films, and the only one to not go beyond a single season. Several episodes saw VHS releases in markets outside of the United States, with the only places to see it within was streaming on the iTunes Store and Amazon Prime Video. In time for the show’s 20th anniversary, Warner Archive released the complete series to DVD.




            In 2003, New Line produced a prequel called Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd. The film had no involvement by either the Farrelly brothers or the original actors. The film was released on June 13th and received generally negative reviews; however its relatively low budget allowed it to become a financial success at the box office. In 2014, after many promises and speculation, the Farrelly brothers, Carrey and Daniels reunited to make the sequel to the original: Dumb and Dumber To. This movie officially ended Carrey’s 20-year no-sequel policy he initiated after finding no acting challenge in making 1995’s Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls.


 


EPISODE GUIDE:
“Otto’s Best Friend” (10/28/95) – An evil car collector steals Harry and Lloyd’s van when they enter it into a car show.

“Dumb Luck / Dumbbells” (11/4/95) – Harry and Lloyd accidentally stop a robbery when they take jobs as security guards. / Harry and Lloyd become personal trainers.

“Top Dumbs” (11/11/95) – Harry and Lloyd are hired as test pilots for a new military plane.

“Dixie Dolts / Neither Rain Nor Sleet Nor Dumbness” (11/18/95) – Looking for buried treasure in a swamp leads Harry and Lloyd to find an escaped convict instead. / Harry and Lloyd chase a robot mailman in order to retrieve the halibut they accidentally mailed.

“Horse Non-Sense / Senseless in Seattle / Mmm, Cheesy” (11/25/95) – Harry and Lloyd become horse caretakers. / Harry and Lloyd attempt to rescue Kitty from the Space Needle. / Harry and Lloyd become pizza delivery men.

“Moves and Breakers / To Bee or Not to Bee” (12/2/95) – Harry and Lloyd must retrieve a stolen art collection. / Harry and Lloyd believe a bee farm-turned-amusement park is the base of the Killer Bee gang.

“Dream a Little Scream / Speed and Speedier” (12/9/95) – The owner of the Gates Motel chases after Kitty. / Harry and Lloyd are trapped on a taco-mobile rigged with a  stink bomb.

“Santa Klutz / Hole in Something” (12/16/95) – Harry takes a job as a store Santa, leading Lloyd to believe he’s the real thing. / Harry, Lloyd and Kitty compete in a miniature golf contest.

“Brain, Brain, Go Away” (1/6/96) – The friendship is tested when Harry accidentally drinks a serum that makes him a genius.

“Home Cookin’” (1/13/96) – Lloyd returns home to prevent his old flame from getting married.

“Bootcampers / Overbite in Paradise” (1/20/96) – Harry and Lloyd join the army thinking they’re going to a summer camp to make boots. / Kitty is believed to be a god by natives on a deserted island.

“Chipped Dip / Laundryland Lunacy” (1/27/96) – Harry and Lloyd recall when Lloyd chipped his tooth. / Harry and Lloyd mistake a Laundromat for an amusement park.

“Harry Canary / Alienated” (2/3/96) – Harry reminisces about his family line in preparation for a contest. / Harry and Lloyd are abducted by aliens.


Originally posted in 2014. Updated in 2020.

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