Remember that one day when you could wake up without an alarm? When you would get your favorite bowl of cereal and sit between the hours of 8 and 12? This is a blog dedicated to the greatest time of our childhood: Saturday mornings. The television programs you watched, the memories attached to them, and maybe introducing you to something you didn't realize existed. Updated every weekend.
Filling the void of
pirate media before Johnny Depp, Bill Kopp developed Mad Jack the Pirate. The series followed the adventures of Mad Jack
(Kopp), a cowardly, clumsy, inept, disgrace of a pirate who was convinced of
his own superiority in everything. He captained The Sea Chicken with his faithful anthropomorphic rat first mate,
Snuk (Billy West). Snuk was only marginally smarter than Jack, and never
hesitated to point out his captain’s shortcomings. The pair always set out in
search of buried treasure or to claim a reward but were often thwarted by
circumstances and their own ineptitude.
Jack, Snuk and The Sea Chicken.
Initially, Mad Jack
was to be named Red Hook until Kopp discovered that a beer company was already using the name and
wanted to avoid any issues. The inspiration for the show came from the British
comedy series Blackadder, which followed
a man bumbling through various periods in history. Kopp set the series on an
alternate flat Earth-like planet where he could be fast and loose with history
and create unpredictable events. That meant the inclusion of anachronistic
things like cars, cameras and movies. While Jack and Snuk were the principal
characters, a variety of other equally bizarre characters made appearances with
frequent vocal contributions by Jess
Harnell, Robert Pike Daniel,
Tom Kenny, Charlie Adler, Cam Clarke, Sandy Fox, Brad
Garrett, Kevin Meaney, Valery Pappas and April Winchell.
Mad Jack...the movie?
Mad Jack the Pirate debuted on FOX’s
Fox Kids programming block
on September 12, 1998. Most of the episodes contained two segments apiece. Fox
Kids was at this point owned by Saban
Entertainment, who had a hand in producing the show with Fox Arts Animation
Studios and Bill Kopp Productions. Kopp served as a producer and voice
director, as well as wrote the majority of the scripts. Other writing was done
by Steve Ochs (who also
contributed some voice work), Huub
Dikstaal (who also directed two segments) and Martin Olson. The show’s outlandish
characters were designed by David Mucci
Fassett (credited as simply Mucci) and was animated overseas by Fil-Cartoons,
Inc.Shuki Levy, Haim Saban (as Kussa Mahchi) and Deddy Tzur composed the music.
Talk about a captive interview.
Jack was paired with fellow Saban property, The Secret Files of the Spy Dogs, during its original run on the
network. However, while Spy Dogs went
on to have a shorter second season, Mad
Jack was ultimately cancelled due to poor ratings and was replaced the following
fall by The New Woody Woodpecker Show. Its
removal marked the last time it was seen in North American markets. The show
has seen home media releases in Eastern Europe by Prooptiki and Turkey by Kanal D Home Video
and has aired on Jetix
Play in Turkey, following Disney’s
2001 acquisition of Saban Entertainment, and Fox Kids in Poland.
“The Terrifying Sea Witch Incident” (9/12/98) – Jack escapes the
island of the Three Witches with fellow prisoner Snuk in order to avoid
marrying the lake monster.
“The Curse of the Blue Karbunkle” (9/19/98) – Jack and Snuk have to go
to the Isle of the Biclops to acquire a sword to defeat a dragon guarding a
“Of Zerzin, Fleebis, Queues and Cures / A Knight to Dismember”
(9/26/98) – Jack tries to stay ahead of Mr. Death and get a cure for his
ailment. / Jack takes a knight on a quest to rescue a princess but ends up
having to rescue the knight himself.
“The Strange Case of Angus Dagnabbit / Lights, Camera – Snuk!”
(10/3/98) – Jack manages to trick Angus out of his Golden Haggis, but Angus’
ghost returns to reclaim it. / After seeing a film, Jack heads to a movie
studio to educate them about real piracy.
“Happy Birthday to Who? / Shipwhacked” (10/24/98) – Snuk takes Jack to
an amusement park only he enjoys for Jack’s birthday. / Snuk causes them to be
shipwrecked and Jack has a hard time coping with it.
“The Horror of Draclia” (10/31/98) – Jack and Snuk attempt to steal
Count Draclia’s golden wand, but Draclia was expecting and gets the drop on
“The Treasure of the Headless, Left-Handed, Peatmoss Salesman / 999
Delights” (11/7/98) – Jack and Snuk end up arrested before their next quest and
placed in the DMMV. / Jack steals a magic wand to go on a quest to find the
“The Alarming Snow Troll Encounter / The Case of the Crabs” (11/14/98)
– Jack and Snuk end up captured by the Snow Trolls after trying to retrieve
their ice cream maker from them. / Jack and Snuk are captured by the
Crustacians while searching for a pink pearl on the seabed.
“Jack the Dragon Slayer / Captain Snuk” (12/12/98) – Jack sets out to
rescue a princess from a dragon for a reward, only to find out the pair have
fallen in love. / When an old enemy comes for Jack, he switches places with
“The Island of Pink and Fuzzy / Uncle Mortimer” (2/6/99) – Jack and
Snuk head to an island of cuteness for a treasure that ends up being cursed. /
To receive his inheritance from his uncle, Jack must take Scabby Doo to the
isle of Hanna Barberians while avoiding his uncle’s ghost.
“The Great Kapow! / The Snuk, the Mad and the Ugly” (2/13/99) – A
starving Jack and Snuk are fed by island natives, not knowing they’re being
fattened as sacrifices. / While in jail their cellmate tells Jack and Snuk
about a treasure in the desert.
“Attack of the Man-Eating, Green Gorillas / The Johnny of the Lamp”
(2/20/99) – Jack finds a treasure shortly before being kidnapped by an old
classmate. / Jack tries to reclaim his magic lamp from a sea monster only to be
eaten by it along with Snuk and Angus.
“Mad Jack and the Beanstalk / The Curse of the Mummy’s Toe” (2/27/99)
– Beans taken by Snuk in a con end up growing a giant beanstalk. / Jack
narrowly escapes a death trap only to be arrested for theft.