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.
For the history of Looney Tunes, check out the post here.
Bros. Animation decided to create a new television division, they began
with Tiny Toon Adventureswhich focused on new, younger
characters inspired by the classic Looney
Tunes. Their next project decided to focus on one of the Looney Tunes themselves, and one that
had only been seen twice in the last two decades.
Taz with his pet turtle, Dog.
Created by Art Vitello and developed by Jean MacCurdy and Tom Ruegger, Taz-Mania starred the Tasmanian Devil (or “Taz”, voiced by Jim
Cummings). This was the first starring vehicle for the character, who had only
been given five theatrical shorts of his own and infrequent guest-appearances
in other productions. Taz-Mania was
set in the fictional land of Tazmania (based on the real Tasmania) where Taz was
portrayed as a young adult living with his family in a 1950’s-esque sitcom
Taz with Jake, Jean, Hugh and Molly.
While Taz maintained a more toned-down version of his typically savage
nature, his family was a lot more refined and evolved. His father, Hugh
(Maurice LaMarche), was a parody of Bing Crosby with the way he
spoke and his affinity for orange juice (of which Crosby was a pitchman) and golf.
He often sped along his long-winded and cliched speeches by saying “blah blah
blah, yackity schmakity”. His mother, Jean (Miriam Flynn), was a happy
homemaker and housewife who loved talking on the phone and often had a long
list of chores for herself. Taz’s 16-year-old sister, Molly (Kellie Martin),
constantly worried about her image, fought with Taz, and was a major fan of the
boy band New Chips Off the Block (a parody of New
Kids on the Block). Jake (Debi Derryberry) was Taz’s playful and
imaginative little brother who often looked up to him. Taz also had a pet
turtle who acted like a dog and was aptly named Dog (Rob Paulsen).
Bushwhacker Bob and his Mum with the Platypus Brothers overhead.
Taz worked as a bellhop at the Hotel Tazmania. His boss, Bushwhacker Bob
(Cummings), was loud, grumpy, rude, selfish and incompetent with a very high
opinion of himself. His Mum (Rosalyn Landor) was the complete opposite of her
son and really ran the hotel behind the scenes. Constance Koala (also Landor)
was an enormous yet graceful koala bear who worked as a maid at the hotel, and
because of her size her penchant for singing and dancing often caused
accidental destruction. Mr. Thickley (Dan Castellaneta) was an
energetic, funny, upbeat and multitalented wallaby who performed various tasks
at the hotel and claimed to be an expert at just about anything he did
(although his incompetence often led to disaster).
Francis X. Bushlad preparing to squash Taz.
The outback was also full of its own
share of colorful characters. Digeri Dingo (Paulsen) pretended to be Taz’s
friend in order to use him for his own ends, although they did share a mutual
love of bottlecap collecting; Wendal T. Wolf (Cummings) was a neurotic
thylacine desperate for any type of friendship and drove Taz crazy in attempts
to gain his; Francis X. Bushlad (named for silent movie star Francis X. Bushman, voiced by
Paulsen) was an aboriginal boy who had to hunt Taz for his rite of passage into
manhood; Bull Gator
(John Astin) and Axl Gator (Paulsen)
were alligators who also sought to capture Taz to place him in a zoo (and net
the hefty reward that came with it); Buddy Boar (Cummings) was a yuppie who
claimed to be Taz’s best friend, although tended to take advantage of him (not
at Dingo’s levels, though); the Platypus brothers, Daniel (LaMarche) and
Timothy (Paulsen), do-it-yourselfers who often cause Taz problems with their
projects and had an obsession with the cartoon The McKimsons (a parody of The Simpsonsand named after Taz’s creator, Robert McKimson); Kee-Wee birds, which
resembled their name, were silent and speedy birds Taz often chased to try and
eat; the Bushrats
were rats in tribal costumes who spoke in a mix of real and gibberish languages
with often mismatched subtitles; and Willie Wombat (LaMarche) was a polite
pacifist who was originally supposed to assume the Bugs Bunny role of
Taz’s foil but often fought against the show’s producers on being typecast as
such. Occasionally, the family would be visited by Hugh’s brother Drew (LaMarche). Drew was a
parody of Bob Hope and his
episodes were often a parody of the Road To…series of
movies in which he and Crosby starred. Cameos were also made by Bugs (Greg Burson), Daffy Duck,
Yosemite Sam (both LaMarche), Sam Sheepdog (Cummings), Foghorn Leghorn
(Burson), Marvin the Martian (Paulsen) and Road Runner.
Taz, Axl and Bull shrunken down.
debuted on FOX as part of the Fox Kids programming block on
September 7, 1991. In what would become Warner Bros. Animation trademark, many
episodes employed running gags, pop culture references and fourth wall breaks.
One such recurring gag was that Taz could actually speak eloquently when he
wanted to. Another was frequent involvement by the network in the production of
the show: Willie’s constantly trying to get his role changed; Taz quitting to
work in food service after suffering too much abuse; and Buddy, who was a very
unpopular character, being written out as having been promoted into a producer
position and eventually directing an episode himself (with disastrous results).
There were also several episodes where characters acknowledged they were on a
show and showed “lost” segments of previously-aired stories.
Several video games based on the
show were made between 1992-94. Although they all shared the same title (some
were given in-game subtitles), they were radically different between the
Brainware developed the Sega Genesis version,
which was a platformer that followed Taz as he journeyed to a fabled land where
giant birds laid eggs that could make a massive omelet (which was also the plot
of several episodes). A sequel was planned but never developed. A similar game
following the same story was developed by NuFX for the Game Gear and Technical
Wave for the Master
System, however they featured very different level designs and gameplay
mechanics. Visual Concepts developed
the Super Nintendo
version, which had the player control Taz as he ran on a continuous road
after Kee-Wee birds while avoiding obstacles. Digeri Dingo would occasionally
appear and offer a helpful item for Taz to ingest. The Game Boy version by David A.
Palmer Productions combined the platforming of the Sega versions with the continuous
running levels of the SNES version as Taz journeyed through Tazmania collecting
diamonds and battling bosses. Both Nintendo
versions were released by Sunsoft.
A sequel, Taz-Mania 2, was developed for the Game Boy by Beam Software and released by THQ. This was another platforming
game where Taz had to rescue his family from Bull and Axl while also collecting
items along the way. Golden
Books also published a coloring book.
“The Dog the Turtle Story” (9/7/91) – Taz rescues a dog-like turtle
and adopts him as a pet.
“Like Father, Like Son / Frights of Passage” (9/14/91) – Hugh takes
out Taz for some bonding. / Francis X. Bushlad hunts Taz to prove his manhood
to his people.
“War & Pieces / Airbourne Airhead” (9/21/91) – Taz’s parents visit
his grandparents, leaving the kids home alone. / The Platypus Brothers help Taz
traverse a peak in order to obtain some giant eggs for an omelet.
“It’s No Picnic / Kee-Wee ala King” (9/28/91) – Bull Gator and Axl
seek to spoil the Devils’ picnic. / Taz and Buddy Boar go out on a disastrous
Kee-Wee hunting trip.
“A Devil of a Job” (10/5/91) – Taz gets a job at a hotel to earn money
for a motorcycle.
“Battling Bushrats / Devil in the Deep Blue Sea” (10/12/91) – Taz has
to protect his mother’s dinner from the Bushrats and ants. / Digeri Dingo
manipulates Taz into helping him retrieve a sunken treasure.
“Woeful Wolf” (10/19/91) – Wendal T. Wolf wants to be Taz’s friend,
but Taz just wants to get away from the annoying pest.
“Devil with the Violet Dress On / Kidnapped Koala” (10/26/91) – Jean
insists on spending time with Taz. / Bull and Axl attempt to capture Constance
“Mishap in the Mist / Toothache Taz” (11/2/91) – An anthropologist
studies the Devil family. / Taz seeks help from the Platypus brothers for his
“Here, Kitty, Kitty, Kitty / Enter the Devil” (11/9/91) – Molly’s new
pet cat is Taz’s worst nightmare. / Mr. Thickly trains Taz in the ways of
“Bewitched Bob” (11/16/91) – A hotel guest has Bushwhacker Bob
“Instant Replay / Taz and the Pterodactyl” (11/23/91) – Bull and Axl
film their attempts at capturing Taz to learn from their mistakes. / Taz meets
a Pterodactyl and is taken on a flight across the country.
“Pup Goes the Wendal / I’m Okay, You’re Taz” (11/30/91) – Wendal tries
to replace Dog as Taz’s pet. / Buddy tries to improve Taz’s personality.
“Comic Madness / Blunders Never Cease” (12/7/91) – Taz’s family feels
he spends too much time with his comic books. / Francis takes tribal potions to
help him capture Taz.
“Amazing Shrinking Taz & Co/” (9/5/92) – The Platypus brothers’
invention shrinks Taz, Bull and Axl.
“Oh, Brother / Taz-Babies” (9/12/92) – A giant gorilla is encouraged
by his little brother to attack Jake. / The network vice president has ideas
for ways to improve Taz-Mania.
“Jake’s Big Date / Taz Live” (9/19/92) – Jake goes on a play-date with
a girl. / Taz and his friends stall for time when the hotel’s comedy act runs
“A Midsummer Night’s Scream / Astro Taz” (9/26/92) – Taz and Bob are
forced to stay in a creepy motel after they get lost. / Taz believes a space
shuttle is an arcade game.
“Tazmanian Lullaby / Deer Taz / A Taz-Manian Movement” (10/3/92) – Francis
uses Taz’s love of accordion music to capture him. / Taz can’t bring himself to
eat an adorable baby deer. / Molly cheats Taz out of concert tickets.
“The Outer Taz-Manian Zone / Here, Kitty, Kitty, Kitty, Part 2”
(10/10/92) – Taz and Molly end up switching bodies. / Molly’s cat returns to
“Taz-Mania’s Funniest Home Videos / Bottle Cap Blues” (10/17/92) – Taz
tries to film his family in order to win a vacation. / Taz and Dingo chase a
Kee-Wee Bird to get the rare bottle cap it has.
“Hypnotazed / Mum’s n’ Taz’s” (10/24/92) – Bull hypnotizes himself
into believing he’s a Tasmanian Devil. / Taz and Mum end up trapped in a mine.
“Boys Just Wanna Have Fun / Unhappy Together” (10/31/92) – Hugh, Taz
and Jake have a guys’ night. / Taz ends up driving a wedge between the Platypus
“Food For Thought / Gone to Pieces” (11/7/92) – Taz braves a
piranha-filled lake to get an egg. / Taz tries to hide that he broke Jean’s
“Kee-Wee Cornered / But is it Taz?” (11/14/92) – Tired of Taz eating
her birds, Molly’s next one is a Kee-Wee Bird. / Taz quits the show over all
the abuse he gets and gets a job at a fast food restaurant.
“Mall Wrecked / A Dingo’s Guide to Magic” (11/21/92) – Their car
breaks down, leaving Taz, Jean and Molly stranded in a mall parking lot. /
Dingo uses magic tricks to get a gold nugget from Taz.
“The Man from M.A.R.S. / Friends for Strife” (11/28/92) – A scary
radio program leads Taz to attack a vacationing Marvin the Martian. / Dingo
recounts all his adventures with Taz.
“Wacky Wombat / Molly’s Folly” (9/4/93) – Willie Wombat is Taz’s foil
in a parody of Taz’s original cartoons. / Taz ends up taking ballet with Molly.
“A Flea for Me / A Young Taz’s Fancy” (9/11/93) – Taz gets a flea. /
Francis disguises himself as a She-Devil to lure Taz into a trap.
“Never Cry Taz / Bully for Bull” (9/18/93) – The Platypus brothers
find the entrance to another world in their attic. / Axl tries to cheer Bull up
about his constant failures.
“Of Bushrats and Hugh” (9/25/93) – Taz and Hugh have to protect their
orange tree from the Bushrats.
“Merit Badgered” (10/2/93) – Taz joins Jake on a camping trip.
“Devil Indemnity” (10/16/93) – Taz is home in a full-body cast and
Jean fills in for him at the hotel, finding it a struggle to deal with Bob’s
“Willie Wombat’s Deja Boo-Boo / To Catch a Taz” (10/23/93) – Willie
tries to get jobs in other cartoons but keeps being typecast as Taz’s foil. /
Police officer Wendal is determined to bust Taz for eating a birthday cake.
“The Thing that Ate the Outback / Because it’s There” (10/30/93) – Taz
creates a blob monster with his chemistry set. / Taz and Dingo decide to climb
“Antenna Dilemma / Autograph Pound” (11/6/93) – Taz goes to watch TV
with the Platypus brothers, but a storm knocks out the cable. / A wrestler
staying at the hotel has Constance all a flutter and Taz in terror.
“Taz and the Emu Egg / Willy Wombat’s Last Stand / K-Taz Commercial”
(11/13/93) – Taz gives chase to a very fast emu egg. / Willie goes to the
network for a better role. / Taz advertises his new music CD.
“Doubting Dingo / Sub Commander Taz” (11/20/93) – Dingo believes Taz
wants to get rid of him. / Taz grows impatient waiting for his mail-order
“Feed a Cold / Sidekick for a Day” (11/27/93) – The Playtpus brothers
try to find a cure for Taz’s violent cold. / Bull hires Taz as his new
“No Time for Christmas” (12/25/93) – Taz travels across the Outback to
bring Christmas gifts to his friends.
“Road to Tazmania” (9/13/94) – Drew, Hugh and Taz go out for some
orange juice that seems to have attracted the attention of some spies.
“Taz-Manian Theatre / The Bushrats Must Be Crazy” (9/14/94) – Taz and
Wendal are trapped on a desert island. / The Bushrats set out to liberate their
idol of worship: Jake’s rubber duck.
“Return of the Road to Taz-Mania Strikes Back” (9/15/94) – Hugh and
Drew golf against some old rivals, and Taz notices that their caddy is yet
“Taz Like Dingo” (9/16/94) – Dingo uses a magic lamp to wish that Taz
would like him no matter what.
“The Pied Piper of Taz-Mania / The Treasure of the Burnt Sienna”
(9/19/94) – The Bushrats infest the hotel. / Bob drags Taz on a treasure hunt.
“Not a Shadow of a Doubt / Nursemaid Taz” (9/20/94) – Taz’s shadow
comes to life. / Dingo fakes an injury in order to get sympathy and food from
“Home Despair / Take All of Me” (9/21/94) – Taz recruits the Platypus
brothers to repair his house, but they only make it worse. / Wendal wants Bull
and Axl to capture him so that he can enjoy living in a zoo.
“Bird-Brained Beast / Ready, Willing, Unable” (9/22/94) – Taz and the
Platypus brothers go after a Kee-Wee. / Mr. Thickly gives advice to Bull and
Axl, not knowing they plan to use it to capture Taz.
“We’ll Always Have Taz-Mania / Moments You’ve Missed” (9/23/94) – With
the TV broken, Hugh and Jean share the story of how they met. / Bull and Axl
exhibit segments missing from previous episodes.
“Sidekicked / Gone with the Windbag” (11/7/94) – Bull heads off to a
hula-hooping contest, leaving Axl alone to capture Taz. / Bob is determined to
get a good review from a visiting critic.
“Driving Mr. Taz / Mean Bear / Taz Museum” (11/8/94) – Taz takes a
driving lesson. / The Bushrats ask Taz to battle a bear. / An ad for the
“Ticket Taker Taz / Taz2” (11/14/94) – Molly wants the concert
tickets Taz won. / The Platypus brothers use their cloning machine on Taz.
“Mutton for Nothing / Dr. Wendal and Mr. Taz” (11/15/94) – Taz fills
in for Ralph Wolf in the sheep meadow. / Accidental exposure to gamma radiation
causes Wendal to transform into a monster whenever Taz upsets him.
“Taz-Mania Confidential / The Platypi Psonic Psensation Psimulator”
(11/21/94) – A film crew is determined to expose and humiliate the Devil
family. / The Platypus brothers probe Taz’s mind for “unused” episode segments.
“The Not-So-Gladiators / One Ring Taz” (11/22/94) – Taz and Jean
compete on Grub Gladiators. / Mr. Thickly
helps Taz develop an act to join the circus.
“Retakes Not Included / Pledge Dredge” (2/6/95) – Buddy doesn’t
understand the concept of retakes to fix the episode’s animation errors. / Mr.
Thickly hosts a telethon to bring funds into the show.
“Bushlad’s Lament / Taz-Mania Comedy Institute” (2/13/95) – An elderly
Francis continues his pursuit of an elderly Taz. / A documentary about 16-ton
“Heartbreak Taz / Just Be ‘Cuz” (2/14/95) – Constance becomes
infatuated with Taz. / Francis takes his little cousin along on a hunt for Taz.
“The Taz Story Primer / Ask Taz” (2/20/95) – Molly is invited to plot
the week’s episode by the network. / Bob exploits the wisdom people seem to
find in Taz’s words.
“It’s a Taz’s Life / Gee Bull!” (2/27/95) – Taz is chosen to have a
retrospective done on his life. / Bull uses extreme methods in order to educate
“Taz in Keeweeland / Stuck for Bucks / A Philosophical Taz Moment”
(5/1/95) – Taz ends up in a world of Kee-Wee birds. / Taz needs money, but his
piggy bank won’t cooperate. / Taz contemplates nature and his constant need for
“The Origin of the Beginnings of the Incredible Taz-Man / Francis
Takes a Stand” (5/2/95) – Mr. Thickly advises Taz on how to become a superhero.
/ Taz and Francis set up competing lemonade stands.
“Yet Another Road to Taz-Mania” (5/8/95) – Hugh and Drew take Taz
bowling, and the spies are after their new bowling ball.
“Bad Luck Bottlecap / A Story with a Moral” (5/15/95) – Dingo tries to
give Taz a cursed bottlecap. / A klutzy Scotsman nurses Taz back to health.
“One Saturday in Taz-Mania / Platypi on Film” (5/22/95) – Jake
constantly interrupts Taz’s lazy day. / The Platypus brothers critique their
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