Monday, July 28, 2014

5 Cartoon Characters You Didn't Know Were Parodies

Many iconic cartoon characters have came to be due to other people.

Okay, that makes no sense. What I mean is that lots of characters are actually parodies of other people, fictional or otherwise. Some are obvious (Professor Frink=Jerry Lewis), but, not so much. Let's count down the five best un-obvious spoof characters!

5) Kenny McCormmick (South Park)

This one is the lowest spot on the list, due to the fact that some may argue he's not a parody. I'll let you decide, though: Trey Parker (co-creator of South Park) had a friend at school named Kenny who was poor, much like his often-dead cartoon namesake. He would also cut classes a lot, which started this rumor between classmates...
Classmate 1: Hey, where's Kenny today?
Classmate 2: They killed Kenny.
Classmate 1: Okey-dokey.
Now, the reaction to their friend's supposed death probably wasn't as casual as I wrote above. Maybe it was followed by, "You @#!$%*&s", as Kyle Broflofski does whenever the running joke this inspired happens in South Park.
Might I note that when Kenny died in almost every episode,everyone wanted him to catch a break, and now that he has for the entirety of season 17, everyone wants the kid dead again. Jerks.
I consider that a parody. You might consider it a "tribute", or a "needlessly cruel mocking", but too bad. It's on this list.
4) Fred Flintstone (The Flintstones)
Fred's still kinda low on this list, as most of you reading know that he's a parody of Ralph Kramden from The Honeymooners.
Still, it may surprise you that this will be news to a lot of people who read this.
Anyways, I won't go too much into this, because the similarities are pretty obvious.
Though I don't recall Fred ever threatening to punch his wife in the face "one of these days".
3) Charles Montgomery Burns (The Simpsons)

On The Simpsons, parody characters aren't unusual (Rainer Wolfcastle is Arnold Schwarzenegger, Itchy and Scratchy are Herman and Katnip, Professor Frink is the Nutty Professor, Chief Wiggum's voice, but not the actual character, is a spoof of Edward G. Robinson, etc.)
Mr Burns here is sort of a strange parody, because he's 90% his own original character. So then why's he on this list? Because I'm stupid. 
Also, because he's also a parody of a bunch of different people.
Though Mr Burns is definitely an original toon, this "exxxxcellent" tycoon was derived from spoofs of: Fredrik Olsen, John D. Rockefeller, David Rockefeller, Henry Potter (no, not Harry, Henry), the founder of FOX Barry Diller (no, The Simpsons won't ever give FOX a break, hopefully), and "every boss you've ever had", according to one of the show's producers (I think it was either James L. Brooks or Sam Simon, but I forget).
2) Inspector Gadget (Anderson Cooper 360. Just kidding, Inspector Gadget)
The initial idea for Inspector gadget was, "What if we combined Inspector Clouseau and the Six-Million Dollar Man?" (And please don't try picturing that.) What they got was Gadget, the man with the longest face in the world.
When you think about it, it's actually pretty obvious! I mean, the clumsiness with all of the machinery.
Wait, is that arm coming out of his.....head? Ouch.
And now, ladies and gentlemen and otherwise, the winner is......
1) Wil E. Coyote and The Roadrunner (Looney Tunes)
Wait, WHAT?!
Yes, it's true, two of the most monumental cartoon characters of all time were spoofs. Of what, you ask?
Tom and Jerry.
Well, mostly Tom and Jerry, but the cat-and-mouse cartoon style in general. They were just supposed to be a Tom and Jerry cartoon taken to the extremes and were meant as just a one-off parody.

That's all for today! I'll try to have another list and some more Jokemon (see previous post) up soon!