Sunday, July 7, 2013

From Comics to Toons: Dilbert (1999)

Scott Adams' comic strip, Dilbert, was adapted for television by Adams and Larry Charles, spending parts of 2 seasons in primetime on UPN. It should've lasted longer than it did, but UPN suits just didn't know what to do with the show, which aired on Mondays. Then again, in its short history, UPN never really got off the ground enough to be a major player.

Daniel Stern (ex-The Wonder Years, "Home Alone") lends his voice to the title character, an Everyman working in an office surrounded by a group of off-beat personalities. What office would employ a dog in a position of power, anyway? The running gag with Dogbert (Chris Elliott, ex-Get A Life) is that while he can be useful in time of need, he's also a bit of a subversive. In other words, the antithesis of Brian Griffin (Family Guy), who was treated (and designed) more like a person rather than a dog. Dogbert is a dog who's not even pretending to be human. Such is the wacky world of cartoons, folks. The fact that Dilbert is still rolling along in the newspapers is testimony alone to its popularity. The fictional office may be one of the few that employs a boss who's actually dumber than his hirelings!

Dilbert attracted a fair number of guests, including Jerry Seinfeld and wrestler-turned-actor Stone Cold Steve Austin, although in Austin's case, while he appeared as himself, his animated form was a little more bloated than it was meant to be. The producers of Celebrity Deathmatch actually got it right by comparison.

Anyway, here's the theme, composed by the incomparable Danny Elfman:

Dilbert is back on the air, as IFC has the rights, and aired at least a couple of episodes earlier today.

Rating: B-.

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