Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Saturtainment: Kwicky Koala (1981)

Kwicky Koala marked the end of an era in cartoons when the series launched on CBS in 1981.

You see, Kwicky was the last creation of animator Fred "Tex" Avery, who'd signed with Hanna-Barbera some months earlier, and had also developed the Dino & Cavemouse shorts for the Flintstone Comedy Show (2nd series) in 1980. However, Avery passed away while the latter series was in production, and didn't get to see his last effort make it to television.

Kwicky (Bob Ogle) was supposedly from Australia, but 1) didn't have an Australian accent, and 2) had super speed, which was illustrated when he would abruptly disappear. To the uninitiated, it would seem as if he was teleporting. As it was, Kwicky was making things difficult for Wilford Wolf (John Stephenson). Somehow,  you get the feeling that Avery had hoped H-B would acquire Droopy, who was over at Filmation at the time, but that wouldn't happen for another decade. To make up for it, Avery dreamed up Kwicky, figuring a hyper-fast koala bear would suffice as a substitute. All that was needed was to alter a few old Droopy gags.

There were three rotating backup features. Dirty Dog was looking for a free meal, and never getting it. Crazy Claws, with a voice inspired by Groucho Marx, was always one step ahead of his pursuer. The Bungle Brothers, a pair of dogs, never seemed to get on the right track.

Unfortunately, none of the shorts are available in English, or at all. We'll settle for the open:

Since the series ended, Kwicky hasn't been seen in reruns. The show wasn't as bad as you'd think, but some people at WB don't seem to believe there's an audience for a DVD release.

Rating: B.


Goldstar said...

Unless I'm mistaken, there was a brief period when "The Kwicky Koala Show" aired (in reruns, of course) on Cartoon Network. CN aired it at an insanely early time of the morning.

For a little while, "Kwicky Koala" was a recurring joke on CN's commercial spots. There was one spot in which all of CN's "big" stars decided to take the day off, and the only left to show on CN that day was "The Kwicky Koala Show". Then cut to a kid watching it at home who groans and puts a pillow over his head.

hobbyfan said...

Not sure when, but I hadn't seen Kwicky since it left CBS. I don't remember the commercials, either, so it must've been before CN was added to my cable system.

rnigma said...

It sounded as if Stephenson was trying to mimic Paul Lynde in voicing Wilfrid.

hobbyfan said...

He was. He also used his Lynde-inspired voice to take over as Mildew on Laff-a-Lympics a few years earlier.