Tuesday, April 1, 2014

What Might've Been: The Duck Factory (1984)

The Duck Factory was, I think, the last series MTM Productions sold to NBC in the early 80's. The series bowed 30 years ago this month, and marked the series debut of future box office superstar Jim Carrey, heading up an ensemble cast of veteran and up & coming talent.

Carrey played Skip, an aspiring cartoonist who lands a job at a small Hollywood animation house whose owner has passed away, leaving the studio in the hands of his young wife of 3 weeks (Theresa Ganzel). Real life cartoon legend Don Messick made a rare on-camera appearance, playing voice actor Wally Wooster. The ensemble also included Jack Gilford, Clarence Gilyard, Jr. (later of Matlock & Walker, Texas Ranger), and comedy writer Jay Tarses, in a rare acting gig. Ironically, Tarses' Buffalo Bill, starring Dabney Coleman, was cancelled by NBC to make room for Duck Factory. What are the chances of that ever happening again?

I regret that I never saw the show, so there's no rating. Here's a sample episode:


magicdog said...

I saw the show waaaay back when and it wasn't bad as far as early 80s sitcoms go. It was the first time I can remember a premise being set around an animation studio.

Don Messick was recognizeable no matter where he was or what he said - or which voice he said it in! Even his natural speaking voice is known to generations of HB fans. Must have been a great gig to essentially play himself.

I really didn't notice Jim Carrey here, as I'd often thought it was "In Living Color" in which he got my attention as a future star. I'd completely forgotten he was even in this show!

hobbyfan said...

Leave us not forget an old timer like Jack Gilford, who had been doing ads for Cracker Jack, and the only other time I recall seeing him was in an episode of Get Smart, as a villain. Go figure.