Freakazoid

From Academic Kids

Template:Infobox television

Freakazoid! (or Freakazoid) is an animated television show created by Warner Brothers that aired for two seasons in 1995-1997.

Contents

Plot

The show's title character is the superhero alter ego of geeky teenager Dexter Douglas. While Dexter was at his computer one day, his cat "Mr. Chubbikins" walked across the keyboard. Dexter pressed the delete key to erase the resulting nonsense, which activated an obscure but spectacular flaw in the computer's CPU. A wild surge of energy drew Dexter through the computer and into the internet, where he was transformed into a "Freakazoid" with blue skin, great physical strength and endurance. Unfortunately, the sudden and overwhelming flood of information from the internet also left him with a negligible amount of sanity. These changes make him a powerful and fearsome force for upholding freedom and righteousness... unless he decides to go see a bear driving a motorcycle instead. (Freakazoid is, unfortunately, very easily distracted.)

Dexter can change into Freakazoid at will by uttering the words "Freak out!" Likewise, he can revert to his normal state by saying "Freak in!" When not in Freakazoid mode, Dexter looks and acts completely normal; his family is unaware that anything has happened to him. (His parents both seem rather oblivious anyway, although perhaps intentionally so; his brother Duncan is an obtuse bully who continues to terrorize Dexter.)

Enemies

Freakazoid! features a number of campy villains and enemies, including:

  • The Lobe, a supergenius whose entire head appears to be a giant brain (voiced by David Warner)
  • Cave Guy, a thuggish blue caveman with upper-class diction, education and taste
  • Cobra Queen, a former cosmetics expert whose criminal activities involve snakes. In later episodes, Cave Guy and Cobra Queen were a couple.
  • Longhorn, a frustrated country-western singer who has undergone plastic surgery to resemble a minotaur
  • Armando Guitierrez, the man whose company designed the faulty chip responsible for Freakazoid's creation (voiced by Ricardo Montalban)
  • Candle Jack, a supernatural villain who abducts anyone who says his name aloud
  • Waylon Jeepers, a creepy little man that created the Medusa Clock, that has the power to turn people into stone statues. He also created a similar device that turned beavers into gold.

Allies

Aiding Freakazoid in his surrealistic battles are:

  • Cosgrove, a heavyset, gruff cop (voiced by Ed Asner)
  • Roddy MacStew, an ill-tempered Scotsman (voiced by Craig Ferguson) who once worked for Gutierrez
  • Professor Jones, a snooty, cowardly manservant (voiced by Jonathan Harris, essentially recreating his role as Doctor Zachary Smith from Lost In Space; every time Jones appears in a scene, someone asks him if he was "on a show with a robot")
  • Steff, Freakazoid's perky blonde girlfriend
  • Igmar, Freakazoid's mute manservant, in charge of the maintenance of the Freakalair. Was replaced by Professor Jones.

Other characters

A few characters fall somewhere in the space between "enemies" and "allies", particularly dimwitted alien Mo-Ron (whose name was later changed to Bo-Ron) and obese, pimply, doting Fanboy (whose name is self-explanatory), voiced by Stephen Furst.

Mini-segments

Freakazoid! also features several mini-segments, primarily during the first season. Each of these have their own theme songs, title cards and cast, and only rarely "cross over" into the continuity of the main show. These segments include:

  • Lord Bravery, a John Cleese-esque superhero
  • The Huntsman, a good guess at what Robin Hood would be like if portrayed by Charlton Heston; he can never find enough crime to fight and secretly suspects that maybe there are crimes which the police are hiding from him because they don't trust him.
  • The Lawn Gnomes, a group of lawn statuary that come to life at night in a parody of the Gargoyles animated series
  • Toby Danger, a (somewhat) loving parody of Jonny Quest, featuring the voices of Scott Menville, Don Messick and Granville Van Dusen (all of whom provided voices for JQ)
  • Fatman and Boy Blubber, the misadventures of two morbidly obese superheroes

Other notes

The humor of the show relies heavily on slapstick, parody and obscure cultural references. Due to the lack of a proper fourth wall, much of it is self-aware humor - for instance, after the first appearance of the "Freakmobile", the show goes immediately into an impromptu commercial for a toy version; later in the episode, Freakazoid addresses an audience, congratulating the staff on how hard they've worked to make the show toyetic. A typically strange running gag involves a repeated credit for "Weena Mercator as the Hopping Woman", though no such character appears in any episode.

Cameo appearances are a noteworthy feature of the show. At various times, Freakazoid! hosted appearances by characters from other Warner Bros. cartoons such as Pinky and the Brain and Animaniacs as well as portrayals of many celebrities (including producer Steven Spielberg) and guest appearances by such figures as Jack Valenti, Leonard Maltin, Norm Abram, and Mark Hamill as themselves. One original character, Emmitt Nervend, plays no role whatsoever other than enabling a Where's Waldo-esque hunt for his constant cameos (the closing credits informed the audience as to how many times he could be found in that particular episode).

Theme song

Like several other cartoons produced by Warner Bros. around the same time (such as Tiny Toon Adventures and Animaniacs), Freakazoid featured a theme song which simultaneously explained the basic premise of the show and provided a good feel for the show's humor.

Super-teen extraordinaire
Freakazoid! Freakazoid!
Runs around in underwear
Freakazoid! Freakazoid!
Rescues Washington D.C.
Freakazoid! Freakazoid!
Unless something better's on TV
Freakazoid! Freakazoid!
His brain's overloading
It has a chocolate coating
Textbook case for Sigmund Freud
Freakazoid! Freakazoid!
Check out Dexter Douglas
Nerd computer ace
Went surfing on the internet
And was zapped to cyberspace
He turned into the Freakazoid
He's strong and super-quick
He drives the villains crazy
Cause he's a lunatic
His home base is the Freakalair
Freakazoid! Fricassee!
Floyd the Barber cuts his hair
Freakazoid! Chimpanzee!
Rides around in the Freakmobile
Freakazoid! Freak-azoo!
Hopes to make a movie deal
Freak-a me! Freak-a you!
He's here to save the nation
So stay tuned to this station
If not, we'll be unemployed
Freakazoid! Freakazoid!
Freakazoid!

The opening animation had occasional variations from episode to episode; for instance, sometimes the image of Freakazoid in a cage ("Freakazoo") would be replaced with a kazoo labeled "Free!" ("Free kazoo").

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