Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Looney Tunes four is out and I think I have a couple of commentaries on it. I commented on two interesting cartoons, Tashlin's "Stupid Cupid" and Jones' "Aristocat." I'm afraid I did a horrible job this time and I thought you might be interested to hear why.

Over the years I developed a superstition about public speaking which can be summarized as "Whatever you do, don't think about what you're going to say on the day you're going to speak." You can prepare all you want the previous day but on the day of the speech you have to completely put it out of your mind till the time comes to deliver it. Ignore this and on stage you'll end up babbling like a fool, unable to put two words together. Well, I ignored it and that's exactly what happened.

I've often wondered why the mind works this way. Jackie Gleason had the same superstition that I have. He didn't believe in rehearsal because he didn't want to waste his first and best performance in a situation where only the stage crew could see it. People say that that Red Skelton's TV show was brilliant in rehearsal but lackluster on the stage for the same reason. I should have paid more attention to these guys.


toonamir said...

Havn't heard these yet Eddie, but I love your previous ones. It’s like your right there with us listeners! A lot of commetors lecture dryly, but yours enable us to see those cartoons from your own eyes, and your love to them is very appearant. Infectious, too!

btw, Are commentaries a one shot? Or do you get to do revisions?

I'll bet you can dig up some Gleason
info. Go to the expert- ask Steve!

Shawn said...

Well I enjoyed your commentaries.

I just wish they would have put more than just 2 Bob Clampett cartoons on this set.

Anonymous said...

When I was a young idiot in a band... as opposed to the old idiot I am now, teaching English... I always felt like the first or second take of any vocals I recorded would be the best.

After that, I'd be overthinking things and getting too formalistic or less sincere.

Although I do wish we'd actually practiced a few times before we did live shows. We got labeled "an out-of-tune abstraction."

But yeah, I think spontenaety is undervalued. The energy of the moment is what's called for.

Although I have a feeling you're being too hard on yourself here.

Anonymous said...

I am sure you're judging yourself too harshly...the only way I can conceive of your botching it would be a stilted reading off a page you didn't write(which isn't the case); in no way could you extemporize and sound bad. I too wonder if you don't get a chance to rerecord these things?

Jennifer said...

Uncle Eddie I find that very hard to believe. I agree with Jenny - I think you may judging yourself too harshly (that's okay - I'm my own harshest critic, too).

I'll be able to hear your commentaries after the holidays - I'm getting the Looney Tunes DVDs for my brother for Christmas (he's a huge fan of the earlier Bugs Bunny cartoons, and he often complains about how a particular network {once owned by a flamboyant Atlantian who was once married to a politically active movie star} "butchered" these cartoons). I have a feeling that your commentaries will be very good.... :D

Ken M said...

Hmm? Well, I actuallly quite enjoyed the "Stupid Cupid" commentary. The closest you came to going off the tracks was the discussion of the hierarchy of vaudeville slapstick, but that was entertaining in and of itself, which is why I buy cartoon DVDs.

You also ended it perfectly (or an editor ended it perfectly for you) with an abrupt comment that paralleled and commented on the abrubt-gag ending that was characteristic to Tashlin circa 1944.

I'm still absorbing the Tashlin disc, so I haven't heard the other commentary. I find myself watching "Plane Daffy" over and over again rather than switching to one of the other discs.

Spizzerinktum said...

It's the same with drawing! The more I labor on a sketch, getting it "just right" before I ink it, the worse it gets, until it shrivels up and imitates a lox. And inking--which is essentially tracing, if you've chained yourself to the final--only ends up being a chore instead of a vital component of the whole. Inking is supposed to be fun!

Here's another way I choke the life out of my comics or stories or whatever I'm planning: I tell someone about them beforehand. Kiss of death. Here is why:

I figured out that telling people your story--let's call it a story; they're all stories, really-- before you write it prematurely releases the story from the Creative Tension Chamber where all wonderful things are born.

Instead of allowing the tension to build such that the story, now unstoppable in its quest for expression, kicks out the hatch of the Creative Tension Chamber and locates a suitable medium (sheet of paper, microphone, brick wall, etc.) upon which to burst forth, the mere act of sharing even the skeleton of a story causes the hatch to open, rendering the Chamber flaccid. Without Creative Tension, the idea is no more.

Can't wait for your commentary for Volume 4. Next time you sit down with those half-wits, demand to know why so stingy with the Clampetts!

Anonymous said...

Spizzerinktum, you've got something there. But it doesn't work for everyone, just certain people who for the most part don't know who they are. This is why sales are always good for anything meant to control rectal itch.

Jorge Garrido said...

Eddie, I found the same thing is true with this painting I'm doing for art class. I fiddled with it too much and now it's ruined!

I can't wait to get the Looney Tunes DVD, I'll probably pick it up when I have some money. Based on what I heard on set 3, you're the best commentator on there, so it shouldn't be THAT bad.

Max Ward said...

I would pick it up just to hear your commentaries, ecspecially for the aristo-cat. I love that cartoon.

Anonymous said...

Eddie is always the best commentator on those things, which gets Mike Barrier really chafed.

Spizzerinktum said...

8:27 AM
Anonymous said...
Spizzerinktum, you've got something there. But it doesn't work for everyone, just certain people who for the most part don't know who they are. This is why sales are always good for anything meant to control rectal itch.

...Mom? I told you never to write me here!

Anonymous said...

If this blog's gonna turn into a running description of Mike Barrier's rectal itch, it needs a whole website.

Thad K said...

Eddie, I thought your commentary was enjoyable on both cartoons. Outside of the Tashlin disc, though, there aren't an awful lot of excellent cartoons.


Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Thad: Thanks! I'll write more about this later!

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Jennifer: Thanks!

Spizz: LOL!

Jenny, Toonamir: Thanks for the kind words. I'm embarrassed to say that it didn't occur to me to ask to record on another day.

J. J. Hunsecker said...

I just heard your commentary on the Tashlin cartoon the other day, Eddie. It sounded good to me. What exactly didn't you like about it? What would you have done differently?