Monday, July 11, 2011

Larry & Steve

I've been thinking of Cartoon Network's World Premiere Toons (WPT) lately. Looking through them now, it was a mixed bag. Some good, some okay, and some that was just terrible.

Of course, the program led to CN picking up shows that gained popularity. This is how we got Dexter's Laboratory, Cow and Chicken, Johnny Bravo, The Powerpuff Girls, Courage the Cowardly Dog, and others.

Believe it or not, it was through WPT that we got a version of FOX's Family Guy. Before becoming the king of FOX's prime-time cartoon line-up Seth MacFarlane was a writer at Hanna-Barbera. He worked on all three of the original Cartoon Cartoons lineup (mostly on Johnny Bravo, but he was on Dexter and Cow & Chicken as well). He also did a WPT short called Larry and Steve.

While family-friendly compared to the raunchy, fratboy Family Guy, the short exhibits some of MacFarlane's trademarks. The gags are fast-paced, some of which makes no sense (Nicky the Xenophobic Scottsman), and pop-culture references ("Luke this is your landlord, you still haven't returned my weed whacker."). Not to mention, the two main characters pretty much evolved into Peter and Brian. However, unlike much of the TV show, the short has some level of legitimate storytelling, and while the character designs aren't anything special, it's more appealing than the bland style seen in MacFarlane's more popular TV shows.

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