Why was it such a misfit?

It's A Wonderful Tiny Toons Christmas Special got a lot of promotion for what it was on the surface--a Christmas episode of a program that usually ran during the children's hour. Of course, Tiny Toons wasn't your average children's program. The Toonsters even landed that year's Christmas TV Guide cover, which I wish I had right now so I could display it here.

This rip of It's A Wonderful Life runs a lot closer to the target parody than It's A Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie does. The opener is exactly the same as in the classic film: various characters are overheard from their houses, praying for Buster. Except for Plucky.

"Who cares if Buster's gone? Not me!" *looks around with shifty eyes*
*closes curtain once he's sure no one is around*
"OH PLEEEEASE TAKE CARE OF HIM, I BEG YOU!! Otherwise Tiny Toons will be cancelled and I'll have to work on some...CHIPMUNK show! BWAH-HAH-HAAAA..."

I ended up taking twice as many screenshots of this special as I normally do. I couldn't resist capturing as many hilarious StarToons poses as possible.

From Plucky's house we pan up to the stars and a Van Gogh painting, where a booming voice tells a Jimmy Stewart impersonation that Buster Bunny needs help.

"That's Buster Bunny."
"Nice neck."
"This is a flashback to earlier today; Christmas Eve."

Buster and Babs sing an opening song while whooshing down a mountain on a sled; as they sing they run into the Norelco Santa, Sam the Burl Ives Snowman, and the Grinch. Buster sounds like he has a bad cold; John Kassir has just replaced Charlie Adler as his voice actor.

"Welcome to the Tiny Toons holiday prime-time special! With celebrity guest stars galore!"

The scene pulls back to reveal that entire mountain somehow fit on a stage, and they're actually in rehearsals for this special at the moment (a little late, don't you think?)

It becomes obvious who's going to be the Mr. Potter of this fable when Montana Max rolls in on a wheelchair.

"I was skiing in Aspen with Morgan Fairchild, and I had a little accident. Hey, who are THESE losers?"
"These are the network executives who are allowing us to do this prime-time special!"

Tiny Toons fans recognize them better as Edward and Fran from Thirteensomething, my personal favorite Tiny Toon episode.

"So, let's get this over with! Where's my scene!"
"Actually, Max, you weren't here when we were assigning parts, so.....we had to cut you out."

"WHAAAAT???..........." Max notices the executives and changes his tone.
"Oh....don't feel bad! My faux pas! You go on ahead with the special...don't mind me!"

He wheels backstage and snickers, "Don't mind me...RUINING it! Heh!"

Buster: "And NOW, presenting...."
Plucky collapses under the weight of the antlers he's strapped on.

Buster: "Didn't you get the notes, Plucky? That was the OLD script! The new script is yellow, remember? Now it's Urkel the Red-Nosed Rein-Dude! Your part is later!"
Plucky: "Wonderful."


Bob Hope: "Hey, I'm the ghost of Christmas Past, inn'at waaaa-ld?"

Max rolls UP a ladder (just accept it, okay?) and sprinkles pepper down on Sneezer from above. Sneezer does what he does best and brings the whole set crashing down.

Sneezer: "God bless me, everyone!"

"TA-DA! Plucky, the lonely fruitcake nobody wanted for Christmas!"
"Plucky, we're using the PINK pages now. Now it's URKEL the lonely fruitcake!"

"Lovely, now the pages are pink. What's next, the color purple?"
Plucky walks past Luke Perry, because this is 1992, and smacks him.

Of course, they don't mention Luke by name, just that he "stars in a show about zip codes." All the celebrity appearances on this special were impersonated and unauthorized, hence weaselly legal maneuvers such as the following:

"Places for the Share and Share Alike sketch!"

Spoken aloud, it sounds like "Cher and Cher-Alike." Veeeery crafty, Sherri Stoner.

Buster: "Nice outfit."
Cher: "Oh, this old thing? I only wear it when I don't care how I look!"
Then Buster whispers something to "Share," making Babs visibly worried.

Max: "Look at Buster flirt with her! How can you stand it?"
Babs: "I don't mind....much...."
Max: "Admit it, Babs! You're jealous!"
Babs: "I AM.....NOT.......

(to camera) ...but can you blame me if I am?"

"They say we share and share alike, that means I borrow whatever Babs will lend!"
"I share with you, you share with me, but that doesn't mean I LOAN YOU MY BOYFRIEND!!"
Babs deliberately botches several skating moves to thrash Cher all over the ice, which is what Max was hoping would happen. But it isn't enough for him....
"Ha-ha-ha! Check these out: piranhas!"

"WAAAAAAUGH!" *splash* *gnawing sounds*
"Geeee, your new girlfriend fell through the ice!"
"Augh! Cut, cut, cut!"

"Hey! I love this! Eat your heart out, Bob Mackie!"

"Well?? Is it my turn now, or what? What are the pages now? Chartreuse? Plaid?"
"'re on, Little Drummer Duck!"

"I'm on?? I'M ON??? YES YES YES!! LOOK OUT WORLD!!!"

Someone who is listed in the credits as "Parum-Pum Man" yet is obviously supposed to be William Shatner: "Come. They.....told the king., parum. Pa-pum. Pum."


Plucky: "This show is a disaster, and it's all your fault!"
Cher: "I gave up 'It's A Cosby Family Christmas' to do this!"

As everyone rags on Buster, Max commits the final portion of his plan: bribing the executives.
"MONTANA MAX is now the official producer of the TINY TOONS PRIME-TIME CHRISTMAS SPECIAL!!"

Buster sadly walks out of the theater. "I'm sorry I let you down, guys."

Back to the voice-overs.
Booming voice: "So, that's the story. Any questions?"
Jimmy Stewart Impression: "Yeah, uhh, why's he not wearing any pants?"
Booming voice: "Oh no, it's worse than I thought! Buster's about to throw himself right out of the picture!!"

Buster: "Goodbye, cruel series."

At that moment, Jimmy Stewart Bunny (no relation) falls from the sky and almost falls out of the picture himself.
Buster: "What are you doing out here? You gotta be more careful!"
Jimmy Stewart: "Well, how about you? What's eating you up?"
Buster: "I've just made a mess of everything. I wish I was never on Tiny Toons!"

"You just got your wish! There's no Buster Bunny on Tiny Toons."
"What are you, crazy? Warner would never let me out of their contract!"

"No, my name's Harvey! And Buster Bunny, this is your cartoon! ....Without you."


"I don't believe you! If I'm not the star of Tiny Toons, then who is?"
"Well, I'll show ya, but it isn't pretty."
"Never is..."

Theme song: "Meet Plucky, the mallard, he's funnier than Kay Ballard, on Tiny Toon Adventures, come and join the fun!"
Plucky: "And now my song is done! Yes!"

Plucky: "Hi, viewers! I'm Plucky Duck!"
Babs: "And I'm Babs Bunny. No relation!
.....I don't get it. He's a duck, I'm a rabbit. How could we be related??"

Plucky: "Babs will now take an anvil to the face!"

Babs: "I hate my life."

Plucky: "No, I'm Plucky Duck, and I resent that comparison! What are you, a spy from Disney?"

Plucky orders the security to force Buster out of the building.
"Nice try, Katzenberg."

Buster: "Sneezer! You gotta remember me!"

Buster is hind-kicked all the way to the steps of Acme Loo, where he rubs his head and wearily remarks "I feel like I'm in a bad episode of Quantum Leap."

Buster: "Hey, this is Acme Looniversity! My alma mater! Surely somebody in there will recognize me!"

Harvey: "...Is it just me, or shouldn't he have caught on by now?"

Buster: "Montana Max's BUSINESS LOONIVERSITY??"
He remains naive. "I'll go to my homeroom!"
Harvey: "It's not pretty in there no more..."

Shirley: "Like, how can I make it big in Hollywood?"
Madonna, apparently the teacher: "Just wear your underwear on the outside and Warner will give you a multi-million dollar deal!"

Buster: "EUUUHHHHHH.....
I don't get it! What's going on?"
Harvey: "Do I have to spell this out for you?"


Buster: "Oh. Well, if I was never born, then what about...Babs? I mean, she has Tiny Toons, but does she have...I mean, does she go with..."
Harvey: "You wanna know...if she's replaced ya?"
Buster: "Kinda..."
Harvey: "Find out for yourself. She's in the film library."

Babs is indeed in the film room, watching old cartoons filled with even more Wonderful Life references: Porky literally lassos the moon for Petunia, and Pepe le Pew sprays a perfume called "ZuZu's Petals" on himself to attract a reluctant striped cat.

Alternate Babs is done up like Alternate Mary. It's weird all right.
Buster: "Uh...hi. I'm Buster Bunny."
"Hi, I'm Babs Bunny."

Babs' eyes open wide. "That's the first time that line ever made sense! Do I know you from somewhere?"

Buster: "YES! You remember me!" He proceeds to yell details about Babs, which freaks her out. "WHO...ARE YOU? YOU'RE STALKING ME--GET AWAY!!" She runs out of the theater and Buster looks crushed.

Harvey: "Now ya see, Buster, ya really have had a wonderful cartoon show."
Harvey just disappears without saying a word, leaving Buster panicky and thinking he's stuck in a dismal world forever.

At that moment, the real Babs comes in. "Hey Buster, whatcha doing down here? Everyone's looking for you!"


Attempting to one-up George Bailey, Buster goes as nuts as possible, and he starts by giving Babs an innards-mangling hug.

After he's yelled at everything in the entire world, he returns to the theater.

Max's rewrites are not going well at all.

Plucky: "What dreck is this? 'Away to the bank I flew in a flash, I opened a C.D. and deposited cash!'"
Max: "I think it's good....don't you? Heh....heh heh...." He looks up sheepishly at Fran and Edward.
Fran: "He is so lost."
Edward: "Yes he is."

I did not get this gag until Leona Helmsley died, and her life story was spread around. Basically, Leona was as close to Montana Max as any real-life person could be, and if there was anyone Max would admire, it would have to be her.

Babs returns with Buster, and everyone cheers. Buster gets his old job back immediately!

Babs: "That reminds me, I'm still mad at you. What were you whispering to that other woman about?"

Cher: "He wanted to know what to get you for Christmas!"
Babs: "Oh......really? Oh.........What'd you decide?"
Buster: "THIS!" He throws Babs back and lays a big, loud, wet one on her lips.

Babs: "Ohhhh...." She literally melts into a puddle.

Fran: "So....what'd you get ME?"
Edward: "The best gift of all, dear! The gift of charity."

Whoopi Goldberg before she was God: "I'm just here for comic relief!"
Robin Williams randomly floats past in tights and a harness, making the billionth swipe at Hook Tiny Toons had done.

Buster: "Don't worry, Max! You still have a part in our play! And guess what....YOU'RE the STAR!!"

Max: "OOOH....THE STAR!!"

It's not the position he was expecting, though.
The Tiny Toons sing their closing song, "No Toon Is A Failure Who Has Friends."

Harvey: "Not bad...FOR AMATEURS!"
He unzips his costume to reveal he was Bugs Bunny the whole time, and he walks away chomping on a carrot.

Why didn't it fit in?
Because, while well-written, it's a companion to a series that is no longer on the air. There's also the completely unoriginal plot, which is even joked about in the special itself. If you want to watch It's A Wonderful Life again, then you'll probably watch that. There are no Muppets or loud pratfalls in the Jimmy Stewart classic, but perhaps that's part of its charm.