Now it's time for more of them!

Last time, I left off by telling you that Plucky was omitted from the Elmyra version of "The Name Game" because putting his name through the rhyme would create the F-word right after "Banana Fanna." But while the censors plucked that one, they managed to miss a few others.
The most interesting(and aggravating) censor acts are the ones that occur after a cartoon is finished and has aired once. For some unexplained reason, a censor-man is watching the episode and then spits out his coffee when he hears something he should have caught within the 7 times he reviewed every minute of the cartoon. I don't know how it happens, I just know that it does.
Forgive me for going off show-topic, but one of the most notorious slip-throughs was on the series Road Rovers in February 1997, on the final episode. Producer Tom Ruegger(who was also involved with the shows we're talking about) added to the show a poem he'd written for a high-school Russian language class in Metouchen, New Jersey.

Russian names
Are a kind of a game
There's a first, and a last
And a middle name.

Giving the first name
Is the mama's chore
Like Boris, Alexander
Or Fyador.

The last name comes
From the family
Like Pushkin, Basylrov
Or Porfiry.

With the middle name
Now here comes the fun
The papa gives his first name
To the son.

He then adds an -ovich
Or -yevich to the end
Here's an example
So you comprehend:

The papa's name is Sonov
Now here's the switch:
The kid's middle name
Is Sonovovich.

Yes, the kid's middle name
Is Sonovovich!

It was only said once, on that one airing of the episode, in February 1997. Oddly, I remember watching it but don't remember the poem at all. Yes, Ruegger did get in trouble. He wasn't fired though.

Ya know, when I think of this incident, I'm reminded of the time way back in 1991 when Buster, Plucky and Hamton got drunk and stole a car and drove off a cliff and died.

No, really.

The last time I did one of these pages I mentioned how angry I was that Fox had cut an episode of TTA from its airing schedule the whole time they had it, and they only aired it on cable. Meaning I will never, ever see it. Well, recently after reading comments from other TTA fans I've discovered something: FOX ran a TTA episode that everyone ELSE refused to run afterward, and I've got the thing on tape. Meaning, it hasn't been run at all since 1995!! Until now(meaning, the night I'm writing this), I had assumed this episode was still in rotation. But no one remembered it but me. SO NOW WHO'S LAUGHING??? HA HA HAAAAA!!!! *waves tape in the air*

The episode in question is titled "Elephant Issues." The show starts out with Gogo Dodo in Wackyland, doing wild takes and stunts, and ending a cartoon with THE END printed in peacock feathers on his fanny. The studio cameras stop rolling, Gogo walks off the set, he puts on a bathrobe and suddenly becomes very serious. "Today we're going to show you a different kind of episode...we're going to examine today's most pressing issues in a hopeless attempt to win another Emmy." At least he's honest. I don't know if "Elephant Issues" won that Emmy(two episodes of TTA did), but if it happened, that would have really been interesting. The truth is, I have always found this episode dull(until, um, the ending, which I'll get to)...but having it in my possession as a banned episode makes it a lot more interesting to me. Yes sir.

Gogo continues on: "On today's show, we'll be examining today's relevant issues." An elephant pops out of his dresser drawer and says, "DID SOMEONE SAY ELEPHANT TISSUES??" while holding a box of Kleenex(and this is where the title comes from). Gogo continues his introduction for a few seconds more, and this time says "burning issues," making the elephant respond with a box of burning tissues. Gogo quickly slams the dresser drawer shut.

The first cartoon is titled "Why Dizzy Can't Read." They go for illiteracy first. Dizzy is at a play, but can't do his lines because he can't read the script. Not wanting anybody to know, he runs away crying. Buster and Babs come to the conclusion that Dizzy must not know how to read and they walk off to his cave. Along the way Babs mentions, "Didn't this happen to Tooty in The Facts of Life?" I wouldn't know.
Buster and Babs try to convince Dizzy to try to work on reading. But Dizzy would rather watch TV, and flips it on. "NEXT, STAY TUNED FOR TINY TOON ADVENTURES!! TODAY, PLUCKY GETS THROWN INTO A TURKISH PRISON!!!" Babs screams and throws something heavy into the television, breaking the glass. "I HATE THE WAY I WAS DRAWN IN THAT EPISODE!!" she exclaims. Then she adds, "I hate the way I was drawn in this episode too." I can't believe you guys who grew up on the Nick repeats missed the Turkish Prison scene. That's not right.

Well anyway, the TV (which apparently unbroke itself) now gets a really ugly face on it and growls, "DON'T READ, DIZZY. WATCH TV. DON'T READ BORING OLD BOOKS." Buster and Babs unplug the TV, but then when Dizzy pulls out a little wrist-TV and continues watching, B&B consider him a hopeless case and give up on him. But after Dizzy gets hit on the head with a book, he learns to read in his dream and then becomes a rabid reader, and comes back to the play to deliver a stunning performance. The cartoon ends with a scene of a bunch of children reading books instead of watching Tiny Toons. Then the ads began, and talk about a bad place to put a break.

The second cartoon in the episode is "C.L.I.D.E and Prejudice."
"Can we get to the part where Buster, Plucky and Hamton get drunk, steal a car, drive off a cliff and die?" Be patient, I'll get there eventually.
A robot named C.L.I.D.E (Cybernetic Laser Ionized Digital Entity), who only speaks in game show quotes(and in the voice of HAL...yeah, he's weird), enrolls in Acme Looniversity for this one cartoon only. Reaction from the students is mediocre, except for Montana Max who considers C.L.I.D.E an easy target. The robot soon finds himself alone and turns to Buster for advice on how to be popular. Meanwhile, Max has ordered an attack robot to beat up C.L.I.D.E, but he makes the mistake of ordering it to "attack the nearest loser," causing it to chase after Max. In a pretty much expected ending, C.L.I.D.E saves Max from the robot and Max learns a lesson. "From now on, I won't judge others by the way they look, but by the actions of their heart!" Of course, the bar of PC tolerance has been raised since then and now you're not allowed to judge them based on that, either....
It's at this point that Buster, Plucky and Hamton get drunk, steal a car, drive off a cliff and die, but do you want to know the details?

Buster's rooting around in his fridge, and the duck and pig are over...and they're all thirsty. "Let's see...there's milk, soda, or how about....a cold one." Yes, of all people(rabbits...whatever), Buster is about to tempt his buddies to join him in a little sudsy trespass. Plucky even points out how unusual this is: "But Buster, that's not like you!" Buster replies casually, "I know. But in this cartoon we're teaching the dangers of alcohol."
So they each take one sip. Okay, remember that. One sip....

...and they immediately get blasted beyond belief. In retrospect, I don't think the point of this cartoon was to teach kids not to do this. The point was to get away with a cartoon where three main characters were drunk. What else could it be? Even as a kid I could see right through it. It didn't teach its lesson well, but it played for comedy like a pro. Who cared what was being said onscreen? The main thing is BUSTER IS DRUUUUNK!!! WAHAHAHA!!! He's even drunker than Dumbo, and Dumbo was sauced for two-fifths of his film's running time(if you don't believe me, go watch Dumbo).
Fox must have thought it still taught kids not to touch beer and okayed the cartoon, but despite the theme of this episode, they should have never put such a...delicate subject in the hands of the same people who brought me "Buttering Up the Buttfields."

The problem was, while they were able to use this loophole well, no other kids network has shown or allowed an episode of anything where being wasted was involved. From what I understand, this aired on Nick ONCE, while the horrified people in the control room screamed "WHAT IS THIIIIIS???" After it ran there, it was likely dumped into a trash can and set on fire, never to be spoken of again.

And as I said before, that's not all...they also steal a car, drive drunk down a highway, crash over a cliff and die in the wreck. This is an interesting anomaly of a cartoon, all right. And what were you watching? "Eureeka's Castle"? Ha.
There's never been another kids show that's been allowed to do something remotely close to this again. After they die, they take off their angel costumes and walk off the set.
"Well, that was fun. Hope kids got the message." "Do you think we can do a funny show tomorrow?" "Sure, why not." Fade to black. How ironic.

All in all, there are a lot of Tiny Toon episodes better than this one. Aside from the shock value of the last cartoon, you're not missing much.

Believe it or not, though, this is NOT the most outrageous, censor-dodging episode of a kids show that's ever been made. If my one witness is correct, that honor still goes to a Captain Planet episode where everybody took weird drugs, flipped out and rioted, with lots of onscreen deaths and blood. He described to me a scene where a mad drug-hopped weirdo jumped through a picture window and bled to death on the floor, lying in a pile of shards. Yes, that mullet-headed milksop actually holds the crown here. I should have saved my "how ironic" comment for this paragraph.

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