My childhood hero, Plucky Duck has fallen.
Joe Alaskey, who also voiced Grandpa from Rugrats and – to paraphrase the words of a line from the theme of the Plucky Duck Show – “Lots of other characters, but who cares who they are“. Plucky is all that matters and todays loss of his vocal provider is a day of mourning.
Plucky of course was a character born out of the magnificent show, Tiny Toon Adventures, which was the one and only valid product of the early 90s “younger version of familiar characters boom” after networks scrambled recycle their intellectual property and ride the Muppet Babies success wave. In Tin Toons, the characters weren’t younger versions of their counterparts (in this case, the WB lineup), but rather toons-in-training seeking to be the next crop of such characters. As far as I was concerned, however, the show was merely a vehicle to showcase Plucky: a green tank top wearing mallard who idolized Daffy Duck and likewise was constantly hatching schemes revolving around his greed and egotistical pursuit of personal glorification.
From the Tiny Toons opening theme:
Plucky Duck typing at typewriter: “The Scripts were rejected…”
Giant Plucky head popping out of typewriter: “Expect the unexpected!”
Here is Alaskey announcing the Plucky Duck show (my favorite cartoon of all time) spinoff from Tiny Toons that only lasted a few episodes but was glorious (I still listen to the mp3 rip of the theme song fairly regularly) and explaining how he came up with Plucky’s voice. The deconstruction that he did a Daffy Duck inflection and switched the frontal lisp to be a lateral lisp is simple yet brilliant.
Here’s the original Tiny Toons theme (one of the best in the history of cartoons):
On the Tiny Toons Christmas Special I remember jumping out of my skin with excitement during the “It’s a Wonderful Life” parody in where Buster Bunny was shown an alternate reality where Plucky was the star of Tiny Toons. Buster (and presumably the audience) is supposed to be horrified by this but I was so excited and inspired that it could well be said that the real birth of Richardland was born at that very moment…
This spawned the pre-mentioned spinoff in where that gag was turned into an actual 13 episode show with this brilliant stupendous awesome opening:
It is with a heavy heart that I vow to carry on the Plucky legacy…