One of my favorite shows as a kid (and still is today thanks to DVD) is the brilliantly written and performed, perfect for all ages animated series Animaniacs
. While it may contain the occasional dated reference, almost no other show possesses timeless lasting humor similar to the realm of Looney Tunes
quite like Animaniacs
. That being said, I give you the top 10 best Animaniacs
shorts involving Yakko, Wakko and Dot.10. A Quake, A Quake
One of the best and most addictive musical numbers ever from the show that brought us classic lyrics like "Who's fault, who's fault, the San Andreas' fault, 'cause Mister Richter can't predict her, kicking our asphalt..." This sketch refers specifically to the 6.7 Northridge earthquake that occurred on January 17, 1994.
9. Super Strong Warner Siblings
It's true, spoofing a show like Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers is like shooting fish in a barrel, but nonetheless this was one of their most hilarious take offs. It should be noted too that this was the first short to begin the show's run on the former WB Network, right after ending its run on FOX, which at the time still broadcast Power Rangers. Sort of a like sending a big raspberry to their previous network home.
8. Taming of the Screwy
Foreign investors are interested in sinking a billion dollars into the Warner Bros. Studio, but only after meeting with every employee including those out of control Warners, so it's up to Dr. Scratchansniff to teach them etiquette for a banquet later that night, hilarity ensues. Look for tons of early 90s era references such as Thelma and Louise, Family Matters, City Slickers, and Wayne's World.
7. Potty Emergency
While watching a bad 50s Sci-Fi movie (look for the Mystery Science Theater 3000 reference), Wakko hears nature calling and after finding the theater's restroom is out of order begins running all over town looking for a place to relieve himself. A moment of the short that always makes me laugh out loud is when he attempts to use a gas station restroom that "hasn't been cleaned in a year." A little bit of trivia, the short's original ending had Wakko finishing the job of clubbing the antique store proprietor with his mallet, some pics below:
6. Hello Nice Warners
During a routine escape from security guard Ralph, the Warners find themselves auditioning for and winning roles in a new comedy directed by Jerry Lewis. The tables are then turned and he gets directed by the Warners instead, in roles such as "Old Screamer" and "Illinois Smith" (spoofs of Old Yeller and Indiana Jones). This short has one of the best physical gags in the entire run of the show that never gets old no matter how many times I've seen it involving a whip and an unstable ceiling.
5. Draculee, Draculaa
While traveling to Pennsylvania to visit their parents (get it, their parents are pencils?) the Warners make a wrong turn and end up in Transylvania instead, and as a result wind up spending the night at the castle of Count Dracula (voiced by Homer Simpson himself Dan Castellaneta). The plot is similar to the 1963 Bugs Bunny short Transylvania 6-5000 only much funnier this time. Best moment features a spontaneous slumber party where Dracula gets dolled up.
4. Clown and Out
The Warner Bros. Studio CEO Mr. Plotz sends Wakko a clown for his birthday, before learning Wakko is in fact afraid of clowns, especially one that oddly enough sounds similar to Jerry Lewis. Another fantastic short that never fails to make me laugh hysterically even after multiple viewings. Be sure to listen for the obscure Stephen King's It reference.
3. Hot, Bothered and Bedeviled
While searching for Six Flags Over Flushing, the Warners wind up in the realm of "Hades" ran by a Darkness in Legend-esque Satan (voiced by Ron Perlman, who would later play another horned demonic character, Hellboy). Great moments include Saddam Hussein dropping in, a Bob Dylan form of torture and Wakko proving that extensively talked about snowball theory. Man, they sure don't make kid's cartoons like this anymore, brilliant stuff.
2. Meatballs or Consequences
At a meatball eating contest, Wakko eats one too many and the Grim Reaper himself shows up to take him away, so the Warners challenge Death to a game a checkers for Wakko's life. This entire short is a hilarious reference to Ingmar Bergman's 1957 Swedish film The Seventh Seal (even Death has a Swedish accent!) It should be noted that the original title of the short was "Death or Consequences," a reference to the game show "Truth or Consequences" but the title was changed under protest of the network, gotta love that ridiculous censorship.
1. Yakko's World
C'mon, you knew this would be #1, only the most famous musical number on the show featuring Yakko naming various countries of the world, you probably even know the words by heart by now, "United States, Canada, Mexico, Panama, Haiti, Jamaica, Peru..."
And now for some honorable mentions that didn't quite make the top 10 but are still cool:
HMS Yakko - a send-off of Gilbert and Sullivan operettas.
Hooked on a Ceiling
- The Warners help a Spartacus
-esque Michelangelo paint the Sistine Chapel.Space Probed
- The Warners are abducted by aliens in a Sci-Fi geek's dream of a short.Hearts of Twilight
- A great Apocalypse Now
spoof featuring that Jerry Lewis character once again.Mobster Mash
- A Godfather
reference filled short (lots of Coppola finding its way onto this list).A Christmas Plotz
- A hilarious version of Dickens' A Christmas CarolUps and Downs
- Wakko and Dr. Scratchansniff are stuck in an elevator using that classic sitcom cliché.Video Review
- A musical short ideal for movie aficionados like myself.Drive In-Sane
- The Warners crash Dr. Scratchansniff's drive-in theater date.Baloney and Kids
- A great spoof of PBS's Barney and Friends.Please Get a Life Foundation
- A very funny short pleading to internet users like me with a little too much free time.Cutie and the Beast
and The Tiger Prince
- I think these speak for themselves.
And I could go on and on listing the great ones...
But yeah, I hope you've enjoyed this tribute to Yakko, Wakko and Dot, who I consider to truly be the funniest characters of Animaniacs
. If you haven't yet picked up any of the DVD sets I highly recommend it, I honestly appreciate them more today than I did at the age of 10. I plan to do more top 10 lists involving different characters of the show in the future, so be sure to be on the lookout for those.