Hello and welcome back to my week long look at Halloween specials! Parodies are a big part of this holiday. Some of the biggest horror comedies of the past 2 decades have been parodies that give light-hearted commentary on old tropes. As they say, the only difference between horror and comedy is the punchline. Today’s Halloween special comes from one of my favorite cartoons as a kid that was famous for its pop culture commentary. It’s Night Ghoulery from Tiny Toon Adventures.
Since this special is made up of different segments that are only connected together through some wrap-around segments, I’ll just tackle each part separately.
The wrap around segments: During these parts, we follow Babs Bunny through a gallery as she talks about paintings that tie in to each particular story. To be honest, every reference she makes is extremely dated. Most of them went right over my head both as a kid and as an adult. The parodies that I actually understood from her just didn’t sound like very good impressions.
The Tell-Tale Vacuum: A funny take on the classic Poe poem. Plucky trash’s Hampton’s vacuum because of the loud noise it makes. Suspenseful enough and has a great funny pay off. Though, of all the Plucky cartoons in this (and there are quite a few, actually) this is probably the weakest.
Sneezer the Sneezing Ghost: I never liked Sneezer because he has exactly one joke. He sneezes loudly. Whoopidy doo. This short segment is more of that. Unfunny, uninteresting. Skip it. It’s easily the worst toon in the bunch.
Devil Dog on the Moors: Probably Babs’ best role in the special. Babs is on a field trip and stops by a pub to hang out. However, there’s a beast that lurks around at night. Good build up of tension with a hilarious double pay off.
Fuel: A parody of the movie Duel which has a truck driver stalking a couple for no reason. I didn’t find it funny, but I never really found Calamity Coyote as funny as his classic counterpart. Has a good use of the “I can only speak with signs” gag, though.
Daniel Webfoot and the Devil: Plucky is a lawyer that is so good they say he could beat the devil. Well, that’s put to the test as Plucky has to save Montana Max’s soul. Lots of good gags in this one and I always love a good “ducking the devil” story. Pun totally intended.
Hold That Duck: The best cartoon in the whole special. Plucky and Buster parody Abbott and Costello and go to a castle full of monsters. Plucky’s Costello impression is fantastic though Buster should work on his Abbott. Pretty much the only cartoon on this list that had me laughing from beginning to end. Though, I think it helps that I’m a huge fan of that particular comedy duo.
Frankenmyra and Dizzygor: Kinda funny take on the Frankenstein mythos, though Elmyra’s “everything is cutie wootie” gag gets really old after a while. I never minded Elmyra, but I never thought her shtick was very funny. Still, this is probably one of the better ones she’s been in.
A Gremlin on a Wing: Unfortunately, the copy I found for this special was incomplete and stopped after Frankenmyra and Dizzygor. However, I do remember this cartoon from watching it as a kid. From what I remember, Plucky does a half decent impression of Shatner. However, I think the Simpsons version of this particular Twilight Zone parody was a lot funnier.
There you have it! Overall, this is a decent special with some great segments and a couple not so great ones. But if you’re a fan of the show, you’ll still enjoy it. Beware, though, Babs’ segments are absolutely dripping in 90s references you may no longer remember.