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Vital Information for Your Everyday Life

Wait a Sec: Kristen Wiig Has Been on the Rebooted Looney Tunes Show This Whole Time?

How excellent is it when the people who make cartoons are smart and do things that don’t simply pander to children, things that will make even their parents, older siblings, and maybe even the babysitter (who’s too cool for “kid stuff”) want to watch their shows? Cartoon Network‘s Looney Tunes reboot has been sneaking adult-friendly humor into its new shows, and a lot of those lines are being delivered by really amazing people not generally known for their SFW material. Kristen Wiig, famous for her unabashedly demented characters on Saturday Night Live and her gross-out script for Bridesmaids, is providing the voice of Lola Bunny, who was never a regular Looney Tunes character, but was introduced in 1996′s Space Jam. (The original site for which, by the way, is still alive and well.) Who else is sneaking around, playing these classic characters?

In addition to Wiig, her SNL castmate Fred Armisen is providing the voice of Speedy Gonzales (his singing voice is Mike Smith). The prolific Maurice LaMarche (Futurama, Hey Arnold!, Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, and The Real Ghostbusters — he was Egon, be still my heart) is the voice of Yosemite Sam. Billy West — known to some as Billy Freaking West — is playing Elmer Fudd. And John Kassir — who is best known as the voice of the Crypt Keeper, but also originated the role of Ralph in Reefer Madness: The Musical — is playing Pete Puma. Kassir also played Buster Bunny in a few episodes of Tiny Toon Adventures.

A video of Wiig’s debut as Lola Bunny can be seen here, and for more clips of the reboot, click here.

(Vulture at NY Magazine via Best Week Ever)

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  • Kaeli Gardner

    I’ve been unashamedly DVRing the new Looney Tunes.  It’s wonderful.  

  • Frodo Baggins

    My god, that was horrible. I tried three times to make it through that clip, and could stand it in 10 second increments. Wiig’s voice sounds conspicuously out of place, Lola is an awful, market-researched, token stereotype to begin with, and the visuals look hideous across the board. Why are there drop shadows around the characters? What conceivable purpose does that serve? Bugs’ head is an angular, misshapen, size-changing lump. The animation has no sense of comic timing beyond the overused pose-to-pose boilerplate you get from every cheap cartoon these days, the very antithesis of the original Tunes’ lively, fluid acting. And the music. Sweet Jesus the music. Vapid, overproduced, uber-generic pop, with autotuned backup vocals to boot. From “Kill the wabbit” to this? And all of it in service of a joke that amounts to: “LOL girls with their romance and shit. Stalking is funny!” I remember thinking that’s how one wrote funny female characters… when I was seven.

    New Looney Tunes is like Weekend at Bernies, with all the original characters as the corpse.

  • Anonymous

    Certain nerd types- usually much older than the intended audience of these cartoons- will complain that things are changed from the originals.  They might even get in a few slugs at the way modern television or modern music is produced.  At the end of the day, tastes change, cartoons are primarily designed for children and this cartoon has been a solid infield triple for Warner and CN.  It’s cute, Kristen’s fun and there’s that.

  • stungbunny

    be still my heart! i thought i was the only one who had a crush on egon.  lol
    i have to say i’m disappointed in lola.  she was created as bugs bunny’s equal, on the new show she’s shallow, talks a mile and minute and tries to marry bugs after one date. 

  • Craig L Wittler

    I cringed when I heard about Lola Bunny on The Looney Tunes Show because the character was totally NOT Golden Age Warner Brothers canon. But then, damned little on the show is. It has to stand on its own, like I allow the Disney version of Winnie the Pooh to succeed on its own merits, not on its faithfulness to A.A.Milne’s books. And it does. Still, some of the elelments, like Pepe LePew talking about his ex-wives, seem far off-base for those of us familiar with the originals.

    BTW, another good bit of voice casting is Rene Auberjonois (of Benson and Deep Space Nine fame) as Pepe LePew.

    And Jennifer Esposito as Tina or Tina Russo Duck. (Some character name confusion there)

    And if an original voicer is still alive from the days when Mel Blanc was the only one who got screen credit – but there WERE others – they are being used. The Queen of Cartoon Voices June Foray as Granny (which she’s been playing in various versions since 1955, when, at 35, she was almost too young – but even now she can still do a pretty good Rocky the Flying Squirrel). And Stan Freberg (better known for making both TV commercials and parodies of commercials) as Pete Puma.

  • Amanda Jean Carroll

    The idea that cartoons are primarily designed for children isn’t particularly sound, especially in the case of the Looney Tunes characters, who were first showcased before films intended for a wide range of age groups and who have always, always exhibited a particular blend of humor everyone could understand and jokes intended primarily for adults. 
    I’m happy to see Looney Tunes characters in use again. Truly, though, the animation isn’t all it could be even by modern standards. The Tex Avery animation style has a certain amount of spareness that, though it may have been borne of necessity, now reads as “classic” — in ways that older fans would appreciate and younger fans wouldn’t notice. The backgrounds in the new cartoon, for example, are stylized, while those in older Looney Tunes cartoons (picture a roadrunner cartoon) weren’t. Even Tiny Toons and Animaniacs, while reinterpreting characters and modernizing styles, still had something akin to the classic look. I don’t see why we shouldn’t have expected this new cartoon to be the same. 
    I haven’t watched the show much beyond clips, so I can’t say much about the writing style other than that it seems to have it’s heart in the right place. 

  • Anonymous

    Rather than discussing the amazing voice cast (which they are amazing) and pretending like this show is actually interesting or manages to capture and of the fun or irreverence of the original Looney Tunes, can we please talk about how terrible of a character Lola is in this incarnation

    The Mary Sue is all about geek girls and girls in media and Lola is a terrible example of writers not knowing how to handle female characters.  That’s not to say the original Space Jam!Lola was anything to cheer for (hyper sexualized bunny) but at least she tried to be zany and on par with the boys.
    This Lola is crazy and obsessive and annoying.  She spends most of the show chasing Bugs in that boy crazed kind of way and adding nothing to the cast.  It’s so annoying to me because there was so much potential there to make an actual relatable looney female.  It’s frustrating (I’m not even going to get into the fact that she’s like the ONLY female on the show)!

  • Frodo Baggins

    Haha, of course! How could I be so silly? Only cantankerous fuddy-duddies can’t understand that just because it’s new and different doesn’t mean it’s worse. Like, is the Wicker Man remake really any worse than the original? Steve Martin’s Pink Panther any worse than Peter Sellers’? The Clone Wars movie any worse than The Empire Strikes Back? Of course not! TASTES CHANGE, that’s all. Any and all other judgements of quality are baseless old-nerd whining. That’s why everything from the 80s is being remade these days: because everyone’s taste has just changed so much, they can’t stand to watch the originals. Like, have you ever tried showing a modern kid an old Looney Tunes cartoon? They all say, “Ugh, this is so outdated. I wish it looked more cheaply animated, and followed suburban sitcom tropes instead!” The creators had no choice but to give the people what they wanted and completely retool the premise and visual style. Besides, CARTOONS ARE FOR CHILDREN, and therefore any criticism of their writing or artistry is moot. It’s not like this article specifically lauds the creators for making something “smart” that can be enjoyed by adults (like, say, the original Looney Tunes).

    In the end, it’s not the fact that the visuals are clumsy, the animation flat and impersonal, the music grating, and the joke a regressive Pepe Le Pew retread that was tired 50 years ago that bothers these nit-pickers. No, they just can’t handle their sacred cows being changed in any minute way. “Boohoo, Spock’s ears aren’t pointy enough!”

  • Frodo Baggins

    The thing is, A.A. Milne’s books are, well, books, and Disney’s Winnie the Pooh is an animated film (TV show, lunchbox, plush toy, etc.). The new Looney Tunes cartoon is in the same medium as the originals, made by the same company as the originals, and broadcast on the same network as the originals. It’s much harder to disassociate them. 

  • MichaelP

    Let’s get something straight- CARTOONS ARE FOR EVERYBODY, NOT JUST CHILDREN!!!  The Looney Tunes Show is another interpretation of Warner Bros. Looney Tunes franchise.  Now, that being said, let’s talk about Lola Bunny= yes, she’s Bugs Bunny’s lovesick girlfriend.  Bugs, himself, tries to keep a low profile and shrug off Lola’s advances, but sometimes, he’s got to give in.  I’m sorry to say, Lola Bunny isn’t the reason why I watch the show.  I watch the show to see what crazy situations Bugs and Daffy Duck get themselves into, but I would like to see more of Porky Pig get involved with Bugs and Daffy.  For the second season of The Looney Tunes Show, I would like to see an episode, based on Warner Bros. Oceans (11, 12 & 13) movies, with Bugs, Porky and Daffy dealing with Foghorn Leghorn in a casino, with plenty of funny results in a cartoon sitcom form.  Getting back to Lola Bunny, why not put her in an episode with Petunia Pig and Tina Russo Duck.  The second season of The Looney Tunes Show is coming, likely in September, but I want to see more of Porky Pig involved with Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. 

  • Anonymous

    1. Lola is NOT the only female character on the show. The Witch is a female and is on the show. So yeah. (But more on my thoughts of Lola vs The Witch in a sec)

    2. The original Looney Tunes was never intended for kids. Period.

    3. I’m not understanding this hatred for the animation. It’s a reboot, so naturally it’s going to be different. The original animators probably weren’t in a position to lend their talents. It’s like complaining because Nolanverse Batman doesn’t look like Adam West Batman. It’s just silly.

    4. Now back to Lola. I noticed the sexism, but I also laughed my ass off. Maybe because I’m Southern and I know the whole ‘obsessive girlfriend that never STFU and smothers her boyfriend and her every FB status is about her love life’ is not a stereotype. These kinds of nutjobs exist in real life. And while, yeah, that’s no excuse for sexism and this version of Lola is wayyyy over the top, I would choose this Lola over Space Jam Lola EVERY TIME.

    4B. Space Jam Lola was a hyper-sexualized cardboard cutout that was more marginalizing to me than interesting (I was kind of a tomboy at the time SJ came out and did not like or relate to her character one bit). This Lola doesn’t have the depth of a Grey’s Anatomy lead, however she has quirks, actual personality traits, huuuge flaws and even some redeeming features (she’s still an athlete, she dumped Bugs in the end and she’s pretty bold – her telling the gym rat to do less weights had me ROFL). Honestly, when did ‘talking too much’ become a barometer to detecting sexism? You can be talkative and not a perpetrator of sexism.

    5. AND I find it interesting that everyone’s up in arms about Lola cause she’s kinda sexist, but no one seems to notice or care that The Witch was presented in a very racist fashion (the overbearing sassy, black single mother? Really??). I’m going to give you all the benefit of the doubt and assume that didn’t fly over your heads. You just haven’t seen that episode yet, right?

    6. I think Salon summed it up in the best way by describing it as a lesser version of the original, but something a babysitter or a mother could appreciate after a long day and maybe after taking down a few drinks or smoking some marijuana. Overall, I liked it – and I was sober. I’ll probably watch it again. It will never be better than the originals, but for this generation I found it funny and interesting enough to stand on its own. It’s how to be looney in 2011.

  • Frodo Baggins

    I always assumed Tweety was a girl (also Elmo). Those high voices threw me off, as a kid.

  • Frodo Baggins

    Okay, in response to 3 (I think you were talking to me, as I was the one hyperbolizing at the greatest length). It’s not that it looks different from the original. It’s that it looks SHITTY.

    Look at that image at the top. Drop shadows. Why? Why drop shadows? Are the characters supposed to be paper cutouts floating over the background? No. That’s stupid. It adds nothing but visual noise to the style. Check out the scene in the clip when Bugs is in the shower. Lola’s shadow on the curtain has a drop shadow. HER SHADOW HAS A SHADOW. Contemplate the inanity.

    Bugs’ head changes sizes almost every time the scene changes. The animators can’t even be bothered to stick to their own ugly model. Because of the artists’ adherence to this FRESH NEW STYLE where everything is awkwardly angular, wrinkles on Bugs’ face don’t wrap to the larger forms of his head, lending no credence to the (one would think, desirable) illusion of three-dimensional forms, and rather looking drawn on. Now watch the clip of Bugs and Daffy playing basketball, linked in the previous article. The humans, original characters developed by the animators, look fine (well, the white dude does, at least. The black dude is still poorly drawn and silent… racists.) This proves they’re not incompetent. They can make an appealing character design. It’s just that they’re trying to twist already iconic characters into this incompatible style that produces such ugly, unsettling results. 

    And the movement. Awkward, stiff, snapping from pose to pose with barely any follow-through, formulaic overshooting at best, wholly un-lifelike. Look particularly at Bugs falling and screaming, toward the end. Man, that is some lazy animation. Somebody didn’t practice turnarounds enough, because that does not look like a spinning figure. I’ve seen more elegant motion on Homestar Runner. They feel like drawings, not characters reacting to situations. Bland and flat. Look at the scene where Lola hunts down Bugs in South America on a llama. See how she just stops, mid-pose, without any ease-out? Clunky.

    This is a cheap, unprofessional-looking cartoon. Compare it even to something like Tiny Toons. Did they look exactly like Looney Tunes? No! They were different! But the creators still retained the principles of animation applied in the originals well enough that the visuals lived and breathed, the characters felt like rounded, bouncy forms, not cutouts. The Looney Tunes Show is counting on us being so used to South Park and Family Guy that we don’t care how it looks, as long as there are tired movie references (Psycho and Mission Impossible! How fresh!) and sarcastic expressions.

  • Jenn Lauer

    You simply don’t like it, fine, but don’t whinge about it, change the channel and avoid the content. When The Mary Sue or any other site posts stuff I don’t like, I don’t complain, I simply *do not click on it.* Don’t just complain because you disagree.

    There’s no saying that the remakes should, or get, to replace the originals. There are some issues of content with the old Looney Tunes–most kids nowadays have never honestly seen a Peter Lorre film and don’t recognize Katherine Hepburn in caricature–so the jokes sometimes fall flat. They’ve been “reinventing” Looney Tunes as long as Disney as “reinvented” Mickey, Minnie, etc. Some of those reinventions were awesome when I was a kid and some sucked.

    The “tastes change” argument doesn’t work for everything, but your anger is ridiculous and your argument got absurd. It’s a cartoon some people happen to like and it doesn’t make their tastes wrong simply because you disagree. Just don’t watch the damn thing. Don’t nerd-screed, just hit the BACK button like a sane person.

    The Looney Tunes animation wasn’t stellar even when I was a kid in the ’80s–it had a lot of filler frames, a lot of juddery scene changes, a lot of wear and tear. The reels weren’t well cared-for and clumsily remastered, and on my TV set it wasn’t always pleasant, but I loved it anyway.

    You may not like Kristen Wiig or the way Lola is handled; write to Cartoon Network and complain about their treatment of one of the few female characters Looney Tunes has, then, because that’s valid. Don’t say that simply because *you do not like that a modern cartoon has modern graphics* because that’s frankly silly. Of course it’s different; do you just want the same jokes and the same characters and the same storylines over and over forever? Lola isn’t pulling a Pepe here–it’s a bit of an uncomfortable joke, but it’s not Pepe’s stalker “No means yes” creeper stuff.

  • Jenn Lauer

    When I realized Pepe was Auberjonois, I was like “Screw it, I can’t hate this. I can’t. It’s impossible.”

  • Jenn Lauer

    Not all well-written female characters will be positive representations of possible female persons. Some really awesome characters are actually bad, annoying people. I think they need more female characters, but I don’t think Lola on her own is terrible. Some women are crazy, obsessive, and annoying, and I’ll happily laugh at their portrayals. I mean, they are “Looney.” Lola’s looney! They’re all looney in various awful ways. Porky Pig is so anxious he stutters and is a consummate coward, Daffy is a selfish, violent jerk, Bugs is aloof, rude, and crude, Tweety is stupid as a box of rocks, Speedy is alternately lazy and pushy, and Elmer Fudd is a vegetarian who hunts because he likes the sport of killing innocent creatures. Pepe Le Pew is basically a stalker and molester.

    If anything, you could argue that Looney Tunes is giving Lola the tamest “looney” there is.

  • Frodo Baggins

    “Elmer Fudd is a vegetarian who hunts because he likes the sport of killing innocent creatures.”

    Huh? I thought he wanted to make wabbit stew?

  • Anonymous

    I’m not saying she has to be a positive representation of being a girl (that’d be ideal but I understand it’s not the norm).  I more take issue at the fact that being a boy crazy psychopath seems to be her one defining characteristic.  The character is annoying and a one trick pony and there’s a lot more potential there.

  • Zobeid Zuma

    It’s funny how two people can look at the same thing and see the complete opposite.  I’ve been telling my friends about how attractive and well animated The Looney Tunes Show is.  I mean, look at where we’re coming from. . .   Simpsons, South Park, Family Guy, Spongebob, Regular Show, Gumball, etc., etc. . . .  We’re living in a dark age of deliberately crude, limited animation.  Relative to that lot, The Looney Tunes show has beautiful backgrounds, attractive character designs, and fluid, expressive animation.  Forget about the 1940s and 1950s for a minute.  By today’s cable TV animation standards, with a cable TV budget, The Looney Tunes show is a minor miracle and a breath of fresh air.

    It also helps that it’s all fresh, bright and clean, and in full high def.  The classic theatrical shorts of decades gone by are looking blurry, faded and gritty these days.  I wish Warner Bros would do a full restoration on them, but of course that would take money too.

  • Patrick

    So does anyone know why there hasnt been a new episode in over 2 weeks? Have they already ran out of ideas? Lol

  • Emanuel Alfredsson

    I think this Lola needs a lill’ dirt under her nails and grow up. I would accept this as a prequel in typical “My Sweet 16″ fashion. but my senses says not.

    And she needs props. Lots of it. Like guns, electric guitars, wrenches, fake moustasches etc.
    If she’s Bugs equal, then why isn’t she dressing up as a man once in a while? Being the dragking of the show, ya know. That would be awsome, huh?

    And like Bugs, she needs to be subtle. Extreme spaz moments isn’t her thing. Period. That’s why she feels way younger than she actually is.