CITV Memories – Taz-Mania.

Taz-Mania (1991-1995)

This is yet another Warner Brothers cartoon which was a hit in the 90s. Many years before that though one of the characters in the long-running Looney Tunes series was the Tasmanian Devil, a rather odd character who was able to spin round very quickly and he was always very hungry, and it was never really made clear whether he was able to speak or not. Either way, it seemed that his character was popular enough for the potential of a spin-off series which came along in 1991.

Taz-Mania is set in a fictional place that is very similar to Tasmania, a state of Australia. As well as Taz, we meet a whole bunch of new characters, including his family. He has a younger brother called Jake and a teenage sister called Molly. His mother was called Jean, but his father Hugh was one of the real stars of the show. He was rather easy-going and he was very fond of playing golf, and he had the memorable catchphrase “blah blah blah, yackity-shmackity”, which really was a classic that seemed to amuse a lot of people. vlcsnap-00244

There were loads of other great characters though who were all introduced in the song in the memorable opening sequence, indeed there were so many that there was a chance that they might have missed some of them out. These included Taz’s boss the somewhat grumpy Bushwhacker Bob and his mum, Wendal T Wolf, and Francis X Bashlad, plus various dingoes, alligators, and the like, and Taz, who worked at a hotel, would interact (as best as he could) with all of these characters too. A few veteran Looney Tunes characters also appeared occasionally including Bugs Bunny. vlcsnap-00245

I remember first seeing Taz-Mania during the first edition of CITV’s Saturday morning show What’s Up Doc? in 1992, and I thought it was great, and it eventually moved to the afternoon slot where it was shown very regularly, and I do feel that it was as good as other 90s Warner Brothers cartoons including Tiny Toon Adventures, and in more recent years the show has been repeated on the CBBC Channel, with 65 episodes being made. vlcsnap-00249There was a lot of Taz-Mania merchandise released, and I do remember in the mid-90s buying the Nintendo Game Boy game based on the TV series, which I played regularly for a while, but it seems that there hasn’t been a DVD release in this country. I have also remembered that around the mid-90s there was also a short-lived craze for Pogs, the game where you tried to win all the little discs, and for a while Walkers crisps released their own version which if you were lucky could be found in various bags, and these featured pictures of various Warner Brothers characters on them and were renamed Tazos, presumably after Taz, what a great honour that is.

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