This is a brief–OK it started out briefer–amble down nostalgia lane, so deal with it.
Cartoon Network, which has had some recent issues with promoting diminutive cartoon characters, is promoting another one.In what I say was an inspired bit of programming, the network is airing a six-episode St. Patricks Day salute to Gazoo from the planet Zetox because, well, he's little and green, though that is where his similarity to a leprechaun ends.
I had forgotten he was from Zetox, which sounds kind of like a drug you would give a pain-killer-addicted TV star before letting him guest host a cable access show.
But Idigress, Gazoo, for all you non-Boomers plus all you Boomers that had lives, was the alien ex machina who popped into The Flinstones for a few episodes–think Q in TNG or that guy with the unprounouncable name in the Superman comics. Gazoo looked kind of like a pint-sized George Jetson with a rasta cap-sized helmet and the erudite delivery of one of Crane–as in Frasier–clan (The Jetson likeness would be no surprise, since the latter show was just a Flintstones-in-the-space-age knockoff from the same Hanna-Barbera shop.
Cartoon said Gazoo was picked from among a number of green characters in its animation library, though it did not elaborate. That got me to thinking, always a dangerous thing. Which ones? Inquiring minds want to know, So I asked.
Turns out they include Michigan J. Frog, former mascot for Cartoon Net's late sibling, The WB, as well as Wally Gator, Marvin the Martian (he of the green body and Roman helmet) and Inch High Private Eye (who, I'm told wears a green trench coat, which almost doesn't count).
Then there were Superheroes with major green themes to their costumes including Aquaman–not to be confused with Teen Aquaforce–and Robin Hood.
Then there is Buttercup of the Powerpuff Girls, who wearts a green dress, and Fred Fredburger from the Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy. Hmm, a Fred F. Isn't that where we came in?
Anyway, I thought it was an inspired idea, though my advice would be to avoid any guerilla marketing campaigns involving Gazoo's likeness.
Sometimes a clever enough idea and a press release are enough to get you noticed. See?
By John Eggerton