Morning name: The Duck Factory

Yesterday’s morning name: the title of a tv sitcom from 1984, The Duck Factory. About an animation firm, with a cartoonist as its central character.

Jim Carrey with Dippy Duck.

From Wikipedia:

The Duck Factory is an American sitcom produced by MTM Enterprises that is perhaps most notable for Jim Carrey’s first lead role in a Hollywood production.

The show was co-created by Allan Burns. The premiere episode introduces Skip Tarkenton (Carrey), a somewhat naive and optimistic young man who has come to Hollywood looking for a job as a cartoonist. When he arrives at a low-budget animation company called Buddy Winkler Productions, he finds out Buddy Winkler has just died, and the company desperately needs new blood. So Skip gets an animation job at the firm, which is nicknamed “The Duck Factory” as their main cartoon is “The Dippy Duck Show”.

… Buddy Winkler Productions was now owned by his young, ditzy widow, Mrs Sheree Winkler (Teresa Ganzel), who had been married to Buddy for all of three weeks before his death.

The Duck Factory lasted thirteen episodes; it premiered April 12, 1984 [and had its final network telecast on July 11]

I found it thoroughly enjoyable and was sorry that it lasted for only 13 episodes. Carrey’s performance was, for Carrey, relatively subdued, and, oddly, his character was probably the least eccentric of all the characters at the Duck Factory.

#1 above is the cover of one of the two VHS tapes of the show that are available. Apparently nothing is out on DVD, but at least some of the shows are on YouTube. You can watch episode 1 here.

And there you will see the wonderful comic actor Jack Gilford, a rubber-faced comic probably best remembered for his performance in the 1962 Broadway production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, which was Gilford’s comeback after lean years on the Hollywood blacklist. He’s also remembered for his appearances in Cracker Jack commercials (several can be seen on YouTube) and as the tippling jailer Frosch in the operettta Die Fledermaus, a role he played 77 times between 1950 and 1964 (see my posting on the operetta here). An incredibly versatile actor, and he performed in Yiddish as well as English.


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