A good friend and former martial arts student mentioned this weekend that I have a very “retro” style when I made a “dated” reference. It’s true, I’m very fond of things from my youth and actually many things I have appreciated in my youth were well beyond my years. The cartoons of my youth were such classics as He-Man, Thundercats, Dungeons and Dragons, and an awful lot of Looney Tunes. Being that we lived out on the farm we only had access to whatever the rabbit ear antennae picked up. Topping that, our television broke when I was around

Bullwinkle Drawn in “Their” Style

5-6 years old… we didn’t get another television until I was well into 3rdgrade. It was too late, I was hooked. Television captured my imagination early on so when we finally did get that television in third grade I was a voracious student. Devouring Transformers and G.I. Joe cartoons, but that wasn’t all… one of the cartoons that always captured my attention was The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle.

Oddly enough when I returned to it again as an adult eager to relive a childhood classic… my mother imparted to me that they loved that I loved Bullwinkle but… for them it got old fast! They were NOT eager to delve back into the sights and (more likely) the sounds of Rocket J. Squirrel and Bullwinkle Moose. (Not that they don’t like them at all… just we watched those tapes A LOT… all the time! Practically on a loop when they were finally released on VHS)

Today anyone that knows me tolerates my Bullwinkle approach to wordplay on a regular basis… I sometimes bust out

Bullwinkle Drawn in “Tank-Monkey” Style

puns that are incredible gems of witty word play but more often? I lob a really sad pun and laugh heartily at myself just like Bullwinkle would. My love of wordplay comes from a lot of places but I’ve always loved going back to Bullwinkle and how each character in the show would deliver a pun, every episode would end with a pun, and usually the villainous Boris’s false identities would be a play on words. I loved how that wordplay would develop into random plots that bordered on absolute nonsense! The Ruby Yacht of Omar Khayyam? Who came up with the idea that they should make a story that CENTERED around a pun about The Rubáiyát? Because they are my KING! Such an obscure reference such an epic way to use a pun.

Another thing I love in those shows is all of the 4th wall breaks, and self referential humor… and if you’ve every watched more than an episode of the show you are bound to find a 4th wall break. In fact Bullwinkle’s Mr. Know-it-all segments are based on talking to the audience, the opening sequences and end sequences of the first seasons play out like a late night talk show in their welcomes and goodbyes to their audience.

If you noticed early on that Tank-Monkey takes a strong cue from this kind of humor? Boy Howdy! you deserve some Tank-Monkey Extra Super Points!