Are You Pondering What I’m Pondering?
If your next thought after reading that title starts with the words “I think so Brain”, then you, too, might be a Pinky & the Brain fan. It still cracks me up when I read some of the lines from that famous opening to every episode of the Pinky & the Brain cartoon. Think how the opening to every Simpson’s episode is the same, yet different – every episode of P&B starts with that same question and answer call.
Pinky and Brain are genetically enhanced lab mice who reside in a cage in the Acme Labs research facility. In each episode, Brain devises a new plan for the two mice (led by Brain) to take over the world, which ultimately ends in failure (usually due to something Pinky does).
What got me thinking about these guys again was when a new teammate at work, @jmacofearth, recently said something that made me think of the line “Gee Brain, what do you want to do tonight?”; but JMac had no idea what I was talking about. I knew then that I must blog about my love for P&B so that they can never be forgotten! <wink>
So, what is it about this show that captured my heart? The only other cartoon I’ve ever expressed such devotion for was the Bloom County comic strip (and while the new one is pretty good, it’s those classics from the 80s that remain the best). While Bloom County is very political and satirizes current events, Pinky & the Brain stays simple. They may throw in some current political or entertainment figures, but every episode is quite simply about some new scheme Brain has for world domination and Pinky’s completely naïve way of bumbling through them.
Brain is so maniacal and methodical and totally focused on success. Pinky is happy-go-lucky, not a care in the world waiting to greet each new day and event with child-like glee. They both appeal to me as I try to balance my own life between the practicalities of a corporate career and the inner desire to chuck it all and runaway with a band as their tiny dancer.
Ultimately, I have to credit some genius comic writing for the real appeal. The original P&B shorts on Animaniacs were written primarily by Tom Ruegger and Peter Hastings. Upon moving into its own show, the writing staff included Gordon Bressack, Charles M. Howell IV, Earl Kress, Wendell Morris, and Tom Sheppard. I don’t know these people, but if you do, please tell them “thank you” for me. The deadpan lines they gave Brain and the perfect comic timing of Pinky’s random interjections was spot on.
I’ll let their own words illustrate, with a few of the responses to that question in the headline:
- Duh, I think so Brain, but where are we going to find rubber pants our size?
- Duh, I think so Brain, but what are we going to do with 1000 slinkies?
- Uh, I think so Brain, but I get all clammy inside the tent.
- Duh, I think so Brain, but aren’t we naked already?
- Duh, I think so Brain, but how are we going to get the Spice Girls into the paella?
- Uh, I think so Brain, but who would want a depressed tongue?
- Uh, I think so Brain, but this time you wear the tutu.
- Duh, I think so Brain, but if Jimmy cracks corn, and nobody cares why does he keep doing it?
- Uh, I think so Brain, but if they called them sad meals, kids wouldn’t buy them.
- Uh, I think so Brain, but where are we going to find a duck and a rubber hose at this hour?
- Uh, I think so Brain, but you put the trousers on the chimp.
- Duh, I think so Brain, but where do you put a feather and call it macaroni?
And if those make you laugh, you not only share my twisted sense of humor, but will also really enjoy the rest of the show. I don’t think they’re making any new episodes these days, but you can occasionally catch reruns (reportedly on on Jetix [Toon Disney], every night at 10:00PM Eastern Standard Time), or buy the DVDs, or just surf a bit of YouTube to get a fix. Enjoy!