Talking Simpsons – Duckman’s About Face

Surprise! In our chronological path through the Simpsons timeline, we’ve hit the premiere of Duckman, USA Network’s answer to The Simpsons. We discuss Duckman’s hilariously rant-filled history and breakdown the first season standout episode, About Face…

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49 thoughts on “Talking Simpsons – Duckman’s About Face

  1. I’ve known about Duckman through general cultural osmosis + listening to you guys, but I had never seen a full episode before learning that this week’s TS would be a diversion into it. This was a great one to get me started and I look forward to watching more. These diversions into Simpsons-related shows are a blast.

  2. I remember hearing about Duckman my senior year of high school, but I didn’t have cable (not that unusual in 1994,) so I had to wait until I went to college the next year to get USA to watch it. I watched it every Saturday night (the ad they play even says Saturday, regardless of what Chris says about watching it on Fridays,) along with Weird Science, which I never liked that much, but I had no life anyway, waiting for MTV’s Amp to come on later. I got both DVD collections, but haven’t watched too many of them yet, the episodes are still pretty fresh in my mind.

    Chris didn’t mention Darkwing in his list of great ducks. I just picked up a couple of Darkwing DVDs, it feels like the universe is pushing me to enjoy ducks lately, like Chris says.

    1. I have no nostalgia for Duckman, having watched it as a result of Bob’s incessant references (love ya Bob <3). That being said, this podcast was consistently interesting and there are enough unique episodes to warrant more coverage. The fact that the show attempted to tackle more "grown up" problems than the Simpsons certainly provides for an interesting contrast.

      Still, I would hope you guys won't shy away from covering post-peak Simpsons. At least, spend some time in the foul, fetid troughs of seasons 13-18 before emerging into the stagnant swamp of the post movie era. It would be nice if you cover every episode, but if this is too painful highlighting some of the real abortions would be akin to an act of national service (you know who you are, Kill the Alligator and Run and Panda Rape) .

  3. You guys have said you are doing these one offs in order to extend the show to delay when you hit the shit seasons but I still think you should do a sampling for each later season as we’ll get a taste of the later seasons in case there is anything worth wild there. Like 5-10 episodes each season including the Treehouse of Horror every year. I’d suggest to try and pick what is considered the best episode(s), maybe the season premier and finale, anything notable, catches your eye that would make a good episode, or just so shit you can tear it apart for a good 30 minutes or whatever.

    1. Also put me in not a fan of this episode. Maybe because I have no nostalgia for Duckman or maybe I just don’t like Duckman. Sometimes on lasertime podcasts you guys gafaw over shows or clips and I’m just stone faced wonder what the hell was that. Tim and Eric things are a big example of this.

  4. great episode! I remember being able to catch re-runs back in 2003 when there was a block of animation on comedy central. Undergrads, Critic, and Duckman. Undergrads was about college freshmen that aired the same year I was a college freshmen so I really connected with it.

  5. YES!!! Great job, guys! I hope you can keep this going with other series….maybe Talking Dr. Katz?

    Duckman was something I grew to appreciate later in life. Still has one of my favorite theme songs ever.

  6. You’re looking at a baby of 1994 (born between season 5 and 6 of the Simpsons airing) so Duckman only exists for me as a reference made by the LT crew. The first time I ever saw Duckman, I felt like I was being assaulted by what was on screen. It’s pretty rare to see a show that hits with such impact as Duckman, but I’m so glad I experienced it thanks to you guys. I feel like if you would want to sprinkle in a Duckman episode here or there during the Talking Simpsons run that makes perfect sense, and would be a great wild card episode of sorts. I don’t know how many episodes of the show I could watch in one sitting, being a dirtbag teenager means a very different thing to someone my age as it does to you guys. But this episode was great, you guys aren’t overbearing libtards, and I say keep on podcasting!

    PS: Talking Critic is totally a worthwhile endeavor for the full thing.

  7. This episode seemed to have a lot of plot, where Talking Simpsons doesn’t usually seem too bogged down. I wonder if it’s because Duckman (and the Critic) usually have one focused story, instead of B and C stories, so they feel more story oriented than the Simpson’s?

    I love Duckman, but I can understand others being irritated that their Talking Simpsons feed got hijacked, this episode was sort of slow for non-fans. They really should at least do Dead Plumbing Society, at some point.

  8. I loved/love Duckman. I was heartbroken when i got the dvd set and they had to edit out musical portions of episodes like mtv did to Daria. The only way i was ever able to watch either in their original form WITH commercials was by using the dvd/vcr at my moms house to play my collection of duvkman and daria vhs tapes.
    ——
    I would NO JOKE up my patreon to $15 to $20 a month if y’all would come back together at least once a month to do duckman and critics podcast episodes.
    ——
    BRING IT ON! shower my body with your animation podcasts. I wanna rub those episodes all over my bawdeee.

  9. Another special? Thank you! The Simpsons opened the floodgates for animated experimentation and one of the best example has to be Duckman. Its cruel delivery and ugliness put me off as a kid but coming back to it I admire its sharp biting commentary and “so weird, it’s cool” design. Duckman is an odd duck (I’m sorry) and I’d love for you NERRRRDS! to tackle more animated craziness.

    Katz? Liquid television? Early Space Ghost (cartoon planet)?

  10. Great episode! I went on a mini Weird Science binge recently and it got me reminiscing about Duckman. It’s hard to think of one without the other. I’d forgotten about how poignant this damn show could be! Just rewatched About Face and I’m pretty sure that ending is one of the most depressing moments in animated television.

  11. American Dad did something similar in an episode where they horribly disfigured Francine’s face with acid and then didn’t show the result, instead leaving it to everyone’s reactions to give you an idea of how bad it was. The entire episode goes on and on like this until about a half minute is left and you’re confortable in your assumption that her face will always be left to your imagination…and then, at the last possible second, they cut to a full view of her horrific face just long enough to freak you out. It works because, this late in the episode, you aren’t expecting to see anything.

  12. I remember when Duckman came out, but I could never get into it because I find Jason Alexander *INCREDIBLY* irritating. (I’m not a Seinfeld fan either)

    But I just wanted to say I thought you guys did a good job with this episode, lots of interesting stuff I didn’t know, especially about Klasky Chupo.

    I’d like to see you do other different series like you did with the Critic and this one. Maybe some of the Kids WB stuff like Animaniacs that Chris likes?

    P.S. I agree with you Henry, Tim Curry is the best!

  13. Maybe it’s just personal nostalgia speaking, but although I really liked this episode I’d be a lot less interested in a Talking Duckman series than a Talking Critic, although you guys seem like maybe you’re more excited for the Duckman one.

    This episode was really interesting as a view into a show I never really watched in particular (thought I’ve seen a few episodes channel surfing) but I don’t know if it has the weight for me to have multiple eps.

  14. Please stop doing non-Simpsons shows. I thought the one about The Critic was cute, but there are this is too soon after that episode.

  15. Didn’t have cable when this aired, so I guess I’m going to check out About Face and listen to this episode!

    Suggestion for the distant future: I’d love a Talking Tick show about the animated series – especially if Henry can help explain all the comic references that the show is parodying. I wasn’t into superhero comics back then, so I only got the most obvious references, but still loved the show. (“If you’re so evil… eat this kitten!”)

  16. Duckman is a, “Oh, yea, I watched that a few times” show for me. I think I really enjoyed it, but never made a huge effort to watch it at a set time.

    Oddly enough I’m pretty sure this is an episode I saw.

    Personally I like you guys doing digressions. The Simpsons writers (and while the voice-actors and animators are important, I think it’s the writers who really made the Simpsons, THE SIMPSONS) went on to make so many things that I think it’s worth exploring what those things are. It was also interesting to hear you talk on the USA network, something I haven’t thought about in almost 20 years.

    I say keep doing digressions because I love the show but I’m pretty sure I’ll stop listening once you get to any season past 1999, just because those seasons don’t mean anything to me while the early seasons are burned, BURNED, into my brain.

      1. Doing a quick Wikipedia skim through it looks like I can at least vaguely remember 90+% of the season 8 episodes on the level of “Oh yea… I think I remember that!” while by that same standard it’s around 33% of season 10. Go to season 12 and it will probably be 0%. And I just can’t imagine Talking Simpson’s being interesting to me if I can’t at least vaguely remember what they are talking about.

        So I say MORE DIGRESSIONS! MORE MORE MORE!

  17. I have 2 major Duckman memories: 1 is watching it at my Great-Grandmother’s house, because we were only allowed to watch cartoons when we were there, and that felt like I was getting away with something. The other was having a “fuck this job” day at my old office and binge-watching the first season at my desk about 2 years ago. That show is alright.

  18. Hey everybody, I’m glad to see so many people like our Duckman episode! (And the ones who didn’t were pretty polite.) That said, I’m seeing some concerns that we’re eventually going to get tired of podcasting about The Simpsons as soon as the “golden” era is over. As an experiment, I watched a whole bunch of seasons 11 and 12 over the holiday break, and I found that, while the storytelling and characterization drops off, there’s still a lot of great jokes, and plenty of stuff to talk about. So I don’t see us shutting things down anytime soon.

    1. Yeah, I kind of assumed you guys were NOT gonna say “fuck this” and cancel the show instead of cowboy up and tell me what is funny about post-season 10 shows.

      This show, and I think I’ve mentioned it before on Twitter.com/TheRealKusabi (plugplug) actually, that this show made me watch Simpsons having never watched it growing up in the 90’s and 00’s. And there ARE some funny episodes after season 10.

    2. As a slightly younger man who stayed with the show for a lot longer than you guys, I’m excited to hear you talk about the >10 seasons.

    3. But will it have relevance to you guys and your audience? You’ve stated that you tape recorded and watched the early episodes again and again and again and that the phrases and references in them became part of how you speak. When you reach the episodes, weather that is season 11 or 14, where the show just becomes, “This is an episode that I’ve never seen until I just watched it for my podcast” will it matter as much to you and us as it obviously does now?
      I know it won’t for me. That’s nothing personally on you as a podcaster but I listen, in a large part, to re-live the shows that I ALSO re-watched again and again and that became part of my speech. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve listed to your show and gone, “That thing I always says was from the Simpsons!” Like MY-mistake! I had zero idea the infliction of a specific set of words I’ve been using (for decades at this point!) when I mess up was a reference to a Halloween special of the Simpsons. I had used it so often it just became what I say, not a reference. When you start talking about episodes that I never saw and gags that mean nothing to me outside of how you describe them . . . eh. I’m just not sure that Talking Simpsons will still be the same and you may want to morph into talking Futurama at that point.

      1. Well, we have to face the fact that not all of our audience had the same Simpsons experience that Chris, Henry and I did. I’m sure we have lots of listeners 10, 15, or even 20 years younger than us who don’t view The Simpsons as a show that was great for just a decade. I recently met someone around 15 years younger than me who only just started watching the show from the beginning and didn’t notice the drop-off we all lived through in the ’90s. In any case, I think even the “bad” years will be fun to explore for different reasons.

    4. I think I kept watching until somewhere around season 15, and there are still episodes I like a fair bit from 10-12 so I’ll be sticking around as long as the show goes.

  19. I felt Angela is similar to Mindy in “The Last Temptation of Homer.” She’s very sincere and sweet and never demonized, and shows she cares for her love interest in a non-shallow way. Their character designs are kind of similar too (red dress and all). Both are refreshingly unexpected approaches to a “hot” woman in a cartoon.

    1. Boy, great job the episode guys. I haven’t watched the actual episode yet, but wow, Duckman is indeed much deeper than its radical 1990s aesthetic and edgy humor would one have you realize. “Let it ring” Did I tear up.

  20. I was aware of Duckman at the time, but figured it wasn’t for myself. You guys have brought myself on board. Going Youtube diving this weekend.

  21. I’ve seen Bob talk about Talking Simpsons forever on Twitter. Huge fan of the show, I never pulled the trigger, until I saw this very special Duckman episode. Listened to it, loved the discussion and now am going to attempt to listen to the now huge backlog of Talking Simpson episodes.

    I seemingly stumbled upon a large number of cult favorites when I was in middle school in the 90’s. From MST3K to Kids in the Hall and Almost Live (can you tell I watched a lot of Comedy Central in its infancy?) Duckman was right up there. Though that probably had more to do with me being a horny middle schooler and having the natural lead-in of Weird Science.

    Whatever the case, I probably watched Duckman at an age that I was too young to understand most of the jokes, but it holds a very nostalgic place in my heart. I should go back and watch them again on Youtube through adult eyes.

    Great episode and I’ll be on the lookout for more Duckman!

  22. I think we all need a Talking Duckman podcast. This was one of the most poignant episodes I’ve ever heard on the Laser Time network

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