Saturday, October 23, 2010


I tried to make a video like this myself a while back, but this one is much better and more complete -- as far as I can tell, it's all of Pinky's responses to the "Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?" question from "Animaniacs" and the spin-off series. I think they did the routine a couple of times on "Pinky, Elmyra and the Brain" and in the "Wakko's Wish" movie, so it's not one hundred percent complete, but it's all the responses from the commercial DVD sets.

They're not arranged in order, which makes it less clear, but there was an evolution in the kind of answers Pinky gave. Originally it was something that implied he was "pondering" a solution to the actual problem he and Brain were dealing with, but that his idea was something weird or potentially obscene. Midway through the spinoff, it changed to become a random thought on popular culture or some other issue that happened to be on Pinky's mind ("But 'Tuesday Weld' isn't a complete sentence").

There was also at least one "pondering" that was written in and redubbed at the last minute. A longtime fan (I think it was Ron "Keeper" O'Dell, the keeper of the most important "Animaniacs" online resource) suggested "I think so, Brain, but she'd never leave Mickey." It was apparently recorded, but the Warners legal department ordered it out because of the knotty compensation issues involved -- you're not supposed to use unsolicited ideas, even if they give you permission. So it was changed to "But then my name would be 'Thumby.'"


Steve said...

Great stuff. Wasn't there one involving Sally Struthers in Spandex? Or was that just a dream?

Plato said...

Yup, "she'd never leave Mickey for you" was Keeper's. (Brain does look a little crestfallen at the "Thumby" remark.) Some of the pop-culturey lines certainly could be considered Pinky's answer to what Brain was actually pondering (say, "Pete Rose? Can we trust him?" (hey, they used Rose twice!)), but others definitely fit the "Pinky POV"-mould. There are a few that are a bit too much of a sequitur, I think: "apply North Pole to what"; also the one about taking London Bridge apart, though at least that was delayed longer. Most of the ones I'd rate best are probably non-pop lines (e.g. "we'd look like weasels", "it's a miracle this one grew back", etc.). Though the Pippi Longstocking and Regis Philbin ones are good — and also early, too. But then those gags don't depend on who the people are, it's just an example of comic specificity.

Something else more noticeable when the clips are played in order is how Pinky's voice changed over time (Brain's too, though not as much).

-David "Are you pondering what I'm pondering?" Green

Plato said...

Steve, you're thinking of "The Hand that Rocks the Cradle", where Brain plans to influence the children of the world through a series of "Baby Brain Booster" videos that will inculcate in them a predilection for everyone's favourite world-conquering lab mouse:

PINKY: "Egad, brilliant, Brain — oh, wait, no... babies have very short attention spans!"
BRAIN: "Trust me, Pinky: I have inordinate experience dealing with short attention spans."
PINKY: "Oh, you're tall enough for your age, Brain!"
BRAIN: "Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?"
PINKY: "Wuh, I think so, Brain, but isn't Sally Struthers too old to wear Lycra?"
BRAIN: "Please, Pinky! Must you always be such a meathead?"
PINKY: "But Brain, you told me I was in a permanent vegetative state!"

They really do say each other's name every sentence, don't they?!

-David "thinks so, Plato, but who could write a song with that many rhymes?" Green