Tooncrap #18 - The Rosey & Buddy Show

You aren't MY buddy!
Nelvana/Little Rosey Productions: 1992

Written by: Raymond Gallant

Welcome fellow toonsters to another fresh new year. And what better way to kick things off than by digging into the filth that is Tooncrap. And this week, we have a rather odd duck of a cartoon to run through. The Rosey and Buddy Show. A lame attempt by two lackluster comedians to make a really bad animated sitcom. You know, when the Simpsons was such a hit that everyone was trying to make it in the running, yet no one else could get the formula right:?

Enter Roseanne Barr and Tom Arnold. Both were recently married, and while Roseanne was already finding success with her sitcom (and finding hatred with her infamous national anthem fiasco) and Tom was finding success with... um...

the duo were trying to get an animated series going for ABC. This wasn't Roseanne's first attempt at an animated series. There was the easily forgettable "Little Rosey" that aired briefly on Saturday Mornings on ABC in 1990. So what spawned was the Rosey and Buddy Show. An animated special/pilot that aired once on May 15th, 1992 on the ever popular TGIF block. And despite their best effort, the special failed.

But let's see just why it failed, shall we? Let's review this thing.

We open the cartoon with a van leaving a rather messy city to the sunny and wonderful looking Cartoonland. Now before I even start, I will ask this to the public. Am I the only one who doesn't like the idea of cartoons having a world of reality and a "Toon Town"? If the world outside of the toon town is animated too, then what's the point? I get that the toon town would have crazier individuals, but if the whole world is a cartoon, having one place for the more cartoony lot seems kinda pointless. Trust me, should I ever get to talking about "Garfield Gets Real", this is going to be the same rant there.

Upon the realization that "Rosey and Buddy" are on their way, Cartoonland residents begin to run and hide. And I mean all the residents...

Even Droopy. And yes, this is another thing I'll be getting into soon enough. The shoehorned in cameos from other cartoon characters. The van breaks through the gate and causes a ruckus.

Even breaking up the picnic of former 2 time (Possibly 3 time soon) Tooncrap inductees, the Care Bears. Boy, these poor saps just can't catch a break with me, can they?

We meet our protagonists of the story, Rosey and Buddy, played by Roseanne and Tom Arnold. I don't quite know what to make of them, are they supposed to be kids, or midgets, or just weird chibi characters? And why is Rosey pretty much just Roseanne, and Buddy a whole different character, even though he's voiced by Tom Arnold? I guess Rosey and Tommy doesn't work as well I guess. And yes, I know that there was a character named Buddy in Little Rosey as well.

The duo plan to make their own TV show while in Cartoonland. While Buddy sets up, Rosey goes to eat (surprise), but when she opens the fridge, she realizes that the food are now all cartoon characters as well. But the fact that these foodstuffs now have souls doesn't phase Rosey, who just eats them anyway.

So, reckless abandon, littering, and eating living creatures alive. Our protagonists ladies and germs.

But while that is going on, the duo are being watched by a business weasel in a toupee named Mr. A. Powers. His main concern is that Rosey and Buddy will warp the minds of children around the world. Actually I'd say they'd annoy children around the world, but I can see where he's coming from. He sets out to put a stop to them. Oh, right after this random commercial.

The commercial features a family of really ugly looking green skinned people, a mom and her two tired kids. She decides to give them New Sugar Shockers to pep them up. It not only does that, but it ages them, makes them academically adept, and impregnates the daughter.

Sugar Shockers: It's Rape-a-Riffic!

Back to the story, Mr. Powers confronts Rosey and Buddy about their behavior, saying that there's ways to do things in Cartoonland, and it's certainly not the way Rosey and Buddy do things. He takes them via limo to his office, where he introduces them to Mr. Powers, Mr. Powers, Mr. Powers, Ms. Powers, and Mr. Powers. Their all powers because...

They're the "Powers" that be. Cute.

They believe that cartoons should only be cute, like the Care Bears or Strawberry Shortcake. Or big and tough like "those really really big robots". Methinks a certain Transforming Robot cartoon didn't allow you the rights to their name. But Rosey and Buddy simply just want to make people laugh. So far, that's not happened. They also show the powers that be what they had in mind, and put in a tape for

Doggie Houser M.D? Really?

So, Rosey and Buddy's big essentially game changing idea was to do hackneyed parodies that were already done to death by 1992? Also, what's with the green skinned guy again? Is this some weird shot at the Simpsons or something? Plus, come on. Doogie Schnauzer would have been a funnier name.

So, after this unfunny bit that goes on for over a minute, the powers are not happy due the lack of redeeming social values, and the chance for valuable advertising blocks. Rosey and Buddy care not, as again, all they really want to do is get a few laughs. Well so far that's been a swing and a miss. The powers that be tell them that all cartoons are good for is selling commercials when kids are glued to their sets. And they dump the duo into a cartoon called The Lunch Box Kids.

Get it? It's a parody of how 80's and 90's cartoons were for the most part glorified 22 minute commercials. Like Transformers, Potato Head Kids, and yes, even My Little Pony. But here's my rebuttal to that. If the shows weren't entertaining, they wouldn't have been hits. This tries to say that they were all pretty mindless and dumb. I don't fully see it that way, and I think they're trying too hard to get this joke over, but then again, I'm the guy who looks too much into things. Comes with the job of being a reviewer. They lead the Lunch Box kids to their doom with a steamroller. Because laugh.

Now deemed a threat by the powers, Rosey and Buddy are sent to the Betty and Veronica Clinic. Yes, I get the joke, and no, I still didn't laugh. And despite more efforts to make the duo more "politically correct", they continue their anarchy, and try to escape the clinic. They eventually end up in the "Very Intensive Care" unit.

They discover that a bunch of cartoon characters have been locked up in the unit for not complying with what the powers that be deem worthy. Oh, and Tom and Jerry are locked up too.

I'd be mortified that they're in this special, but hey, at least they aren't talking.

The duo continue their escape from the clinic, and run into some mental patients. One of them being...

A green Beetlejuice? Huh? I mean, Nelvana worked on this, and made Beetlejuice the Animated Series. However, the Beetlejuice cartoon was airing on Fox Kids around this time, and since this aired on ABC, i understand why the change for copyright's sake, but come on, it's frigging Beetlejuice, all the way down to Stephen Ouimette doing the voice.

Anyway, it's a really stupid Cuckoo's Nest parody where they want to watch baseball, but end up being confronted by Nurse Wrench, who is in fact a giant wrench. You know, Nurse Ratchet would have worked better. They watch a clip from Roseanne, which I'm guessing is worse than baseball? Is it just self deprecating humor for the helluvit? I dunno, this is half over. The duo manage to escape and make it back to the van. But they're also still being pursued, so they just summon a commercial to save their hides.

Hey, look. A People's Court parody. There weren't enough of those by 1992. We get another long and unfunny bit where Rosey defends tale clients in court. It goes absolutely nowhere. Hey, have you noticed that's really the theme so far?

After evading the powers, while also doing another bit with the living food, we go to another done to death parody. This time it's 60 Cels with Buddy, who is out to expose the secret lives of cartoon characters. They try to say that Daffy Duck is guilty of infidelity, as well as a long interview with Wile E. Coyote's stunt double. And this drags on for over three minutes, never getting to the point where you feel like laughing.

So, we wrap the story up with the duo returning to the clinic to interview the inmates of the very intensive care unit. However, when the duo end up surrounded by the powers that be, all looks unwell. But they manage to break out the inmates, who defeat the powers that be. And we end with Rosey and Buddy riding off to the sunset, wondering what adventures are next in Cartoonland. Oh, wait, they do another take, where the drive off into the sunset backdrop that falls. And that's a better ending... how? Who cares, this is over.

And that's "The Rosey and Buddy Show", and all I can really say is... ugh. Well, I gotta say more than that.

The animation is okay, pretty standard animation at best for the time, and while not amazing, at least Roseanne and Tom don't always sound like their just reading from a script with zero emotion. And that's all the good things.

The characters are unlikable. They're either just rude, or unfunny, lacking any reason to be invested in anything they do. Then again, it is Roseanne, so that rude mentality is kinda expected. It doesn't make the special flow any better.

The parodies aren't funny. They are low level references to things that were overplayed already. And this is supposed to be what is Rosey and Buddy's big idea of a cartoon show was. Just references that go nowhere. Like Family Guy, only surprisingly even worse and even more drawn out.

The characters are bland and useless. None of them are memorable, especially our main cast. In fact I think even the writers knew this, and that's why they shoehorned so many cartoon references. And none of those were even well handled. A cameo should surprise you, but still keep you entertained to see one of your faves in another show. This never did that.

And finally, the whole plot is just erratic. It's an ADD-addled ride that never seems to know what it wants to be at any given time. The plot never stays in one place at one time to keep you focused, and the shoehorned references just get in the way. Not to mention trying to shoehorn how everything is "cliche" when all our heroes are trying to give us is cliche crap doesn't fix anything.

In the end, this wasn't the worst thing ever. It certainly wasn't Bubsy bad, but there is nothing about it that would make me want more. And I'm glad ABC saw it that way since there wasn't a series to follow. This show doesn't make me rosey, and it's not my buddy. This is no doubt one of the worst things Tom Arnold's been involved in...

Though I still enjoyed it more than The Stupids.