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Jason Alexander Talks Duckman
Jason Alexander Talks Duckman

By Billy Ingram

The tagline seen in the opening credits is: "Private Dick/Family Man."

"Duckman was an underground comic book about a private detective who's a duck," Jason Alexander explains. "Who is living in a home with his dead wife's sister [voiced by Nancy Travis], they don't get along, and his children, one of whom is a stoner duck the other one is a two-headed duck. He partners with a Porky Pig-like, Joe Friday detective [voiced by Gregg Berger] and he has two little stuffed bears as his office assistants who he can't stand and finds creative ways of killing them each episode. And it was a very subversive comic book and a very subversive cartoon show, it actually was the predecessor to the South Parks and the Family Guys. Very adult content, very sophisticated writing for a cartoon, a kid's cartoon. Lot of pop culture references, very written, very articulate stuff."

The show was animated by Clasky-Csupo (Rugrats); incidental music was provided by Frank Zappa.

A review of the DVD release in Forbes stated: Before Family Guy, and before Adult Swim, there was Duckman. Part of a new wave of 90s TV animation aimed at adults, which also included such stylistically diverse and varied offerings as Beavis and Butt-head, The Maxx, Aeon Flux, Ren and Stimpy and The Critic, Duckman was recognized as something pretty special at the time, with positive reviews, numerous celebrity guest voice cameos, and a four-season run. But mention it to people now, and it's barely part of the conversation.

Recurring characters on Duckman include Ajax (voiced by Dweezil Zappa), Duckman's idiot teen son; supervillain (voiced by Tim Curry) George Herbert Walker "King" Chicken; Beatrice (voiced by Nancy Travis), Duckman's first wife who was supposedly accidentally killed; Beverly (also voiced by Travis), Beatrice and Bernice's long-lost sister; and Gecko, Duckman's pet dog.

"When I auditioned for it, I thought it was a one-shot thing," Alexander says. "I thought it was a oner. Not a series. I created this voice... I can do that for a day. Then I had to do it for 4 years. It was tough. I came very close to doing some damage in there [indicating his throat] from doing Duckman all those years 'cause he was volatile, hyperbolic, tough character."

Duckman aired from March 5, 1994 through September 6, 1997.

The final episode (of 70 total) ended with a spectacular cliffhanger that would never be resolved. "There was nothing like it on TV," Alexander notes. "And it was on the very young, Paramount network, the UPN network, which nobody knew what that network was or who was watching. We had a good, small cult audience but that was all we had. And eventually, after 4 years, the episodes got too expensive to make to be worthy of the timeslot so..."


Duckman private dick/family man - season 1 episode 02

 

 

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IMDB: A crass, womanizing duck works as a private eye with his level-headed pig sidekick, all-the-while raising a family as a single dad.

Amazon: Duckman isn't your average suave, sophisticated private eye. In fact, he's rude, ignorant, slovenly, and hasn't had a date in years! With the help of his infinitely more capable sidekick, Cornfed, Duckman manages to solve enough cases to cover his alimony payments and cable TV bills. Duckman is a cult-favorite animated sitcom from the mid 1990's starring Jason Alexander (Seinfeld) as a crude private detective living with his family in the wake of his wife's death.

 

Duckman DVD set

 

 

 

 


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