Duckman
Also known asDuckman: Private Dick/Family Man
GenreAdult animation
Animated sitcom
Created byEverett Peck
Based onDuckman
by Everett Peck
Developed by
Directed by
Starring
Composers
  • Scott Wilk
  • Todd Yvega
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons4
No. of episodes70 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
Producers
Running time22–23 minutes
Production companies
Original release
NetworkUSA Network
ReleaseMarch 5, 1994 (1994-03-05) –
September 6, 1997 (1997-09-06)

Duckman: Private Dick/Family Man, commonly known simply as Duckman, is an American animated sitcom created and developed by Everett Peck, based on characters he created in his 1990 one-shot comic book published by Dark Horse Comics. Duckman aired on the USA Network from March 5, 1994, through September 6, 1997, for 4 season and 70 episodes. It follows Eric Tiberius Duckman (voiced by Jason Alexander), a private detective who lives with his family.

After airing in syndication, the series gained a cult following.[1] Spin-off media include volume DVDs released from 2008 to 2009, a comic book collection released by Topps between 1994 and 1996, a Complete Series DVD set released in 2018, and a video game entitled Duckman: The Graphic Adventures of a Private Dick for Microsoft Windows. The series was listed among IGN's "Top 100 Best Animated TV Shows" in 2009 and received three nominations at the Primetime Emmy Awards.

Plot

Left to right: Duckman, Bernice, Ajax, Gecko, Charles and Mambo, "Grand-Ma-Ma", and Cornfed.

In a universe where humans and anthropomorphic animals coexist, the series centers on Eric Tiberius Duckman (voiced by Jason Alexander),[2] a widowed, lewd, self-hating, egocentric anthropomorphic duck who lives with his family in Los Angeles (as mentioned in the episode "Bev Takes a Holiday") and works as a private detective. The tagline of the show, seen in the opening credits, is "Private Dick/Family Man".

Main characters include Cornfed (voiced by Gregg Berger), a pig who is Duckman's Joe Friday–esque business partner and best friend; Ajax (voiced by Dweezil Zappa), Duckman's eldest, slow-witted teenage son; Charles (voiced by Dana Hill and later Pat Musick) and Mambo (voiced by E. G. Daily), Duckman's genius conjoined twins whose heads share a body; Bernice (voiced by Nancy Travis), the identical twin of Duckman's presumed-dead wife Beatrice, a fanatical fitness buff who hates Duckman with a passion; and Grandma-ma (voiced by Travis), Duckman's comatose, immensely flatulent mother-in-law.

Recurring characters include Agnes Delrooney (voiced by Brian Doyle-Murray), Grandma-ma's doppelgänger who kidnaps her and poses as her until near the end of the final season; Fluffy and Uranus (voiced by Musick), Duckman's two obsessively politically correct Care Bear–esque teddy-bear office assistants; George Herbert Walker "King" Chicken (voiced by Tim Curry), a supervillain who schemes to ruin Duckman's life; Beverly (voiced by Travis), Beatrice and Bernice's long-lost sister; and Gecko, Duckman's pet dog (which he had stolen).

In the final episode, four couples (Dr. Stein/Dana Reynard, Duckman/Honey, King Chicken/Bernice, Cornfed/Beverly) get married – the last three in a joint ceremony. The kids, Fluffy and Uranus, and a number of characters from previous episodes are in attendance. As the ceremonies draw to a close, Beatrice (Duckman's supposedly deceased wife) appears and shocks the entire crowd. When Duckman asks how she can still be alive, Beatrice indicates Cornfed always knew. Cornfed says, "I can explain." The show then ends with "To be continued...?" superimposed on the screen. In regards to this cliffhanger, Duckman writer Michael Markowitz offered the following shortly after the series came to an end: "We never formally planned Part II... and I'll never tell what I personally had in mind. I'm hoping to leave it to my heirs, for the inevitable day when Duckman is revived by future generations."[3] On August 13, 2015, Markowitz posted on his Twitter page in response to a question from a fan about the cliffhanger, "Was then (& now) an #XFiles fan (bride in ep was Dana Reynard, a Mulder-Scully hint) so involved gov't coverup of aliens".[4]

Production

The series consists of 70 episodes that aired on Saturday nights from 1994 to 1997 on the USA Network. It later reran on Comedy Central from 2000 to 2006. In Spain, it aired on Canal+ in the 90s and on Cartoon Network alongside The Critic through a nightly block aimed at adults around 2000-2001, with dubbing made in that country. In the United Kingdom, it aired on Sky 1 and BBC Two, and in Canada, it is a former program on MTV2 and Teletoon. The initial showrunners were Peck, Reno and Osborn, and the show was produced in association with Paramount Network Television. Klasky Csupo animated and produced the show; around the same time, they were also producing Aaahh!!! Real Monsters on Nickelodeon.[5] In later years, the show running duties went to David Misch and Michael Markowitz. Creator and executive producer Everett Peck was with the show for its entire run. Producer Gene Laufenberg was with the show for most of its run. Scott Wilk and Todd Yvega created original music for the series, including the theme.[6] The first season also featured music from Frank Zappa's published catalog (Zappa died several months prior to this series' premiere).

Episodes

Main article: List of Duckman episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
113March 5, 1994 (1994-03-05)June 11, 1994 (1994-06-11)
29March 11, 1995 (1995-03-11)May 8, 1995 (1995-05-08)
320January 6, 1996 (1996-01-06)July 6, 1996 (1996-07-06)
428January 4, 1997 (1997-01-04)September 6, 1997 (1997-09-06)

Merchandise

Comic books

Between 1994 and 1996 various comic books were published by Topps based on the TV series.[7] These were largely written and drawn by others, including Jay Lynch, Scott Shaw! and Craig Yoe. Topps also reprinted Peck's original 1990 Duckman comic.

Home media

In January 2008, TVShowsOnDVD.com reported that Duckman would be coming to region 1 DVD.[8] Details followed in May, when it was announced that the first release in the series would be the first two seasons, 22 combined episodes on three discs, on September 16, 2008.[9] The final two seasons, 48 episodes, were released on a seven-disc set on January 6, 2009.[10] Both DVD sets were released by CBS DVD/Paramount Home Entertainment.

With the DVD releases, many episodes were edited to remove copyrighted music because of royalty issues, and as a result they differ somewhat from the aired TV episodes though Everett Peck was involved in the process of the DVD releases and he felt the most important music was preserved.[11]

The Complete Series DVD was released on February 6, 2018.[12]

Title Season(s) Episode count Release date
Volume 1: The Complete First and Second Seasons 1 and 2 22 September 16, 2008 (2008-09-16)
This three-disc release contained the entire first two seasons.
Volume 2: The Complete Third and Fourth Seasons 3 and 4 48 January 6, 2009 (2009-01-06)
This seven-disc release contained the entire final two seasons.
The Complete Series 1–4 70 February 6, 2018 (2018-02-06)
This ten-disc release contained the entire series.

Video game

In May 1997, a point-and-click adventure computer game, Duckman: The Graphic Adventures of a Private Dick, was released for Microsoft Windows. In it, Duckman has become a famous detective, and a television series based on him is about to debut, but someone is pushing Duckman out of his own life and replacing him with a bigger, better, heroic Duckman. The player's goal is to help Duckman get rid of the impostor and reclaim his rightful place. A PlayStation port was planned for a release in the first quarter of 1997 but it was cancelled.[13]

Reception

The show was critically acclaimed.[14][15][16] In January 2009, IGN listed Duckman as the 48th best in the Top 100 Best Animated TV Shows.[17]

Episodes "T.V. or Not to Be", "Noir Gang", and "Duckman and Cornfed in 'Haunted Society Plumbers'" were nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program in 1994, 1996, and 1997, respectively.[18]

See also

References

  1. ^ Kurland, Daniel (March 8, 2019). "Duckman: We Need Him Now More Than Ever". Den of Geek. Archived from the original on October 2, 2022. Retrieved February 13, 2023.
  2. ^ Zupan, Michael (September 22, 2008). "Duckman - Seasons One & Two". DVD Talk. Archived from the original on August 20, 2010. Retrieved August 22, 2010.
  3. ^ "To Be DIScontinued! - The Hall of Unresolved TV Cliffhangers: 1996-2000". Members.tripod.com. September 21, 1998. Archived from the original on March 23, 2009. Retrieved March 7, 2015.
  4. ^ @markowitz (August 13, 2015). "@Kennnnnny ...Was then ( & now) #XFiles fan (bride in ep was Dana Reynard, a Mulder-Scully hint) so involved gov't coverup of aliens" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  5. ^ Byrnes, Nanette (October 16, 1995). "The Rugrats' Real Mom and Dad". Hollywood: Business Week. Archived from the original on December 7, 2010. Retrieved August 28, 2010.
  6. ^ "ASCAP ACE - Search Results". Archived from the original on May 23, 2011. Retrieved January 14, 2008.
  7. ^ "Everett Peck". Lambiek.net. Archived from the original on July 3, 2018. Retrieved February 13, 2023.
  8. ^ Lambert, David (January 5, 2008). "Duckman DVD news: Plans Announced for Duckman". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved March 7, 2015.
  9. ^ Lambert, David (May 28, 2008). "Duckman DVD News: Announcement for Duckman - Seasons 1 and 2". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on October 17, 2015. Retrieved March 7, 2015.
  10. ^ Lambert, David (September 14, 2008). "Duckman DVD News: Update About Duckman - Seasons 3 & 4". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved March 7, 2015.
  11. ^ Mulrooney, Martin (November 18, 2009). "Interview – In Conversation with Everett Peck, Animator, Cartoonist and Creator of Duckman". AlternativeMagazineOnline.co.uk. Archived from the original on April 6, 2019. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
  12. ^ Lambert, David (November 13, 2017). "Duckman - 'The Complete Series' on DVD from CBS/Paramount: Date and Package Art Look for All 4 Seasons to Come Together in One Set in Early February". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on November 14, 2017. Retrieved November 13, 2017.
  13. ^ "E3: The City of Angels Hosts One Hell of a Show - Duckman" (PDF). Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 84. EGM Media, LLC. July 1996. p. 67. System: PlayStation, Release date: 1st Qtr, '97
  14. ^ O'Connor, John J. (March 9, 1996). "Television Review - 'Madison County' Spoof from a Cartoon Duck". The New York Times. Archived from the original on September 13, 2016. Retrieved March 7, 2015.
  15. ^ Hiltbrand, David. "Picks and Pans Review: Duckman". People. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved March 7, 2015 – via People.com.
  16. ^ Winistorfer, Andrew (January 18, 2009). "Duckman: Seasons Three and Four". PopMatters.com. Archived from the original on October 17, 2015. Retrieved March 7, 2015.
  17. ^ "Top 100 Animated Series". IGN. Archived from the original on April 26, 2014. Retrieved October 19, 2010.
  18. ^ "Duckman". Emmys.com. Archived from the original on November 17, 2022. Retrieved September 29, 2016.