Picks and Pans Review: The Duck Factory
Here's something to love, a sitcom set in a cartoon studio. It's every bit as wholesome as it sounds, but wry too. Comedian Jim Carrey (whose last major showbiz credit was dating Linda Ronstadt) is the fresh-faced star. We're not just talking white bread, we're talking Wonder bread. He arrives in Hollywood from Duluth with wide eyes and wider dimples to work in Buddy Winkler's cartoon studio. But as he knocks on the front door, Buddy the boss is being carried out the back in a coffin. "I'm here to see Mr. Winkler," Jim says. "I don't know if they'll open it up just for you," says co-star Nancy (Rhoda) Lane. Jim goes along to the funeral, where the staff tries and fails to find anything nice to say about their leader. Then Carrey goes to work. He sits in awe at the feats of his boyhood hero, Jack Gilford, as the aging and adorable gent who animates Dippy Duck. And when Buddy's dizzy-blonde widow tries to sell the studio, Jim gives an impassioned plea for the duck: "You bring this little guy to millions of people every week." His breathlessness needs to be tempered a little as the series moves on; it's offset in the premiere by all the death jokes. The ensemble—rounded out with a bitchy new boss, a gag writer, whose credits include cocktail napkins, and Wally, the voice of Dippy Duck—should shine if the scripts are good. There is reason for hope: The Duck Factory is brought to you by MTM, the same people who created Mary Tyler Moore. Well worth watching.