|This article relies on references to primary sources. (December 2007)|
|Tiny Toon Adventures/Animaniacs character|
Mr. Skullhead is a character from the animated television series Tiny Toon Adventures and Animaniacs. He originated on Tiny Toons when the character Elmyra Duff removed the tiny skull in the center of the bow she wears and imagined he had a show and created his theme song. Later he made the transition to Animaniacs. On Animaniacs, Mr. Skullhead was a minor character, featured in the "Good Idea/Bad Idea" segments and starred in one full-length cartoon, "Skullhead Boneyhands", a parody of the Tim Burton film Edward Scissorhands. Skullhead never spoke, and usually fell victim to some sort of catastrophe.
Skullhead appears as an oversimplified skeleton (his head being a simple oval) wearing a grey suit with matching derby hat. He seems incapable of speech. His intro for his theme song ends with him being smashed, his own bones spelling out the title.
"Good Idea/Bad Idea" from Animaniacs
Each "Good Idea/Bad Idea" was generally a 30-second segment between cartoons. In the segment, a narrator (Tom Bodett) described a "Good Idea" which was usually some mundane but enjoyable activity which Mr. Skullhead would then perform. The narrator would describe a "Bad Idea" which was the same task except with one crucial detail changed. Mr. Skullhead would then perform the variation on the first activity which usually resulted in him severely injuring himself. Typical examples:
Good Idea: Whistling while you work. Bad Idea: Whistling while you eat. (Skullhead is kicked out of the diner... literally)
Good Idea: Having breakfast served to you in bed. Bad Idea: Having tennis balls served to you in bed. (Skullhead is pummeled by tennis balls)
Good Idea: Buying a pair of shoes on sale. Bad Idea: Buying a parachute on sale. (Skullhead jumps out of a plane with a defective parachute that falls off of his back)
As Jason Green writes, "Steven Spielberg's madcap animated classic Animaniacs had its fair share of hilarious running gags. Toward the top of the heap was the string of two-line gags known as 'Good Idea, Bad Idea', wherein a hapless soul named Mr. Skullhead would perform a 'good idea', then receive some sort of violent comeuppance from a related 'bad idea', all narrated in a brilliant deadpan by Tom 'We'll leave the light on for ya' Bodett.
"Good Idea/Bad Idea" was reprised in two issues of the Animaniacs comic book: the special Christmas edition released a few months before the series proper, and another one late in the series' run. These often featured characters other than Skullhead, like the Warners or Slappy.
Mr. Skullhead occasionally appeared elsewhere on Animaniacs such as in the cartoon short about Shakespeare's Hamlet entitled "Alas, Poor Skullhead"; and the shorts "Nighty-Night Toon" and "Survey Ladies". Skullhead also appears in Star Warners, a parody of Star Wars, as well as his own solo short "Skullhead Boneyhands" which is a parody of Edward Scissorhands.
Regarding the DVD release, Filip Vukcevic of IGN writes: "Thirteen years later and a droll skit featuring Mr. Skullhead... is still worth a chuckle". Tyler Shainline contends that "Some of the best characters were the ones that never got the chance to be overused, like Mr. Skullhead, a mute skeleton whose clips were narrated by Motel 6 spokesman Tom Bodett...".
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Mr. Skullhead|
- "Take Elmyra Please" and "Grandma's Dead". Tiny Toon Adventures. 1992-02-17, 1992-11-10.
- "Skullhead Boneyhands". TV.com. Retrieved 2009-02-04.
- "Cultural References Guide for Animaniacs". Archived from the original on 2009-10-25. "Mr. Skullhead is a character from TTA, appearing in both of the 'Elmyra's Family' episodes."
- Mendoza, N.F. (1993-10-24). "Showtime series for 'tweens' don't shy away from gay themes; More family shows". Los Angeles Times.
- Tyler Shainline, "Animaniacs, Vol. 1: DVD REVIEW", DVDTOWN.COM (Jul 30, 2006).
- "Alas, Poor Skullhead". Big Cartoon DataBase. Retrieved 2009-02-04.
- "Survey Ladies". Big Cartoon DataBase. Retrieved 2009-02-04.
- Filip Vukcevic, "Animaniacs - Volume Two: Has this classic comedy show aged well?," IGN (January 5, 2007).
- Tyler Shainline, "Animaniacs, Vol. 1: DVD REVIEW," DVDTOWN.COM (Jul 30, 2006).