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Also known asSteven Spielberg Presents Freakazoid!
Created byBruce Timm
Paul Dini
Developed byTom Ruegger
Voices ofPaul Rugg
David Kaufman
Edward Asner
Craig Ferguson
Jonathan Harris
Tracy Rowe
David Warner
Narrated byJoe Leahy
Theme music composerRichard Stone
ComposersRichard Stone
Steven Bernstein
Julie Bernstein
Gordon Goodwin
Tim Kelly
Carl Johnson
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes24 (49 segments) (list of episodes)
Executive producerSteven Spielberg
ProducersMitch Schauer (season 1)
Paul Rugg
Tom Ruegger (senior producer)
Rich Arons
John P. MacCann
Running time22 minutes
Production companies
Original release
NetworkKids' WB
ReleaseSeptember 9, 1995 (1995-09-09) –
June 1, 1997 (1997-06-01)

Freakazoid! is an American superhero comedy animated television series created by Bruce Timm and Paul Dini and developed by Tom Ruegger for the Kids' WB programming block of The WB. The series chronicles the adventures of the title character, Freakazoid, a crazy teenage superhero who fights crime in Washington, D.C.[1] It also features mini-episodes about the adventures of other superheroes. The series was produced by Warner Bros. Animation and Amblin Television, being the third animated series produced through the collaboration of Steven Spielberg and Warner Bros. Animation after Tiny Toon Adventures and Animaniacs.

Bruce Timm, best known as a producer of the DC Animated Universe, originally intended for the series to be a straightforward superhero action-adventure cartoon with comic overtones, but executive producer Steven Spielberg requested it to be a flat-out comedy.[2] The show is similar to fellow Ruegger-led programs such as Animaniacs, having a unique style of humor that includes slapstick, fourth wall breaking, parody, surreal humour, and pop culture references.

The series debuted on Kids' WB on September 9, 1995 alongside Animaniacs, The Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries, and Pinky and the Brain. The series lasted for two seasons across 24 episodes, with the final episode being broadcast on June 1, 1997. Although the series originally struggled in ratings, reruns on Cartoon Network and a fan following elevated it to become a cult hit.[3] Warner Bros. considered renewing the series for a third season, but deemed it to be too expensive. The show also ranked #53 on IGN's Top 100 Animated Series list.[4]


The show's title character is the superhero alter ego of geeky 16/17-year-old Dexter Douglas, a student of Harry Connick Jr. High School. His name is an allusion to the alliterative names that superheroes commonly have. Dexter gains his abilities from a computer bug activated by the "secret key sequence" "@[=g3,8d]\&fbb=-q]/hk%fg", which was accidentally activated by his cat Mr. Chubbikins, a reference to the Pentium FDIV bug. This sequence is also activated when Dexter hits the delete button on his computer. Freakazoid has enhanced strength, endurance, speed, and agility, as well as access to all of the Internet's knowledge. His base is the Freakalair, a parody of the Batcave which was built by his mute butler Ingmar. The Freakalair contains a "Hall of Nifty Things to Know" and a mad scientist lab. His greatest weakness, as he explains to Guitierrez, is graphite bars charged with negative ions. He also expresses a great aversion to "poo gas".

Freakazoid also has several other abilities: he once developed telekinesis powered by anger, and once crossed the globe to yell at a Tibetan monk. He also has the ability to assume the form of electricity and cover long distances instantaneously, although he often simply sticks his arms forward and runs while pretending to fly.

Dexter can change into and out of Freakazoid at will with the phrases "Freak out!" and "Freak in!". Freakazoid spends this time in an area of Dexter's brain called the Freakazone, where he reflects and watches Rat Patrol reruns.

While the show's setting is set around Washington, D.C., the locale often varies with its humor, taking Freakazoid to locations around the world.


SeasonSegmentsEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
13613September 9, 1995 (1995-09-09)February 17, 1996 (1996-02-17)
21311September 7, 1996 (1996-09-07)June 1, 1997 (1997-06-01)


  • Freakazoid (voiced by Paul Rugg) – The protagonist of the series. He is the alter ego of geeky 16-year-old computer ace Dexter Douglas (voiced by David Kaufman), a student of Harry Connick Jr. High School who became Freakazoid after the Pinnacle Chip inside his computer was activated. To transform and detransform, Dexter says "Freak out!" and "Freak in!" respectively. Dexter and Freakazoid are sometimes considered to be separate identities, and other times are considered the same person. His alliterative name is similar to superheroes like Peter Parker and Bruce Banner, while his outfit resembles that of Shazam.

The Douglas family[edit]

  • Debbie Douglas (voiced by Tress MacNeille) – Dexter's mother, who is unaware he is Freakazoid and is generally blithe and clueless.
  • Douglas Douglas (voiced by John P. McCann) – Dexter's father, who is incompetent but still attempts to keep his family in line.
  • Duncan Douglas (voiced by Googy Gress) – Dexter's older brother. He is a stereotypical jock who often bullies Dexter, but is frequently tormented by Freakazoid.
  • Mr. Chubbikins (vocal effects provided by Frank Welker) – The Douglas' cat, who caused Dexter's transformation into Freakazoid after accidentally typing in the key sequence that activated the Pinnacle Chip's flaw.


  • Sgt. Mike Cosgrove (voiced by Ed Asner) – A gruff yet kind-hearted police sergeant who is friends with Freakazoid and several other characters. He has the ability to get people to stop what they are doing by pointing at something and saying "Cut it out". He can also find Freakazoid no matter where he is, and often interrupts him to ask him to visit various entertainments, which Freakazoid always agrees to. During this visit, Cosgrove reveals important information about the plot of the episode, resulting in Freakazoid leaving to foil the villain's scheme. Additionally, at some point Freakazoid entrusted Cosgrove with his secret identity, and was deeply upset when he accidentally revealed it to Steff and Professor Jones.
  • Roddy MacStew (voiced by Craig Ferguson) – Freakazoid's mentor and expositionist. He is an ill-tempered Scotsman who once worked for Guitierrez and was the first to discover the Pinnacle Chip's flaw. In "The Chip", he was trapped in the Internet after going into it to escape from Guitierrez's minions, but Guitierrez later forces him out.
  • Steff (voiced by Tracy Rowe) – Freakazoid's kind yet cynical and sarcastic girlfriend, whose real name is Stephanie. She discovers Freakazoid's secret identity after Cosgrove accidentally reveals it in "Mission: Freakazoid".
  • Hans (voiced by Larry Cedar) – A mysterious agent with a Western European accent who takes Freakazoid to Professor Heiney's lab.
  • Professor Heiney (voiced by Ed Gilbert) – A scientist with a lab in the mountains, who Freakazoid sometimes goes to for help. He researches and kills monsters, but as a result is often attacked by them.
  • Ingmar – Freakazoid's mute butler, who built and maintains the Freakalair. He quits in "Mission: Freakazoid" to become a rodeo clown and is replaced by Professor Jones. He is a parody of Zorro's mute manservant Bernardo and Alfred Pennyworth.
  • Professor Jones (voiced by Jonathan Harris) – A snooty and cowardly man who is a parody of Dr. Zachary Smith from Lost in Space, who Harris also portrayed. He is Ingmar's replacement and is old friends with him. He does not get along well with Cosgrove and gets little respect from others. A running gag is that someone will ask him if he was on a show with a kid and a robot, which is a nod to Jonathan Harris' work on Lost in Space.
  • Joe Leahy (voiced by himself) – The show's vocal narrator and announcer.
  • Freakazette – A female counterpart to Freakazoid, who is mentioned in the first episode during the "Freakazoid and Friends" theme song.
  • Foamy the Freakadog (vocal effects provided by Frank Welker) – A vicious, rabid dog which Freakazoid frees from a dogcatcher's van. Foamy is painted blue and wears a Freakazoid costume; he is prone to maul and/or beat Freakazoid due to his rabid condition.
  • Handman (voiced by Paul Rugg) – Freakazoid's brief "right hand man", who is a painted face on his right hand. He falls in love with and marries Handgirl, a painted face on Freakazoid's left hand.
  • Expendable Lad (voiced by Paul Dini) – Freakazoid's sidekick in "And Fanboy Is His Name". He is hospitalized due to Milk Man bruising his clavicle and is subsequently released from Freakazoid's service.
  • Leonard Maltin (voiced by himself) – He is kidnapped by Dr. Mystico during "Island of Dr. Mystico", while giving his opinion on the episode. Freakazoid states that Maltin's superpower is his knowledge of film.
  • Henry Kissinger (voiced by Paul Rugg)[5] – He is kidnapped by Dr. Mystico's "orangu-men" during "Island of Dr. Mystico". He is also briefly mentioned in "Two Against Freak", where he is shown to host a show called Teen Chat.
  • Norm Abram (voiced by himself) – He is kidnapped by the Lobe to make a wooden instrument to destroy Freakazoid, but helps turn the tables against the Lobe and his allies after escaping.


Freakazoid! features several campy villains in his rogues gallery.

  • The Lobe (voiced by David Warner) – Freakazoid's archenemy, an evil genius with a giant brain for a head. Despite his high intellect, he has very low self-esteem, once even having a scheme foiled after Freakazoid insults his plan, despite being impressed by it after he leaves.
  • Cobra Queen (voiced by Tress MacNeille) – Real name Audrey Manatee, she was a former shoplifter whose theft of an experimental expired cosmetic transformed her into a cobra woman with command over snakes and reptiles. In later episodes, she and Cave Guy are shown to be dating. She has a lair in the sewers, and often complained about the lack of light there until Freakazoid suggested getting Japanese lanterns.
  • Cave Guy (voiced by Jeff Bennett impersonating Jim Backus) – Real name Royce Mumphry, he is a thuggish blue-skinned caveman with upperclass diction and taste who speaks in a stereotypical WASP tone. He subscribes to The New Yorker and also seems to have an odd fear of Klingons, primarily because of their language.
  • Longhorn (voiced by Maurice LaMarche) – Real name Jubal "Bull" Nixon, he was an employee of the Johnny Cat cat litter company until he turned to a life of crime. As a result of being frequently pursued by law enforcement, he had plastic surgery to turn himself into a humanoid Texas Longhorn, which Freakazoid points out did not prevent him from appearing on America's Most Wanted every week. He loves country music and, despite being a lousy songwriter, is determined to get a recording contract in Nashville. He also owns a truck nicknamed "Bessie Mae", which is outfitted with several devices and can fly.
    • Turk (voiced by Matt Landers) – Longhorn's henchman.
  • Armando Guitierrez (voiced by Ricardo Montalbán) – The head of Apex Microchips, who designed the faulty Pinnacle Chip responsible for Freakazoid's creation. He is similar to Khan from Star Trek, who was also portrayed by Montalbán. He briefly gained powers similar to Freakazoid's using the Pinnacle Chip, but was defeated in the Internet and fell into a pit. This caused the right half of his face to become cybernetic, which he now hides with a hooded robe. In "Normadeus", he is among the villains invited by the Lobe to witness Freakazoid's destruction.
    • Jocko (voiced by Paul Rugg) – Guitierrez's inarticulate henchman.
  • Candle Jack (voiced by Jeff Bennett) – A supernatural villain with a burlap sack covering his head
  • Waylon Jeepers (voiced by Jeff Bennett) – A man from Venice Beach who created the Medusa Watch, which can turn people and pigeons into stone. He is obsessed with the supernatural and is well acquainted with several monsters including Dracula, the Wolf Man, and the Loch Ness Monster. Additionally, Jeepers' schemes seem to deeply infuriate Freakazoid and he appears to be the only villain he does not like, as he once went on a long rant against him after he tried to show him the Medusa Watch. His name is a pun on Waylon Jennings.
  • Invisibo (voiced by Corey Burton impersonating Vincent Price) – Originally known as Ahmon Kor-Unch, he is a pharaoh who is invisible via the staff he carries. In the ancient past, he was sealed away inside a sarcophagus, but is freed in the modern day after Dexter and Duncan accidentally break the seal while fighting. Invisibo plans to absorb power from the local power plant to become unstoppable, but is defeated by Freakazoid, who destroys his staff, and sealed back into the sarcophagus. He returns in "Normadeus", where he is among the villains invited by the Lobe to witness Freakazoid's destruction where he regained his invisibility.
  • Booger Beast (voiced by Frank Welker) – A slimy monster who attacks Steff in the cold opening of episode 9.
  • The Nerdator (voiced by Aron Kincaid) – A man who plans to kidnap all of the nerds in the world and absorb their knowledge to become a "Super-Nerd". However, Freakazoid convinces him of the downsides of being a nerd, after which he discontinues his plot and instead begins kidnapping "good-looking, but vapid airheads". His design is a parody of the Predator.
  • Arms Akimbo (voiced by John Schuck impersonating Edward G. Robinson) – A spoiled model turned extortionist who, after years of posing, was left with his arms frozen in a pose with his hands on his hips. He sells "oops insurance", a form of protection racketeering which mainly consists of him breaking valuable things.
  • The Milk Man – A milk-themed villain whom Freakazoid and Expendable Lad fight in "And Fanboy Is His Name". He injures Expendable Lad's clavicle, resulting in him retiring.
  • Deadpan (voiced by Bebe Neuwirth) – A plain-looking, shapeshifting supervillainess with a monotonous voice, who appears in the cold open of "The Wrath of Guitierrez". She tries to conquer Washington by transforming into Freakazoid, but her plan is foiled when the real Freakazoid appears and exposes her. She also appears in "The Lobe" as part of the crowd watching the Lobe attempt to lobotomize Freakazoid.
  • Mary Beth (voiced by Tress MacNeille) – Cosgrove's former girlfriend, a short-tempered cosmetics executive and monster. When angered, she turns green, develops a deep, raspy voice, and shoots fire from her nose. She has allegedly existed since the beginning of time, having absorbed the life force of superheroes to remain immortal. She plans to do so to Freakazoid, but he defeats and kills her. Her name is a play on Mary Kay.
  • Janos Ivnovels (voiced by Jim Cummings) – The ruthless dictator of Vuka Nova and its Minister of State Security. He is responsible for capturing Freakazoid's family and the mime from Animaniacs and imprisoning them in Chesky Beresch Prison, the toughest prison in Europe. He and his subordinate Colonel Anton Mohans are defeated after Freakazoid and his friends rescue the Douglas family and mime, and is last seen being tortured by the mime and his friends.
    • Colonel Anton Mohans (voiced by Larry Cedar) – A vicious thug who finds torture relaxing.
  • Vorn the Unspeakable (voiced by Richard Moll) – A Cthulhu-like demon summoned by Jeepers using a book entitled How to Summon Monsters the E-Z Way.
  • Dr. Mystico (voiced by Tim Curry) – A mad scientist who lives on a remote island and seeks to take over the world. He was kicked out of university for his mad science, and thus set up a laboratory on an island to continue his experiments, which include its native orangutans
    • Sparkles - Dr. Mystico's pet white cat, who is similar to the cat owned by Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
    • Orangu-Men (vocal effects provided by Jim Cummings) - A group of creatures created by Dr. Mystico by splicing human and orangutan DNA. Three of them, Fatima, Ackbar, and Ringo, serve as his henchmen.
  • Kid Carrion (voiced by Jeff Bennett) – A zombie cowboy who primarily makes non-speaking cameo appearances, and resembles Tex Hex from Bravestarr. He was among the characters created during the original development of the show.
  • Major Danger – A villain who was part of Bruce Timm's original development of the show. He makes a cameo in "The Lobe", among the crowd watching the Lobe attempt to lobotomize Freakazoid.
  • Bombshell – A villain who was part of Bruce Timm's original development of this show. She makes a cameo in "The Lobe", among the crowd watching the Lobe attempt to lobotomize Freakazoid.
  • Eye-of-Newt – A one-eyed creature resembling Newt Gingrich, whose name is a reference to Shakespeare's Macbeth ("Eye of newt and toe of frog..."). He has no dialogue and is a background villain.

Other characters[edit]

  • Mo-Ron/Bo-Ron (voiced by Stan Freberg) – An obese and dimwitted alien from the planet Barone's, a reference to the restaurant of the same name. His name was later changed to Bo-Ron to appease network censors' concerns that use of the word moron could be offensive.[citation needed] His design is a parody of Ro-Man, the alien monster from Robot Monster. He first appears when he tries to deliver Earth an important message, only to forget what it was. This message turned out to be a comet heading towards Earth, causing everyone to flee the area. He also appears in "Next Time, Phone Ahead!", a parody of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. In "Freak-a-Panel", he is among the characters who confront Freakazoid over being dropped from the show and are given a job washing the Freakmobile.
  • Fanboy (voiced by Stephen Furst) – An obese, socially awkward fanboy and would-be sidekick to Freakazoid who obsesses over various media. In "Freak-a-Panel", he is among the characters who confront Freakazoid over being dropped from the show and are given a job washing the Freakmobile.
  • Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton (voiced by Frank Welker and Tress MacNeille respectively) make several cameos in the show, partly because of its setting of Washington, D.C.
  • Barbra Streisand (voiced by Tress MacNeille) also makes several appearances, most notably in the episode "Dexter's Date", which features a parody of Hello, Dolly!.
  • Hero Boy (voiced by John P. McCann) – The title character from Freakazoid's favorite TV show, which is a parody of Astro Boy. He has no powers expect for flight and his fighting techniques always fail.
  • Steven Spielberg (voiced by Frank Welker) – The show's executive producer. His most notable appearance is in "The Freakazoid", where Freakazoid, the Brain, and Wakko Warner get into a disagreement over which of their shows he likes best, only for Spielberg to reveal that he does not know who they are. In "The Nerdator", Spielberg is among the nerds captured by the Nerdator as he was directing an E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial sequel called E.T. Returns.
  • Paul Harvey (voiced by Paul Rugg) – A man who often interrupts the story to give background information on villains, such as in the episodes introducing Cobra Queen and Longhorn, or to describe the ending of an episode, as shown in "Candle Jack"). He is a parody of the radio personality of the same name.
  • Lonnie Tallbutt (voiced by Mitch Schauer in human form, vocal effects provided by Jim Cummings in werewolf form) – A werewolf that begs Dexter for help. His name is a combination of Lon Chaney Jr. and Lawrence Talbot, who Chaney played in the 1941 film The Wolf Man.
Emmitt Nervend.
  • Emmitt Nervend – A short, hunchbacked man with straw-like hair and a frozen grimace who usually shows up at least once an episode, always in the opening credits, but usually in the background. He stands looking at the camera, never saying a word. The end credits often contain a credit revealing how many times Emmitt can be found in a particular episode. His appearance was drawn by Mitch Schauer.
  • Weena Mercator as the Hopping Woman – A person acknowledged whenever credits are used in an episode.
  • Yakko Warner (voiced by Rob Paulsen) – The oldest brother of the Animaniacs.
  • Wakko Warner (voiced by Jess Harnell) – The younger brother of the Animaniacs.
  • Dot Warner (voiced by Tress MacNeille) – The youngest sister of the Animaniacs.
  • The Brain (voiced by Maurice LaMarche) – A megalomaniacal genius lab mouse.


Freakazoid! also features several mini-segments, primarily in the first season. Each of these have their own theme songs and title cards, and only occasionally appear in the main show. These segments include:

  • Lord Bravery – Nigel Skunkthorpe (voiced by Jeff Bennett impersonating John Cleese) is a superhero from the United Kingdom who resembles a Roman soldier. He does not do much in the way of superheroics, as he is snooty, cynical and unwilling to do unpleasant tasks. Likewise, he gets little respect and recognition from the public and his wife and mother-in-law (voiced by Tress MacNeille and Mark Slaughter respectively), with whom he lives. In "Office Visit", he loses his name due to a trademark dispute with a bakery and changes it to Lord Smoked Meats and Fishes. His theme song is done in the style of Gilbert and Sullivan's song "A British Tar". In "Freak-a-Panel", he is among the characters who confront Freakazoid over being dropped from the show and are given a job washing the Freakmobile.
  • The Huntsman – Marty Feeb (voiced by Jeff Bennett impersonating Charlton Heston) is a Robin Hood-like hero who lives in the woods. He was a poor hunter who saved an elf from being eaten by a crow and was rewarded with magic corn that gave him enhanced strength and speed, as well as shiny teeth, resulting in him becoming the Huntsman. He also has a brother called Hector Feeb, who he claims lives in a townhouse. The Huntsman can be summoned by a police officer blowing into the Horn of Urgency in the local police station, run by lieutenant Artie King (voiced by Dorian Harewood). His sketches are often themed around beginning with a lengthy and heroic opener with a title indicating an action-oriented episode. However, it ends up being anticlimactic, as he is unneeded due to a lack of crime. The Huntsman is also an umpire in the annual Superheroes/Villain All-Star Benefit Softball Game. In "The Freakazoid", he requests Freakazoid help him find a crime-filled town, as he went to another town that had crime, only for its crime to dry up upon his arrival. In "Freak-a-Panel", he is among the characters who confront Freakazoid over being dropped from the show and are given a job washing the Freakmobile.
  • The Lawn Gnomes – Baffeardin (voiced by Clive Revill), Huska (voiced by Carl Ballantine), Honna (voiced by Rose Marie), and Quist (voiced by Larry Gelman) are a group of gnomes-turned-lawn gnomes who come to life at night in a parody of Gargoyles. They were infamous for their mischief back in 995 AD, with the Great Mystic Gnome (voiced by Roscoe Lee Browne) advising them to change their ways. They planned to do so but were cursed to become stone by day by the wizard Rathgar (voiced by Maurice LaMarche) after they tripped him and attacked his Viking brother Erik the Large (also voiced by LaMarche). However, they would revert at night, during which they could mend their ways by fighting evil, after which the curse would be lifted.
  • Toby Danger – A parody of Jonny Quest originally written by Tom Minton as a standalone short for Animaniacs, but was slotted into Freakazoid! to fill time. It features the adventures of Toby Danger (voiced by Scott Menville), his scientist father Dr. Vernon Danger (voiced by Don Messick), his adoptive sister Sandra Danger (voiced by Mary Scheer), and Dr. Danger's bodyguard Dash O'Pepper (voiced by Granville Van Dusen) as they fight Dr. Sin.
  • Fatman and Boy Blubber – The misadventures of two overweight superheroes (voiced by Marc Drotman and Paul Rugg, respectively), in a parody of Batman. Their only segment involves them coming to the aid of Louis (voiced by Scott McAfee), an overweight boy who loves sweet buns and is being tormented by bullies Joey (voiced by Scott Menville) and an unnamed bully. After attempting to capture the bullies and failing due to their lack of physical fitness, Fatman and Boy Blubber deliver a speech to Louis about their struggles with being overweight and trying to eat healthy. When Louis asks what the point of the speech is, Fatman changes the subject to ask if he has sweet buns in his lunchbox; he then tries to confiscate the food and, along with Boy Blubber, begins beating Louis up when he refuses to give the sweet buns to them. Fatman and Boy Blubber also briefly appear in "Hero Boy", reading a storybook to children.



The voice actors of the show Freakazoid! included various actors from other television series and films. Tress MacNeille, Maurice LaMarche, Jeff Bennett, and Frank Welker, who all provided voices in the series Animaniacs, were on Freakazoid!. Actors Ed Asner, Ricardo Montalbán, Larry Cedar, Jonathan Harris, and Stephen Furst also provided voices for the series. Also, writers John P. McCann and Paul Rugg (who played Freakazoid) added voices themselves.

Casting for the show had been difficult for the Freakazoid! staff, as no lead character had been found even after extensive auditions.[6] Eventually, when writer Paul Rugg was brought to demonstrate the voice in a recording session, he ended up filling the role, as he said: "I went in there and did it. Then they played it for Steven Spielberg and he said 'Yep! Fine, sure, great,' and then I panicked ... and I had to do it."[6] Rugg played the role of Freakazoid through the entire series run.


The animation was outsourced to Animal-ya, Studio Junio, and Tama Production in Japan, Seoul Movie, Dong Yang Animation, and Koko Enterprises Ltd. in South Korea.


The music for Freakazoid! was written by Richard Stone, Steve Bernstein, Julie Bernstein, Gordon Goodwin, and Tim Kelly. Stone won a Daytime Emmy with lyricist (and senior producer) Tom Ruegger for the main title song in 1996.[7] Julie Bernstein was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Original Song in 1998 for the song "Invisibo" from the episode "Freak-a-Panel".[8]

Controversy with Mike Allred's Madman[edit]

The show and its lead character was criticized for plagiarizing the superhero comic book Madman by Mike Allred,[9] asserting that the title characters share several personality traits, and wear similar costumes featuring a chest emblem including an exclamation mark. During the short run of the show, Allred remained relatively silent on the subject, but in 2003, he responded to a question about the show on the message board of his official website:

[Show creator] Bruce Timm was kind enough to tell me that Madman was a direct inspiration for the show, with comics open and referred to when developing the show.

Stupidly, I was flattered; happy to inspire anything. But when the show came out, with no acknowledgement or credit or any kind of compensation, I slowly became annoyed as everyone and their uncle confronted me with "there's this cartoon that's ripping off Madman" and "you oughta sue".

I simply wrote a friendly letter to [show producer] Steven Spielberg telling him his production was a direct lift of my creation, I had no intention of creating ripples, I just wanted him to know that I knew. No one replied, which is fine. And to be honest, Madman is an amalgam of a half a dozen other influences. So who am I to complain (the exclamation mark on the chest still kinda irks me a little though. A little too close for comfort).[9]


The humor in Freakazoid! relied heavily on slapstick, parody and pop culture references. Due to the series being metafiction, much of the series was self-aware humor (i.e. breaking the fourth wall); for instance, after the first appearance of the Freakmobile, the show goes immediately into an impromptu commercial for a toy version, and later in the episode, Freakazoid addresses an audience, congratulating the staff on how hard they have worked to make the show toyetic. A running gag involves a repeated credit for "Weena Mercator as the Hopping Woman", though no such character appears in any episode. The show also incorporated humor aimed at the WB Network, such as questioning the meaning of the initials "WB".

Freakazoid! made frequent use of stock footage, including a peaceful scene of a field of flowers ("Relax-O-Vision"), numerous people screaming and traditionally dressed Bavarians dancing and slapping each other ("Candle Jack"), and a man being shot in the belly with a cannonball and a man wrestling a bear ("The Chip").

Cameo appearances were also a major element of the show's humor. At various times, Freakazoid! hosted appearances by characters from other Warner Bros. shows such as Pinky and the Brain, Animaniacs and even an insinuation appearance of Batman from Bruce Timm's animated version. Portrayals of many celebrities (including producer Steven Spielberg) and guest appearances by such figures as Jack Valenti, Leonard Maltin and Mark Hamill as themselves were also commonplace. Norm Abram had an entire episode, "Normadeus", built around him. One original character, a bizarre-looking man named Emmitt Nervend, plays no role whatsoever other than enabling a Where's Waldo-esque hunt for his cameos (complete with the number of his appearances announced in the closing credits).

One of the show's longest cameo appearances was in the episode "The Freakazoid", where Freakazoid, Wakko from Animaniacs, and the Brain from Pinky and the Brain argue over which of their shows is Steven Spielberg's favorite, with Freakazoid arguing that his show was the favorite (Tiny Toon Adventures was not represented in the discussion as it was on Nickelodeon at the time, while the others were on Kids' WB). However, when the trio confronts Steven over the issue, he admits to having no idea who they are.



I mean, it probably would not have worked as a straight super-hero show. It was really neither fish nor fowl. It was such a weird idea that it probably needed to be a comedy more than an adventure show.

Bruce Timm, Modern Masters Volume 3: Bruce Timm[10]

Freakazoid! was created by animators Bruce Timm, who had previously produced Batman: The Animated Series, and his writing partner Paul Dini, who was also a story editor for Tiny Toon Adventures.[3] Timm was called upon by Steven Spielberg, who Timm said "liked" Timm's Batman series, to help create a new superhero show.[11] After a meeting with Spielberg, Timm said that Spielberg had "really liked" the idea for the series,[11] after which Timm and Dini created the character Freakazoid, an edgy superhero with a manic personality. Timm came up with the name for the character naturally, as he recalled, "The name 'Freakazoid' just kind of jumped out of me, I don't even know where from. I said 'Oh, yeah, 'Freakazoid', that might be an interesting name.'"[3] Dini and Timm have also discussed their desire to create a TV show about the Creeper, another comedic character.

Timm originally created Freakazoid! to be a serious "adventure show" with some comedic undertones.[3] However, his initial idea for the series did not come to be, as he stated:

I don't mind that it's not on my résumé. [Laughs] I bailed on it really early. It started out as an adventure show, but it ended up turning into more and more of a comedy show; every time we'd have a meeting with Steven, the concept would kinda [sic] change, and it kept leaning more and more towards zany comedy. It really started out almost like Spider-Man, on that level of, like, a teenage superhero. And it reached a point where it became a comedy with the Tiny Toon Adventures/Animaniacs kind of humor. (...) I don't have anything against that; I just don't have a flair for it, so I bailed—I just hung out here while my staff had to do the show. [Laughs][11]

After Timm left the series, Tom Ruegger, who developed the other Spielberg series Tiny Toon Adventures and Animaniacs, was brought in to re-develop the series Timm had created "from the ground up".[3] Ruegger's version of the series used some of Timm's designs and concepts, but Timm said that the series was "radically altered" to become the comedy series that was more to Spielberg's liking.[3]

Ruegger then began writing stories for the series, and came up with a pile of very short segments. Spielberg liked what Ruegger had written, but wanted longer stories for the series as well. Ruegger then asked writers John McCann and Paul Rugg to come onto the series to write longer, more elaborate stories for the series and, according to Rugg, "(...) figure out what this [Freakazoid!] was going to be, and the answer was like, 'We didn't know', and still don't".[3]

Premiere, cancellation, and syndication[edit]

Freakazoid! premiered on Kids' WB's Saturday lineup on September 9, 1995.[2] During its run, Freakazoid! came across problems of appealing to its target demographic, young children. Tom Ruegger said that Freakazoid! had done poorly in ratings because the audience that the series gathered was older than the target audience.[3] Also, Freakazoid ran into timeslot problems. Writer John McCann said that the time slot of the series changed frequently: "They put it at eight o' clock in the morning, 3:30 in the afternoon, they shifted it all around; we couldn't even find it, and we wrote the thing".[3] The series ran on Kids' WB until February 14, 1997, when it was canceled due to poor ratings, airing only one complete season and part of a second season.[2] Rugg said the series' demise was the result of a combination of people not understanding the series, time slot changes, appealing to the wrong demographics, and that "(...) there aren't a lot of Nielsen boxes in federal prisons. Had there been, I'm telling you, we'd still be on the air today".[3] However, the show was later picked up by Cartoon Network and was rebroadcast from April 5, 1997, until March 29, 2003.[2] The series had a total number of 24 episodes. In 2006, Freakazoid! was one of the shows scheduled to be broadcast on the AOL broadband channel, In2TV. The show is currently available to stream for free on Tubi.[12] In Italy, Freakazoid! along with Tiny Toon Adventures, Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brain, was shown on RAI and later Mediaset. In Japan, Freakazoid! along with Tiny Toon Adventures was shown on TV Asahi. As of 2016, the show also currently airs on Tooncast. Starting on June 25, 2024, the show will also air on MeTV Toons.


The series won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Class Animated Program.[3][13]

Bruce Timm said that the series still has a cult following of fans who ask him questions about the series whenever they meet him.

According to Timm, the character's co-creator, he actually has a preference for the second season:

BRUCE: I actually liked the second season better than the first season. The second season was less Animaniacs. It was more Monty Python, it was much more surreal. It was less hip, topical in-jokes, and---

MM: And more eating cotton candy in the Himalayas.

BRUCE: And the weird Astro Boy parody and stuff like that. I thought that stuff was much funnier and much more unique. The first season, to me, was just Animaniacs with a super-hero in it.[10]

Video on demand[edit]

United States[edit]

As of June 2022, the series is currently available to stream for free in the United States on Tubi. It is also available to purchase on DVD and digital stores. In Latin America, the show streams on HBO Max.


The entire series is currently available for purchase on Amazon Prime Video in Italy.



Freakazoid never had his own comic book, but he did make a special guest crossover in issue #35 of the Animaniacs comic book published by DC Comics.[14]

Home video[edit]

Warner Home Video has released the entire series on DVD in Region 1.

DVD name Ep # Release date Bonus features
Season 1 13(+1) July 29, 2008 (2008-07-29) Audio commentary on three "key episodes", promos from the series launch, and a featurette tracking its evolution from an action series to a comedy series.[15]
Season 2 11 April 29, 2009 (2009-04-29) Featurettes on the making of the last episode, "Favorite Moments" from the series, and an original demo tape for the song "Bonjour, Lobey" from series composer Richard Stone.[16]

In popular culture[edit]

The sixth season episode of Teen Titans Go!, "Huggbees", aired on November 14, 2020, and features Freakazoid helping the Teen Titans defeat the Lobe and Brain when they join forces. It was mentioned by Freakazoid that Steven Spielberg would have to approve the crossover which led to Robin sending a message to Steven who approves of the crossover. According to Rugg, the production team for the show had sent him a script involving Freakazoid in December 2019 which he approved. The episode has Rugg, David Warner, Ed Asner, and Joe Leahy reprising their respective roles.[17]


  1. ^ Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 220–221. ISBN 978-1538103739.
  2. ^ a b c d Lenburg, p. 638
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Tom Ruegger, Bruce Timm et al. (2008). Steven Spielberg Presents Freakazoid: Season 1. Special Features: The Original Freak (DVD). Warner Home Video.
  4. ^ "53. Freakazoid". Top 100 Animated Series. IGN. Retrieved December 13, 2011.
  5. ^ @pkrugg (March 2, 2023). "Actually…I did Kissinger. Ha!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  6. ^ a b Rogers, Brett (1996). "Freaking Out With Paul Rugg". Animato!. No. 36. Archived from the original on November 4, 2007. Retrieved June 29, 2007.
  7. ^ education, Elaine Woo Elaine Woo is a Los Angeles native who has written for her hometown paper since 1983 She covered public; Local, Filled a Variety of Editing Assignments Before Joining “the Dead Beat”-News Obituaries – Where She Has Produced Artful Pieces on Celebrated; national; Figures, International; Mailer, including Norman; Child, Julia; in 2015, Rosa Parks She left The Times (March 15, 2001). "Richard Stone; Won Emmys as Composer of Cartoon Music". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 5, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  8. ^ Crump, William D. (2019). Happy holidays--animated! : a worldwide encyclopedia of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year's cartoons on television and film. Jefferson, N.C. p. 146. ISBN 978-1-4766-7293-9. OCLC 1076805299.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  9. ^ a b Allred, Mike (November 7, 2003). "Re: Freakazoid". Mike Allred Message Board. Archived from the original on July 28, 2006. Retrieved May 27, 2007.
  10. ^ a b Nolen-Weathington, Eric (June 1, 2004). Modern Masters Volume 3: Bruce Timm. TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 52. ISBN 978-1-893905-30-6.
  11. ^ a b c Lamken, Saner (2000). "The Ever-Lovin' Blue-Eyed Timm! Bruce Timm Interviewed by Brian Saner Lamken". Comicology. No. 1. TwoMorrows. Archived from the original on June 4, 2006.
  12. ^ "AOL to Launch New Video Portal". Time Warner Newsroom. Time Warner. July 31, 2006. Archived from the original on August 2, 2007. Retrieved June 29, 2007.
  13. ^ "Freakazoid! on WB: 1995, TV Show". TV Guide. Retrieved May 28, 2009.
  14. ^ Moore, Jennifer; Sean Carolan (w), Batic, Leonardo (p), McRae, Scott (i). "Tour DeFreak" Animaniacs!, no. 35, p. 1-19 (March 1998). DC Comics.
  15. ^ "Rear Box Art for Freakazoid!". TVShowsonDVD.com. Archived from the original on April 30, 2008. Retrieved April 28, 2008.
  16. ^ "Freakazoid! – Finalized Box Art, Front & Back, for 2nd Season Better Explains DVD Bonuses". TVShowsonDVD.com. Archived from the original on February 4, 2009. Retrieved April 28, 2008.
  17. ^ Weiss, Josh (November 11, 2020). "Wire Buzz: Doctor Who S13 Filming; Mortal Kombat Movie Delayed; Freakazoid! Meets Teen Titans Go!". SyFy Wire. Retrieved November 12, 2020.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]