Friday, September 21, 2007

My Shameful Mistake

In a recent episode of Live Wire I made the assertion that Huckleberry Hound wore a vest. It was part of a bit in which I was promoting “The Oregon Vest Fest,” an event celebrating everybody’s favorite torso adornment. I claimed that Huckleberry Hound chose one article of clothing to wear and it was a vest, believing that celebrity endorsement really said something about vests. Gales of knee-slapping laughter followed the bit, in my memory, and subsequent jokes carried us all down a delightful comedic path and away from the whole notion of Huckleberry Hound in a vest.

That should have been the end of the story…a story I would never have even told because had it really ended there, those to whom the story would have been told might well have asked “That’s it? What the eff kind of story was that?”

Well here’s the tragic twist. A nagging sense of doubt led me to do a little research. It turns out Huckleberry Hound never wore a vest. He wore a bow tie and a straw hat.

Sure, he occasionally wore a costume. One Google image result had him posing as a sheriff, replete with a vest and tin star. But he also wore a Santa outfit, a lion tamer getup and a dress. I don’t know where I got the idea he wore a vest. I couldn’t easily find another vest-wearing cartoon character to blame for the confusion. Yogi Bear? Nope, necktie and a shabby fedora. Quick Draw McGraw? McNaw! Bandana and a 10 gallon hat. His alter ego El Kabong? El no. Zorro hat and cape. Top Cat? Well yeah, but who the hell remembers Top Cat? Nobody. The joke would have tanked.

While I feel terrible, I don’t feel 100% responsible for this situation. The audience validated the whole thing by laughing. As soon as that happened they were all accessories to the crime. None of the other writers caught the mistake in any of our meetings…and they’re usually pretty good about that kind of thing. I once wrote a sketch about a device that would convert stomach gurgles into infotainment voice overs by Pat O’Brien. Courtenay pointed out a very similar device depicted in an old SNL sketch…ouch! Since then I’ve seen similar device ideas on the Simpsons and elsewhere. I actually hope to see more, so I can point to more examples for my “collective unconscious” excus--er, argument. Speaking of Simpsons, the TV must have been on during one of my 11th hour sketch edits because a Nelson Muntz line (temporarily) found its way into the script, word for frickin word. (Hey, Nelson wears a vest! Damn!) Sean caught that one, and I think he looked at my sketches sideways for a while. I don’t blame him.

On each of these occasions I was ashamed and embarrassed. This time is no different. I want to apologize to our fans that still follow this blog…both of you…and I vow to be better in the future.
And I sincerely apologize to Huckleberry Hound’s family who may have been deeply hurt by all of this. He died in Vietnam of course but if I'm not mistaken his wife is still living and I think I heard his kids followed him into show business. H.H. Jr. played Eddie on Frasier and his daughter played the love interest in one of the Air Bud movies. I’m pretty sure.


Padre Rico said...

Regardless of your apologies, you are expected at the pillories downtown at noon. Duration of sentence, TBD.

Amish Justice said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amish Justice said...

Though we anticipate better fact-checking from our comedic purveyors, I totally thought Huckleberry Hound wore a vest myself. I think you're justified in your vestigial visions of a the canine in question, if only because his bow-tie and George McGovern-esque flat hat simply beg for the addition of appropriate apparel.

Courrrtenay said...

How can you not know the difference between a tie and a vest? Do you wear your underwear as a hat? Your socks on your hands? Your nipple rings on your balls? It's like you're Garmentally Dyslexic. That's just sad.

el padre said...

Sorry about the confusion. Apparently the pillories were relocated to the Portland Pirate Festival this weekend and were not available for your use downtown. They should be back in place by Monday. See you then.

patsypalooza said...

i just like how "vestigial visions" made me think of "vestal virgins". who probably wore vests. because isn't that what "vestal" means? tyler, could you research that please?

Anonymous said...

Goofy wore a vest. Perhaps you were just remembering the wrong dog-like thing.