I’ve said it before, and it continues to be true: One of the best parts of living in L.A. is that every night of the week there is something to do that will be fun, interesting, and perhaps more than a little unusual. Case in point, last night’s performance of “Cartoon Dump!” at the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood.
Cartoon Dump! is a parody of a children’s television variety show which centers around some of the worst cartoons ever aired. The show was created by Frank Conniff (formerly of Mystery Science Theater 3000) and animation historian Jerry Beck. In addition to the really bad cartoons, there are songs, comedy, puppets, and (at least last night) a juggler.
Follow me past the jump for more about Cartoon Dump!
Cartoon Dump! is hosted by the extraordinarily cheery Compost Brite (Erica Doering) and Moodsy the Clinically Depressed Owl (Conniff.) Compost Brite opens the show with the Cartoon Dump! theme song, and is then joined by Moodsy to introduce the cartoons, welcome the guests, and perform other songs throughout the show.
Also in the cast was Officer Pete, the Paint Sniffing Patrolman with Sleep Apnea (Joe Keyes.) Officer Pete huffed continually from a bag, so I got the paint sniffing part; not sure how the apnea figured in, though. A puppet by the name of Dumpster Diver Dan (voiced by J. Elvis Weinstein) appeared in a dumpster on the stage. The cast was rounded out by the lovely (albeit silent) Cue Card Goddess (Kristin Arrigio.)
The guests for last night’s show were Michael Rayner, a somewhat quirky but very entertaining comedian/juggler, and Matt Weinhold, another comedian, whose delivery could be improved; there were a few funny lines, but he couldn’t quite get the audience to go along with him on all of the jokes.
In the final analysis, I’d say the show had it’s moments, but on a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give it a 5. Compost Brite and Moodsy were terrific hosts, but they couldn’t quite compensate for the uneven comedy through the rest of the show. You know how sometimes a thing will be so bad that it’s good again? Because I’m not really an animation geek, the really bad cartoons were just…well, bad.
If you’d like to check it out for yourself (it could be hilarious and I’m just a horrible theater patron,) you can see a video episode on the Cartoon Dump! website. The live stage production happens on the fourth Tuesday of every month at the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood.