(Re)Animations: The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley
“Look! It’s moving. It’s alive. It’s alive… It’s alive, it’s moving, it’s alive, it’s alive, it’s alive, it’s alive, IT’S ALIVE!”
Our beloved (Re)Animations column has risen from the dead thanks to some much needed downtime and a few hours of Youtube Time (sorta like MillerTime, complete with a next-day hangover!). While it was initially hard to choose which forgotten favorite would be reanimated for our amusement next, I just couldn’t refuse a chance to revisit the completely mental world of Martin Short’s Ed Grimley.
Donning a front-facing cowlick – and mad musical skills on a triangle – Ed Grimley was the personification of a ‘hyperactive manchild” who originated as a character on Second City Television (SCTV) before moving on to Saturday Night Live and becoming Short’s signature character for much of the mid-late 80s. He even scored the actor a short-lived (pun intended) animated series called The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley produced by Hanna-Barbera.
Joining Ed is his pet rat (Sheldon), his goldfish (Moby) and a cast of equally quirky characters his crush Miss Malone, her little brother Wendell and Ed’s landlord Mr. Freebus. One of the greatest aspects of the show, though, was the integration of animation and live action which at the time was still a pretty novel concept for a Saturday morning cartoon. Most prominently featured at the intro of each episode, the highlight came when Ed tunes in to watch his all-time favorite horror host, Count Floyd (portrayed by fellow SCTV alum Joe Flaherty).
“Grimley was really ahead of its time, I will say that, because there never had been that kind of absurdity in animation on television before. There hasn’t. Maybe Bullwinkle, which was a big influence on it. But we would do things like, you know, when Ed would turn on the TV, it would go to live-action, and Joe Flaherty would be doing Count Floyd, or Catherine O’Hara would guest on it. I mean, the people who actually were part of it… Hanna-Barbera at the time had never done a show like this.” –Martin Short, News, Reviews and Interviews