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Topic: Roger Rabbit in "Stay Tooned, Folks!", Latest Roger Rabbit Tale by Gary K. Wolf< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
RichKoster Offline
Rich Koster


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Posted: June 22, 2006, 7:10 pm Quote

Yoo Hoo, Disney EchoEars!

That toony greeting is very appropriate in this topic, because a big tip of the mouse-eared hat and our thank go out to Gary K. Wolf, author and creator of Roger Rabbit, for wanting to share with all EchoEars here his latest Roger Rabbit short story.

Gary writes that this "Stay Tooned, Folks!" Roger Rabbit tail... er, tale... was first published in "Amazing Stories" magazine, which is now bankrupt and out of print. Gary, the author of the story, kindly sent it to me to present here on the Disney Echo as a free download to any Roger fan interested in reading it.  As Gary says, “Maybe ten people read this when it originally came out.  Hare’s hoping we can at least double that readership on the Disney Echo."  As I think we would all agree, any Roger is good Roger, and any Jessica is best of all!


So, that's how it came to be that the latest Roger Rabbit short story is being presented here. Tell your friends! It is indeed free to read the tale here -- just log-in and you'll see it presented here in this topic. If you know of any Roger Rabbit fans, pass the word to them as well as that registration on the Disney Echo is free, and that they'll need to be logged in to see the story on the Echo. If there is any problems with registration, have them send me an email and I'll personally help register them as EchoEars.

To build up interest, the story will be presented in installments here, not all at once -- but eventually the entire story will be found right here.

You are encouraged to add your comments by replying to this topic!

And it is important for all those interested to read this -- because if a lot of EchoEars do then it might help persuade Disney to create the second Roger Rabbit movie.

Gary Wolf also passes along this news:
  • He also did a Roger Rabbit short story entitled "Hare's Looking At You, Babs." In it, Barbara Walters interviews Roger. It was published in a book called "The Fruitful Branch", a collection of short stories from Brookline, MA residents. Proceeds from sales of that book go to fund the Brookline, MA public library. Anybody interested in reading it can buy a copy from The Brookline Booksmith at
  • He also has a non-Roger novelette coming out this September in "The Amityville House of Pancakes," the leading anthology of humorous Science Fiction. His piece is entitled "The UnHardy Boys in Outer Space." Fans can get that one from -- as well as other upcoming new ones books by Gary K. Wolf when they come out -- but note that as I write this, the link currently doesn't have the upcoming September 2006 edition of "The Amityville House of Pancakes," but it will appear there auto-magically once Amazon starts taking pre-release orders for it -- what appears at that link now are two previous editions of that book, which do not contain Gary's story. Clear as mud? ;) Anyway, every purchase made at after you click the above link will help the Disney Echo -- and the link is listed here on the Echo with Gary's blessing. "The UnHardy Boys in Outer Space" as well as other new books written by Gary will not be sold on his website, he has informed me, so please use that link above.
  • Gary has a lot of good stuff on his website at plus he does have books which he sells online there. It is great place to buy his books which are no longer available from anybody but him: They've been out of print for years and he is selling off his author's copies at In fact, he's nearly out of the paperback copies! He only has the hardcover Roger Rabbit sequel novels left.
  • Gary is about to sign contract for two new science fiction novels and a children's TV series. He promises to share more news about that with the Disney Echo later.

And now, here is installment number one of the "Stay Tooned, Folks!" Roger Rabbit story by Gary K. Wolf, presented exclusively online by the Disney Echo.

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RichKoster Offline
Rich Koster


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Posted: June 22, 2006, 7:14 pm Quote

Stay Tooned, Folks illustration
'Stay Tooned, Folks' by Gary K. Wolf - illustrated by Mike Cressy
    Tadbitty Stifles cursed aloud—in French, naturally, the only
    proper and censor-approved language for on-air profanity.

    His employer, Big Bull Topman, required Tadbitty’s services.
    The urgent phone call came in just as Tadbitty was clearing off his
    burled walnut desk at the end of another long, exhausting day of adroit
    and dextrous gentleman’s gentlemanning.

    “Big Bull Junior got trouble,” grimly intoned Max Uppercut, the
    Topman family’s chauffeur. “He had a major dustup with this hoppity
    Roger Rabbit fellah. B.B. Junior’s in bad shape. Big Bull wants you should
    take care of it pronto.”

    Tadbitty was baffled. Things like this never happened on Tadbitty’s
    series. Tinseltown Tells Tales, the much-watched, round-the-clock,
    Hollywood-based television reality program, adhered to an inviolable
    Network rule. Humans only. No Toons Allowed!

    “Impossible. Roger Rabbit is a …” (Could he even utter the word
    Toon on air? As with everything in his tightly structured life, Tadbitty
    erred on the side of caution) “… a joviality.”

    Tadbitty collapsed into his rubbed-leather club chair. Bid au revoir
    to his off-camera, quiet evening at home alone. De-ice that century-old
    bottle of Châteaux Lafayette V’R’here. Forget about penning another chapter
    of Vaunting Valets, his ingeniously crafted history book detailing the
    vital role of domestic stewardship in the rise of Western civilization.

    Holding the phone awkwardly between his shoulder and his ear,
    Tadbitty fumbled a bottle out of his desk. Since he was officially still on
    duty and consequently on-air, he was being shadowed by his personal,
    omnipresent, and single-digitally IQed camera and sound crew, the two
    fooligans he referred to disparagingly as Ike and Mike. Tinseltown Tells
    wasn’t scripted, but the program’s general tone was outlined in a
    multichaptered document reverentially referred to as the Show Bible.
    Tadbitty’s character was too morally conceptualized to imbibe anything
    stronger than the mildest liqueurs. He emptied three fingers of crčme de
    menthe into a cut-crystal Waterford glass. Tadbitty’s elegance and style
    differentiated his single, genteel, but slightly hurried sip from what, in a
    common man’s throat, would have clearly been a despondent gulp.

    In return for a substantial weekly salary, Tadbitty had contractually
    agreed to live a perpetually on-camera life of social isolation and monkish
    celibacy. The Network paid Tadbitty to be boorish, vain, egotistical,
    snobby, and as inhuman as a petrified tree stump. No problem. Tadbitty
    was not playacting. He was trading on his true persona. It was possibly
    the easiest money any man had ever made.

    Tadbitty’s loosely structured character functioned as the anatomic
    adhesive that bound together the series’ often raggedy-edged real-world
    story lines.

    Megamogul Big Bull Topman employed Tadbitty to serve (babysit
    might be a better term) Big Bull Topman Junior, playboy scion, only heir
    to Big Bull’s immense fortune. In his official capacity as most private and
    personal secretary and general companion to the young mister, Tadbitty
    had helped restore B.B. Junior to a reasonable facsimile of his former self
    after countless altar jiltings, identity crises, paternity suits, and adulterous
    love affairs.

    In the series’ current flight of factual fancy, B.B. Junior was rebounding
    from a stunningly unsuccessful hostile takeover bid for Prestige Pictures,
    his smarmy father’s Hollywood film studio.

    In last week’s tasseled string of live episodes, Tadbitty convinced
    B.B. Junior that gainfully menial employment would release him from
    the throes of his funk. Hence, B.B. Junior took a job as a gofer in one of
    Hollywood’s major prop-supply facilities.

    “Max, tell me what happened.”

    Max’s voice trembled. A bad sign.

    Max had spent his early decades as a professional boxer. He fought
    under the nom de pug Mad Man Max. He was not a man easily flustered.
    When Max spoke, his voice growled, it rasped, it spit fire and coughed
    bullets. It never trembled.

    “Master B.B. Junior was propping the shoot of this new cartoon. One
    of those slammer bammer and yammer things the animation bozos turn
    out by the bushel basket. You know the kind. Where this little Baby
    Herman tyker, who’s really a grownup only acting like he’s still in nappies,
    where he gets into a whole load of Toon trouble and this oddball
    Roger Rabbit bails him out. One of those.”

    Tadbitty had little experience with cartoons of that kind or any other.
    Rinky-tinky animations failed to amuse him. He found them pointless, stupid,
    witless, and mundane. His preferred filmic subject matters involved
    noirish foreign films depicting death, doom, and abject despair.

    “Well,” Max continued, spacing out his words as though the dead
    spaces between them would soften their overall impact, “Master B.B.
    Junior and the rabbit, they didn’t see exactly eye to eye. One thing kind
    of led to another and pretty soon … I guess you could say there was a
    sort of a fight.”

    “How bad is he?’ Despite years of Big Bull–sponsored boxing, kung fu,
    and dirty street-fighting lessons, B.B. Junior had persisted in remaining, to
    his father’s eternal regret and chagrin, steadfastly delicate.

    Max took so long answering that Tadbitty wondered if the man
    remembered the question. “Hard to tell,” said Max eventually, his voice
    so low Tadbitty strained to hear it. “He didn’t get hit or nothing. He kind
    of got … I can’t explain how he got. Especially over the phone.”


    Max spit it out in one long gush. “He’s all squished together and
    twisted around double with his head sticking out the big end where
    the music comes from and his feet poking out the little end where you

    “You’re not making sense. Slow down, compose yourself.”

    Max took a breath. “Master B.B. Junior and Roger Rabbit, they
    exchanged a few hot not-so-pleasant words after Master B.B. Junior commented
    in kind of curvaceous terms about the most prominent attributes
    of the rabbit’s hootchy-kootchy, hotsy-totsy red-headed wife Jessica.
    Whose poster, I might add, I have myself, hanging in the garage. Right
    over the Bugatti, ’cause the car and her they both got the same style of
    headlights if you catch my drift. Next thing I know, it’s over. Quick as a
    wink. Never seen nothing like it.”

    “For God’s sake, forget the dramatic exposition. What happened?”

    “Roger Rabbit—he grabbed Master B.B. Junior, wadded him up, and
    stuffed him inside a trombone.”

Stay Tooned for More!
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RichKoster Offline
Rich Koster


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Posted: June 22, 2006, 8:25 pm Quote

Gary K. Wolf bio Mike Cressy bio

Click here
to see Mike Cressy's cover illustration much larger.

This is from Gary K. Wolf's website at

Who Framed Roger Rabbit Image © Walt Disney/Amblin Entertainment

Here's Gary watching "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" at the drive-in with a bucket of popcorn and the star.
Who Framed Roger Rabbit Image © Walt Disney/Amblin Entertainment

Click here to see the title illustration much larger.

Don't touch that mouse! Part two of "Stay Tooned, Folks!" will appear here soon!

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“Dreams Do Come True Down In New Orleans.”
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RichKoster Offline
Rich Koster


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Posted: June 23, 2006, 12:18 am Quote

And now, part two, in which Roger Rabbit makes his appearance!

    Props, heavy on the oversized, colorful, asinine, and plain ridiculous,
    cluttered the Buffoon Cartoon Studio soundstage. Smack in the center
    Tadbitty saw poor Master B.B. Junior sticking out of either end of a brass
    horn. This wasn’t right. Not in the slightest bit. This was antithetical to
    the central guiding premise of Tinseltown Tells Tales.

    Once, when the series was in its infancy, only a few episodes removed
    from its pilot, still feeling its way through its particular view of reality,
    Tadbitty had attended a dinner party at Big Bull’s country place. Big Bull
    had invited in a few celebrity Toons to hype the ratings during sweeps
    week. Tadbitty found himself seated between a gruff spider wearing an
    outfit borrowed from the Little Miss on the front of a carton of Muffet’s
    Whey and a squirrelly duck in zoot suit and spats.

    Midway through dinner, the duck lobbed a forkload of lyonnaise potatoes
    at the spider. The spider retaliated by pointing left, up, and sideways
    with three of its arms. When the duck bit and looked in those directions,
    the spider jammed its eight string-connected snow mittens sideways
    up the duck’s nostrils. The duck sneezed. Suffice it to say, things went
    rapidly downhill from there.

    Big Bull roared with laughter. He loved it.

    With potatoes and duck snot smearing the front of his best gray
    herringbone suit, Tadbitty did not. Not in the least.

    Big Bull invited the Toons back for another guest appearance. Mercifully
    they never came. The Network executives wisely stepped in and
    vetoed the idea. A grittier philosophy prevailed. The series took on its
    enduring and serious demeanor. No anvils down gullets. No long drops
    off high cliffs. That was left to other, goofier characters in other, more
    raucous time slots. At least it had been until now.

    Tadbitty peered inside the trombone’s bell. One of B.B. Junior’s
    bloodshot and extremely wide eyes peered back at him. “Don’t worry,
    Master B.B. Junior,” said Tadbitty with more confidence than he felt. “I’ll
    have you out of this in no time.”

    B.B. Junior’s eye rolled plaintively. He tried to talk. The lower part of
    his jaw was immobilized inside the trombone’s bowels. Nothing except
    grunting came out. Albeit very resonant grunting, amplified and directed
    as it was by the trombone’s bell. He looked so abject, Tadbitty felt
    moved to offer him a small consolation. He reached inside the trombone
    and rested his hand on B.B. Junior’s forehead. “Think of yourself,” he said
    soothingly, “as a metaphor. Modern man trapped in the product of his
    own technology.” Tadbitty was quite the deep thinker, an unusual trait in
    a series-TV actor. Pronounced profundities were more characteristic of
    the fey British thespians who starred in PBS adaptations of Jane Austen
    novels. Another example of how Tadbitty’s true intellectual superiority
    sensibly embellished his on-air character portrayal.

    Now. The problem. How to get B.B. Junior out of his brass prison. A
    plumber? The fire department? A consultation with the conductor of the
    L.A. Philharmonic? Visualizing the attendant headlines and the violently
    adverse reaction of Big Bull, a man who hated people knowing that he’d
    fathered a nebbish, Tadbitty rejected them all. The only way to get B.B.
    out of his horny dilemma was to appeal to the one who’d put him in it.

    Roger Rabbit lounged nonchalantly against a wall. In addition to being
    a major movie star, Roger was also a fully self-contained cocktail lounge.
    One of his ears held a pinto-painted pony keg of the potent moonshine
    called Toon Up. The other ear held a glass only slightly smaller than
    plucky Bucky Rogers’s space helmet. The rabbit’s bright yellow right hand
    was curled up into a bowl shape. It contained a pile of bright orange
    Carrot Crisps. His left hand was stacked with odd-colored napkins printed
    with off-colored jokes. In the short intervals between pouring, drinking,
    munching, wiping, reading, and giggling, he plucked his tongue against his
    teeth. The action produced a reasonable facsimile of a tinny piano playing

    The buffoonish bunny evinced only one modest touch of class. His
    eyes were the same stunning blue as Tadbitty’s Wedgwood dinnerware.
    Talking to Toons always disconcerted Tadbitty. He invariably got the
    impression they were subtly putting him on. Take that time after Big
    Bull released his big-budget, award-winning World War II epic Hunky
    Heroes, Blazing Bazookas
    . In keeping with the military theme, Big Bull had
    invited every old soldier in Toontown to the celebration party. Comic-
    strip hero Sir Lanced Alot, the valiant medieval knight of the Round
    Table, with his chain-mail tuxedo and inverted-cereal-bowl haircut. That
    swaggering, mucho-machoed World War II Army Air Corps fighter ace
    Stoney Canyon. Sergeant Sad Sam, the beetle-browed, dingly dogface.
    Tadbitty remembered the three of them, arms draped around each
    other’s shoulders, cozying up to Big Bull’s grand piano for a chorus of
    “Onward Christian Soldiers.” With the final stanza rendered in pig Latin.

    “Eh, what’s up, doc?” asked the rabbit, shamelessly swiping his prime
    competitor’s repartee. The rabbit gnawed a Carrot Crisp. Flaky bits of
    it landed on his severely sloping shoulders. These mite-sized particles of
    organic dandruff rolled downward toward his elbows, gathering volume
    as they went, eventually congealing into orange balls the size of … of
    oranges. Roger grabbed the succulent spheroids as they reached his mitts,
    popped them back into his mouth, and began the process anew.

    “Allow me to introduce myself.” Tadbitty graciously put forth his
    hand. “Tadbitty Stifles.”

    “P-p-p-pleased to meet ’cha, Bitty.” The rabbit slapped a lighted
    firecracker into Tadbitty’s outstretched fingers.

    The firecracker exploded with a dull thud, shredding Tadbitty’s sleeve.
    Tadbitty stared dumbfounded at the smoking arm of his Italian silk jacket.

    The rabbit’s wristwatch, a device the size of a windup alarm clock,
    produced a rattly ring that vibrated the animated fur ball’s entire body.
    “Four-sixteen o’clock on the dot. Quitting time. My workday’s over.”

    Using his ears, seven of his eight fingers, one toenail, and his bow tie,
    the rabbit made a sexually suggestive gesture. “I got a date with my angel
    baby cuppy cakes. We’re taking yodeling lessons at Perfesser Tin Tonsil’s
    Academy of Musical Mania. We always go out after class for a round of
    glottal tomfoolery.” The rabbit hopped merrily out the door.

    “Wait.” Tadbitty held up a blackened index finger. “You can’t be callous
    enough to leave him stuck here like this.”

    Obviously he could because he did.

    Avoiding B.B. Junior’s pleading eye, Tadbitty activated his cell phone.
    Downstairs on the street, Max answered. “Bring the car around,”
    Tadbitty told him. “We’re taking B.B. Junior to see his father.””

That's not all, folks! Stay tooned for the next installment of Roger Rabbit in "Stay Tooned, Folks!"
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RichKoster Offline
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Posted: June 23, 2006, 12:23 am Quote

If you like what you've seen so far -- or even if you want to criticize it in some way -- please reply here! All comments are appreciated!

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“Dreams Do Come True Down In New Orleans.”
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Dreamflight99 Offline


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Posted: June 23, 2006, 5:43 am Quote

:clapping: no criticism here. You know me Rich, as a fellow writer myself (& currently fervently working on the release of my next work---my first children's book!;), I have nothing but compliments for this piece!! BRAVO to Mr. Wolf (& Mr. Cressy). Impressive...and ingenius! I actually have a couple collectible pieces of Disney Art, which are none other than RR and JR respectively! Jessica's actually my all-time-favorite cartoon siren! LOL.

I truly enjoy the use of such whimsical terms as JOVIALITY!  :bowdown: I also love the use of detailed adjectives and exciting metaphors! Thank you, for such a wild and playful ride. I only wish there were more....right now!

TTFN...DF99  :hearts:  :pixiedust:


~LIVE your Dreams TODAY!~

*2005=Year of CHANGE! DD graduates HS~moves away to Europe to attend college. California Disney Cruise on the MAGIC for 7~eves down the Mexican Riviera in June to celebrate her grad ( reserved in the same suite we had in 2005! ), then off the 8 weeks in Florida for our annual vacation: PBH/DVBR/Dolphin CL. We return & prepare to accompany DD to "ENGLAND" where she will begin her college life! We're staying 2-3 weeks, before heading home to the "empty nest" together. forever changing. XO
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RichKoster Offline
Rich Koster


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Posted: June 24, 2006, 9:45 pm Quote

Here’s Gary K. Wolf cruising with Roger’s va-va-voomate in the car she bought with the royalties from her movie.


Disney Echo modEARator / administratEAR
“Dreams Do Come True Down In New Orleans.”
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RichKoster Offline
Rich Koster


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Posted: June 26, 2006, 7:46 pm Quote

In another topic here on the Echo, an enthusiastic EchoEar wrote:

I read the submission by Mr. Wolf...and LOVED IT! He's a genius...and the piece is brilliant. I hope he submits more soon. He writes as if it's a screenplay, and I can envision each and every character and move. I truly enjoyed it, and thank you for posting it. ^_^

Let's hear it for one of our newest members of the Disney Echo -- because Gary K. Wolf is now a Disney EchoEar! Check out his profile, here!

Welcome, Gary! :welcome:

EchoEars, the next part of "Stay Tooned, Folks!" will be heading here, soon! :smart:

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RichKoster Offline
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Posted: June 27, 2006, 12:02 pm Quote

I'd like to welcome all new EchoEars who joined us because of the link to the Disney Echo which Gary K. Wolf kindly put on his official website! :welcome:

Part three of the story, coming right up!

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Posted: June 27, 2006, 12:16 pm Quote

It's time for part three of Roger Rabbit in "Stay Tooned, Folks!" by Gary K. Wolf!

    Topman Tower, the highest-rised office building in L.A., headquartered
    Big Bull Topman and his various gregarious and nefarious enterprises. Big
    Bull designed this building in his own image. Half again too big for the size
    of its footprint, the mottled color of a wastrel’s nose, with a façade the
    texture of unpopped blister wrap. Two opposing, horizontal, cantilevered,
    upper-story outjuttings make the edifice as plug-ugly against the
    night sky as the Dog Star’s fire hydrant.

    Tadbitty always felt uncomfortable in Big Bull’s office, decorated as it
    was with stuffed hunting trophies, assorted lethal weapons, and books
    selected for the color of their dust jackets rather than their content.

    Big Bull found his son’s predicament hilarious. His laughter echoed
    through the open terrace window leading out to the manicured formal
    roof garden where the poisoned-ivy bushes had all been trimmed into
    itchy images of Big Bull. “That Roger Rabbit,” he guffawed. “Ain’t he a
    corker?” Big Bull’s contrabanded Cuban cigar produced more smoke
    than Hades on a hot day.

    “I found him overbearing and malicious,” countered Tadbitty. He saw
    nothing the least bit humorous in this. But then he wouldn’t. Humor
    wasn’t part of Tadbitty’s character. As specified quite clearly in the Show
    Bible, Tadbitty was a man with a flinty shaft of sensibility where his funny
    bone ought to be.

    Big Bull hoisted the trombone to eye level and glared at it. Idly, he ran
    the slide back and forth a few times.

    B.B. Junior howled.

    With a good-natured grin, Big Bull put B.B. Junior’s feet to his lips
    and pantomimed a high-strutting player in a marching band. He swung
    the trombone up and down, side to side, in and out. Each new motion
    changed the pitch of B.B. Junior’s screeching. It didn’t take Big Bull long
    to recognize the comic possibilities. In short order he had going a spirited,
    B.B. Junior–screaming vocal rendition of “Stars and Stripes Forever.”
    Big Bull marched, parade fashion, around the room. Ike, dutifully recording
    the event on camera, fell in step behind him. Mike put his hand over
    his sound equipment to muffle his own giggles.

    Tadbitty could not contain himself. “Mister Topman, stop it this
    instant. I must protest. We are not buffoons. A stuffed trombone has no
    place in social pathos. This is Tinseltown Tells Tales we’re doing here, not
    some lampoony burlesque. We have our Network mandate to consider.
    Not to mention our Show Bible. For the propriety of the series, we have
    to extricate B.B. Junior. This instant.”

    A reluctant Big Bull lowered his trombone. “Too bad you feel that
    way. He’s got a real mellow tone.” He flipped on an intercom switch.
    “Miss Ritz. Send in the clowns.”

    Wonky the Wondrous Wizard appeared out of thin air, waved his
    ebony wand, and the trombone disappeared.

    After chugging a can of spinach and doing a spirited hornpipe, ape-
    armed Poopdeck the Pirate grabbed B.B. Junior by the neck and bent him
    back into shape.

    Doctor Ignatz Cats, self-appointed Head Shrinker to the Mucky
    Mucks, prescribed sedation, which he gleefully administered with an iron

    What, thought Tadbitty, were all these Toons doing here? Their presence
    was so terribly, horribly inappropriate.

    Tadbitty possessed an IQ fashioned out of solid–Grade A+ Mensanite.
    He was bright enough to know there was a reason for this upward blip
    of lunacy. The Network never did anything without a reason. He was
    more bothered by the fact that nobody from the Network had informed
    him, one of the show’s pivotal characters, that this was going to happen.
    “What, pray tell, is going on here, Mister Topman?” he asked. “Why are
    we infested with Toons?”

    Big Bull chuckled heartily as his son staggered around the room
    like a B.B. Bobblehead on a hard trip down ninety miles of rocky road.
    “Seemed like a funny thing to do.”

    Big Bull reached inside his breast pocket and removed a pair of gloves.
    They were bright yellow with only four fingers. He slipped them on, making
    them fit by putting his index and middle fingers into the same hole.
    “Call them oddballs, idiots, maniacs, nuts, loonies. Whatever. You gotta
    admit, Toons are entertaining.” Big Bull threw Dr. Cats a high four.

    “How can the Network permit such a travesty?” countered Tadbitty.
    “They don’t countenance Toons on a humans-only show.”

    “Right,” said Big Bull, not looking Tadbitty in the eyes. “They don’t.”

    Uh-oh. Tadbitty surmised that his tribulations in this particular episode
    were far from over.

    “Sit down, Taddie,” ordered Big Bull. This was bad. This was very bad.
    Big Bull had never before called Tadbitty by anything but his complete
    God-given name. “Want a drink?”

    Tadbitty shook his head. Big Bull had one himself but, mercy, not the
    expensive cognac dispensed from a Spanish-leather-wrapped decanter
    as his Show Bible–specified characterization required. Rather, he took a
    shot of Toon Up from a crock secreted behind his wooden file cabinet,
    guzzling it straight from the container, cradling the jug in the crook of his
    arm. Something was definitely wrong. “Tadbitty, you’ve been with Topman
    Enterprises how long? Six, seven years?”

    “Nine, sir.”

    “Nine? Really? Ever since we been on the air. I don’t need to tell you
    that during all that time you’ve been a big help to me. Seeing my boy
    through his … troubles.”

    “Thank you.”

    “Sorry I gotta be the one to deliver the bad news. The Network says
    you gotta go.”

    “Sir?” Tadbitty noticed Big Bull wasn’t as meticulously dressed as
    usual. Ink splatters dotted his shirt. One shoe was noticeably bigger than
    the other. Most ominously, his Armani glasses sported bloodshot plastic
    eyeballs dangling from twin springs.

    “In the past few months, the show’s ratings have fallen way off. The
    Network honchos hired a hotshot research firm to do correlative
    analyses. Their findings say the show’s format’s outmoded. Audiences
    don’t empathize with grand operaesque, slice-of-life narratives anymore.
    They’re tired of reality. Viewers want chuckles, laughs, giggles, grins.
    Light on the thinking. Adios to social conscience. Heavy on the ZAP,
    BLOOEY, POW. The Network’s decided to give it to them. Smack in the
    old keester. Kerplop in the face with a custard-cream pie.

    “The Network’s upping the show’s boffola quotient. They’re switching
    over to a different structure, a combination of humans and Toons. As
    the Network programmers envision our new roles, they see B.B. Junior
    as head dumbbell. That should be no great reformulating problem. Max’s
    taking over the role of the Network’s Major Mogul. They’re trucking in
    a load of Toon stars for comic relief. I’ll act as interlocutor and keep the
    fun moving. But Tadbitty, there’s no place for you. The Network thinks
    you’re too … staid for the new format. You’ve been cancelled!”

    Tadbitty gulped. He knew what that meant. His means of exiting the
    series was covered quite clearly in his contract. His exodus had been
    prescripted to generate the highest possible ratings. He never expected
    his departure clause would ever be invoked. He was, after all, the series’
    binding glue! He never envisioned that Tinseltown Tells Tales would one
    day switch to Silly Putty.

    Yet here it was. Time for his big, and fatal, finale.

    Big Bull drew a pistol from his desk, one of the bigger-bored models
    he used to administer the coup de grâce to wounded elephants. “I’m
    going to leave the room to take a whizzer. I’ll expect you to do the
    decent contractual thing before I return.”

    Big Bull headed for the door. “Over the wastebasket if you wouldn’t

    Swallowing every vestige of pride, Tadbitty dropped to his knees and
    clasped his hands. “Give me a chance. Try me out for a month or two. I’ll
    change. I’ll be zany. I’ll be asinine. I’ll be Toonish. I know I can do it.”

    Big Bull shook his head sadly. “If only I could believe that.”

    The door burst open.

    “Beep beep.” A fairly good-sized Toon bird, two-thirds legs and one
    third neck, roared into the room. It stopped in front of the open, streetview
    window. The bird peered out. It motioned Tadbitty and Big Bull
    over and instructed them to look too.

    On the sidewalk, many floors below, a cluster of people pressed autograph
    books at a famous Toon coyote. The bird put a bony shoulder to
    Big Bull’s oversized mahogany desk and shoved it toward the window.

    “Would you look at that little tyker,” roared Big Bull approvingly.
    “That’s what the Network Hoodaddies call a winning contemporaneous
    contextual formulation.”

    The bird got as far as the windowsill and stopped. With only its
    scrawny wings for leverage, it was unable to heft the desk up and over. It
    turned imploringly toward the two men and tilted its head.

    Big Bull curled his lip, cocked an eyebrow, and stared at Tadbitty.

    Tadbitty took Big Bull’s meaning. Decisively he grabbed the desk by
    the legs. He hoisted it up, rested one end on the windowsill, walked to
    the other end, and pushed.

    The desk hit the ground with a resounding CRACK! Tadbitty looked
    down at it, imbedded in the sidewalk. A shaggy coyote tail and several
    human hands, some clutching autograph books, poked out from beneath.

    The rat-a-tat sound of an index finger tapping a microphone emerged
    out of Big Bull’s stereo loudspeakers. “Attaboy, Tadster, sweetie baby,”
    said Max. His gruff, whiskey-warbled voice still sounded pug ugly, albeit
    now imbued with a forceful, dynamic, take-no-prisoners, top-executive
    quality. “You are keeper material. We up here at Network are mightily
    impressed by what you just showed us. We’re looking down and seeing
    a survivor, an actor who’s adaptable, a main man who knows how to go
    along to get along. Congrats, Tadstool. If you’re willing to play Wiffle ball
    instead of cricket, have your people call our people about restructuring
    your contract. Otherwise …” Max flipped off his microphone. The action
    produced a large-caliber BANG.

Stay tooned for the exciting, Jessica Rabbit-appearing conclusion of "Stay Tooned, Folks!" -- right here on the Disney Echo, real soon! It will be on page two of this topic.
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