What seasons were R&S like this? This is how I remember it as a kid, but at one point it just became terrible.
So the John K ones are the good ones?
Yes and no. Do you like watching the documentary evidence of a single man's self-destruction into complete irrelevance out of high-handed ideals that are based on misplaced nostalgia and fuzzy notions of production ethic?
If so, then the John K. episodes are FANTASTIC.
That said, there's two sides to the legend: one is the side wherein he was a tortured individualist fighting the corporate malefactors trying to bring him down to their level (the Ayn Rand version he himself will happily tell to anyone who asks... if you see him at a convention, have at it! I have!), and the other side is the more practical reality. He spent so much time trying to put too fine a point on his little show's "ideals" that he put the entire thing too far behind budget and schedule to justify the patience the network had for him.
John K. is a guy who has had EVERY CHANCE to succeed, and he blows it every single time. He has pissed on so many shoes that he is completely without recourse and is considered radioactive in the animation industry. He's a talented guy with a lot to say, and if he were to take a more academic position as an animation historian he'd be wildly successful, because that's where he belongs. He won't, however, because he has this whole "prove it to Daddy" neurosis, evident in this clip, that plays through EVERYTHING he does. He is a shattered man, and fascinating to observe.
the 'hands of a working man' sight gag troubled me to no end as a child
so I suppose they did what they set out to!
This is actually a pretty terrifying scene, a close second to Jerry the Belly Button Elf.
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