SUFFERING SOLENOIDS! ROGER RAMJET RETURNS!
Jonathan Cohen | Brookline, MA United States | 05/03/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This was the first DVD of "Roger Ramjet", that quirky little cartoon of the '60s with the Hollywood/old-time radio/Jay Ward-ish pedigree. It's a great intro to this underrated series, which was really a bunch of clever little comedy skits that could have been part of period AM radio. What I love about "Roger" is its creative team: some of the best Hollywood comedy writers and radio pros of the day, all in a cutting-up mood for kids of all ages. I've discussed them elsewhere, but these were the guys who wrote bits for everyone from Bob Hope to Carol Burnett to Johnny Carson; the late Gene Moss, who wrote every episode, had a lifelong love for witty kiddie shows (his "Shrimpenstein", with a mini-monster puppet, was the best-loved such show in LA for years). The plus on this DVD is a brief but very entertaining commentary by Gary Owens, who goes over the characters and crew in his trademark booming/witty style. This not only includes a brief summary of each episode, but- if you move the menu "wings" to the kids' heads- an "outtake" reel that mixes random sequences (like Roger in a red wig as "Miss Ramjet") with some classic Owens-isms ("Love is the soy sauce on the chop suey of life"). Don't miss Gary's story about his trip to Vancouver with Tom Selleck- the payoff will positively floor you. If it sounds like I'm an unabashed Owens fan, you're right, but some of the situations Roger gets dropped into are quite funny in that '60s MAD-magazine way. If you're new to "Roger Ramjet" or love old-school, kids-of-all-ages satire, this is probably all the Roger you'd ever want. If you want more, well, "make sure you keep watching or you'll get...drafted!" (I assure you that was quite edgy for a period cartoon.)"