Friday, March 30, 2012

From Primetime to Daytime: Johnny Bravo (1997)

Johnny Bravo started off as a pilot in Cartoon Network's World Premiere Toons series (aka The What a Cartoon Show) before being spun off into his own series in 1997. The series was in and out of production for a few years, including a period where series creator Van Partible had a parting of the ways with CN for whatever reason.

Partible used his imagination to put blond, dumber-than-a-bag-of-hammers Johnny (Jeff Bennett) in some very interesting scenarios, including parodies of Dr. Seuss ("Cookie Crisis", which riffed on Green Eggs & Ham), and Clement Clarke Moore's legendary Christmas poem, A Visit From St. Nicholas ("'Twas The Night", with Tom Bosley (ex-Happy Days) guest-starring as an injured Santa), but what drew fan attention more than anything was a guest appearance by Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Incorporated team, seemingly out of character in sending themselves up in "Bravo Dooby Doo".

CN would use this short as a base for two things. First, at least one or two interstitals were made suggesting that Johnny was harboring feelings for Velma, who certainly acted as though she was interested in him in "Bravo Dooby Doo", and, secondly, kickstarting the ongoing direct-to-video Scooby movie series, still going strong more than a decade later.

After Partible left, new characters were added, and the character designs were a little different, to boot. Bravo also benefited from some stunt guest-casting, ranging from Adam West (now a regular on Family Guy) to model Amber Valletta to Donny Osmond (who made 2 appearances) to Farrah Fawcett. Most, if not all, of which was done under Partible's supervision.

Anyway, here's "Bravo Dooby Doo".



Early on in the series' run, there were rumors of a live-action feature film. Problem was, actor-wrestler Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, an admitted fan, was attached to play Bravo. The one thing Rock has in common with Bravo is that they may both be fans of Elvis Presley. Jeff Bennett does an Elvis mimic as Bravo. Luckily for us, the movie never got off the ground. Personally, if they want someone to play Bravo, it'd be perfect for Ryan Reynolds. Remember, that's just my opinion.

Down the road, we'll throw up some more Bravo classics, including the ones mentioned.

Rating: B.

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