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30 March 2017 @ 11:30 pm
When Screwy Squirrel took over Cartoon Network 20 years ago...  

Out of all the April Fool's Days of my lifetime, I will never forget the one of 1997, which will be 20 years ago this Saturday. I was eight years old and in third grade at the time. BUT, there was a big blizzard that year, and I had no school that day as a result. So I decided to tune into Cartoon Network that morning, only to find that they kepy showing the 1944 Screwy Squirrel cartoon "Happy Go Nutty" over and over and over again. You can see the cartoon HERE. I will say, it's a pretty amusing cartoon (I like the newspaper bit, the classic "you don't say" phone gag, and a funny scene occuring in the dark, as Screwy tells us it's too bad we couldn't see it!)

It kept playing repeatedly all day. Eventually, people were catching on it was an April Fool's Day prank the channel pulled. And it especially didn't help that I had no school due to the blizzard, and was stuck inside the house and couldn't go out for quite a while due to the harsh weather conditions. Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel were playing preschool blocks, and it wasn't time for Kids' WB to start their after-school programming block yet, and "Arthur" wouldn't come on unitl a bit later inthe afternoon. This Screwy Squirrel repetition even began to annoy my mom after a while!

When the afternoon hit, some amusing fake news scrolls began appearing on the bottom of the screen with each airing of the cartoon. I remember the first one: "NEWSFLASH... NEWSFLASH... SCREWY SQUIRREL HAS TAKEN OVER CARTOON NETWORK AND WILL NOT STOP RUNNING THIS CARTOON UNTIL HIS DEMANDS ARE MET. DO NOT CALL. DO NOT ADJUST YOUR SET. STAY TUNED TO CARTOON NETWORK FOR UPDATES..."

And this one from around 3 PM... "UPDATE...UPDATE...SCREWY SQUIRREL IS STILL IN CONTROL OF CARTOON NETWORK. PLEASE DO NOT CALL YOUR CABLE OPERATOR... LEAVE PHONE LINES OPEN SO CARTOON NETWORK AUTHORITIES CAN COMMUNICATE WITH SCREWY. THANK YOU FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE. AGAIN. PLEASE DO NOT CALL."

Another good one... "UPDATE...UPDATE...SCREWY SQUIRREL HAS ISSUED HIS ONE DEMAND...REPEAT...SCREWY SQUIRREL HAS ISSUED HIS ONE DEMAND: THAT TODAY, APRIL 1, SCREWY SQUIRREL'S BIRTHDAY.BE MADE A NATIONAL HOLIDAY. THAT MEANS EVERYONE CAN TAKE THE DAY OFF. STAY TUNED FOR FURTHER DEVELOPMENTS IN THE SCREWY SQUIRREL SIEGE OF CARTOON NETWORK. PLEASE DO NOT CALL YOUR CABLE OPERATOR OR ADJUST YOUR SETS..."

And then, the stunt finally ended at 6 PM, Eastern. During the final airing of the cartoon prior to that, a news scroll read:
"UPDATE...UPDATE...ORDER HAS BEEN RESTORED...REGULAR PROGRAMMING IS ABOUT TO RESUME. WHEN ASKED TO EXPLAIN TODAY'S EVENTS, CARTOON NETWORK AUTHORITIES ISSUED THE FOLLOWING STATMENT..."APRIL FOOLS," REPEAT...AFTER HOURS OF AIRING THE SAME SCREWBALL SQUIRREL CARTOON, NETWORK AUTHORITIES HAD TO SAY: "APRIL FOOLS." THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE ALL THROUGHOUT TODAY. STAY TUNED FOR THE SCREWY SQUIRREL MARATHON, COMING UP NEXT."


It wasn't exactly a Screwy Squirrel marathon though. They just showed a marathon of various classic MGM and Warner Bros. cartoons for the remainder of the evening, including a few different Screwy Squirrel titles, like here:


Yep, MGM's Wolfie makes a cameo in this one!

The reason I posted about this tonight is because on the actual date, April 1st, I will be at Anime Boston as the Big Bad Wolf! I don't know if I'll be partaking in any April Fool's Day tomfoolery though. Better get ready and rest up for the con now!