All over Tumblr people have been talking about an episode of the classic Cartoon Network series Dexter’s Laboratory that has never been seen before by the general public because of its foul language. In a way, it seems like a large step up from this little beauty from Looney Tunes made back around I’d say the late 30s or early 40s. More information and thoughts below the cut.
(this is where the cut is.)
Yes, long before "Dexter’s Rude Removal Machine," folks were getting their kicks of hearing cartoon characters swear from an old Looney Tunes blooper reel.
Years before I ever saw this clip on a grainy multi-generational VHS. I was at an appearance of animation director Chuck Jones in which he was asked the origins of this clip.
Back in those days the Warner Bros. studio would show outtakes/bloopers from all their films during a holiday party with all the big stars. This was Leon Schlesinger’s studio A.K.A Termite Terrace (who made the cartoons for WB) contribution.
For years this was a viral smash through bootleg tape trading and later on the internet. As far as I know, however, this is the only clip from this supposed reel that can be seen online.
Now about the aforementioned ”Rude Removal” (see the link above) this cartoon, produced for the 1998 season of Dexter’s Lab (back then it was drawn, inked and printed on film, whereas the later seasons were done on computer) is, in short, about Dexter, with the assistance of his pain-in-the-butt sister Dee-Dee (which, contrary to some people’s beliefs, is not where I got my nickname/username from) testing a new invention that seperates the good and bad intentions of a person/people. Thus, the good pair of kids tries to stop the bad pair from causing havoc.
This may or may not have been intended to actually air on TV. The people over at Cartoon Network never aired it, and you can clearly see why.
The name of this episode has been knocked around the internet for some number of years, but it was only last year I believe that an online campaign was started to convince Cartoon Network to release the episode to the public. Yesterday, they gave in and uploaded it to YouTube on their Adult Swim channel, albeit edited.
Apparently, from what I can gather, there is an uncensored version, screened once at a comic convention. A user at the Big Cartoon Database has shared their memories of the episode a few years ago, providing info on the series creator’s introduction and a synopsis of the plot.
We may never see the real uncensored version of “Rude Removal,” but someone has made a funny mockup mixing soundbytes from other episodes. As for the Looney Tunes reel, I’m still not sure where the rest of it is. Anyway, that’s your cartoon history lesson for the day.
EDIT: This post by furry-ferrets also makes some good points as to why the Dexter episode was never aired, as well as list other shows that also have episodes that tried to discourage foul language.