They don't make 'em like this anymore

My favourite cartoon show was, and still is, "Tom & Jerry". Now that was a cartoon made by people who knew how to make violent slapstick comedy genuinely funny.

The show featured some of the most shockingly violent gags ever perpetrated on screen, along with what today seems like casual racism and outright brutality.

And it was the funniest thing I ever saw as a kid.

Just you try watching this compilation of Tom's screams without cracking up:

There is absolutely no way, in the modern era of political correctness and "family friendly cartoons", that something that archaic and that violent would ever be allowed on TV for children to watch.

And don't even get me started on the awful butchery that Hanna Barbera performed on the show's legacy with those horrible "Tom & Jerry Tales" and "Tom & Jerry Show" shorts that they released. The original show was comic genius, and they should have let it stay the way it was.

The 40s and 50s really were the golden age of children's animation. Tex Avery, Rudolf Ising, and Chuck Jones were madcap geniuses who were given free rein to do pretty much whatever the hell they wanted to produce fantastic cartoons. That is why old-school stuff like "Tom & Jerry", the Wile E. Coyote shorts, and some of the older Looney Tunes shows were so brilliant.

They were crazy, unbelievably violent, unutterably silly, and in many ways appallingly stupid.

And I have to say, I absolutely love 'em.


  1. I watched those cartoons religiously. I still have Looney Tunes and Tom and Jerry on DVD. Like you I don't care for any of the later tragedies these shows became. But in their golden era, who can question the academy awards they won! Especially Tom and Jerry. Six, sometimes eight minutes of sheer, brilliant hilarity with almost no dialog. Amazing.

    But because I have good parents, who paid attention and instructed me along the way, and society wasn't quite the bag of batshit wombats that it's become, those hyper-violent cartoons never changed how I viewed the world. I never watched them and thought, "Oh wow! I'm taking a guillotine and some steel piping to go torture some people!" Mom and pop assured me that it was OK to laugh but not OK to emulate. Hey, whaddya know, parents who don't act like kid's besties mange to get the point across.

    1. society wasn't quite the bag of batshit wombats that it's become

      I am definitely going to use that line. It's brilliant.

      Your point about parenting is spot on. My parents never once objected to my watching those cartoons. (They DID, however, object- quite strenuously- to garbage like "Ren & Stimpy", and they weren't big fans of "The Simpsons" either.) With them around to tell me what was right and what wasn't, I managed to avoid turning into a leather-faced chainsaw-wielding axe-murderer. Somehow.


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