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Rob Paulsen Sings an Updated-for-2017 Version of “Yakko’s World” from ANIMANIACS, Live

For ’90s kids, Animaniacs seemed like just a madcap, zany cartoon. For their parents, it was a cleverly kiddified take on popular grown-up movies like Goodfellas and Rain Man. I’m not sure either group realized that there was, at times, a top-secret educational subtext that might result in the viewer actually (and accidentally?) learning something.

Take the song “Yakko’s World.” How many viewers knew that the tune was based on the Jarabe Tapatio? And how many, after hearing the lyrics that name-checked every country in the world, came away knowing at least a few more nations than they did before? Well, times change and borders get redrawn, but that just means Yakko voice actor Rob Paulsen had to make a few minor lyric changes and add a new verse, in this performance from our Alpha show Mothership:

You have to imagine that on the show, he had a script in front of him. He’s probably performed the song many times since then, but his ability to recall all the words and spit them out in such rapid-fire fashion off the top of his head is nonetheless a masterful feat worthy of the Great Wakkarotti. Also, if you missed yesterdays tutorial on how to talk like Pinky (of “…and the Brain” fame), you’re going to want to check that out.

Mothership airs Thursdays at 5:30pm PDT on Geek & Sundry Twitch, Nerdist’s YouTube, and Alpha. But if you’re a fan of Paulsen, you’ll also want to check out Talkin’ Toons, our new show all about animation voice-over actors, hosted by Paulsen himself and airing Fridays, with guests like LaMarche and Kevin Conroy. Make sure you’re signed up for Alpha — either online or our iOS app — to get full access. If you sign up today, use the promo code SHIPMATES to extend your 30-day free trial to 60 days, so you have plenty of time to check out everything Alpha has to offer. (Promo offer ends Friday, June 30 at 11:59p PDT.)

How much of “Yakko’s World” can you sing before you get tongue-tied? Leave your best time in comments below!

Images: Warner Bros.

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