For my sustained ability to name all the American state capitals, as well as every U.S. President in chronological order, I have the Warner sibs to thank. (Never quite nailed down the nations of the world, though. My white whale.) Though irreverent, manic, and loaded with cartoon violence, Animaniacs was through and through a worthwhile piece of entertainment for children of the early 1990s—frequently educational despite its overt disavowal of the very idea of authority. Two decades after the series’ original run, Animaniacs is drawing new attention: first, its complete four-season package finally hit Netflix this month; and now, the show is launching a musical tour.
As reported by the New York Times, the voice actors behind Yakko, Wakko, and Dot are bringing their gargantuan list of catchy tunes to the American public, backed at each stop by a live orchestra. The trio undertook a similar venture in 2014, though with Colorado as their only stop. The news dropped during the Times‘ conversation with Rob Paulsen, the particularly linguistically agile talent behind wisecracking Yakko, about his continued attachment to the character.
Jess Harnell—who looks a bit like Weird Al Yankovic and sounds, at least when performing as Wakko, remarkably like Ringo Starr—and Tress MacNeill—who, in addition to Dot, has voiced a good 40 percent of your favorite female cartoon characters—are reportedly on board to join Paulsen in the forthcoming tour, though details as yet are scant. The one bit of news the Times could apprehend: there will indeed be an updated version of Yakko’s World, the notorious every-country-on-the-planet number that to this day evades my mastery.
It makes sense that they’d tinker with the song, as a good deal has changed geographically since the song’s original publication—for instance, the transformation of Zaire into the Democratic Republic of the Congo. What’s more exciting, perhaps, is the possibility for a few additional verses to the Presidents song. Depending on when the tour takes way, perhaps George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and [insert 45th president here] will join the ranks of Animaniacs parody.
What was your favorite Animaniacs song? Let us know!
Image: Warner Bros.