If you watch CN late at night or on Saturday and Sunday mornings, you may see him. (Which seems to be the only times CN shows classic Looney Tunes, anyway.) Anyway, dear old Ted doesn’t have that much control over CN anymore. He was let go not too long ago. Remember, he had lost a lot of power when Time Warner merged with AOL, and Gerry Levin was chipping away at his power before that. (Richard Parsons – Levin’s sucessor-- did bring him back four months ago, but it remains to be seen what his duties will be.) Speedy has snuck back onto the airwaves and noone has made a fuss.
I’ve been following this debate for a couple of weeks now. First thing I’ve learned – Laurie Goldberg is possibly the worse spokesperson Cartoon Network could find to handle this. She can’t seem to keep her story straight. I’ve been following her from Fox News online, to the NY Times and the Chicago Tribune. (Unfortunately, nearly all of these links have expired). She started by saying that they never air Speedys because it was offensive. Now, her story is that they don’t get as good ratings as the other cartoons – which is why you don’t see to many of them. I won’t dismiss this out of hand, since the over half of them were made in the 60s, after WB closed they’re animation studios and farmed out the work to DePatie-Freleng productions in '65. These were directed by Bob McKimson, way after he lost his game, and Alex Lovy, who never had his game to begin with. Of course, pairing him up with Daffy Duck didn’t help matters, either. (They managed to ruin Daffy Duck, too, in that period.) But that’s OK, most of the cartoons put out with WB’s stamp on them then were crap. The Road Runners done by Rudy Larriva make me cringe. Though he did try to save Speedy and Daffy at the end, so he gets some points for that.
All of the good Speedys were done before Warners shut down the studio and had shipped the production to outsiders. (I make an exception for the skit from the 80’s “Daffy Duck Easter Special” which became “The Chocolate Chase”, which I think is rather good.) Before shut down, Warner has produced 15 cartoons with him. Half of those are very good (three of my favorites were Oscar Nominees at the time – one other, “Speedy Gonzales” was the title, was an Oscar winner) That’s microscopic compared to the number of cartoons Time Warner has in it’s posession and in active rotation. The other twenty or so (1965-68) were a pale imitation. That I’ve even seen Speedy on the air two weeks ago amazes me. I’m still waiting for “The Bear That Wasn’t” which I haven’t seen since early 2001.