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The Duck Factory ran from April until July 1984 on NBC.
The Duck Factory was set in a small run-down Hollywood animation studio peopled by the loony crew who produced a tv cartoon show called Dippy Duck. The newest employee was Skip Tarkenton ( Jim Carrey), an eager young cartoonist fresh from the midwest and bursting with excitement at his first professional job. His wide-eyed innocence contrasted sharply with the cynicism of his co-workers: Brooks ( Jack Gilford), the fatherly artist full of doubts about his own brilliance; Andrea ( Nancy Lane), the sarcastic man-hungry film editor; Marty ( Jay Tarses), the two-bit gag writer; Roland ( Clarence Gilyard, Jr), the only black storyboard artist in the business; and Wally ( Don Messick, the real voice of such cartoon characters as Boo Boo of Yogi Bear, Ruff of Ruff and Reddy, and Scooby-Doo to name a few), the voice over narrator who had a repertoire of so many cartoon voices that he had long sense forgotton his own voice. Buddy Winkler, the tyrannical owner of the studio, had just died and the place was virtually leaderless when Skip arrived, so the whole crew turned to the reluctant newcomer to save Dippy Duck-which was constantly on the verge of cancellation by the network. This brought the enmity of Aggie( Julie Payne), the pushy, penny-pinching business manager who thought she should be in charge, but also the appreciation of Mrs. Winkler ( Teresa Ganzel), the sexy young bimbo whom Buddy had met and married only 3 weeks before his demise-and who was therefore, now the studio's owner.
An Article from People Magazine
Thanks to a TV Show and a Malleable Mug, Canadian Comic Jim Carrey Is Looking Golden
February 06, 1984 12:00 PM
Appearances notwithstanding, Jim Carrey is not Fonda retirement—to Golden Pond or anywhere else. Indeed, at 22, the master mimic is poised on the brink of a comic breakthrough. Carrey is already being touted as the hottest talent to come out of L.A.’s Comedy Store since Robin Williams nanooed his way onto Mork & Mindy. Last fall producer Allan (The Mary Tyler Moore Show) Burns caught Carrey’s act and signed him to star in The Duck Factory, a half-hour comedy series scheduled as a midseason replacement on NBC this spring. The rubber-faced comic plays an animator named Skip Tarkenton. Carrey expects some of his impersonations to turn up on the show (13 episodes are already in the can) but, he maintains, “it’s mainly an acting job.”
Soon after his debut at the Comedy Store, Carrey was “discovered” again—this time by singer Linda Ronstadt, 37, with whom he lived for several months last year. Rumor has it the romance is on the rocks, but Carrey refuses to talk.
Born in the Toronto suburb of New-market, the son of a musician, Carrey has wanted to be a comedian since he was 8. “I would stare into the mirror for hours pulling faces,” he recalls. “It was my way of making friends and getting a laugh.” At 16, he dropped out of school to help his financially strapped family. He would put in eight hours a day at a picture-frame factory or on a construction site and at night drive 100 miles round-trip to appear at a club for free, at least until a reporter from a local paper took note. “I guess it was lucky my career took off,” he says, “because I was lousy at the other jobs.” It was more than luck. Before leaving Canada Carrey had established himself as a major star, commanding up to $40,000 for three nights’ work. Since moving south of the border, he has been the opening act for stars such as Sheena Easton and Rodney Dangerfield and has also turned up on The Tonight Show.
Only time will tell if The Duck Factory will be a TV hit, but Carrey is a sure bet to make a good impression.
An Article from the New York Times
NBC ADDS MTM'S 'DUCK FACTORY'
By JOHN J. O'CONNOR
-founded by Grant Tinker, and since Mr. Tinker is the current head of NBC-TV, it might seem a bit touchy for the network to stock up heavily on MTM products. On the other hand, MTM has an exceptionally good record for quality series, and NBC would be daft not to do business with the studio. In any event, another MTM series, ''The Duck Factory,'' is being added to the NBC schedule tonight at 9:30, cozily snuggled between ''Cheers'' and ''Hill Street Blues,'' two of the network's other MTM offerings.
One of the creators of the new show, and the writer of the premiere episode, is Allan Burns, the MTM veteran who co-developed ''The Mary Tyler Moore Show'' with James L. Brooks, the producer-director who has just walked off with a batch of Academy Awards for his film ''Terms of Endearment.'' In addition, the director of tonight's episode is Gene Reynolds, a key force in the success of the series ''M*A*S*H.'' This formidable production lineup obviously has something to do with the episode being a miniature comic gem.
''The Duck Factory'' is really a small animation house in Hollywood. Founded by Buddy Winkler, its biggest contribution to TV's kiddie sweepstakes has been a cartoon called ''Dippy Duck,'' and one of its biggest fans is a clean-cut, milk-fed young man named Skip Tarkenton (Jim Carrey), an aspiring artist- animator from the Midwest. Armed with a vague invitation from Buddy to visit the factory whenever he's passing through town, friendly Skip arrives in Hollywood just in time to find Buddy's body being carted off to a cemetery by his employees, a decidedly odd collection of assorted misfits who keep assuring passing sightseeing buses that the corpse is ''nobody famous!''
The gang includes old Buddy's young and curvaceous widow (Teresa Ganzel), who had been married to him three weeks earlier after leaving her job as a topless skater in an ice show (''You don't really have to be Peggy Fleming if you're willing to skate with your shirt off''); Brooks Carmichael (Jack Gilford), the chronically sleepy cartoonist who is Skip's idol; Aggie Aylesworth (Julie Payne), the snarling business manager who insists that Buddy wanted her to take over the company; Andrea Lewin (Nancy Lane), the reasonably sane film editor who finds Skip kind of cute; and, bringing up the rear, Marty (Jay Tarses), the temperamental writer; Roland (Clarence Gilyard Jr.), the animator with a degree in dentistry to fall back on, and Wally (Don Messick), the voice expert who keeps slipping into the sounds of Dippy Duck.
Volunteering to be one of the pallbearers, Skip is delighted (''That'd be great!'') to attend Buddy's funeral, although he is puzzled by the grumpiness of the others. When no minister shows up, Aggie announces, ''We're gonna have to wing this,'' and asks the others to tell some nice stories about Buddy. But that proves impossible. The only thing Brooks can remember is the time he asked Buddy for money for a bypass operation and was refused because Buddy was buying a new speedboat. The story could be considered nice, he explains, because it eventually turned out that he didn't need the operation.
Undaunted, the ebullient Skip, seeming to bounce right out of a soft- drink commericial, reminds the gathering that Buddy Winkler was a household name - like Spider Man. ''Nice choice,'' somebody mutters. Warming to his subject, Skip urges the others to ''pick yourselves up, dust yourselves up.'' Aggie is convinced that ''this kid is running for something.'' Finally, Mrs. Winkler, wanting to change her widow's weeds for something a little less somber, invites the entire crew for drinks at her sumptuous home called Casa Contento.
And so ''The Duck Factory'' goes on its amiably dizzy, often hilarious way. With Mr. Burns and Mr. Reynolds at the controls, the pacing is kept at the kind of perfect amble that keeps the characters and situations from tripping over each other. By the end of this first half hour, Skip the cheerleader is the one person who may be able to save the sinking fortunes of the business. After having ''Dippy Duck'' canceled, Aggie is given a reprieve of 48 hours to come up with a new proposal to enliven the cartoon. ''And they say networks are cold and heartless,'' she blubbers into the phone. The new sitcom is off and running quite promisingly.
To read some articles about The Duck Factory go to http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=45QsAAAAIBAJ&sjid=sfsDAAAAIBAJ&dq=teresa%20ganzel&pg=6808%2C5051590 and http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=umYrAAAAIBAJ&sjid=99gEAAAAIBAJ&dq=duck%20factory%20tv%20show&pg=2795%2C930220 and http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=RoBJAAAAIBAJ&sjid=qgsNAAAAIBAJ&dq=duck%20factory%20tv%20show&pg=1937%2C8686868
To watch clips from The Duck Factory go to https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=duck+factory+tv+show
For more on The Duck Factory go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Duck_Factory
For the biggest Jim Carrey Website on the web go to www.jimcarreyonline.com/
For some Duck Factory-related interview videos at the Archive of American Television go to https://interviews.televisionacademy.com/shows/duck-factory
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Keywords: The Duck Factory Cast (Links Updated 7/16/18)