TV Shows - Baggy Pants and the Nitwits
Produced by the same company that had made the longrunning classic Pink Panther Saturday morning cartoon series, this one season wonder had a bizarre premise in trying to pitch slapstick comedy to 70's kid views- instead of a single 30 minute length cartoon, each 'episode' had two separate cartoons of completely unrelated characters doing their bits. The first part was a silent movie homage/rip off of this pantomiming bipedal, suit wearing cat getting himself into constant misadventures called Baggy Pants (but only in the opening title/song since no one in the cartoon actually SPOKE just reacted to the situations and tinny background music). Put it this way, Charlie Chaplin (who died the same year as this cartoon in 1977) had absolutely nothing to worry about from this feline wannabee!
The second part (Nitwits) was far more creative in that it had one last trotting of "Rowan&Martin's Laugh-In" arguably most famous recurring sketch- Arte Johnson as the decrepit,dirty old man Tyrone Horneigh [Horn-NYE] trying to put the moves on the repressed, frumpy,middle-aged spinster Gladys Ormphby played by Ruth Buzzi with [now tame] double meaning lines- only to have Gladys get increasingly offended and whacking him more and more with her purse until he'd collapse! It helped that each of these performers were somewhat shorter than average so Arte especially had little trouble believably playing a man much older than his years.
Anyway, the cartoon 'update' (just four years after Gladys was last seen on "Laugh In")with Mr. Johnson and Miss Buzzi voicing their classic characters had the twist that sometime in the distant past Tyrone and Gladys had MARRIED when Tyrone had been a young, strapping superhero! Now that he was old and decripit but he was still a superhero who's main ability remaining was being able to fly and shame villains with lame jokes while Gladys actually was somewhat LOVING to him and instead of whacking him with her purse, she'd whack the villains with it. Of course, like all superheros, Tyrone had a sidekick- a cane (of all things) named Elmo (of all names) who (which?) behaved like an eager puppy in trying to help out Tyrone who'd talk to him (it?). It usually was a Gladys/Elmo combo who'd actually save the day but they depended on Tyrone to fly them on his back while Gladys would ride him like a horse- sidesaddle! Like Baggy Pants, they were only called the 'Nitwits' in the opening title/song and, it does not appear to have been their surname. Maybe Horneigh and Ormphby weren't considered suitable for Saturday morning cartoons but they didn't seem to actually have a surname!
So, could this 13 episode cartoon duo have possibly have had time to bone? Oddly enough, yes. The last few episodes had Gladys (and Ruth Buzzi) nowhere in sight (or sound) and had Tyrone living with his bizarrely lookalike (sans mustache) even more elderly MOTHER! Whatever the reasons Ruth Buzzi parted ways with this cartoon seems to remain a mystery as none of the parties seem to have ever made it public record. Regardless, it's quite doubtful that they originally produced this cartoon with the intent of scrapping Gladys for Tyrone's mother because what would have been the point? Although his interactions with Gladys had been considerably watered down for the cartoon, they were infinitely more interesting than the deal of an elderly man living with his ancient mother. Not to mention that his mother was a total bore.
Or maybe someone out there who remembers this show (outside the cartoon voice's immediate family) LIKED the mother for reasons unknown to the rest of us who remember this cartoon. Maybe someone out there thought it boned with Gladys and Tyrone's mother was an improvement[NAH!]. Anyway, have at it re bones and this show!
Wikipedia Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baggy_Pants_and_the_Nitwits
eBay Link: View Baggy Pants and the Nitwits on eBay