Rest in Peace Orville (and Keith Harris too)

I was very sad to learn of the passing of a great British talent recently – Orville, the green duck who wished he could fly. I guess technically the duck was never really alive, so can’t really have died – entertainer and ventriloquist Keith Harris is the true loss here, but I’m finiding it hard to mourn the man when it was his creation that was such a big part of my childhood.

I suspect if you’re not British, you’ll have no idea who Keith Harris is, or Orville. You’ve probably never experienced what it’s like to hear Orville taunted by Harris’s other character, Cuddles the monkey, whose catchphrase was “I hate that duck”. For the uninitiated, Orville was a young and naive green duck in an oversized nappy who seemingly had only one goal in life – to fly. In truth, that wasn’t the only thing the character aspired to, but Orville’s simplistic wish when captured in song became the defacto message that has lived with the character ever since.

If you’ve never heard Orville’s Song, or ‘I Wish I Could Fly’ as it is often referred to, now is the time to watch it sung by its stars over on Youtube:

If Orville made you smile, you should definitely check out Keith and Orville’s Quack Chat Show too!

As much affection as I have for Orville and Cuddles, I do hope that Harris’s passing is the end of the line for both characters. It’s been fun watching them show up in the decades following their creation but both characters need their master to breathe life into them and anyone who tries to mimic what Harris was so good at can only be destined for failure.

R.I.P. Keith, Orville and Cuddles.

Heroes of the 1980s: Stratos

For this post, Sean turns his sights skyward to celebrate a hero that is all man, yet still has room to cram in some random bird stuff (I mean I guess he is part bird. Those wings seemed more like a disco era fashion accessory, but I know his race lives in nests. Oh Eternia, your mix of Hyperborea and Studio 54 shall never grow stale), a hero that has nerves of steel and giblets to match, a bastion of justice whose thickness of feathers is only matched by the bristles of his Gary Kurtz beard…Stratos from Masters of the Universe!

(Art by Sean and Words by Daniel)

Heroes of the 1980s: Panthro

You know what screams 80’s? Ninja weapons like nunchaku. You know what screams massive drug abuse? Talking cat people. But somehow if you combine the two, you have an iconic character beloved to this day! And so, we have today’s hero, Panthro!

Panthro may not know what a Samophlange is, but he does know a thing or two about kickin’ mutant butt to all corners of Third Earth utilizing not only his cat’s claw nunchaku, but also his technological marvels such as the ThunderTank. It is also rumored that he sired a son who not only assisted in the birth of hundreds of babies on Third Earth, but has an affinity for loud, obnoxious sweaters as well.

(Art by Sean and Words by Daniel)