Tuesday, March 1, 2016

3 Tributes to the late, great Bea Arthur in Postmodern Cartoons

One of my obsessive fandoms is cartoons, which stretches all the way back to my formative years watching Batman,The Animated Series.  I have never stopped watching cartoons.  Starting in the late 90’s some cartoons have reached or succeeded the same level of storytelling as live action shows for adults.  My favorite shows of all time are Avatar; the Last Airbender and Breaking Bad, IN THAT ORDER!!!

Sacrilege, I know.

Some of you may be aware that some cartoons like Adventure Time and Nickelodeon’s current Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series are just as much for an adult audience as they are for a children’s audience.  Ditto for Steven Universe, Gravity Falls, Tron Legacy, etc.  IGN.com does weekly recaps for TMNT and ADV Club for Wander Over Yonder

Series creators are making the cartoons they want to see.  Not necessarily as a children but cartoons they want to watch today, as adults in their mid-30s with their kids.  One of the reasons I know cartoons are appealing to adult audiences is all the subtle references to 80’s and 90’s pop culture, such as The Golden Girls.

Because I watch so many cartoons on the reg, I was surprised to see Bea Arthur referenced in not one but two current cartoons.  Let’s take a look shall we?

(If you don’t know who Bea Arthur is, stop right now and google Her Majesty.  Then watch an episode of The Golden Girls on the interwebs or whatever and marvel how a group of women in their mid-50’s get away with the raunchiest lines pre-Sex And The City days.)

Futurama – Amazon Women in the Mood. 
Air Date - 2/4/2001.

In the Futurama episode, Amazon Women in the Mood, Bea Arthur voices the character/robot Femputer.  Bea’s signature deadpan delivery is in full comedic display reciting lines such as “Death by snu-snu!”  This is less a tribute and more an appearance of Bea Arthur in the postmodern cartoon world, prior to her passing away.

Teen Titans Go! – Two Parter Part Two. (That is the actual name of the episode.)
Air Date - 11/25/2015.

Let me pre-face this by saying if you loved the original Teen Titans, (which I did) then you will probably hate the Teen Titans Go! reboot.  If you loved Ren & Stimpy, even just a little bit, you will enjoy this show.  (Which I did and do).  The humor is irreverent, off the wall and madcap to say the least.  It’s like a super-hero themed Mad Magazine come to animated life.

In a fairly recent episode the Teen Titans infiltrate the Justice League and antics ensue. Most notably, Cyborg, in an attempt to call upon a hidden reserve of courage, uses Green Lantern’s ring to conjure up the Golden Girls, minus Sofia. 

I pretty much spat out the beer I was drinking during a lazy Sunday afternoon.  Now I have proof this show was made for me, and stoners possibly, but mostly man-children (or more like, women-children who do their own taxes) like myself.

Wander Over Yonder – The Family Reunion
Air Date – 2/22/2016

Wander Over Yonder follows a best friend duo of a perpetual do-gooder named Wander, voiced by 30 Rock’s Jack MacBrayer, and his tough, sassy lady friend Sylvia, voiced by April Winchell, who is another fabulously comedic actress with a similar low vocal range as Ms. Bea Arthur herself.

Both Wander and Sylvia are both members of different made up alien races, traveling a vast, wide galaxy.  Sylvia is a Zbornak, a race of tough talking, hard hitting part dinosaur/part horse hybrids with a figurative heart of gold.  A Zbornak, okay?

In the episode “The Family Reunion” Sylvia and Wander go to meet Sylvia’s family which is headed by her mother, who is named Dorothy.  And looks like this.  

Blue tinged hair and heavy lids......
Dorothy the Zbornak, as in Bea Arthur’s character Dorothy Zbornak in The Golden Girls.

I see what you did there, Craig McCracken.  

Long live the memory of the Bea Arthur!  May her legacy be spread to the more future generations to come.


  1. Omg I like Futurma a lot!
    I always watch cartoons even though I am 20 haha


  2. I still watch cartoons into my 30's! Futurama is one of my faves, too.