Last week, I got into a fun discussion with Steven Byess, musical director of Tupelo Symphony Orchestra.
My plan was to talk about next Saturday’s TSO performance featuring pianist Yakov Kasman, but Byess was focused on a show scheduled for March 27 at Link Centre.
He’d spent his morning watching cartoons for a concert called “Cartoon Classics/Symphonic Sounds.” Technically, he was working, but he enjoyed himself.
During our interview, we shared memories of Bugs Bunny and the irrepressible comedy duo of Tom and Jerry.
You don’t see a lot of those cartoon characters on TV anymore. Daffy Duck and Porky Pig were old when I was a kid, but they were ready to entertain on a daily basis. That was in the days when we had only 12 or so channels.
These days, unless you have the Boomerang channel, you don’t get Huckleberry Hound or Yogi Bear. I can’t remember the last time I saw Woody Woodpecker.
Scooby-Doo and Casper the Friendly Ghost are still around, but you’ll usually find their new adventures on TV.
My son, Evan, watches Mickey Mouse and Goofy on the updated “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,” where the characters teach him about colors and counting.
He hasn’t seen Chip and Dale drive Donald Duck into the next best thing to madness – all by the simple act of gathering nuts for the winter. Good stuff.
It makes sense, I guess. New times call for new cartoons, and I enjoy modern-day offerings.
And there can be a bad side to old cartoons. My personality is one part Bugs Bunny, and that’s hard for some people to take in doses longer than five minutes.
On a side note, I’ve also got a dollop of Hawkeye Pierce from “M*A*S*H,” and you wouldn’t believe how quickly that gets me thrown out of parties.
I guess I could go online and find all the classic cartoons I want, then tell my bosses that I’m researching an upcoming symphony performance. If it works for Byess, why not me?
Evan had some colorful stomach trouble last week, if you know what I mean, and I spent Tuesday at home with him. I was doing chores and he was watching television.
“Da-da, I’m hungry,” he said.
“Just a second,” I said, since I was in the middle of caulking the bathroom.
I got the job finished before he asked for food again. His hunger didn’t go away; he merely forgot to pay attention because he was watching the old adventures of Tom the cat and Jerry the mouse on Cartoon Network.
As I caulked, he called out a running description of the antics on screen:
– “Two cats are chasing Jerry and get in each other’s way.”
– “Jerry doesn’t like Tom’s girlfriend.”
– “Jerry helped Tom get his girlfriend.”
Here’s my question: Do you think Evan is now qualified to be musical director of Tupelo Symphony Orchestra?
M. Scott Morris is a Daily Journal entertainment writer. Contact him at (662) 678-1589 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal