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Saturday, April 11, 2020

"The Honeybunnies", or: What if George Lucas had REALLY socked it to the fans?

An independent-minded scribe of stories wants nothing more than to produce the works that mean most to him.  And then one of his minor creations becomes a raging monster that takes control over almost every aspect of his life.  The fans won't leave him alone, they won't let him be free to find his own happiness.  And it's driving him insane...

Sound familiar?  Perhaps the tale of a certain plaid-flanneled filmmaker who made a small movie once upon a time but saw it instead become a franchise upon which fans pinned their hopes, their dreams, sometimes their entire meaning of life.  But alas!  It isn't George Lucas we're talking about here.  But it could be.

Way, waaaaay back in 1985 there was a new series on CBS called George Burns Comedy Week.  It didn't last very long and George Burns himself had very little to do with it apart from providing the intro to the show and lend his name.  It was something that had never been done before and to the best of my knowledge hasn't been attempted since: a humor anthology series.  Each episode was basically a short film by a different director, and they tended to have pretty good casts to them.  John Landis directed "Disaster at Buzz Creek" starring Don Knotts and Don Rickles.  Another memorable entry was "Christmas Carol II: The Sequel".  But the series only lasted thirteen weeks.  I dunno, maybe it was too ahead of its time or something.

So what does this have to do with George Lucas, and Star Wars?

One of the episodes of George Burns Comedy Weeek was "The Honeybunnies", starring Howard Hesseman a few years after his run on WKRP in Cincinnati.  Hesseman portrays a struggling playwright who only wants to see his work given a proper Broadway opening.  But that's not what is interesting the people around him.  They instead want his characters the Honeybunnies: a warren of pink anthropomorphic rabbits with cutsie names and dripping with saccharine sweetness.

He gives them the Honeybunnies.  And the Honeybunnies become a mega franchise spiraling out of control and derailing his own life and aspirations.  But the fans won't let him quit: they want their Honeybunnies and they don't care about anything else.

So what does our hero do?  He gives them the Honeybunnies in as big a way as possible, with their own motion picture.  And he freakin' MURDERS them before the fans' horrified eyes.

Can you imagine that being George Lucas, just finally sick and tired of Star Wars and then in the middle of Episode I the camera cuts to him telling everyone "Sorry folks, the franchise is over, get a life"?

It is HILARIOUS television and if "The Honeybunnies" wasn't produced with Lucas at least a little in mind, it will genuinely astonish me.  This seems to be a story tailor-made about his being the creator of a zillion-dollar franchise when he just wants to be an artist.  In fact, switch out the characters' names in this for those of Lucas and other real-life individuals and it practically DOES become the story of Star Wars if its creator decided he was going to honk off the fans once and for all in order to reclaim his life.

So without further ado, here in two parts found on YouTube is "The Honeybunnies":