Looney Tunes: Laff Riot (found unreleased pitch pilot of "The Looney Tunes Show" animated sitcom; 2009)
The pilot pitch's logo.
Date found: 04 Sep 2020 / 28 Sep 2020 (uncropped)
Found by: Trevor Thompson
In July of 2009, Warner Bros. Animation announced a new television series based on the Looney Tunes, tentatively titled Looney Tunes: Laff Riot. Conceived after the critical failure of Loonatics Unleashed, this new series was intended to go back to the Golden Age cartoons in terms of tone whilst updating the characters’ appearances.
However, by November of 2009, test screenings of Laff Riot's pilot left Warner Bros.' executives unimpressed, resulting in layoffs in WB's animation division and a retool of the show. Its changes lead to the creation of The Looney Tunes Show, now with a sitcom setting. The new setting, as well as the show's art direction, was the subject of criticism from several Looney Tunes fans. The Looney Tunes Show premiered on Cartoon Network on May 3rd, 2011, to mixed reviews lasting only two seasons and a direct-to-video movie. However, it ended up getting a cult following. Several elements from the Laff Riot pilot were repurposed for and adapted into The Looney Tunes Show episode "Casa de Calma," as that was one of the first episodes produced.
While Jeff Bergman ended up replacing Joe Alaskey in The Looney Tunes Show, this pilot is notable for being the latter's final Looney Tunes-related movie/television project before his death in 2016.
On May 31st, 2020, Trevor Thompson, better known as The Looney Tunes Critic, and owner of the YouTube channel Ferris Wheelhouse, uploaded a video titled Hold the Restorations, Please!, where he talks about the restoration of several classic Looney Tunes shorts on the recently released HBO Max. Near the end of the video, he shares the opening of the Laff Riot pilot, which plays for one minute until it gets cut back to the video's main topic. The video's credits shows another clip, which lasts 18 seconds.
Despite his followers wanting more footage from the pilot, Trevor stated on Twitter that he would only release the full pilot if his channel reaches five thousand subscribers. On June 25, 2020, he revealed in a video Great Restorations are What's Cookin'! that an upcoming video about the history of the revival of the Looney Tunes would be made. He also said the video would include the remainder of the Laff Riot footage, although it is unknown when this video will release. On September 4th, 2020, the full pilot was uploaded to Trevor's YouTube channel, since the Looney Tunes Cartoons video was taking so long. On September 28th, Trevor released the video without his channel's watermark.
- Joe Alaskey as Bugs and Daffy
- Bob Bergen as Porky and Tweety
- Paul Julian as Road Runner (archival recordings)
- Jessica Borutski
- Matt Danner
- Jim Smith
Tina Russo was originally called Marisol Mallard in the original pilot, and her design is drastically different.
Early designs for The Looney Tunes Show with someones for the pilot still intact. (Seen at the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas on June 14th, 2010)
Laff Riot would've included the infamous "Grilled Cheese" segment, according to Matt Danner, who sold the show when it was called Laff Riot.
- The pilot on the Internet Archive. Retrieved 04 Sep '20
- The Animation Guild's blog post about Laff Riot entering production. Retrieved 07 Jun '20
- The Animation Guild's blog post about Laff Riot's retooling. Retrieved 07 Jun '20
- Cartoon Brew's blog post about Laff Riot's retooling. Retrieved 07 Jun '20
- The Looney Tunes Critic's video Hold the Restoration, Please!, where clips from Laff Riot can be seen (timestamped). Retrieved 07 Jun '20
- Ferris Wheelhouse's Twitter post about the pilot's release. Retrieved 07 Jun '20
- The video stating that the pilot will be released. Retrieved 25 Jun '20
- When Was the Last Time Elmer Fired His Gun? Retrieved 04 Sep '20
- Looney Tunes Laff Riot (UNCUT!!) Retrieved 28 Sept '20
- One of the crew members who worked on the pilot. Retrieved 06 Sep '20
- More Looney Tunes character designs. Retrieved 06 Sep '20
- Matt Danner tweet. Retrieved 07 Sep '20