This seems like as good a time as any to explain where L’il Duck came from.
He’s the punchline to my Dad’s favorite G-rated joke. Here’s the joke:
Funny Man asks: “Why do little ducks walk so softly?”
Obliging Straight Man answers: “I don’t know. Why DO little ducks walk so softly?”
Funny Man responds: “Because little ducks can’t walk, hardly.”
And by the way, you’d walk funny too if you had one foot that was a square and the other was a triangle. Kind of throws off your rhythm, ya know? I think Rick may have been sick at home with a terrible cold the day they covered how to draw bird feet at Cartoon School.
He also apparently missed a few biology classes along the way. That is most definitely not a duck’s beak, and since when are ducks yellow? He looks more like the runt of a pterodactyl litter than anything that would be served “a l’orange.” But I can’t squawk too loudly on this one.
In the first place, L’il Duck plays an incredibly important role in our cartoon world. He’s most often the voice of reason, the state-er of the obvious, the keen observer of what’s really shaking in any given situation. Plus, he’s consistently drawn, even if he’s somewhat inexplicably conceived of, and he’s cuter ‘n a baby buffalo.
How fabulous is it that Rick took a character that I’ve know since I was old enough to mangle a joke and brought him into living, breathing, and chatty color on the pages of our shared life journal?
He’s the icon, in our world at least, of delightful word play and intelligent fun. We love him dearly and won’t abide one word of ridicule about his beak, color, or pointy little triangle feet, ya hear?