I Was Honestly Inspired By A Gookie – Wait WTF Is a “Gookie?” (Animaniacs, Surprise!)

We’re still in the middle of the NERD TRAVEL series, so keep it locked here!

Right now though…

This week has been funky for me. Not sure if I caught a case of the “Woe Is Me’s” or if I’ve just been too stressed out, but my creative juices just haven’t been flowing, and I apologize myself and to anyone who keeps up with Nerd Coolture.

 Yesterday, on April Fool’s of all days, I found the oddest bit of inspiration, and even had a moment of water coming from eyes…over a cartoon. Not just any cartoon though. It was during one of my childhood cartoons. 

 But if it wasn’t for learning that ANIMANIACS was on Netflix, I probably wouldn’t have had this revelation. So I binged about seven episodes while wallowing in self-defeat, yet laughing like ten-year old.

What weird feeling.

In Episode 70, there’s a skit called “Wakko’s New Gookie” where Wakko Warner, my comedic inspiration, tries to come up with a fresh gookie just because it’s a new season.

Real quick, a gookie is kind of a “WTF” or “IDGAF” face when everyone’s being so serious, and frankly it’s hilarious. It was made famous by Harpo Marx (Groucho’s brother) back in the day. The Animaniacs pay tribute to it many times, especially Wakko

 But when Wakko tries to come up with a new gookie, his brother Yakko doesn’t approve, and neither do his celebrity friends Bob Hope, Kathrine Hepburn, Michaleangelo, and Larry King.

After seeing his brother is confused and discouraged, Yakko shares these wise words with Wakko:

You know, Wakko, just because something’s new doesn’t mean it’s better. Everyone likes your old gookie! You should be proud of that and not want to change it just to come up with something new.

By this time, my eyes were welling with tears. I couldn’t quite put my finger on exactly why but there a were few things that I loved about this skit:

  • Wakko’s Creativity – Wakko felt inspired to come up with something new when he was just chilling on a park bench during his down time. Inspiration comes at the oddest moments. Sometimes it’s golden, and sometimes we force it. Maybe Wakko was forcing it, but I can definitely relate to his desire to try something new.  
  • Wakko’s Risk and Resilience – When Wakko had a new idea, he got a few different opinions from his friends in high places. They are influencers and creatives. Heck, he event went live on the air with Larry King where callers gave their opinions. In other words, he took a risk and put himself out there. But the more people gave their criticism, the harder Wakko sold his new gookie. That’s how I feel every time I post a blog. It’s always a risk to put some material out there ready for criticism and scrutiny. But I live and learn, and practice my gookie.   
  • Wakko’s Originality – I loved when Yakko said “new doesn’t mean it’s better.” This nerd world is on hyper speed as far as creating and consuming. Sometimes we think that if we’re not constantly changing, we will become irrelevant. I get caught up in that mindset on a daily basis. Yes, change is good. But seeing this gookie skit reminded me that I can slow down, re-center to why I started Nerd Coolture, and write about how cool it is to be a nerd.  

I never would’ve imagined a 90’s cartoon to get me out of a creative funk. Out of a motivational mud pit.

I’m so thankful that twenty years later, I’m still able to enjoy shows like ANIMANIACS that are funny, profound, and tribunal to the classic arts of the Marx Brothers and other pop culture references. Never in my life, would have I foreseen myself laughing out of joy and crying out of inspiration to three kids who live in a studio water tower. 

  Now, time to practice that gookie.

What inspires you to write? Anything surprise you lately? Share in the comments below!

Watch the full skit of “Wakko’s New Gookie” here: