Taz-Mania is an American animated sitcom, produced by Warner Bros. Animation from 1991 to 1995, and broadcast in the United States on Fox. The series follows the adventures of the Looney Tunes character Taz (The Tasmanian Devil) in the fictional land of Tazmania (based on Tasmania). This show was more popular in Italy.
The Tazmanian Devil family
- Taz (Jim Cummings) is the central character of the series and appears in every episode. Taz is ill-tempered, tough, and frequently hungry, and has a very big dislike of water, though he is less ferocious and (at times) more thoughtful than his original incarnation. He works as a bellhop at the Hotel Tazmania.
- Jean Tazmanian Devil (Miriam Flynn) is Taz's dedicated, doting mother. Many episodes circle around her speaking on the phone and running through a long list of chores she has created for herself.
- Hugh Tazmanian Devil (Maurice LaMarche) is Taz's easy-going, talkative, and very comical father, whose voice and mannerisms are a parody of Bing Crosby. Hugh likes orange juice (a reference to Crosby being a famous pitch-man for orange juice), golfing, and bowling, and joking around, and he will often overexplain things to the point where he will say "blah-blah-blah, yackity schmackity" to speed things up.
- Molly Tazmanian Devil (Kellie Martin) is Taz's 16-year-old sister. Despite being more refined than her brother, she often shares his vicious and bossy nature, though in a more sibling-rivalry sense.
- Jake Tazmanian Devil (Debi Derryberry) is Taz's playful, very imaginative, energetic, and fun-loving little brother, who often looks up to and idolizes Taz.
- Dog the Turtle (Rob Paulsen) is Taz's pet turtle, who acts like a dog.
- Drew Tazmanian Devil (Maurice LaMarche) is Taz's funny, goofy, very mirthful, and zestful uncle, who talks and acts like Bob Hope as a reference to Hugh's parody of Bing Crosby. Like Hugh, Drew enjoys golf, bowling, telling jokes, and heading out on road trips (often dragging Taz along) in spoofs of Hope and Crosby's Road to... film series of the 1940s and 1950s.
Hotel Tazmania staff
- Bushwhacker Bob (Jim Cummings) is Taz's loud, grumpy, uppity, rude, selfish, lazy, and incompetent boss. Owner of the Hotel Tazmania, he is largely self-centered and thinks very highly of himself, despite rarely doing any actual work and preferring to leave any and all tasks to his staff. His demeanor is a sendup of Basil Fawlty, just as all the hotel segments were direct spoofs of the British sitcom Fawlty Towers.
- Mum (Rosalyn Landor) is Bushwhacker Bob's mother, who is much calmer and wiser than her son. Despite her son owning the Hotel Tazmania, Mum is the true backbone of the establishment. She is often quick to criticize her son, much to Bob's chagrin, despite her accusations typically being true.
- Constance Koala (Rosalyn Landor) is an enormous but gentle-spirited and graceful koala, who is the maid at the Hotel Tazmania. She is quite fond of singing and dancing, despite her dancing often causing unintentional destruction. We see her in the dance class that Molly takes when Taz first takes ballet.
- Mr. Thickly (Dan Castellaneta) is a multitalented, funny, energetic, and upbeat wallaby, who works at the Hotel Tazmania, although his exact job title is unspecified. He considers himself a jack-of-all-trades, always prefacing the activities he does with Taz with an exclamation that he's "an expert." He enjoys doing favors for Taz, but his incompetence usually results in mayhem. He also hosts Taz-manian Theater.
- Digeri Dingo (Rob Paulsen) is a self-serving dingo who pretends to be Taz's friend so he can avoid dangerous situations and discomfort at Taz's expense. He and Taz share a mutual love for bottle-cap collecting. A scavenger, treasure hunter, and chronic collector, he often takes advantage of Taz's strength and rabid nature to hunt rare treasures. Typically, after he gets what he wants, he still berates Taz for bringing it back in a tarnished condition.
- Wendal T. Wolf (Jim Cummings) is a neurotic thylacine who is desperate for any type of friendship. He resembles Wile E. Coyote. When not being hunted by Taz, he usually drives him crazy in his efforts to befriend him. His personality closely resembles that of Woody Allen.
- Francis X. Bushlad (Rob Paulsen) is a white-skinned, red-haired aboriginal boy who unsuccessfully hunts Taz as a rite of manhood. Despite their tribal society, his entire tribe behave and speak like highly intelligent, aristocratic businessmen (his own father is a send-up of Thurston P. Howell, III). His name recalls silent movie star Francis X. Bushman.
- Bull Gator and Axl (John Astin, Rob Paulsen) are two saltwater crocodiles who unsuccessfully try to trap Taz for the enjoyment of zoo-going children around the world (as a rather weak pretense to the massive financial gain the endeavor will grant them). Bull is the leader of the duo, always acting in a confident and cheery attitude even while reprimanding Axl. Axl is Bull's hunter-in-training, constantly naïve, though often subject to Bull's "corrections" (typically in the form of a mallet smashing). They vaguely resemble Laurel and Hardy.
- Buddy Boar (Jim Cummings), as Hamilton Butkus Boar, fancies himself a yuppie, is often seen talking on his cellphone, and claims to be "Taz's best friend". Though Buddy tends to take advantage of Taz at times, he does not seem to treat him nearly as badly as Digeri Dingo does. He was established early in the show, but was seemingly ill-received, reflected in several fourth wall-breaking moments by the show's characters. As such, Buddy's appearances were uncommon. His later appearances suggest he was promoted to the show's producer after he was considered to be an unlikable character on the show proper, and he later attempts to direct an episode featuring Bull and Axl — with catastrophic results.
- Daniel and Timothy, the Platypus Brothers (Maurice LaMarche, Rob Paulsen) are twin platypus brothers (Timothy wears glasses), whose love of do-it-yourself projects usually ends up causing trouble for Taz. They closely resemble Daffy Duck in appearance and manner of speech. A pair of episodes deals with their obsession with the primetime cartoon "The McKimsons", a Simpsons parody featuring a character who constantly shouts "No way, I'm out of here, man!"
- The Keewee, although somewhat resembling a kiwi, this silent bird can run as fast as the Road Runner, often being chased down by Taz in search of his lunch in the same manner as Wile E. Coyote.
- The Bushrats (head Bushrat: Phil Proctor) are a group of bush rats in tribal costume. They speak in an odd mix of real and nonsense languages that are appended by mismatched, humorous subtitles. Their favorite phrase is "Spanfirkel!", which is similar to the German word Spanferkel which translates to "small, young pig, which still gets suckled".
- Willie Wombat (Phil Proctor), originally cast in a Bugs Bunny-like role against Taz, resents this typecasting and greatly admires Taz and his career. His determination to remain pacifistic and polite usually reverts to frustration and rage by the end of his episodes. Ironically, his friendly nature was previously used by Bugs in 1980's "Spaced Out Bunny".
"Looney Tunes" characters
- Bugs Bunny (voiced by Greg Burson), in "A Devil of a Job", appears as a deus ex machina, driving a souped-up Jeep out of a tar pit, saving Taz, and then asking, "Is this the left turn at Albuquerque?" In Willie Wombat's debut episode, Willie phones Bugs for advice about how to handle Taz.
- Daffy Duck (voiced by Maurice LaMarche) is seen riding along with Bugs in the jeep in "A Devil of a Job".
- Yosemite Sam (voiced by Maurice LaMarche), after Willie phones Bugs for advice, is called by Taz. He is never actually seen. He expresses surprise that Taz has his own show by asking "Ain't you retired yet?"
- Sam Sheepdog (voiced by Jim Cummings), in one episode, was working as a sheepdog. Taz, working as a temporary agent for carnivorous predators, substitutes for Ralph Wolf and attempts to steal sheep from Sam's pen. (A bit of character confusion was at play here, as at one point Sam suggests, "I thought I was a bit too hard on that coyote last week.")
- Foghorn Leghorn (voiced by Greg Burson), because of his name, was mistaken for a hotel critic by Bushwhacker Bob.
- Marvin the Martian (voiced by Rob Paulsen) once comes to Earth on vacation, glad his plans to destroy it failed. His attempts at relaxation are thwarted by Taz's noisy behavior, cajoling him into wanting to destroy Earth again, and his actions indeed cause Earth to explode due to a temporal anomaly.
- Road Runner (voiced by Rob Paulsen) makes a cameo appearance in the show and is caught by Taz. Taz is then about to eat him, but lets the bird go after Axl and Bull try to kidnap Taz.