Taking an existing piece of pop culture and turning it into a duck is a tried and true method of producing hit entertainment. It worked well for Darkwing Duck, but the tradition goes back to 1981 when Danger Mouse’s creators decided to mash up Dracula with a duck. The resulting character, Count Duckula, was an instant fan favorite. After getting his own series, the vampiric mallard became a staple of ‘80s kids cartoon diets. Though his legacy is largely forgotten, some have kept the fond memory of the character alive with Count Duckula tattoos.
Back in 1984 Nickelodeon wasn’t quite a household name. The fledgling children’s network relied heavily on syndicated programming from other sources. One of their first big hits came from syndicating the UK cartoon Danger Mouse, produced by Cosgrove Hall Films. Several years later, Nickelodeon executives asked Cosgrove if they were interested in co-producing a spin-off series. The character of Count Duckula was selected, and the rest is history.
The show centers around the adventures of the titular character, his butler, and his nanny. Together, they live in a castle that can teleport them all over the world for wacky adventures. The origins of the Count involve a ceremony to resurrect Dracula that goes horribly awry when ketchup is accidentally substituted for blood in part of the ritual. The result was a vegetarian vampire who was more interested in munching on carrots than sucking blood. He also eschewed the traditional sorts of vampire villainy, instead focusing on cultivating a successful career as an entertainer.
The show was a lighthearted romp that fit perfect into Nickelodeon’s programming schedule back when the network was trying to establish its own identity. Nowadays, you’d be hard pressed to find episodes of the series on DVD and merchandise is non-existent. Thankfully, a few episodes (and more importantly, the show’s kick ass theme song) survive on YouTube.
Count Duckula would be in danger of being forever lost to time, but thanks to a few super fans and their sweet Count Duckula tattoos, the legend holds out a little longer. Check them out and be transported to a simpler time in children’s entertainment.
If these Count Duckula tattoos spur fond childhood memories, congratulations, you’re one of us. If you have no idea what we’re talking about, please do check out an episode or two on YouTube.