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The Goodfeathers were characters in the cartoon TV series Animaniacs that were obvious pigeon parodies of Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, and Joe Pesci's roles in Goodfellas. They lived atop a park statue of Martin Scorsese in New York City, and spoke with distinct 'New Yawk' accents. Their rival gang is made up of sparrows.
The picture on the right show the Goodfeathers in a shot from the show's opening sequence. From left to right: Bobby, Squit, and Pesto.
The Goodfeathers often parody other movies, such as West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, Raging Bull, and Rocky. A Dean Martin sound-alike sings their theme song to the tune of "That's Amore".
The segments featuring the 'Goodfeathers' were notable for parodying a variety of Mafia films, despite the fact that most of these films wouldn't be considered suitable for the show's supposed young audience. This helped give Animaniacs a touch of sophisticated comic credibility that would make it popular among older audiences.
Squit (voiced by Maurice LaMarche) is the narrator of the shorts, usually starting with "As far back as I can remember....". He is the most obedient and loyal of the three to the Godpigeon, but he usually ends up getting into a scuffle with Pesto, no matter how innocent his compliments are. He also appears to be the most cheerful of the group (probably the only cheerful one in the group).
Pesto (voiced by Chick Vennera impersonating Joe Pesci): is a short-tempered Goodfeather modeled after Joe Pesci's character, Tommy DeVito from Goodfellas. The running gag of the segments would involve in him taking Squit's innocent remarks as insults and asks him questions in an angry "Tommy DeVito-esque" manner, which then leads to him beating up Squit, usually causing Bobby to laugh his head off. That gag was inspired by Tommy and Henry Hill's (played by Ray Liotta) famous argument in the film. Like Dizzy Devil, Pesto also has two differently-colored eyes; pink on the right and light green on the left.
Bobby (voiced by John Mariano impersonating Robert De Niro), as his name suggests, is a composite of Robert De Niro's most popular characters (such as Travis Bickle, Jake LaMotta, and Jimmy Conway) He seemed to be the brains of the operation. Bobby is more of the leader in the group, and it is his job to keep Pesto from killing Squit, even if he has to get involved in the fight. Unfortunately for Squit however, Bobby usually finds the beatings hilarious, but there are occasions where he keeps Pesto in check just by glaring at him, mainly because Pesto's temper gets all of them into trouble.
The Girlfeathers are their female counterparts. One, Sasha, is Squit's girlfriend and Pesto's sister, her temper being just as flare-fire as his is. Lana is Bobby's girl, a sultry-voiced parody of the Vicki Moriarty character from Raging Bull, and lastly Kiki, Pesto's girlfriend, is the stereotypical dumb-blonde type.
The Godpigeon (voiced by Maurice LaMarche impersonating Marlon Brando), their boss, is an obvious take on Marlon Brando's Don Vito Corleone in The Godfather: morbidly obese, waddling, and delivering his lines in an incomprehensible Sicilian mumble, forcing Bobby to translate for Squit, Pesto, and the viewers. However, Squit has a very minimal understanding of the Godpigeon's language, misinterpreting certain syllables. On the occasions when Bobby is not around, the Godpigeon's speech is translated via subtitles. Also, upon appearing, the Godpigeon will stick out one talon, prompting the Goodfeathers to bend over and kiss it, reminiscent of kissing the Godfather's rings. He often officiates at the local birds' 'weddings' and ends up crying with emotion. His real name is Solley - a take on Sal Tessio in "The Godfather", which was first revealed by Bobby in the first episode, as Squit is introduced to the Godpigeon. The name was also credited in the Sega Genesis Animaniacs video game.
A toy of the Goodfeathers on a three seated bicycle was given out in a promotion for Animaniacs in McDonald's Happy Meals in late 1994.
List of Sketches
- Goodfeathers: The Beginning
- West Side Pigeons
- The Boids
- Ta Da Dump, Ta Da Dump, Ta Da Dump Dump Dump
- Dough Dough Boys
- Raging Bird
- With Three You Get Eggroll
- Miami Mama-Mia
- Pigeon on the Roof
- We're No Pigeons
- Bad Mood Bobby
- Boids on the Hood
- Birds on a Wire