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  1. #1

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    Jungle Cruise:When did it turn into a comedy routine anyway?

    I've always wondered about that myself... as a kid in the early 80's, I remember the skippers playing it straight faced: talking about the wildlife, shooting AT the approaching hippos, etc. First time I can remember the jokes... especially the "backside of water" joke was in the 90's. Anyone recall when they decided to go with the corny jokes and all that?

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    Re: Jungle Cruise:When did it turn into a comedy routine anyway?

    I thought that the Jungle Cruise's transition from serious wildlife attraction to fun adventure was in the early 60's with Marc Davis's influence and the addition of the Elephant bathing pool scene.
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    Re: Jungle Cruise:When did it turn into a comedy routine anyway?

    I've been going to Disneyland since the early '60s and I do not remember the Jungle Cruise not having comic bits in it. In fact, I do not remember the ride ever being 'serious'.

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    Re: Jungle Cruise:When did it turn into a comedy routine anyway?

    techskip? Any insight on this one? I had always though it had been the jokes since day one.

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    Re: Jungle Cruise:When did it turn into a comedy routine anyway?

    Quote Originally Posted by wumbology View Post
    I thought that the Jungle Cruise's transition from serious wildlife attraction to fun adventure was in the early 60's with Marc Davis's influence and the addition of the Elephant bathing pool scene.
    This is the story I have always heard. The story is that Walt had Marc Davis update the attraction after overhearing a family decide to skip the Jungle Cruise because they "did it last time".

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    Re: Jungle Cruise:When did it turn into a comedy routine anyway?

    Could be I'm working off of 20+ year old memories also. I just don't recall the skips being as over the top about it as they are now. maybe they were just more low key about the jokes.

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    Re: Jungle Cruise:When did it turn into a comedy routine anyway?

    There's a video I saw on you tube a few years ago showing the jungle cruise serious. The jokes used to be kind of clever. Now they are just horrible. We skip it often.

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    Re: Jungle Cruise:When did it turn into a comedy routine anyway?

    Quote Originally Posted by wumbology View Post
    I thought that the Jungle Cruise's transition from serious wildlife attraction to fun adventure was in the early 60's with Marc Davis's influence and the addition of the Elephant bathing pool scene.
    The Elephant Bathing Pool/Lost Safari additions were merely the first time that obvious visual gags were added to the ride. The Thurl Ravenscroft narration on the Enchanted Tiki Room Soundtrack from 1964 (Around the time of these additions) is still essentially serious in tone.

    Pinpointing an exact date of when the ride turned from serious to comical isn't really possible. In reality, the jokes probably started soon after the gags were added and the more serious aspects of the spiel were slowly phased out throughout the 70's and 80's.

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    Re: Jungle Cruise:When did it turn into a comedy routine anyway?

    Quote Originally Posted by noleafclover1980 View Post
    I've always wondered about that myself... as a kid in the early 80's, I remember the skippers playing it straight faced: talking about the wildlife, shooting AT the approaching hippos, etc. First time I can remember the jokes... especially the "backside of water" joke was in the 90's. Anyone recall when they decided to go with the corny jokes and all that?
    It really depends on who you pose that question to. To my knowledge the original spiel had 2 authorized jokes in it, "Backside of Water" (which per tradition is the oldest running joke but I have never been able to verify it) and something in reference to the Smiley the old croc (which you can hear in the Ravencroft spiel). Disney's official history sets the date as 1963 when the Jungle made several abrupt changes to both the attraction and the spiel, and jokes were added to reflect the new gorilla and later trapped safari scenes.

    However 2 Skips from 55 and one from 56 claim that the jokes started around 56. One made reference to "surfing crocs and a tap-dancing hornbill". I've also heard the "baby rhinos love to play tag but momma always seems to crash the party" (timed to when the rhino thundered after the boat). Another joke was in reference to "if you think these facts are boring you're not alone, the hippos can't stop yawning. I better try and wake them up (fires gun)". According to them the transition from ad-lib jokes to officially authorized jokes was simply a matter of paperwork... the jokes just weren't uttered around Walt until it was official.

    So as I said it depends on who you talk to. As to the gun being fired above the boat canopy vs at the hippo that has to do with the noise itself. They actually fired the gun above the canopy starting in the late 80's in part because of incidents involving loss of hearing in kids... I actually know a Skip personally who's sister is deaf in her left ear because of this (with paperwork to prove it as Disney covered her medical bills associated with it as a child).

    Complete side note but for those inquiring, the original "fact based" spiel is still within the official script. I'm not sure who on the crew has taken the time to learn it (it is a pain... I'll say that). I only memorized it to torture Managers who were dumb enough to try and show-check me... and to give people facts should the boats break down. We lovingly called it "National Geographic".
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    Re: Jungle Cruise:When did it turn into a comedy routine anyway?

    Quote Originally Posted by noleafclover1980 View Post
    I've always wondered about that myself... as a kid in the early 80's, I remember the skippers playing it straight faced: talking about the wildlife, shooting AT the approaching hippos, etc. First time I can remember the jokes... especially the "backside of water" joke was in the 90's. Anyone recall when they decided to go with the corny jokes and all that?

    I remember that there was some comedy element but not as much as it is today
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    Re: Jungle Cruise:When did it turn into a comedy routine anyway?

    Something I never thought about until now...

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip
    1962

    • Elephant Pool and African Veldt (no animals)

    1964
    • Elephants placed in Elephant Pool
    • Animals placed in African Veldt
    • Trapped Safari and Rhino added, Rhino was actually recycled... it had previously been the charging Rhino.

    1976
    • Hornbill and Crocs added
    • Cobras and Bengal tiger added
    • Safari Camp added
    • Gorilla and Croc added
    • Baboons and Lion cave added
    • Python and Water Buffalos added

    That was per the 1980's training manual, I can also provide pictures if you'd like. In 1994-95 the river was re-routed and the Jungle lost a few curves because of Indy. In 2004-05 the explosions were added, the baboons were moved and the piranha debuted along with Ellie. Sam lost his mask but he actually did not have one originally!
    from Were there no Audio Animatronics on the Jungle Cruise?

    76 was the addition of the Hornbill and Croc, which to my knowledge wasn't there previously (not sure wasn't alive back then). Which means the old timer who told me that joke (he started in 56) was likely mistaken. However the surfin crocs make sense as they were swimming in that area before the elephants were added (in fact there are shots of them in the animation shop).

    I was also able to dig this up
    Quote Originally Posted by techskip
    Marc Davis is the one credited with the change. His touches can be seen in a variety of Attractions. Basically '63 was when they started a series of massive rehabs and additions that included many of the "classic" scenes we love today (Elephant Pool, Gorilla Camp, New Veldt, Trapped Safari). It was also the unveiling of the new script which was centered on corny jokes instead of dry facts. If you talk to the Skips they were cracking jokes starting around 58 (rough year given, evidently 55 and 56 were very strict, some loosening in 57 but 58 was the common year cited)... but I doubt anyone would crack unapproved jokes (only one specific joke was approved in the whole 55 spiel) with Walt in the boat.
    from Walt's favorite ride

    In all respects I remember comments in reference to 56 and 57 and definately jokes by 58.
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  12. #12

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    Re: Jungle Cruise:When did it turn into a comedy routine anyway?

    Wow, I forgot about old Smiley! "And there's old Smiley, the granddaddy of all crocodiles! Be sure to keep your hands and arms inside the boat at all times. Smiley is always looking for a hand-out!"

    That is one of the oldest JC jokes I can remember.

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    Re: Jungle Cruise:When did it turn into a comedy routine anyway?

    I miss the references to the lions EATING the zebra. Somewhere around '94 or '95 Disney must have decided that seeing lions eating the zebra is too much for kids, so they started with "Look, the lions are comforting the zebra" jokes. I hated it then and I hate it now.

    The Jungle Cruise is one of my favorite rides because of the spiel, but it used to be better. I remember the skips used to say during loading, "Wave to Bob on the dock! Bob is my boss, and he's the best boss ever!" As the boat pulled away from the dock and began to round the corners the skipper would cover the mike and utter "Jerk!" causing everyone to crack up. I remember the spiel being MUCH more sarcastic with the corny jokes mixed in, and I miss it that way. It was hilarious to me at ten years old, and still would be now. Now it's just corny.

    I still love to ride it though, in the hopes that someday a skipper will tell us the zebra is dead.

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    Re: Jungle Cruise:When did it turn into a comedy routine anyway?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tremellochick View Post
    I miss the references to the lions EATING the zebra. Somewhere around '94 or '95 Disney must have decided that seeing lions eating the zebra is too much for kids, so they started with "Look, the lions are comforting the zebra" jokes. I hated it then and I hate it now.
    What are you talking about? That joke is clearly meant to be sarcastic. Granted, some skips bring it across in their delivery better than others. But they almost all tack on the "dead tired" bit, and some of them also follow it up with the "white meat, dark meat, white meat, dark meat" joke. Pretty obvious.

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    Re: Jungle Cruise:When did it turn into a comedy routine anyway?

    Kinda Wish they had two versions of the ride (night and day) during the day its the "fun" version we have now, and at night make it more serious, and adult.

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