The 24th 1/2 century meets the old west in an upcoming episode of Duck Dodgers, featuring Nashville-based band Riders in the Sky. The country favorites, also known as Ranger Doug, Too Slim, Woody Paul and Joey the Cowpolka King, will perform the original song The Ballad of Duck Dodgers and also appear as animated versions of themselves in “The Wrath of Canasta.” The episode will air on Saturday, Oct. 11, at 11:30am (ET/PT) on Cartoon Network.
The Ballad of Duck Dodgers is a new composition by series writer Paul Dini (lyrics) and assistant production manager Marcus Irvin (music). It serves as a theme for Duck Dodgers’ journey to Robo Ridge, a planet filled with western-style robots. The episode is a spoof of the Michael Chricton-penned classic sci-fi epic Westworld.
The Riders appear as realistic robot caricatures of themselves playing in the Robo Ridge saloon. Although they do not break into their classic stage banter, the band members take solo turns narrating in song Dodgers’ battles with the evil gunslinger Nasty Canasta.
“I’ve been a Riders fan for years,” explains Duck Dodgers writer and producer Paul Dini. “They are largely responsible for keeping the grand tradition of the singing cowboy alive and no one performs classic western songs with as much style or fun. When my fellow producers Spike Brandt, Tony Cervone, Tom Minton and I decided to do a big western epic, we knew we definitely wanted to get the Riders involved.”
The episode will be paired with “They Stole Dodgers’ Brain,” in which Marvin kidnaps Duck Dodgers and steals his brain, replacing it with a high-tech gizmo that everyone mistakes for a fancy hat. Now Dodgers must track down the stolen brain, unaware that it belongs to him.