Garfield – Canvas Back Cat


Sometimes I question if I get a bit too obscure with the inductions I pen, and this is definitely one of those times. While children of the 80s and 90s remember Garfield, I sincerely doubt most anyone else does. I mean, the last major item featuring Garfield was a pretty horrible movie in 2004, which by my count is almost 30 years ago.

I’m not very good at math.

For all of you unfamiliar with him, Garfield is a fat, lazy, sarcastic cat who likes lasagna. He’s the pet of Jon Arbuckle, who also has a hyper active dog named Odie. Penned by Jim Davis (from right here in Indiana, thank you very much!), he’s been on the scene since 1978 and featured in comic strips, books, cartoons, and movies.

Some folks even find him funny. I mean, I don’t, like, at all, but if you do, more power to you. That’s why they make chocolate and vanilla and all that jazz.

Being around for so long, it’s almost inevitable that he’d wind up in a wrestling ring at some point and that, kids, is what we’re here to talk about today. From the 1992 season of Garfield and Friends, time for us to all get home from school, open up some Fruit Rollups, and watch Canvas Back Cat!

Wait a second…maybe that is my issue with Garfield. I would have never watched him as a kid – when this originally aired, I would have been 23 years old. So I wouldn’t have been eating Fruit Rollups.

I mean who on earth would? We’re all in agreement that those things sucked, right?

Ok, I’ve delayed enough. Time to dive into the most mindless thing on TV.

Pro wrestling!

And here you thought I was talking about Garfield.

Which I kinda am, since this is a Garfield episode about pro wrestling.

Oh, and Garf…you think pro wrestling is stupid?

Well, the joke’s on you, cat – you’re getting inducted at WrestleCrap!

So we get our prototypical grappler, the Masked Mauler, cutting a promo, talking about how he doesn’t know who his next opponent will be because everyone is scared of him. After watching just a few minutes, Garfield and Odie have had enough, and they and Jon head out to the local pizza parlor for some dinner.

And who should be there but…

…yep, you guessed it, the Mauler. His manager is also there, sadly giving his protege some bad news: he needs to retire because no one wants to wrestle him. But it’s not because they think they’ll lose, but rather because, and I am quoting here, “you don’t follow the script.”

Remember that absurd match where Goldberg wasn’t following the script and no one in WCW knew what to do? And Tony mentioned they would now have to “ad lib”?

Now you know where Russo got the idea!

(DISCLAIMER: I’ve not talked to Russo about this theory, but let’s all pretend I did. Feel free to report this as fact!)

Mauler is so angry about his situation that he slams his fist on the table, which causes his pizza to go flying…flying right into Garfield’s awaiting mouth. “Anyone can eat them one slice at a time,” he notes.

See, Garfield is lazy and he’s fat but he can eat.

A lot.


Mauler determines he actually has just found his next opponent…and runs up to Jon to confront him about Garfield eating his pizza. Mauler tells Jon that he better show up tonight for a match or he will hunt him down, no matter where he may try to hide.

“Mauler has challenged me to a match tonight,” Jon ponders. “It looks like I have an important decision to make.”

That decision whether to go to Argentina or Portugal, which he makes in a jump cut to a travel agency.

Ok, that was cute. Not sure it actually made it all the way to “funny”, but I’ll give it at least minor props for making me force a wry smile across my face.

At this point, Jon goes on a soliloquy about how maybe he should get in the ring and take up Mauler on his challenge.

Then he decides he is NOT going to do that.

Then he thinks he is going to fight him.

Then back again.

I know this cartoon is only a half hour long, but this feels longer than Titantic at this point.

Before he can change his mind six more times, some goons show up and take him hostage, throwing him into the manager’s car and whisking him away to the arena.

Did I mention it’s the SPLEEN ARENA?

We need more arenas named that!

To ringside we go where, we are informed that “Turnbuckle Arbuckle” will be attempting to end Mauler’s 940 win streak.

I keep telling you – it’s GOLDBERG.

Russo saw this.

Report it as FACT!!!

So Jon attempts to get in the ring and somehow gets tangled in the ropes.

Was comedy for kids always this unfunny in the 90s?

Or was it just, you know, Garfield?

So the match starts, and Jon immediately faints.

We are told this is a wise strategy.

I mean, if it’ll get me out of watching the rest of this, maybe I should try it too.

Mauler tosses Jon’s carcass out of the ring, but wouldn’t you know it, his mutilated frame winds up catapulting GARFIELD INTO THE RING!



Garfield does his best to run away from the Mauler, as the crowd boos the masked man unmercifully. Note to any perspective heels out there – you want heat, there’s your ticket.

If you see MJF attacking a cat next week on Dynamite, you can report he stole the idea from this here site as fact too.

Just as it looks like curtains for our feline friend, he discovers that Mauler is allergic to cat hair. Garfield yells for Odie to come into the ring and start blowing his fur all over the place, thus causing Mauler to sneeze so hard…

…his mask blows off!

This causes the audience to erupt in laughter, because Mauler is apparently so incredibly ugly.

I mean, these people should look in a mirror some time – they’re quite hideous themselves!

Mauler runs for the exit as Garfield is declared the victor.

“I won by a nose,” he tells us.

WrestleCrap Radio crickets, you around?

Sorry to bring you out of your peaceful retirement, but there’s really no other way to end this induction!

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