"You Still Can't!"
Following in the tradition of You Can't Do That In Comics in 1986 and How'd This Get Online? in 2000, You Still Can't! served as a third attempt to bring YCDTOTV to life using the art of pens and pixels. It was developed by Ric de Barros of YCDTOTV.com from 2004 to 2006 and was released to DVD for a short run with the full series of How'd This Get Online? as a bonus feature.
Ric de Barros and Chris Gough (webmasters of YCDTOTV.com) were again brainstorming ways to expand the official YCDTOTV web site but this time for the show's 25th anniversary in 2004. Since the two had so much fun working on How'd This Get Online? (HTGOL), another animated series was proposed but this time one that followed the exact format of YCDTOTV. You Still Can't Do That On Television was the show's working title but was later shortened to simply You Still Can't! (YSC).
To avoid a tight animation schedule, it was decided to pre-write all of the episodes with animation to follow. In the HTGOL days, an episode was written and animated in about a week, so all of the shortcuts and lessons learned from HTGOL lead to the assumption that this one would be a cakewalk. However, hectic schedules plagued the series' development from occurring, so Ric decided to produce the project as a one-time special.
"I wrote an almost complete episode about paranormal activity in only a day or two, so things were looking good very early," Ric recalls. "But Chris and I were having writer's block when it came to collaborating and our schedules were getting crazier and crazier, so the one-time shot made the most sense."
With about fifteen minutes of script already in place, Ric sought help from fans of the show to assist with completing the special and selected Matt Carnahan and Bob Morris. Saluting the format of the 1979 and 81 seasons of YCDTOTV, an hour-long script, which cushioned the previously written paranormal activity script between a segment about acting and a segment about fan mail, was the final draft. The fan mail segment also included randomly placed skits that were written by other fans of the show.
"When we were writing, we tried to stay as true to the original form as possible," Ric said. "In the end, we put our heads together and got a pretty funny script out that we were really proud of."
The only thing not-so-true to the original form was the fact that many of the adult characters made popular in HTGOL were also used in YSC. "When we were writing, I kept thinking, 'if YCDTOTV really was back in production right now, would there be another Ross or Barth?'" Ric recollected. "I didn't think there would, so instead of completely reinventing the wheel, I brought back many of the adult characters used in HTGOL and had fun updating their look to anime style."
Peter Miller, who was cast in HTGOL, returned to reprise the role of every adult male character (with the exception of Buzz) in the production. Also back to dish a second serving of a character from HTGOL was Ken Dukes, who played the former drill instructor turned stage-hand, Buzz Hoff. Another character that returned from HTGOL but was not played by the original voice actor was Samuel St. Martin.
"Sam was eleven years old in HTGOL back in 2000, so I aged him to about 16 for this project to demonstrate that this poor kid never got anywhere after that series," Ric states. "In honor of the original show, I purposely Amyas Godfrey'd him by making a new character the host despite Sam being there the longest."
With a script written and a cast in place, principal production of the special started in 2005 and was complete in just over a year. It was pressed to DVD for fans to order free of charge but has never been streamed online in its entirety until now.