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TV or Not TV is the sixth episode of the Pinky and the Brain spin-off series. It orginally aired on November 19th, 1995. A fictionalized version of The WB Network is prominently featured throughout the episode.

TV or Not TV[]

Animation by Akom

Tv or not tv title


Brain creates a hypnotically-perfect pair of dentures that can make anyone adore him for no good reason. In order to give them proper worldwide attention, Brain must perfect his stand-up career to gain a television show of his own. Unfortunately, his dreams of fame and global dominance get shattered.



  • The title of the episode is a pun on the classic Hamlet quote "To be or not to be?". Other television shows have used the same episode title, including The Honeymooners, The Andy Griffith Show, and The Jetsons.
  • Much like most episode ideas, writer Peter Hastings said this particular episode was based on real-life circumstances. He had observed the trend of stand-up comedians rising in popularity and gaining TV shows.[1]
  • This episode introduces the running gag of Brain's ridiculous attempt at smiling. Other episodes that feature this joke are "Fly," "This Old Mouse," "A Meticulous Analysis of History," and "The Pinky Protocol."
  • The network where Pinky, Brain, Marlon and Shawn are trying to pitch their shows is The WB Network (home to Kids' WB!).
    • The head of the network, Jerry Killmer, is named after WB Network-executive Jamie Kellner; a rather infamous figure to the Animaniacs community who was responsible for ending both this series and Animaniacs. Kellner, initially, was the one who was pushing the network's decision to go all-in with Pinky and the Brain for the network's primetime schedule in 1995.[2]
  • While playing with the photo of John Travolta, Pinky references Clutch Cargo and it’s limited animation movement of Synchro-Vox, the technique of superimposing a live-action mouth over a still "animated" face.
    • Pinky also quotes Travolta’s character Vincent Vega from Pulp Fiction, specifically the "Quarter-Pounder" bit.
  • The "Earth Woman" from "Potty Emergency" can be seen in several audience shots at Brain's shows throughout the episode.
  • When bouncing around ideas for their show, the mice recreate Jerry Seinfeld and George Costanza's "show about nothing" exchange from the Seinfeld episode "The Pitch."


Voice Actors: Character(s):
Maurice LaMarche The Brain, Additional Voices
Rob Paulsen Pinky, Additional Voices
Tress MacNeille Janet, Additional Voice
Jeff Glen Bennett Jerry Kilmer
David Alan Grier Marlon
Sam McMurray Shawn
Roger Rose David Letterman


List of Pinky and the Brain episodes
Season 1
Das MouseOf Mouse And ManTokyo Grows / That Smarts / BrainstemPinky and the Fog / Where No Mouse Has Gone Before / Cheese Roll CallBrainaniaTV or Not TVNapoleon BrainaparteA Pinky and the Brain ChristmasSnowballAround the World in 80 NarfsFlyAmbulatory Abe / Mouse of La ManchaThe Third Mouse / The Visit
Season 2
It's Only A Paper WorldCollect 'em All / PinkassoPlan Brain From Outer SpaceThe Pink CandidateBrain's SongWelcome to the JungleA Little Off the Top / Megalomaniacs AnonymousThe Mummy / Robin BrainTwo Mice and a Baby / The MazeBrain of the FutureBrinkyHoop Schemes
Season 3
Leave it to Beavers / CinebrainiaBrain NoirPinky and the Brain... And Larry / Where the Deer and the Mousealopes PlayBrain's Bogie / Say What, EarthMy Feldmans, My FriendsAll You Need Is Narf / Pinky's PlanCold Open- A New Direction / This Old MouseBrain StormA Meticulous Analysis of History / Funny, You Don't Look RhennishThe Pinky ProtocolMice Don't Dance / Brain DrainedBrain AcresPinky and the Brainmaker / Calvin BrainPinky Suavo / T.H.E.YThe Real LifeBrain's WayA Pinky and the Brain HalloweenBrainy JackLeggo My Ego / Big in JapanBut That's Not All, Folks!Operation Sea Lion / You Said a MousefulThe Tailor and the Mice / Bah, WildernessPinky at the Bat / Schpiel-borg 2000Broadway MaladyThe Megalomaniacal Adventures of Brainie the Poo / The Melancholy BrainInherit the WheezeBrain's Night Off / Beach Blanket BrainThe Family That Poits Together, Narfs TogetherPinky's Turn / Your Friend: Global DominationYou'll Never Eat Food Pellets In This Town AgainDangerous BrainsWhat Ever Happened to Baby Brain / Just Say NarfThe Pinky P.O.V. / The Really Great Dictator / Brain Food
Season 4

(Part 1 - Brain, Brain, Go AwayPart 2 - I Am Not a HatPart 3 - Wash Harder)
To Russia With Lab Mice / Hickory Dickory BonkThe Pinky and the Brain Reunion SpecialA Legendary Tail / Project B.R.A.I.N.
The Ultimate Animaniacs Super Special: (Star Warners)