Meet “Donny The Downloader,” The Cartoon Kid Who Will Save Music

jharv | November 1, 2007 3:15 am

We’re not quite sure how we missed ASCAP’s Donny The Downloader, “a multi-media school assembly program” designed to dissuade children from stealing music that debuted earlier this year. Donny is a junior high nudnik “unaware of the bigger picture of why illegal downloading hurts the same performing artists and songwriters whose music he loves.” Donny’s cartoon misadventures are cut with live-action footage of “real-life, 17-year-old aspiring music creator Sonya Bender,” who interviews various doommongering industry types about the death of the record industry. And the following transcript should give you some idea how effective the Donny program will be in reaching American middle schoolers.

Donny: Yo, what’s up?

Counter man: Welcome to Jester Burger, you want to ubersize your ……

[interrupted by ringtone]

Fat ringtone dude, that’s Walrus Tusk from ’72!

Donny: Who knows Yo, some poser I downloaded, still livin’ large off his one hit millions, no doubt!

Counter man: Actually no, he’s divorced with 3 kids and working counter duty at Jester Burger. You want fries with that?

Are they serious? Who knows, yo! Obviously they’re dead serious, even if the video excerpt from Donny on the ASCAP site looks like it was dreamed up by Saturday Night Live‘s Robert Smigel and the “interactive component, where students perform a special “Donny” skit to help reinforce what they’ve learned” seems designed to goad surly pubescents into a riot. On the bright side, it certainly doesn’t look like a ton of money went into it.

Donny The Downloader [ASCAP]