March 26, 2020

FRED "CURLY" NEAL DEAD AT 77



You can read the full story here.

He was a professional basketball player and played 22 seasons with the Harlem Globetrotters from 1963-85 as the team’s featured ballhandler. His name and likeness were used in the Hanna-Barbera Productions cartoons Harlem Globetrotters, The New Scooby-Doo Movies and The Super Globetrotters; although his voice was done by professional actor Stu Gilliam. He also appeared with the rest of his team in the live-action Harlem Globetrotters Popcorn Machine. 

March 21, 2020

KING LEONARDO AND HIS SHORT SUBJECTS


KING LEONARDO AND HIS SHORT SUBJECTS
(NBC, October 15, 1960-September 28, 1963)

Total TeleVision productions, Leonardo Television Productions




MAIN CAST:
Jackson Beck – King Leonardo, Biggy Rat, Professor Messer
Allen Swift – Odie Colognie, Itchy Brother, Duke, Earl, Tooter Turtle, Narrator (The King and Odie)
Sandy Becker – Mr. Wizard
Kenny Delmar – The Hunter, Narrator (The Hunter)
Ben Stone – The Fox, Officer Flim Flanigan
Norman Rose – Mr. Mad, Narrator (several episodes of The King and Odie)
George S. Irving – Narrator (Twinkles), various male characters
Delo States – Various female and children characters


            For the average viewer, the shows made by Jay Ward Productions and Total TeleVision productions were almost interchangeable. Considering how much the two studios had in common behind the scenes, it’s no wonder why.



            To make Rocky and His Friends, Jay Ward Productions entered into a deal with advertising firm Dancer Fitzgerald Sample (DFS) that landed them sponsorship by one of their biggest clients, General Mills. General Mills was eager to create something to challenge the shows rival Kellogg’s was sponsoring from Hanna-Barbera. The financing/marketing company behind Jay Ward Productions, Producers Associates for Television (PAT), convinced General Mills to invest in the creation of a Mexican animation studio with the promise that they could get a tax break and use it for cheaply made animated commercials. That studio became Val-Mar Productions, later renamed Gamma Productions.

Itchy Brother model sheet.

            Gordon Johnson of DFS was the firm’s direct contact with Jay Ward and his crew. DFS, General Mills and the network often had issues with the content of Ward’s scripts, and Ward had issues with the quality of work being turned out by the raw talent in Mexico. Because of this, work on Rocky and His Friends often slowed, and even stopped. Since so much money was invested into Val-Mar—some of it Johnson’s own—Johnson decided that Val-Mar needed another series to work on; one that he could have more control over.

Odie Colognie character art.

            Johnson proposed the idea to W. Watts “Buck” Biggers, a trusted colleague and friend whom Johnson knew had the necessary contacts to make something like that happen. Biggers brought in his friend and colleague Chester “Chet” Stover and began doing research on the animation field and coming up with concepts involving animal characters that haven’t already been done by other studios. They formed Total TeleVision, which would offer “Total Concept,” “Total Entertainment” and “Total Flexibility.” As Biggers and Stover would continue their full-tine jobs at DFS initially, they brought in Biggers’ friend Treadwell D. Covington to manage the day-to-day operations of TTV, and eventually recruited Joe Harris to help refine Stover’s character designs and serve as a storyboard artist.


            The first concept they came up with was King Leonardo and His Short Subjects; so named because each episode would be comprised of several story segments less than 5-minutes in length, and also because most of the characters were based on small (read: short) animals. The primary segment was The King and Odie, which featured the titular King Leonardo (named for Leonardo da Vinci and modeled after Eugene Pallette, voiced by Jackson Beck), a lion, and his faithful companion, Odie O. Colognie (modeled after Ronald Colman, voiced by Allen Swift), a skunk. Leonardo was the inept ruler of the fictional jungle kingdom of Bongo Congo, whose main export was bongo drums (a popular instrument at the time). Odie was really the brains behind everything and helped keep the country running. Constantly vying for the throne was Leonardo’s dimwitted beatnik brother Itchy (also Swift, modeled after “Slapsie” Maxie Rosenbloom), who was jealous of Leonardo’s power. Aiding him was Biggy Rat (modeled after Edward G. Robinson, also Beck), a high-level criminal who planned and executed Itchy’s coup attempts. Occasionally, they would be helped by an evil German inventor named Professor Messer (Beck). Swift also served as the segment’s narrator, except for a few done by Norman Rose.

Itchy, Biggy and Professor Messer.

            The King and Odie largely drew on Biggers and Stover’s experience in advertising. The jungle setting came from the affectionate term for the advertising business, as well as their realization that so few cartoon animals actually lived in their traditional environments. Leonardo and Odie were also patterned after a typical CEO and his “right-hand man”. Johnson and Biggers presented the show idea to General Mills with Biggers providing character voices and pointing to Harris’ storyboards. General Mills green-lit the series, but had some concerns whether they could come up with enough stories. Biggers and Stover abated those fears by presenting them with enough material for 52 episodes.


            One of the accompanying short subjects was The Hunter. The Hunter (Kenny Delmar, using a voice similar to his Senator Claghorn character) was a dog detective that worked for a human cop, Officer Flim Flanigan (Ben Stone). They were always hot on the trail of a fox thief named, surprisingly, The Fox (also Stone). The stories usually involved The Fox stealing some kind of outlandish thing—such as the Brooklyn Bridge—and being pursued by The Hunter and Officer Flanigan, often being caught only through dumb luck. The Hunter often announced his presence by blowing a horn and came prepared with a business card marked “Have nose, will hunt.” Delmar also served as the segment’s narrator.


            The next subject was Tooter Turtle. The titular turtle (Swift, using a stereotypical dumb guy voice) was a daydreamer who happened to be friends with an actual wizard, Mr. Wizard the Lizard (Sandy Becker, using a faux German accent). Tooter often asked Mr. Wizard to magic him into a new occupation or role in life as he was never satisfied with his own. Mr. Wizard would grant his request, only for Tooter to experience some kind of disaster in the new scenario that would make him appreciate his original lot in life and request to return to it. Tooter was originally going to be named Toonerville, but changed it to avoid potential problems with a comic strip called Toonerville Folks.


            The other short subject was a bit of an oddity. At the time, General Mills was producing a cereal called Twinkles, which featured a pink elephant mascot with the same name. They had asked that the character be included in his own adventures in the program, which would also serve as an additional means to advertise the cereal. The Twinkles segments were the shortest of all, barely running over a minute long, and played on both King Leonardo and Rocky and His Friends until Ward’s objections saw it air as part of King Leonardo exclusively. As the boxes were often advertised as “storybooks” and featured adventures of Twinkles and his animal friends on a book-like back panel, the episodes were told through continuous narration by George S. Irving as if reading a story to the audience. The animation style was also different from the others, being even more limited in their movements. Although TTV handled the pre-production and storyboard work on the segment, they weren’t directly involved in the final product as General Mills farmed it out from there. Twinkles could fly by twirling his tail and magically reshaped his trunk into an item needed to get him and his friends out of any trouble.

Tooter Turtles protecting the highways.

            King Leonardo and His Short Subjects debuted on NBC on October 15, 1960. It was only the second colorized production on the network’s Saturday morning schedule. Each episode was comprised of a two-part The King and Odie story that played at the beginning and end, as kind of an enticement to keep people around for the entire show. The Hunter, Tooter Turtle and Twinkles segments comprised the rest of the half hour, with selected theatrical shorts from the Columbia Pictures library used to fill in any remaining time caused by any production delays (which were previously used in broadcasts of Hanna-Barbera’s The Ruff and Reddy Show). The first few episodes were animated at TV Spots before shifting entirely to Gamma for the remainder of the run. TTV didn’t have as much of an issue with Gamma’s output as Ward had, and whatever issues they did come across were quickly fixed by Harris. The series’ music was conducted and orchestrated by Jack Pleis.

The Hunter is on the case.

Biggers and Stover handled the scripting duties. They wanted to appeal to the kid demographic that General Mills was targeting while also making their show accessible and enjoyable to older siblings and parents. They reasoned that since most households only had a single television, they had to keep the older family members entertained so that they wouldn’t take it away from the younger kids and watch something else. However, they were careful to avoid the topical references that Ward employed so as not to alienate the younger audience and keep the stories as timeless as possible. Catch phrases were a big thing for them, as they felt children liked repetition. One such phrase was Leonardo’s nonsensical “That’s the most unheard of thing I’ve ever heard of.” They also employed shorter multi-part stories as compared to Rocky and His Friends, which employed weeks-long story arcs, so that the network had more flexibility in airing the show.

Officer Flim Flannigan congratulates The Hunter in capturing The Fox.

While Harris was in charge of art direction, Covington was in charge of casting and audio recording. In casting the roles, TTV had specific ideas as to what many of their characters would sound like; typically, a specific well-known actor. Covington, with his connections through his advertising projects, went and found the actors that could best impersonate the voices they were thinking of. Part of this practice was as a way to lure in adult viewers by using voices that they would recognize from films they’ve seen. When discussing The Hunter character, Covington decided he would try and reach out to Delmar himself instead of relying on an impersonator as other studios, such as Warner Bros. with their Foghorn Leghorn (Mel Blanc) character, had done. Irving and Delo States were utilized to round out the cast with the remaining male and female/children character voices as needed.


King Leonardo ran for a single season, but stayed on the network until 1963. However, the show continued to live on in other formats. TTV—renamed Leonardo Productions after the main character—launched their next program on CBS, Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales, which featured all-new segments of The King and Odie and The Hunter. The King and Odie gained two new foes in Mr. Mad (Rose), a mad scientist. The following year, TTV’s Underdog adopted repeats of The Hunter while Tennessee aired reruns of Tooter Turtle to take its place. In rerun syndication, King Leonardo was often broken up by components and combined with reruns of Ward’s shows. The King and Odie aired as part of The Rocky Show and Dudley Do-Right and Friends. Tooter Turtle and The Hunter were packaged as a part of The Dudley Do-Right Show. Twinkles initially aired with The King and Odie reruns, even after General Mills had eliminated his character from the cereal, but were discontinued in the early 1970s in accordance with new FCC rules against cartoons advertising directly to children.

One of the album releases showcasing all of the series' characters.

King Leonardo was heavily merchandised through PAT, which Johnson had quietly taken a controlling stake in. Along with things like cut-out masks on General Mills cereal boxes, there was a Halloween costume from Collegeville, jigsaw puzzles by Jaymar, a board game from Milton Bradley,  a slide tray puzzle by Roalex, a coloring book by Whitman, a book from Top Top Tales, an art set, a record published by Golden Records, and a plush doll. Dell Comics published stories based on the show in Four Color #1242 & 1278, as well as in 5-issues of a King Leonardo series. Twinkles also had his own share of merchandise with a record also from Golden Records and as a box top mail-in cereal premium, a frame puzzle and coloring book from Whitman, a board game from Milton Bradley, a coin bank, a book from Top Top Tales, and a glitter craft set. The complete series has yet to be released to DVD. The Tennessee Tuxedo and Underdog collections do feature various segments, although not necessarily the same ones that aired alongside each show.



EPISODE GUIDE:
(Note: Twinkles segments are omitted for the moment until information about their placement can be determined.)
“Riches to Rags / Two Gun Turtle / Brookloined Bridge / Nose for the Noose” (10/15/60) – Itchy plans to take the throne while convincing Leonardo to go out and reconnect with his people. / Tooter wants to become a cowboy and finds himself as a sheriff facing off against Black Bark. / The Fox steals the Brooklyn Bridge. / Odie and Leonardo expose that Itchy and Biggy have been posing as them.

“Drumming up the Bongos / Tailspin Tooter or Plane Failure / Counterfeit Wants / How High is Up?” (10/22/60) – Biggy messes with the drum shipments causing a surplus of drums in the country. / Tooter becomes a WWI fighter pilot who runs afoul of the Black Baron. / The Fox makes phony wanted posters featuring innocent people. / Leonardo loses his hair when escaping his and Odie’s death trap, causing confusion when he confronts his look-alike brother on the throne.

“Royal Amnesia / Sea Hunt / Haunted Hunter / Loon from the Moon” (10/29/60) – Biggy and Itchy sabotage Bongo Congo’s space launch by forcing Leonardo to pilot the shuttle himself. / “Sea Hunter” Tooter is called upon to rescue a woman’s brother from the bottom of the ocean. / The Fox tries to clear out City Hall so that he can look for a buried treasure. / Leonardo survives the shuttle crush, but has amnesia and believes he’s from the moon.

“Royal Bongo War Chant / Highway Petrol or Road Blockhead / Fort Knox Fox / Showdown at Dhyber Pass” (11/5/60) – Biggy and Itchy convince Leonardo to go to war with neighboring country Koko Loco. / Tooter is a highway petrol man on the hunt for a criminal. / The Fox disguises himself as a general and robs Fort Knox. / Leonardo manages to defeat Koko Loco’s forces through dumb luck and deception.

“Duel to the Dearth / Knight of the Square Table or The Joust and the Unjoust / Stealing a March / Ringside Riot” (11/12/60) – Leonardo accepts Itchy’s invitation to fight after they spread rumors that he’s a coward. / Tooter becomes a knight of the Square Table and has to prove himself in a series of chivalrous contests. / The Fox steals the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. / Itchy brings in a massive ringer to fight Leonardo, and Odie takes steps to help Leonardo win.

“Bringing in Biggy / Mish-Mash-Mush or Panting for Gold / Horn-a-Plenty / Confound It! Confusion”(11/19/60) – Reminiscing about childhood leads to Itchy’s latest scheme to help stop Leonardo’s “bad” language for rights to the throne. / Tooter discovers the life of a prospector isn’t all that easy. / The Fox steals The Hunter’s horn. / Biggy and Itchy try to get Leonardo to say “Confound it!” so that he gives up his right to the throne.

“Paris Pursuit / The Unteachables or The Lawless Years / Concrete Crook / The Awful Tower” (11/26/60) – Leonardo and Odie decide to go on vacation and Biggy and Itchy get themselves hired as their yacht’s crew. / Tooter becomes an FBI agent and finds himself a target for crime. / The Fox steals cement trucks to make ice cream. / Leonardo and Odie give chase in Paris after Biggy tries to kill Leonardo with an arrow.

“Beatnik Boom / Kink of Swat or Babe Rube / Subtracted Submarine / Call Out the Kids” (12/3/60) – To keep themselves from having to work, Biggy and Itchy turns everyone in the country into beatniks. / Tooter wants to be a baseball player and ends up sending himself into orbit during the big game. / The Hunter ends up booking a vacation on the submarine The Fox stole. / Realizing their parents won’t have money for their toys, the kingdom’s kids trick their parents to stop being beatniks and get back to work.

“Trial of the Traitors / One Trillion B. C. or Dinosaur Dope / Risky Ransom / Battle-Slip” (12/10/60) – Leonardo and Odie finally put Biggy and Itchy on trial for treason. / Tooter becomes a caveman and almost gets eaten by a T-Rex. / The Fox kidnaps The Hunter’s annoying nephew. / Biggy and Itchy are found guilty and banished, only to return with a battleship and declare war.

“Heroes are Made ... With Salami / Olimping Champion or Weak-Greek / Unfaithful Old Failthful / The Big Freeze” (12/17/60) – Biggy and Itchy get an exploding sandwich from Professor Messer for Leonardo. / Tooter wants to go back and compete in the original Olympics. / The Fox steals all the world’s reservoirs in order to sell hot water at high prices. / Messer creates an ice cube ray that Biggy and Itchy use to freeze Leonardo and Odie and send them floating down the river.

“The Legend of Leonardo the Neat / Stuper Man or Muscle Bounder / The Armored Car Coup / Home Neat Home” (12/24/60) – Itchy believes there’s a treasure under the castle, so he and Biggy trash it so Leonardo no longer wants to live there and puts it up for sale. / Working out inspires Tooter to become a superhero. / The Hunter’s vacation is interrupted to find The Fox and stolen armored cars. / When Leonardo comes back for his storybook, Itchy and Biggy lock him in the dungeon and proceed to dig for the treasure.

“Sticky Stuff / Buffaloed Bill or Custard's Last Stand / Telephone Poltergeist / Am I Glue” (12/31/60) – Leonardo sends Odie and detective Charlie Chin to get Itchy to stop rotting his family tree, while Itchy and Biggy plot to use Messer’s new glue on Leonardo. / Tooter leads a cavalry unit and ends up running afoul of some Indians. / The Fox steals all the telephone poles to make cheap log cabins. / Itchy plans to glue Leonardo to the palace wall and declare him missing so that he can take the throne.

“Double Trouble / Moon Goon or Space Head / Sheepish Shamus / Switcheroo Ruler” (1/7/61) – Messer creates robotic duplicates of Leonardo and Odie. / Tooter lands on the moon and encounters a monster. / The Fox steals and shrinks all the sheep to sell them to people who need to count them to sleep. / The robots take Leonardo and Odie’s places, allowing the villains to move into the castle.

“Perfume Panic / Robin Hoodwinked or Thimple Thief / Ruster Hustler / Style Awhile” (1/14/61) – The public rebels against the royal perfume Odie creates. / Playing Robin Hood turns out to be harder than Tooter believed. / The Fox steals all the buffalo. / Biggy and Itchy take over the perfume business and use the money to take over the bongo business.

“No Bong Bongos / Steamboat Stupe or Captains Outrageous / The Case of the Missing Muenster / The Ad Game” (1/21/61) – Itchy and Biggy sabotage the bongo production enough that no one wants bongos from the country anymore. / Tooter’s desire to be a steamboat captain puts him in a race with Big Blackie Bart. / The Fox steals all the cheese to sell as moon souvenirs. / While Itchy makes a killing with his bongos, Odie sets up an advertising campaign to get Bongo Congo’s back on the market.

“De-Based Ball / Souse Painter or Brush-Boob / The Great Train Robbery / Bats in the Ballpark” (1/28/61) – Everyone turns out for the big game between the Bongo Bruins and the Koko Cards. / Tooter becomes a house decorator and ends up with more paint on himself than on the walls. / The Fox steals a train. / Biggy and Itchy try to fix the game with a jumping ball from Messer.

“Long Lost Lennie / Railroad Engineer or Stupefied Jones / Florida Fraud / Ghosts Guests” (2/4/61) – Leonardo inherits a silver-rich town that is apparently haunted. / Mr. Wizard actually supports Tooter’s desire to be a train engineer, which still ends up in disaster. / The Fox fakes an alien invasion so that he can steal Florida. / Biggy and Itchy disguise themselves as ghosts to try and scare Leonardo and Odie away.

“Fatal Fever / Quarterback Hack or Pigskinned / The Great Plane Robbery / Pulling the Mane Switch” (2/11/61) – Odie goes on vacation, leaving Leonardo susceptible to Itchy and Biggy’s schemes. / Tooter becomes a football player. / The Fox steals a plane and convinces The Hunter to use it to hunt ducks on his vacation. / Itchy takes Leonardo to get his mane cut and a call goes out for Odie to return and find the king.

“Dim Gem / Drafthead or Overwhere? / Girl Friday / The Clanking Castle Caper” (2/18/61) – Leonardo and Odie take the royal gems to London to get polished and Itchy steals them. / Tooter survives just fine in the army—until it’s time for actual combat. / The Fox takes a job as The Hunter’s secretary. / Odie lures Itchy into a beatnik coffee shop to get the gems back.

“The King and Me / Lumber-Quack or Topped / Stamp Stickup / The Loves of Mynetta Lion” (2/25/61) – Leonardo heads to Hollywood to make a movie. / Tooter discovers he doesn’t quite have the muscle for lumberjacking. / The Fox steals all the stamps in the world for his cut-rate post office. / Leonardo meets a beautiful starlet in Hollywood.

“The Sport of Kings / Jerky Jockey or KenduckyDerby / Statue of Liberty Play / Black is White” (3/4/61) – To get anyone to race him and his excellent horse, Leonardo puts the kingdom up as a prize. / Tooter’s jockey career ends in quicksand. / The Fox steals the Statue of Liberty. / Itchy switches horses with Leonardo and races to victory on his horse.

“True Blue Blues / Fired Fireman or Hook and Batter / Frankfurter Fix / My Dog Has Fleas” (3/11/61) – Odie decides to get Leonardo a dog to cheer him up, so Itchy decides to disguise himself as one. / Tooter finds being a fireman too hot to handle. / The Fox steals all of the hot dogs. / Itchy waits for his opportunity to steal the kingdom’s gold when fleas lead to his getting a bath.

“Lead Foot Leonardo / Sky Diver or Jump, Jerk, Jump ...! / The Case of the Missing Mowers / The Rat Race” (3/18/61) – Leonardo is gifted a go-cart and declares go-carting a national pastime. / Tooter goes skydiving. / The Fox steals lawn mowers to make go-carts. / Biggy and Itchy cheat to make Leonardo lose the big go-cart race.

“The Obey Ball / Tuesday Turtle or Private Pie / Fancy Fencing / Out of the Depths” (3/25/61) – Biggy and Itchy use a ball that follows their commands to get Obie fired while he and Leonardo play catch. / Tooter becomes a detective on the search for a pie thief. / While The Hunter learns how to fence, The Fox sells old jail cells as fences. / Itchy takes Obie’s place and gives Leonardo cement shoes so that he can sink him into the river.

“The Loco Play / Snafu Safari or Trackdown Tooter / Raquet Racket / Romeo and Joliet” (4/1/61) – Leonardo puts on a play for King Loco, but Biggy and Itchy plot to kidnap the star. / Tooter gets too much hassle from being a hunter. / The Fox steals all of the country’s tennis racquets. / Biggy and Itchy hold the play’s star for ransom.

“If at First You Don't Succeed / Anti-Arctic or North Pole Nuisance / Seeing Stars / Try, Try Again” (4/8/61) – To get Bongo Congo more publicity, Leonardo tries to accomplish some outlandish stunts. / Tooter becomes an arctic explorer. / The Fox steals a giant telescope to charge people in New Jersey to look at New York. / Leonardo and Odie climb the wrong mountain to beat Itchy and Biggy to a cash prize.

ROMAN ARAMBULA DEAD AT 83




You can read the announcement here.


He got his start in animation at Gamma Productions, working on the various Jay Ward Productions and Total TeleVision productions series that originated from there. Later, he provided layouts for Scooby Doo, Where Are You!, Josie and the Pussycats, Help!...It’s the Hair Bear Bunch!, The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie, The Roman Holidays, Jeannie and Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch. He did storyboards for Little Shop, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, The Addams Family (1992), Droopy: Master Detective, Madeline, Taz-Mania, Pinky and the Brain, The Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries and 101 Dalmatians: The Series. He also provided art for six issues of Marvel Comics’ Laff-a-Lympics comic series.

March 14, 2020

THE NEW CASPER CARTOON SHOW


THE NEW CASPER CARTOON SHOW
(ABC, October 5-December 28, 1963)

Harvey Films, Famous Studios




MAIN CAST:


For the history of Casper, check out the post here.


             Casper the Friendly Ghost had been appearing in theatrical shorts produced by Paramount PicturesFamous Studios for seven years when Harvey Comics founder Alfred Harvey acquired the rights to produce comics based on the concept. His series began with #7, picking up from where the previous publisher, St. John Publications, left off. 

The first issue of the Harvey Comics series.


Initially, the Harvey Comics followed the theatrical shorts closely. Determining that to be very limiting due to their formulaic nature—Casper scared off potential friends because he was a ghost until he did something for them—the comics branched out and did their own thing beginning with Casper, The Friendly Ghost #20 (1953). Casper became a bit more well-adjusted and now lived in an Enchanted Forest where he had a plethora of friends (although the running gag of new beings he encountered being frightened by his lack of corporeal state was still used from time to time). Among them was Wendy, a good little witch, Nightmare, a talking ghost horse, the mischievous Spooky, who wore a derby and enjoyed scaring people, and Spooky’s girlfriend, Poil. Several of these characters appeared in the shorts at the same time, which was no surprise since the comics were written and drawn by members of Famous Studios. Casper also interacted with and befriended various other Harvey characters, including Hot Stuff, the little devil, and wealthy urchin Richie Rich.

Casper with Wendy, The Ghostly Trio, Nightmare and Spooky.

Casper was always depicted as residing in haunted houses with a group of indistinguishable ghosts who, unlike him, enjoyed scaring and often picked on Casper for his friendly ways. Harvey decided to take three of those ghosts and give them their own defining traits, eventually creating The Ghostly Trio. They were Fatso, the overweight and gluttonous (ghosts could eat in early stories) leader of the group due to his being marginally the smartest of the group and the toughest; Fusso, an average-looking ghost with extreme fussiness and attention to detail; and Lazo, the tallest, laziest and dumbest. It should be noted that only Fatso’s name remained consistent in their appearances, as sometimes the other two could have different names such as Eeko and Stretcho (which would become one of the official names circa the 1995 film).

Production cels of Wendy with her magically cursed dancing shoes.

In 1959, Harvey purchased the character outright along with several other Famous properties; giving him access to all the theatrical shorts produced after 1950 (the pre-1950 library had already been acquired by U.M. &M TV Corporation in 1956). Harvey put the shorts on television in the compilation series Matty’s Funday Funnies, which was sponsored by Mattel and presented by their mascots, Matty Mattel and Sister Belle. The original Paramount Noveltoons banner was changed to Harveytoons to reflect their new ownership. The series ran from October 11, 1959 until December 30, 1961 on ABC. Afterward, it entered syndication as Casper and Company without Mattel’s involvement. With the shorts doing well, Harvey decided to invest in some new material created specifically for television.

Casper and Wendy with The Evil Witch.

The New Casper Cartoon Show debuted on ABC on October 5, 1963. The series was comprised of classic Casper shorts with 26 new ones created by Famous Studios. However, unlike the Famous shorts, the new Paramount shorts followed the format of the Harvey Comics in everything from the setting to the supporting characters. Norma MacMillan voiced Casper, Wendy and all of the female characters, while Bradley Bolke voiced the Ghostly Trio, Spooky and all of the male characters. The music was by Winston Sharples. Many of the same crew who worked on the original theatrical shorts also worked on the television shorts. The series marked the final solo directorial work of prolific Famous Studios director Seymour Kneitel, who died of a heart attack in 1964.

Casper with his woodland friends.

Each episode was comprised of two Casper shorts, with one of the theatrical ones in between; typically, from the Modern Madcaps series. These new shorts were directly adapted from the Harvey Comics condensed to fit into a 5-minute runtime (an unusual reversal as the comics were usually inspired by the shorts). Although only 26 new Casper shorts were produced and aired entirely in their first season, ABC kept the program on their schedule until the end of 1969. The series entered into syndication, running either under its original New title, as Casper, or as The Casper Show.

The Ghostly Trio spooking.

Universal Studios Home Entertainment began releasing various segments onto VHS in 1992 in their own collections and with the theatrical shorts. The only segment not to see release was “The Bored Billionaire”, likely due to an instance of cigar smoking in the short. In 2011, Shout! Factory released Casper the Friendly Ghosts: The Complete Collection (1945-1963) onto DVD. The set contained every Casper short made until 1963, including the 26 for the show (although they weren’t presented as broadcast and lacked their opening and closing segments). Bonus features included commentary and interviews by Bolke, Edmee Reit (widow of Casper co-creator Seymour Reit), Alison Arngrim (daughter of MacMillan), and Mark Arnold (editor of The Harveyville Fun Times), as well as a gallery of comic book covers.



EPISODE GUIDE (new segments only):
“The Greedy Giants / Red Robbing Hood” (10/5/63) – Casper decides to help the Weeping Willow stop being teased by the other trees. / Casper helps vigilante Red Robbing Hood get his throne back from his evil cousin.

“The Lonesome Giant / A Visit From Mars” (10/12/63) – Casper tries to help a giant become friends with the forest animals. / A little Martian boy runs away to Earth and the Martians are convinced his “borrowed” saucer was stolen by humans.

“Bedtime Trouble / The Bored Billionaire” (10/19/63) – While The Ghostly Trio keeps him up, Casper tries to help an insomniac bear get some sleep with the help of the Sandman. / Casper saves a billionaire from a witch.

“City Snicker / Cold Wave” (10/26/63) – Casper wants to protect his visiting cousin Spooky from the strange noises in the night. / Casper has to stop an evil scientist from blocking the sun’s light from reaching Earth.

“Growing Up / Kings of Toyland” (11/2/63) – The Ghostly Trio give Casper a growth potion. / Casper settles a war between two kings.

“Little Lost Ghost / Mother Goose Land” (11/9/63) – Casper helps a little ghost find his mother. / Casper and Wendy have to save Mother Goose Land from the Ghostly Trio.

“The Professor’s Problem / Small Spooks” (11/16/63) – Casper helps another ghost turn a castle into a nursery. / The Ghostly Trio trick Casper into getting them shrinking pills so that they can scare all of the insects.

“Super Spooks / The Absent-Minded Robot” (11/23/63) – Casper recruits his muscular look-alike cousin to scare the Ghostly Trio out of bullying. / Casper tries to help a misfit robot make new friends in the forest.

“The Enchanted Horse / The Enchanted Prince” (11/30/63) – An evil magician gives Nightmare an apple that turns her into his slave. / Wendy helps Casper free a prince from an evil spell.

“The Heart of Gold / The Magic Touch” (12/7/63) – Casper helps Midas find a heart of gold to help free him from the golden touch. / Casper helps the Great Foozini perform his magic act.

“The Timid Knight / The Wandering Ghost” (12/14/63) – Casper helps a cowardly knight find courage to rescue the princess from a dragon. / Casper rescues a boatful of pilgrims from a sea monster.

“The Witching Hour / Twin Trouble” (12/21/63) – Casper has to help Wendy retrieve all of her furniture after a hex causes them to run away. / Wendy’s aunts and The Ghostly Trio create evil duplicates of Wendy and Casper to cause trouble.

“Weather or Not / Wendy’s Wish” (12/28/63) – The Ghostly Trio want to go scaring and send Casper out to check the weather. / Casper tries to fulfill Wendy’s wish for dancing shoes, but ends up giving her a cursed pair.

March 07, 2020

IN REMEMBRANCE: 2019


This weekend we pay our final respects to those we've lost from Saturday mornings. We've paid tribute to some when their deaths were announced throughout the year, but this is our chance to remember those we missed because the reports came in late or weren't widely publicized. You may know some of their names, you may not recognize all of their faces, but they all played a part in shaping our Saturdays.




Bob Einstein (January 2) – Actor, writer and producer. He was primarily known for the recurring character of inept stuntman Super Dave Osborne, who was given his own short-lived Saturday morning program, Super Dave: Daredevil for Hire. He not only voiced the character and portrayed him in live-action segments, but also served as a writer and producer.



“Mean” Gene Okerlund (January 2) – Professional wrestling interviewer and announcer. Known primarily for his time with the World Wrestling Federation (now the WWE), he was one of the featured personalities in the animated series, Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling. He appeared both in live-action segments and as one of the characters featured in the animated segments; however, he didn’t provide his character’s voice.



William Morgan Sheppard (January 6) – Actor. Portrayed Lawrence Limburger in both the original and the reboot of Biker Mice From Mars; King Kenneth, Odin and Petros Xanatos in Gargoyles, as well as a security guard and Radar in an episode of the follow-up, The Goliath Chronicles; Asteroth in The Mighty Ducks; Captain Bloodbeard in Timon & Pumbaa; and Sardath in Young Justice.



Henry Sharp (January 9) – Writer. He wrote episodes of The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan, Super Friends (1973), Valley of the Dinosaurs and Korg: 70,000 B.C.



Bradley Bolke (January 15) – Actor. Starred in The New Casper Cartoon Show as The Ghostly Trio, Witch and well over a dozen minor characters; Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales as Chumley Walrus, Flunky, Jerboa Jump, Peanut and Platypus; and The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie episodes “The Mad, Mad, Mad Monsters” and “The Red Baron” as Norman and Shmitzel, respectively.



Carol Channing (January 15) – Actor and singer. Known primarily for her musical and stage roles, she did provide her voice to several animated projects. On Saturdays, she starred as Grandmama Addams in the 1992 version of The Addams Family cartoon and provided additional voices for Where’s Waldo? She also appeared as herself in two episodes of both Captain Kangaroo and Sesame Street and guest-starred in an episode of the original Magic School Bus as Cornelia C. Contralto II.



Dick Miller (January 30) – Actor. Although primarily a live-action actor, he did lend his voice to two episodes of Batman: The Animated Series as Boxcars “Boxy” Bennett, and the spin-off movie, Mask of the Phantasm, as Chuckie Sol.




Kinryû Arimoto (February 1) – Actor. Provided the original Japanese voices for Ford and Denjiro in episodes of Pokémon.



Joseph Sirola (February 10) – Actor. Provided the voice for Doctor Doom in Fantastic Four (1967).



Jan-Michael Vincent (February 10) – Actor. Best-known for his 80’s role in Airwolf, part of Vincent’s early career was spent as Lincoln “Link” Simmons in the Danger Island segment of The Banana Splits Adventure Hour.



Cleon Anton (February 18) – Served as the script supervisor for The Secrets of Isis and the “My Dear Uncle Sherlock” episode of ABC Weekend Specials.



Katherine Helmond (February 23) – Actor. Although her work was primarily on screen, she did provide the voices of Connie Stromwell in the “It’s Never Too Late” episode of Batman: The Animated Series and Mildred in the “My Fair Rebound” episode of Pound Puppies (2010).



Aron Tager (February 28) – Actor. Played Anselm in Saban’s Adventures of the Little Mermaid; Dr. Shreek in an episode of Goosebumps; Master of Zenn-La in Silver Surfer; and Sir Theodore Boarmaster in Jane and the Dragon. He also had various roles in The Adventures of Sam & Max: Freelance Police, Stickin’ Around and Blaster’s Universe.



Luke Perry (March 4) – Actor. He became a household name and teen heartthrob starring in Beverly Hills 90210 and stayed mostly in on-camera roles, but he did occasionally branch out into voicing animation. He starred as Napoleon Brie in Biker Mice from Mars and its revival, Sub-Zero in Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm, Stewart Walldinger in three episodes of Pepper Ann and Fang in an episode of Pound Puppies (2010). He also provided additional voices for The Legend of Calamity Jane.



Chris Benson (March 9) – Actor. Appeared as Uncle Al in the two-part episode “Welcome to Camp Nightmare” from Goosebumps.



Tom K. Ryan (March 12) – Cartoonist. Wrote and drew the newspaper comic strip Tumbleweeds that was featured in an episode of Fabulous Funnies.



Larry DiTillio – (March 16) - Writer. He wrote for Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling, Galaxy High School (for which he was also the story editor), Superman (1988), The California Raisin Show, The Real Ghostbusters, Swamp Thing, Peter Pan and the Pirates and Conan: The Adventurer.



Richard Erdman (March 16) – Actor. He voiced a pirate, the mayor and a man in “The Secret World of Og” episode of ABC Weekend Specials; a travel agent in an episode of The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo; an angry neighbor in an episode of Pound Puppies (1986); Mayor Rufus B. Pinfeathers and King Arty in two episodes of DuckTales (1987); and Elliot in an episode of Batman: The Animated Series. He also provided additional voices for Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo, Space Stars, Mork & Mindy/Laverne & Shirley/Fonz Hour, The Dukes, Galtar and the Golden Lance, Wildfire, The Smurfs, Yogi’s Treasure Hunt, Popeye and Son, The Flintstone Kids, The New Yogi Bear Show, Snorks, and The Pirates of Dark Water. 



Joseph Pilato (March 24) – Actor. He provided the voice of Vexor in BeetleBorgs and MetalGreymon in Digimon: Digital Monsters and Digimon Adventure 2.



Maury Laws (March 28) – Composer. He created the music for The King Kong Show and four episodes of the ABC Saturday Superstar Movie, and served as the musical director for The Jackson 5ive, The Osmonds and Kid Power.



Allan Cole (March 29) – Writer. Wrote the “Castaway Smurfs” segment of an episode of The Smurfs.



Don Morgan (March 31) – Artist. He provided storyboards for ChalkZone; served as art director for an episode of ABC Weekend Specials, Rude Dog and the Dweebs, Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue and Attack of the Killer Tomatoes; character designer for two episodes of ABC Weekend Specials, The New Shmoo, an episode of Laverne & Shirley in the Army, The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang (both for which he also supervised), an episode of CBS Storybreak and Jim Henson’s Muppet Babies; layout supervisor for The New Fred and Barney Show, Casper and the Angels, The World’s Greatest Superfriends, Godzilla (1979), Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo, The Richie Rich/Scooby-Doo Show, The Flintstone Comedy Show, The Kwicky Koala Show, Super Friends (1980), Space Stars and The Smurfs; and was a layout artist for Harlem Globetrotters and Jeannie.



Ernest Harada (April 5) – Actor. He starred as Mr. Fuji in Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling and Mr. Limp in The Addams Family (1992). He also provided voices for Richie Rich, The Dukes, The New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show, Shirt Tales, CBS Storybreak, The Smurfs and The Karate Kid (1989).



Georgia Engel (April 12) – Actor. She guest-starred as Cassandra’s mother Evelyn in 2 episodes of Disney’s Hercules series.




Robert Lussier (April 19) – Actor. Played Kurt Klinsinger in The Kids From CAPER and Mr. Stuple and Heister in two different episodes of ABC Weekend Specials.



John Moxey (April 29) – Director. Directed the “Tales of the Nunundaga” episode of ABC Weekend Specials.



John Singleton (April 29) – Director, producer, writer and sometimes actor. While best-known for the films he’s worked on such as Boyz in the Hood, Shaft and Four Brothers, at the beginning of his career he was a production assistant for Pee-wee’s Playhouse.



Peter Mayhew (April 30) – Actor. Mayhew was primarily known for his originating the role of Chewbacca the Wookie in the Star Wars franchise, which he played in almost every live-action Star Wars production. He also had some involvement in The Clone Wars for an episode where Chewbacca appeared.



Chris Reccardi (May 2) – Artist, writer and musician. Served as a character layout artist and storyboard artist on several episodes of Tiny Toon Adventures, an animator on an episode of The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat, a storyboard artist for an episode of Casper and several episodes of The Woody Woodpecker Show, and a writer and storyboard director for several episodes of SpongeBob Squarepants.



Rick Bennett (May 6) - Actor, director and teacher. He provided the voice of the Juggernaut in X-Men: The Animated Series and subsequent video games as well as Colossus; Votrick in Silver Surfer; and Ares in Mythic Warriors: Guardians of the Legend. He also provided additional voices for the Ultraforce cartoon.



Clement von Franckenstein (May 9) – Actor. Played Daddy in the “Back to School” episode of The Weird Al Show.



Pua Magasiva (May 11) – Actor. Portrayed the Red Wind Ranger/Shane Clarke in Power Rangers Ninja Storm, its video game tie-in, and in the crossover episodes of Power Rangers DinoThunder.



Robert Hackborn (May 13) – Art director for several Sesame Street videos.



Tim Conway (May 14) – Actor, writer and producer. Best known for his roles in The Carol Burnett Show and McHale’s Navy, Conway appeared as himself in an episode of Sesame Street and The New Scooby-Doo Movies, as Griffin in an episode of Hercules: The Animated Series, and had the recurring role of Barnacle Boy in the SpongeBob SquarePants franchise.



Bobby Diamond (May 15) – Actor. Played Tor in Moby Dick and the Mighty Mightor and provided voices for an episode of The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie and Emergency +4.



Alistair Browning (June 2) – Actor. Played Real Skourous in an episode of Young Hercules, Green Monster in an episode of Power Rangers S.P.D., and starred as the Silver Ranger/Zenowing in Power Rangers Dino Charge.



Malcolm “Dr. John” Rebennack (June 6) – Musician. He provided a song to the LP In Harmony: A Sesame Street Record and a recycling PSA he took part in, “Yaekty Yak – Take it Back”, aired occasionally on Sesame Street after its initial airing on MTV. He voiced the titular Yak in the PSA.



Nonnie Griffin (June 7) – Actor. Played Shodu in Star Wars: Ewoks and Funshine Bear in the Nelvana Care Bears series.



Sean McCann (June 13) – Actor. Played Marlowe in Wild C.A.T.S.: Covert Action Teams.



Milton Quon (June 18) – Visual effects artist-turned-actor. Though he didn’t have many roles, he did appear in a Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers episode as a Korean man.



Max Wright (June 26) – Actor. Played Herbie Hinkle in an episode of Aaahh!!! Real Monsters.



Arte Johnson (July 3) – Actor and comedian. Voiced Super Scuba in The Super 6; Misterjaw in The Pink Panther Show; Rhubarb in The Houndcats; Weerd in The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo; Count Ray and Dr. Ludwig von Strangeduck in DuckTales (1987); Devil Smurf, Custodian of Avalon and additional voices in The Smurfs; Lou and Top Cat in Yo Yogi!; and Newt, delivery guy and German dog in Animaniacs; and provided additional voices in Pac-Man, The Dukes, Foofur, The Flintstone Kids, The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley, Snorks and Tom & Jerry Kids Show. He also created Baggy Pants & the Nitwits, in which he starred as Tyrone.



Cameron Boyce (July 6) – Actor. Reprised his role of Luke Ross from Jessie in two episodes of Bunk’d and played The Shocker in an episode of Marvel’s Spider-Man.



Rip Torn (July 9) – Actor. While predominantly a screen actor, he also did some voice work including providing various voices for The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat.



Jim Malinda (July 23) – Actor. Starred as Korg in Korg: 70,000 B.C.



Justin Cody Slaton (July 24) – Actor. Portrayed young Bulk in several episodes of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.



Russi Taylor (July 26) – Actor. Best known as the permanent voice of Minnie Mouse since 1986, as well as Donald Duck’s nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie. Along with their portrayal in various media, she played Minnie in Mickey Mouse Works, House of Mouse and Mickey Mouse (2103) and Huey, Dewey and Louie in DuckTales (1987), Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue and Mickey Mouse (2013).

She also had a long career on Saturday mornings. Her various roles included Pebbles Flintstone and Cavemouse in The Flintstone Comedy Show; Barbie Winslow in Heathcliff (1981); Pac-Baby in Pac-Man; Hasty and Leota in episodes of ABC Weekend Specials; Gonzo, Robin and Captain Blackwig the Blue Pirette in Jim Henson’s Muppet Babies; Rex’s owner in the “Chocolate Fever” episode of CBS Storybreak; Hilda Brewski in an episode of The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo; Amber the Fairie Dragon in an episode of Dungeons & Dragons; Grover’s Mommy in Five Sesame Street Stories; Beehonie and Donna in an episode of Kissyfur; Ralphie in Little Clowns of Happytown; Melissa, Candy and Chinook Puppy in episodes of Pound Puppies (1986); a girl in an episode of Yogi’s Treasure Hunt; Lana Lang in an episode of Superman (1988); Laura in an episode of The Smurfs; Webby Vanderquack in DuckTales and in an episode of Raw Toonage; a Louisiana Boy in an episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987); Ethalyn, Emmadryl and Madame Placebo in episodes of Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears; a woman in an episode of Disney’s Aladdin; a fairy and a puppet in an episode of The Lion King’s Timon & Pumbaa; kids and voices in The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat; a tour guide in an episode of The Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries; Beck and an old lady in episodes of Buzz Lightyear of Star Command; Clara Cluck in Mickey Mouse Works and House of Mouse, where she also played Fairy Godmother and Fauna; Fauna and Winifred in episodes of Sofia the First; Lorbs, Florina and Lorb Guard in episodes of Tangled: The Series; and Young Donald in an episode of DuckTales (2017).

She also provided additional voices in The Little Rascals, Laverne & Shirley with Special Guest Star the Fonz, The Littles, Saturday Supercade, Jim Henson’s Little Muppet Monsters, The Smurfs, Dink the Little Dinosaur, Rick Moranis in Gravedale High, TaleSpin, Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa, What a Mess and Star vs. the Forces of Evil.

Taylor made a rare live cameo appearance in the 1984 CBS Saturday morning preview special, Saturday’s The Place. She was seen in a recording booth with some of her Muppet Babies co-stars.



Stu Rosen (August 4) – Voice director, actor and producer. He served as the voice director of Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling, Fraggle Rock (1987), RoboCop (1988), Captain N: the Game Master, Pryde of the X-Men, Piggsburg Pigs!, Little Shop and Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (1990). He was also the casting director for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987), Captain N and Eek!stravaganza, and served as the recording director for “The Legend of Lochangar” episode of ABC Weekend Specials. As an actor, he provided the voices of Floyd and Stuckey in an episode of Kissyfur; Storyteller Fraggle in an episode of Fraggle Rock (1987); henchmen in episodes of Superman (1988); Dr. Russell in Zazoo U; Pit Boss and the Governor in Biker Mice from Mars (1993); and additional voices in Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa.



Ernie Colón (August 8) – Legendary comic book artist and editor. He co-created the DC Comics character and world of Amethyst, Princess of Gem World, who was adapted into in a series of short episodes as part of the DC Nation programming block on Cartoon Network. He also provided artwork for the Saturday morning-based comics Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice in the Neitherworld, Bullwinkle and Rocky (Marvel) #1-9, Mighty Mouse (1990) #1-5, 7 & 9, Scooby-Doo (1997) #2, 4, 6 & 8, Scooby-Doo Spooky Spectacular and Star Wars: Droids (1986) #6-8.



Richard Trueblood (August 21) – Animator, director and producer. He animated episodes of The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie, Yogi’s Gang, Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch, Scooby’s Laff-a-Lympics, CB Bears, Yogi’s Space Race, Challenge of the Superfriends, ABC Weekend Specials, The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse and Heckle and Jeckle, The New Shmoo, Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo (1979), Casper and the Angels, The World’s Greatest Superfriends, Godzilla (1978), The Flintstone Comedy Show, The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang, Super Friends (1981), Trollkins, Shirt Tales, Flash Gordon (1979), The Smurfs, Pac-Man and Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids. He handled storyboard revisions and served as animation director for Goof Troop; Did storyboards and animation timing for Sonic the Hedgehog; served as producer for Attack of the Killer Tomatoes; directed an episode of DuckTales (1987) and Biker Mice From Mars (1993) and sequences in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987); served as timing director for episodes of DuckTales (1987), The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Animaniacs, All-New Dennis the Menace, Aladdin, Gargoyles, Mighty Ducks, Histeria!, Men in Black: The Series, Godzilla: The Series, The Woody Woodpecker Show; and was animation director for Pokémon.



Gordon Bressack (August 30) – Writer. Worked on The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo, Smurfs, Snorks, Yogi’s Treasure Hunt, The Real Ghostbusters, Pound Puppies (1986), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987), The Adventures of Raggedy Ann & Andy, DuckTales (1987), New Kids on the Block, The Wizard of Oz (1990), Tiny Toon Adventures, Yo Yogi!, Darkwing Duck (for which he was also a story editor), Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain and Loonaticks Unleashed.



Chester Aaron (August 30) – Writer. Wrote the novel that the ABC Weekend Specials episode “Cougar!” was based off of.



Michael Lindsay (August 30) – Actor also credited as Dylan Tully. He was most known for working on English dubs of anime. On Saturday mornings, he provided the dubs for Joe Kido, Agumon, Greymon and an analyst in Digimon: Digital Monsters and Skid-Z and Rollbar in Transformers: Robots in Disguise.



Lynne Stuart (September 4) – Actor. Played a snotty woman and Mrs. Dumont in two different episodes of California Dreams.



Rod Coneybeare (September 5) – Actor and writer. Voiced Avalanche aka Dominick Petros in X-Men: The Animated Series and provided additional voices for The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3.



Robert Axelrod (September 7) – Actor and writer. His best-known voice roles were that of monster maker Finster and the evil Lord Zedd in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Power Rangers Zeo and Power Rangers in Space, as well as Lokar and a Two-Headed Parrot. He also provided the voice of Microchip in Spider-Man: The Animated Series; Piranha Khan in Big Bad Beetleborgs; Mutantrum in Power Rangers Lost Galaxy; Vademon, Wizardmon, Armadillomon, Ankylomon, and Shakkoumon in Digimon: Digital Monsters; Movor in Transformers: Robots in Disguise; and appeared on screen as Thin Man in Power Rangers Time Force.



John Wesley (September 8) – Actor. Guest-starred in an episode of California Dreams as Coach Wicks.



Jan Merlin (September 20) – Actor and writer. He played Roger Manning in the first four seasons of Tom Corbett, Space Cadet.



Jack Donner (September 21) – Actor. Played Commander Kindwon on Power Rangers in Space.



Sid Haig (September 21) – Actor. He starred as Dragos in Jason of Star Command. He also guest-starred as a fur smuggler in an episode of Wonderbug, Chief Running Nose in an episode of Monster Squad (1976), and The Genie in two episodes of Electra Woman and Dyna Girl.



Marshall Efron (September 30) – Actor and writer. Starred as Deputroll Flake in Trollkins, Ratso in The Kwicky Koala Show, Sloppy Smurf in The Smurfs, Mooch in The Biskitts, and Fat Cat in Kidd Video. He also guest-starred as Howl in Pink Panther and Sons, Lousy Lizard in The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo, and Quint in Kenny the Shark as well as provided additional voices for Shirt Tales, Saturday Supercade and Snorks.



Alan Zaslove (October 3) – Animator, producer and director. He was an animator on Fractured Fairy Tales, The Gumby Show and George of the Jungle; served as a producer on Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears, DuckTales, Darkwing Duck and Aladdin; and directed episodes of The Smurfs, Snorks, Galtar and the Golden Lance, The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo, Challenge of the GoBots, Yogi’s Treasure Hunt, Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears, DuckTales, Darkwing Duck and Aladdin. He also provided titles for The Smurfs and served as story director for Space Stars.



Rip Taylor (October 6) – Actor and comedian. He starred as The Grump in Here Comes the Grump; Sheldon the Sea Genie in Sigmund and the Sea Monsters; Uncle Fester in The Addams Family (1992); and The Royal Record Keeper and the Royal Judge in The Emperor’s New School. He also guest-starred as Mr. Wackypants in an episode of What’s New, Scooby-Doo? and provided additional voices for Popeye and Son, Snorks and Garfield and Friends.


Robert Forster (October 11) – Actor. He guest-starred in an episode of Godzilla: The Series as a police officer and Jack Chapman, and played reporter Jack Kurtzman in several episodes of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012).



Jack Enyart (October 13) – Writer. He wrote for Heathcliff (1980), Hero High, The Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Puppy Hour, Richie Rich, Rubik the Amazing Cube, Saturday Supercade (where he was also story editor), It’s Punky Brewster!, Fraggle Rock (1987), DuckTales (1987), Alvin & the Chipmunks (for which he also provided some voice work), Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa and What a Mess.



Jules Bacal (October 24) – Producer. Worked on Jem, Conan: The Adventurer and The Tick (1994). He also appeared in the documentary Jem Girls (and Boys!) Remember.



John Witherspoon (October 29) – Actor and comedian. Played the dad in three episodes of Waynehead.



Art Lozzi (November 4) – Background artist. He worked on The Ruff & Reddy Show, Space Ghost, The Archie Show, The Batman/Superman Hour and Fantastic Voyage.


Tom Lyle (November 19) – Comic book artist and teacher. Created the design for the Scarlet Spider costume for Marvel Comics, which was seen in an episode of X-Men: The Animated Series and the finale of Spider-Man: The Animated Series. He also co-created the character of Stephanie Brown, aka Spoiler, for DC Comics who was adapted into Young Justice.



Michael J. Pollard (November 21) – Actor. Played the precognitive villain Psycho in Toxic Crusaders.



D.C. Fontana (December 2) – Writer. Best known for her association and contributions to the Star Trek franchise, she served as a script consultant, story editor, associate producer and even wrote an episode for Star Trek: The Animated Series. She also provided scripts for an episode of ReBoot and Silver Surfer.



René Auberjonois (December 8) – Actor and director. Best known for the role of shapeshifting Odo in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, he spent a lot of time loaning his voice to Saturday mornings. He was the stranger in The Smurfs Christmas Special; Desaad in Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show and The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians; a Poodle and Pierre in episodes of Pound Puppies (1986); Boris Roquefort in an episode of A Pup Named Scooby-Doo; Dr. Strangesnork and additional voices in Snorks; General Zod in an episode of Superman (1988); Sensei in an episode of Darkwing Duck; Dr. March in two episodes of Batman: The Animated Series; Kangent in The Pirates of Dark Water; Chef Louie in both Marsupilami and The Little Mermaid: The Animated Series; Jonathan in an episode of Rugrats; Nefir Hasenuf in episodes of Aladdin; Horde in The Savage Dragon; Quintoon in an episode of Men in Black: The Series; Scarab in episodes of The Mummy; Master Fung and the narrator in Xiaolin Showdown; McChirpy in an episode of Duck Dodgers; Xyber 9 in Xyber 9: New Dawn; Blockbuster in Young Justice; Saladin in Winx Club: Beyond Believix; McLeish, Professor Schmierkankle and a cat narrator in Pound Puppies (2010); and Azmuth and additional voices in Ben 10: Omniverse. He also provided additional voices for The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang, It’s Punky Brewster!, The Smurfs and The Tom & Jerry Kids Show.



Caroll Spinney (December 8) – Puppeteer, cartoonist, author and speaker. He was the long-serving portrayer of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street’s debut in 1969 until his retirement in 2018.



Lee Mendelson (December 25) – Producer, best known for his long career making various productions based on the Peanuts comic strip including The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show. He also worked on Mother Goose and Grimm, Garfield and Friends, and served as a creative consultant on episodes of Toonsylvania.



Jack Sheldon (December 27) – Jazz musician and actor. Performed on numerous episodes of Schoolhouse Rock!