Saturday, 9 June 2018


Time for more irreverent comments from those two irrepressible wags of Cartoonland, Bill Scott and Jay Ward (does anyone even use the word “wag” any more?).

Here’s a United Press International story published May 25, 1962 (and on other dates) where the producers of the Bullwinkle Show take more shots at their network, NBC. Among many things, Ward and Scott didn’t think the network promoted their show or even really cared about it. In fact, at the start of the second season, NBC tried to broadcast Bullwinkle in black and white until some affiliates got upset.

The two also used their time with UPI to plug their syndicated Fractured Flickers show and make fun of TV shows that were on the air at the time, though I’ll bet Scott actually said “77 Gaza Strip.”

In case you weren’t around then and need some references, Alistair Cooke was an English newspaper journalist who later hosted Omnibus and then Masterpiece Theatre on PBS. Clifton Fadiman was the moderator (emcee would have been too gauche a term) of Information Please, an intellectual guessing game on radio enlivened only by Oscar Levant’s ad-libbed puns.

Ward used the Sumac gag in a phoney brochure of his programmes he mailed out around the time of this article. His three-show “Jay Ward Pak” also included “Sing Along With Bing” (Rudolf Bing) and “Sing Along With Hopalong” (Bill Boyd comes out of retirement).

If you want more great Ward/Scott material, get Keith Scott’s book The Moose That Roared.

Will Title Be 'Omnimoose'?

Hollywood—Culture lovers have had it!
The revered video time slot—5:30 Sunday afternoons—has been subleased to savages.
It will be remembered that this hour formerly was devoted to the likes of the hifalutin Omnibus and The Seven Lively Arts.
Next season that spot will be taken over by . . . hang on tight now . . .Bullwinkle Moose. In other words, the longhairs have been given a crewcut.
A cartoon show for kiddies and adults, the Bullwinkle series fits into the Sunday cultural ghetto like Soupy Sales in "Hamlet." But producers Bill Scott and Jay Ward are delighted their program has been renewed for a second year.
"It gives us the opportunity to further irritate our network, NBC," Scott said triumphantly.
"We are a hotfoot on the body politic," said Ward. "We keep NBC on its toes."
Bullwinkle and his friends—Rocky the squirrel. Dudley Doright and others —- have been moved up from 7 p.m. time period where it can be seen opposite Lassie.
"We are coming on earlier to avoid the Sunday drinking hours." said Scott "This year we couldn't enjoy our own show because we were stoned by the time it went on the air."
"I kept seeing it in color," Ward agreed, "and all I have is a black and white set."
Scott said they may change the title to "Omnimoose" to satisfy disgruntled intellectuals.
"We hope that when scientists dig up a time capsule 5,000 years from now they will say that Jay Ward was ahead of his time—by at least eight minutes," he said.
"It is possible we may use Alistair Cooke as the voice of Bullwinkle," Ward said, "with Clifton Fadiman as Rocky. It would add a note of culture to the program."
The producers aren't content with having only a single show on the air. They still have dozens of unsold series in stock. "We have more pilots than the U. S. Air Force," Scott said.
He listed 77 Gaza String and The Law and John Birch as examples.
"Also there is Sing Along With Yma Sumac for people who have outgrown Mitch Miller. For the more discerning there are The Max Schmeling Show, The Alger Hiss Hour, Cuban Eye and Edsel Theater," he avowed.
In a more serious vein, Ward said the company's Fractured Flickers will be on the air next fall.
"We figure the only segment of the American population we haven't offended are silent movie buffs," he said. Those people who are excited at the mere names of Thomas Meighan and Carlyle Blackwell, not to mention Bessie Barriscale, will be enraged with our show."
To culture conscious televiewers Ward and Scott argue that they will spread more culture than their predecessors.
"Look at it this way," said Scott, "if we are half as cultural as Omnibus but seen by three times as many viewers we can't help but disseminate more culture."


  1. I've been watching a lot of Super Chicken lately. I think that was the only other Ward production that rivaled The Rocky and Bullwinkle programs.

    1. Super Chicken may have been the best part of "George of the Jungle," though I really like George. I don't think there was a bad episode.

  2. This is hilarious, but I wonder what Ward and Scott would have thought of the all new "ADVENTURES OF ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE 101", the Amazon reboot of the beloved Frostbite Falls heroes. Can't say I think much of it, but I'll continue to give it a try?

    1. Rocky vomiting and Boris accidentally swallowing Chum was more than enough to repel me from that vile "reboot".