Friday, 27 July 2018

Say, That Looks Like...

There’s a scene in the episode of “The Capture of Thunderbolt the Wondercolt” on the Beany and Cecil show (1962) that any cartoon fan must love.

Dishonest John overhears that Thunderbolt has a “notorious distrust for humans,” so he disguises himself as non-humans to capture the heroic steed. Thunderbolt is a step ahead of him, and opens up his own trunk of disguises.

The disguises, though they bear Bob Clampett-style monikers, suspiciously look like cartoon characters from other studios, especially the late ‘50s versions of a pair of characters from the Chuck Jones unit at Warner Bros.

“Graham Quacker” is only missing a sailor suit.

Clampett and his writers parodied Disney a number of times, especially in the “Beanyland” episode.

“You’re not that Tom and Jerry-drinking mouse,” exclaims D.J., pulling off a mouse mask to reveal, uh...

That’s not all, folks.

“And you’re not Hare-cules Hare,” shouts the pig-headed D.J. I’m surprised Clampett, Eddie Brandt, Dick Kinney or whoever wrote this didn’t have him stutter.

“And you’re not Franken Swine,” intones Thunderbolt, dressed as, well, it looks like a really lousy version of Yogi Bear. Same colours and nose as Yogi. But it’s actually supposed to be “Rin Tin Can.”

The two reveal Beany masks and then themselves.

There are really lots of great celebrity puns and takeoffs in this cartoon. D.J. turns into a horsey version of Edward R. Murrow at one point, chain-smoking cigarettes and dropping them into an ash tray. One of the stars who left her horseshoe prints outside Grauman’s Chinese Theatre is “Betty Harness.” And there’s another electric shock gag for good measure.

The series was hit-and-miss, but this episode was a hit for me. It’s a shame the show was plagued with problems (including network TV’s sudden souring on animated shows around prime time) and didn’t last more than the one season.


  1. Both B&C and The Bugs Bunny Show being on ABC at the time may have mitigated any desires by J.L.'s lawyers to make a stink over copyright infringement (The duck characterture is off just enough so that Clampett could have claimed it wasn't who Mr. Disney and his attorneys thought it was).

  2. Look's like wille ito did the layouts, super cartoony and appealing, he is still alive

  3. Funny you should mention The Chuckster, since he used the "two-characters-pulling-off-multiple-disguises" bit in Knight-mare Hare (1955), and A Sheep in the Deep (1962).

    For my money, the most outrageous moment in a B&C cartoon is Go Man Van Gogh's full-dorsal nudity in The Wildman of Wildsville. How this scene got past Standards and Practices is a real head-scratcher. (And why didn't the other animation producers take advantage of this precedent? Just imagine being able to see Fred Flintstone's bare ass!)

  4. Walker Edmiston does the Colt in a "John Carradine" voice (similiar to Hans Conreid and John Barrymore-indeed, Conreid himself admittewd a self-styled Barrymore infleunce..and Edmiston's Willie the Wolf is a lot like that.) Top Cat, Funny YOU mention the Go Man cartoon had a Bugs reference..Excellent show.BTW I wonder why voice credits never appeared..a pre-"Laurel and Hardy" cartoon Jim MacGeorge is said to have been Beany and the Capt. and a comic named Erv Shoemaker was Cecil and DJ-NYAH NYA NYA..MacGeorge replacing Daws Butler & Shoemaker replacing Stan Freberg.Help cecil HLP! A lot of librayr music, Hoyt Curitn music, moonlighting from Hp-B and original songs here.