Friday, August 12, 2016

And This Blog Adores Jay Ward Cartoons

Having just made a cross country trip involving trains, planes and automobiles, the gang at Way Too Damn Lazy To Write A Blog has enough energy to. . . well, watch Planes Trains & Automobiles but even more likely relax on a Friday with some cool cartoons.

The series of Jay Ward Productions, starting with Crusader Rabbit in the late 1940's, are a perennial favorite.

I'll admit it - I'm a sucker for the cartoons of Jay Ward Productions, even to the extent of having tracked down Bill Scott in November 1981 and interviewed him at length.

Jay Ward Productions' incredible roster of character actors/voice talents - Scott, June Foray, Bill Conrad, Daws Butler, Edward Everett Horton, Hans Conreid, Charlie Ruggles, Walter Tetley - combined with the studio's satiric edge, still gets Mr. Blogmeister laughing after all these years.

In the TV cartoon field at that time, the Jay Ward cartoons were only equaled - in comedy mojo and voice work - by Pantomime Pictures' Roger Ramjet series.

Even the second string Jay Ward shows - Fractured Flickers and Hoppity Hooper - have much to offer in the way of big time belly laughs, in large part due to all of those incredible voice talents and the consistently brilliant comedy writing by Lloyd Turner, Allen Burns, Chris Hayward, Chris Jenkyns, George Atkins and head writer Bill Scott.

As far as the Jay Ward Productions commercials for Quaker Oats go, they were frequently wonderful and superior to the programs they sponsored.

The Jay Ward studio's last series, George Of The Jungle, also featuring Super Chicken and Tom Slick, certainly had moments of serious hilarity. Alas, the two decades after this went off the air, the 1970's and 1980's, would be a dark, dreadful, arid, awful and worst of all, boring stretch for American cartoons. . . a bombed-out wasteland.

June Foray's career in radio, recordings (Stan Freberg), movies and in the cartoons of Warner Bros. and Jay Ward Productions has been responsible for a gazillion laughs. Here she is with animator and writer Darrell Van Citters, author of The Art Of Jay Ward.

For more info, by all means get a copy of the Jay Ward Studio history, The Moose That Roared, A.S.A.P. The story of Jay Ward, Alex Anderson, Bill Scott and the multi-talented animators and voice artists involved in these shows has been painstakingly researched and very entertainingly written by character actor/voice artist/impressionist and film and radio historian Keith Scott.

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