The Funny Company, about an enterprising group of neighborhood kids, was barter syndicated for Mattel Toys beginning September 9, 1963. It was usually seen during local children's shows featuring a live host. Featured in middle of the 6 minute cartoons was a 2 minute live on film educational feature about various subjects, including science, nature, hobbies, folklore and how-to's. The executive producer was Ken Snyder in association with Charles B. Koren, the same Snyder-Koren that produced Roger Ramjet. The associate producer was Leo Salkin, and the animation producer was Sam Nicholson. A Funny Company Production.

The Funny Company was very innovative for it's time. It was written and conceived by Ken Snyder in response to a 1961 speech by FCC Chairman Newton Minow calling for more cultural and educational children's programming, The Funny Company club, resembling a mix of the Little Rascals and a Junior Achievement Club, made money at odd jobs cleaning out attics, printing hand bills, and selling items and services. The president of the club was Buzzer Bell, voiced by Dick Beals. Polly Plum was the secretary, Merry Twitter was the genial and giggly treasurer. Jasper N. (National) Park was a boy genius, aided by Dr. Todd Goodheart, a knowledgeable old gentleman. Their buddies included Terry Dactyl, a wisecracking Pterodactyl who didn't know he was extinct, Shrinkin' Violette (thanks to Mark Pichla, who e-mailed me with the correct spelling), a shy little girl who shrank when embarrassed, and a pair of Indians, Broken Feather and Superchief, whose voice was an air horn!

Shrinkin' Violette

They worked out of their broken down clubhouse, where they also operated the Funny Company Detective Agency. During their adventures they encountered resistance from unsavory characters, such as Belly Laguna and Dr. Von Upp, foreign agents who tried, to no avail, to stop their good deeds. The 2 minute educational films were cleverly sandwiched between the cartoon segments. They were introduced by the Weisenheimer, an electronic brain invented by Jasper. Bud Hiestand provided the squiggly-lined oscilloscopic voice of the Weisenheimer, who would narrate the films describing things pertaining to the club's adventures. In 1966, the show was credited with saving a life after a six year old boy revived a a drowning two year old girl using a technique he learned watching the show.

The clubs "Keep Smiling" motto, with it's trademarked smiling face, ended each show. This is the same smiling face which appeared on round yellow stickers and stationary everywhere in the late 1960's. Leona Nakayama of Tokyo recently e-mailed me requesting a description of the smiling face, so I am including the following two images, from the original Funny Company cartoons. They are a good representation of the logo.

Dick Beals, the voice of Buzzer, also supplied the voice of Shrinkin' Violette. Other voices included Robie Lester as Polly Plum, Nancy Wible as Merry Twitter and Jasper N. Parks, and producer Ken Snyder was the voice of Terry Dactyl. Tom Thomas voiced Broken Feather, and veteran character and voice actor, Hal Smith (Otis Campbell on The Andy Griffith Show and the voice of Goliath the dog on Davey and Goliath among others) provided the voices of Dr. Todd Goodheart, Belly Laguna and Dr. Von Upp.

Belly Laguna

Watch The Funny Company - "Judo"

Click on the link below to see
the FULL-COLOR opening theme
to The Funny Company, in RealVideo.

The Funny Company opening theme

Click on the link below to hear the theme to
The Funny Company in RealAudio

The Funny Company
The Funny Company Productions (Ken Snyder/Carson-Roberts Advertising) 1963

Click on the link below to see a full The Funny Company cartoon
in RealVideo, encoded for 56 Kbps.

The Funny Company "Star of India"

Full 5 minute cartoon!

Funny Company Productions (syndicated) 1963

NEW - Click on the link below to see a full The Funny Company cartoon
in RealVideo, encoded for 56 Kbps.

The Funny Company "Pine Cones"

Full 5 minute cartoon!

Funny Company Productions (syndicated) 1963

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