Ruff and Reddy was the first made for TV cartoon from William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, the Oscar-winning duo responsible for M-G-M's Tom and Jerry cartoons.

Ruff and Reddy
featured a brainy cat, Ruff, and a brainless dog, Reddy. Teamed with the kindly Professor Gismo, they faced such evil-doers as Killer and Diller, the terrible Texas twins, Captain Greedy and Salt Water Daffy, the chicken-hearted Chickasaurus, the Goon of Glocca Morra and others in various madcap adventures.

Jimmy Blaine with Ruff and Reddy (39671 bytes)
Jimmy Blaine with Ruff and Reddy

Ruff and Reddy first appeared December 14, 1957 on NBC-TV and was produced by the newly formed H-B Enterprises (later renamed Hanna-Barbera Productions) for Screen Gems, the TV arm of Columbia Pictures. The serialized episodes, in the style of Crusader Rabbit (which preceded Ruff and Reddy by nearly ten years), were originally sponsored by General Foods' Post Cereals and programmed along with the old Columbia cartoons including the Color Rhapsodies, Fox and the Crow, and Li'l Abner. Telecast in black and white until June 1959, the series included a live host and emanated from WNBC-TV, New York. During it's initial NBC run, from December 1957 to October 1960 (when production ended), the series was hosted by Jimmy Blaine with his puppet-bird sidekicks, Rhubarb the Parrot and Jose the Toucan. When it returned in reruns to NBC in September 1962, Captain Bob Cottle handled the hosting chores. Cottle and his puppets, Jasper, Gramps and Mr. Answer, remained until it left the network on September 26, 1964.

Captain Bob Cottle

While Ruff and Reddy never achieved superstardom, it did prove that limited animation was a feasible, low-cost way of filling children's viewing hours. Hanna-Barbera perfected the mass-production techniques and the studio went on to become the world's largest producer of animated programming.

Captain Bob Passes Away

I recently received email from Scott Kingsley, a cousin of Captain Bob Cottle, to inform me of Captain Bob's recent passing. He passed away on Sunday April 25, 1999 in the San Mateo County General Hospital in California following a stroke. He was 78.

In addition to hosting The Ruff and Reddy Show, Captain Bob produced and hosted the popular children's show, The Nature World of Captain Bob, which began in Hartford before it moved to Boston in 1953, where it ran for 14 years. The show appealed to both children and adults with its unique combination of nature, ecology and art. In addition, Mr. Cottle was a wonderful artist and storyteller who would spend much of his air time spinning yarns about the characters he made up. Through his stories, Mr. Cottle strived to foster in his viewers an appreciation for the natural world and its creatures. Mr. Cottle, along with his character Jasper Jinx, a plump man who resembled a frog, also appeared frequently on the show, The Magic Window, which ran on WBZ-TV. Mr. Cottle would tell stories about Jasper Jinx and animate them at the same time with incredible speed. He churned out as many as 25 large pictures during a 15-minute show.

Mr. Cottle leaves his wife, Elizabeth W. (Willis); a son; Robert Jr. of Enfield, N.H.; three stepsons, Robert Johnson, Gregory Johnson and Steven Johnson, all of California; two stepdaughters, Jerylee Johnson and Barbara Johnson of California; five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

See the opening to the Ruff and Reddy Show,
With Captain Bob Cottle,
encoded in RealVideo for 56 Kbps.

Ruff and Reddy

With Captain Bob Cottle

Hanna-Barbera (NBC-TV) 1962-64

Ruff: Don Messick
Reddy: Daws Butler
Professor Gismo: Don Messick
Ubble-Ubble: Don Messick


See an episode of Ruff and Reddy,
encoded in RealVideo for 56 Kbps.

Ruff and Reddy

"The Mad Monster of Muni-Mula"

H-B Enterprises (Hanna-Barbera) (NBC-TV) 1957

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UPDATED July 23, 2005

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