Terrytoons - The TV Series
Following the sale to CBS, the Terrytoon cartoons began showing up elsewhere on
the network's schedule. Mighty Mouse Playhouse first appeared December 10, 1955 on
CBS-TV. It was Saturday morning's first regularly scheduled all-cartoon show, appearing on
the network for over ten years. The cartoons usually centered around Mighty Mouse coming to the rescue of female mouse, Pearl Pureheart, saving her from the clutches of the evil cat, Oilcan Harry. The series included various other Terrytoons
shorts, including Heckle and Jeckle, Dinky Duck and Gandy Goose. Terrytoons
produced new wrap-around animation for the series, featuring tenor Roy Halee as Mighty
Mouse singing the opening theme.
For more information, see The Origins Of Mighty Mouse
Other Terrytoons series also began appearing on television. The Heckle and Jeckle Cartoon Show, featuring the look-alike black birds who debuted in the 1946 short The Talking Magpies, came to CBS in the fall of 1956. Gandy Goose, Little Roquefort, Dinky Duck and the Terry Bears rounded out the series.
The Deputy Dawg Show, the story of an amiable but dim-witted Southern lawman, showed up in syndication in 1960. Deputy Dawg, created by Larz Bourne, attempted to uphold law and order in Mississippi, while being constantly opposed by a supporting cast of animals. The cast included Vincent 'Vince' Van Gopher, Ty Coon the Raccoon, Muskie the Muskrat, and Pig Newton.
The Hector Heathcote Show, headlining a Colonial-era patriot who starred in fifteen theatrical shorts from 1959-1963, first appeared on NBC-TV on October 5, 1963. Hector, created by story man Eli Bauer, was always present when history was being made, but never received any credit. His intention wasn't to change the course of things, but that's usually how it ended up. Among other things, Hector readied Paul Revere's horse for the famous ride, built the rowboat that George Washington and his men used to cross the Delaware, and inadvertently built the first airplane. He was joined in his travels by his trusted dog, Winston, who provided moral support when past events proved to be a little unpredictable. During each adventure, the narrator reminded us that "History has recorded many great names, but only we know about Hector Heathcote!". To fill out the Hector Heathcote series, Terrytoons quickly produced more Hector cartoons, plus new episodes of Bob Kuwahara's Hashimoto San and Gene Deitch's Sidney the Elephant cartoons. The show ran on NBC-TV until September 26, 1964.
The Astronut Show, featuring a friendly but nutty character from outer space who had first appeared in an episode of Deputy Dawg, arrived in syndication on August 23, 1965. Episodes of Luno, the Flying Horse and other Terrytoons cartoons rounded out the package.
Above is the opening and closing to The Astronut Show that I posted to YouTube.
Captain Kangaroo on CBS was home to two other made-for TV Terrytoon properties. Tom Terrific, one of the first characters created by Gene Deitch and his Terrytoons crew, first appeared in 1957. The unlikely adventurer, complete with a funnel-hat, was paired with Mighty Manfred, the Wonder Dog. Filmed in black and white, with little or no backgrounds, the cartoons featured great characterizations, dialogue and story lines. Tom Terrific had the ability to change his shape into anything he wanted. The serialized adventures pitted the duo against such adversaries as Crabby Appleton, The Silly Sandman and Captain Kidney Bean.
I received the following email message regarding the passing of the voice of Tom Terrific:
Lionel Wilson, best known as the voice of "Tom Terrific" recently passed away at the age of 79. He died of pneumonia in New York on April 30th 2003. More recently, he was the voice of Eustace Bagg on "Courage the Cowardly Dog."
NEW - See the Tom Terrific opening in RealVideo!
Terrytoons (CBS-TV) 1957
Lariat Sam, a character co-created by Robert Keeshan Associates, appeared on Captain Kangaroo in September, 1962. Lariat Sam was aided by his horse, Tippy Toes, in his quest to rid the old-west of such villains as Badlands Meeney.
In the fall of 1966, Mighty Mouse Playhouse was replaced on the CBS Saturday morning schedule by another Terrytoons series, Mighty Mouse And The Mighty Heroes. Created by animator Ralph Bakshi, The Mighty Heroes featured an unlikely group of super heroes. The Mighty Heroes were Diaper Man, Cuckoo Man, Rope Man, Strong Man, and Tornado Man. Herschel Bernardi (TV's Arnie and the voice of Starkist's Charlie the Tuna) and Lionel Wilson provided the voices.
The crime-fighting quintet, led by Diaper Man (whose startling deep bass voice was supplied by Bernardi), used their super-human talents to battle such arch criminals as Shocker, Shrinker, Frog, The Ghost Monster, Enlarger, Toy Man, and Scarecrow.
The series also featured component cartoons from the Terrytoons library. It premiered on October 29, 1966 and ran on CBS-TV through September 2, 1967. To find out more about The Mighty Heroes see Cartoon-O-Rama's The Mighty Heroes Page.
Above is the opening and closing to Mighty Mouse and the Mighty Heroes that I posted to YouTube.
See the opening to The Mighty Heroes in RealVideo.
The Mighty Heroes
Terrytoons (CBS-TV) 1966
Continued on Page 4 - The End of Terrytoons
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