Category Archives: TeeVee

Hannity’s Advertisers Are Dropping Like Flies After Sean Defends Disgusting Roy Moore

I picked the wrong decade to stop writing Fox “News” Criticism. All my previous TRUTH about the FAKE NEWS CHANNEL can be found HERE and HERE.

Hannity’s Advertisers Are Dropping Like Flies After Sean Defends Disgusting Roy Moore

The other day Roy Moore was accused of having sex with underage girls. Not just one, but FOUR women stepped forward and stated that then-prosecuting attorney Roy Moore had sought out their company for the purpose of sexual relations. The youngest was 14 years old, while Moore had been 32 years old. As with all members… Continue reading Hannity’s Advertisers Are Dropping Like Flies After Sean Defends Disgusting Roy Moore

Eric Bolling Is A Dick ► Fox “News” Snark

UPDATE: Eric “Bully Boy” Bolling has now been suspended from Fox “News” pending the outcome of an internal investigation. Earlier story:

Uh oh! News broke overnight that Eric “Bully Boy” Bolling — who does double-duty on Fox “News” as pugilist and racist — has been sending out dick pics.

Like, Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly before him, Bolling may not be employed by the mendacious Trump-supporting network much longer. Not to belabour the point (because I’ve got other stuff to say below) HufPo has the goods, which has now been picked up by many news orgs:

Recipients of the photo confirmed its contents to HuffPost, which is not revealing their identities. The women, who are Bolling’s current and former Fox colleagues, concluded the message was from him because they recognized his number from previous work-related and informal interactions. The messages were sent several years ago, on separate occasions.

The women did not solicit the messages, which they told colleagues were deeply upsetting and offensive. One of the recipients said that when she replied to Bolling via text, telling him never to send her such photos again, he did not respond. Four people, outside of the recipients, confirmed to HuffPost they’d seen the photo, and eight others said the recipients had spoken to them about it.

For this story, HuffPost spoke to 14 sources in and out of Fox News and Fox Business, all of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity either because they currently work at the networks and aren’t allowed to speak to members of the press without prior authorization or because they have confidentiality agreements with Fox News and its parent company 21st Century Fox.

You’d think if Bully Boy sent out such pictures, he’d remember. And, if he didn’t send any, he’d remember that, too. But…

When asked whether Bolling at any point had sent unsolicited lewd or inappropriate text messages or emails (including an image of a man’s genitalia) to Fox News or Fox Business colleagues, his attorney Michael J. Bowe responded, “Mr. Bolling recalls no such inappropriate communications, does not believe he sent any such communications, and will vigorously pursue his legal remedies for any false and defamatory accusations that are made.”

The weird formulation “does not believe he sent any such communication” is not exactly a full-throated denial, is it? Oh! And, he’s lawyered

No matter. It’s just more proof Bully Boy is a walking dick, welcome to sue me for all those times I’ve written about him. However, he’ll never read this because the coward blocked me long ago.

IRONY ALERT!!! As my former-employer NewsHounds points out:

Oh, and wouldn’t you just know that Bolling has been an outspoken critic of fellow dick-pic dick, Anthony Weiner? Just a few months ago, as HuffPost noted, Bolling told his Fox News Specialists cohosts that Mr. Weiner is “a sick human being” who seems “pathological.”

This reporter has been writing Fox “News” criticism for 9 years. From this vantage point I predict that Bolling’s firing, if that comes to pass — and why wouldn’t it? — will be the final calving of what was once the monolithic Fox “News” iceberg.

Two years ago I identified the first public fissures. While there had always been rumours of tension between various personalities behind the scenes, it broke out into the open soon after Emperor Trump descended the Golden Escalator — to mix among the proletariat he never took notice of before. He had yet had to mesmerize the GOP to cinch the nomination and before the Basket of Deplorables flipped the bird to Lady Liberty and put this tweeting charlatan into the Offal Orifice. With the help of the Russians, of course.

Bolling was one of Trump’s earliest brown-nosers and a self-proclaimed personal friend. All the way back in June of 2015, on The Five (which I predicted wouldn’t last), Bully Boy was (as he always does) trying to normalize Trump’s crazy speeches. That’s when “Butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth” Perino slapped him for his unbelievable Trump-kissing.

Then they moved on, like they always do on The Five, just when the infighting is getting good. Watch the whole thing [because it’s such a wonderful Trump Time Capsule™ from just 2 years ago], but the money shot starts at the 8:26 mark if you want to skip ahead:

See how quickly they moved on? Was that an edit, or just a clever call from the Control Room? QUICK!!! ROLL TAPE!!! We report, you decide.

While they may have moved on, their individual audiences never did. From the very next day — virtually immediately — I noticed snarking between Bully Boy Bros and the Perino Pixies on various comment threads. The sniping over the next several weeks became rather viscous before it settled down. Not that the feelings ever went away. However, this was the earliest Trumpian fissure I can identify.

Since then there’s been a lot of changes at Fox, many of which had Trumpian undercurrents due to “pussy grabbing” in the corporate offices of ‘Merka’s self-proclaimed cultural scold: Ailes out. Then dead. O’Reilly out. Still alive. Meggy gone (and now flaming out). Van Susteren gone (and gone again). Subsequent programming changes. The Five moves to 9PM. Bully Boy Bolling moves to The Specialists at 5pm. There he and his 2 female co-hosts invite people totally out of their depth to opine on the news of the day. Those extra fools are the titular “specialists.” Yeah, I know. But that’s the truth. The Specialists begins to sink in the ratings after Day One. But, more importantly for my thesis, Bolling’s fans (on comment threads) have been sniping at co-hosts Katherine Timpf and Eboni Williams. And, vice versa. More fissures.

Naturally, this will all be labeled FAKE NEWS by True Trump Believers, who are also Bolling Believers. That is right up until the public release of the dick pics (ala Anthony Weiner) and/or Bully Boy Bolling no longer has a Bully Pulpit for Emperor Bully Trump. Then the real Fox “News” internecine war will begin.

Pass the popcorn!!!

Top Cat ► Saturday Morning Cartoons

Top Cat is one of the many cartoons produced by Hanna-Barbera, just like Tom & Jerry and The Flintstones, covered elsewhere in these pages.

Top Cat launched a year after The Flintstones debuted and, just like it, Top Cat was not a Saturday morning cartoon. It was originally broadcast on ABC at 8:30PM Wednesdays, sandwiched between The Steve Allen Show and Hawaiian Eye. Its competition was The Joey Bishop Show on NBC and Checkmate on CBS.

Top Cat had 2 major influences along with a host of minor ones. I’ll let the WikiWackyWoo tell you all about that:

Top Cat and his gang were inspired by the East Side Kids, characters from a series of popular 1940s ‘B’ movies, but their more immediate roots lay in The Phil Silvers Show, a late-1950s military comedy whose lead character (Sergeant Bilko, played by Silvers) was a crafty con-man. Maurice Gosfield, who played Private Duane Doberman in The Phil Silvers Show, provided the voice for Benny the Ball in Top Cat, and Benny’s rotund appearance was based on Gosfield’s. Additionally, Arnold Stang‘s vocal characterisation of the lead character, the eponymous Top Cat, was based on an impression of Phil Silvers‘ voice.

Other influences include the movie Guys and Dolls, in which actor Stubby Kaye played a short, stout, streetwise gambler: a virtual Benny the Ball prototype. Lastly, an unlikely contender (as it also came from Hanna Barbera) was the character Hokey Wolf on The Huckleberry Hound Show, whose segment also paralleled The Phil Silvers Show.[2][3]

It’s time for a Top Cat Sing-A-Long.
C’mon, you know all the words.

Top Cat and his gang (like Sgt. Bilko before them) had one money-making scheme after another. They have to avoid Officer Dibble, who is always trying to shut down their scams and rid Hoagy Alley of Top Cat and his gang of grafters once and for all. Rinse and repeat.

Of course, I just loved Top Cat because it was a cartoon and I was merely a 10-year old kid. Little did I suspect there was a much deeper meaning:

Animation historian Christopher P. Lehman says that the series can be seen as social commentary. The cats may represent disenfranchised people confined to living in a poor environment. Top Cat’s get-rich- quick schemes are efforts to escape to a better life. The gang faces a human police officer who frustrates their efforts and keeps them trapped in the alley.[5] This enforcement of the social order by police ensures that the cats will not escape their current living conditions.[5]

Just like the alley outside Trump Tower. But, I digress.

Top Cat was only in prime time for a year. It moved to Saturday mornings, where it played in perpetual reruns for years. In 1988 a full-length made-for-TV cartoon, Top Cat and the Beverly Hills Cats, which was a remake of the earlier “Missing Heir” and “Golden Fleecing” episodes of the original series. Arnold Stang and Marvin Kaplan (who died last year) reprised their roles from the classic Top Cat. Then came 2011’s Top Cat: The Movie, followed by the CGI effort Top Cat Begins, which was a prequel to the original series. Neither of which did I know about until just now.

It was the original series that captured my attention. Enjoy this Making Of documentary:

This Is Not Watergate! This Is Treason!!!

Today’s Trump Twitter Tirade

Emperor Trump sent out a series of deranged tweets this morning that not only upped the ante, but — IRONY ALERT! — just ensured never-ending investigations up his colon all the way to his lyin’ mouth.

First things first: Because Emperor Trump is always deflecting from the bad news he knows is coming, we need to ask, “What’s next?” If you’ve been paying attention, you know the answer. More Russian bombshells. However, while we’re waiting for that shoe to drop (how many shoes does this crazy MoFo have?), let’s examine the overarching, grand irony in this series of tweets, fresh this morning from the Trump Toilet.

[For greater context, read Did Roger Ailes Dupe James Rosen, Or Did Rosen Dupe ‘Merka? and Is Michael Flynn A Traitor? Is Trump? The GOP? Watergate Redux?, found elsewhere in the Not Now Silly Newsroom.]

Let’s take Trump’s Tweets one by one in chronological order followed by the Truth Trump Won’t Tell™:

IRONY #1: Strange that Emperor Trump would jump to McCarthyism because 1). McCarthyism is defined as the wild accusation against someone without a shred of proof; 2). Roy Cohn — Trump’s lawyer and mentor — taught him that a good defense is a nuclear offense, a trait we’ve seen from this tweeting man/boy over and over again. Additionally, Cohn was McCarthy’s chief counsel when that drunkard was destroying good people during the McCarthy hearings without a shred of evidence. See the parallel?

What else you got, you mendacious piece of horse manure?

IRONY #2: He was the fucking President, you idiot — a job you don’t seem to understand. It was his job to meet with the Russians. It was not the job of Jared Kushner, General Mike Flynn, Jeff Sessions, Casey Page, Paul Manafort, or Roger Stone. (Did I leave anyone out?)

What else you got, you soon-to-be-former Emperor?

IRONY #3: Short answer: Yes.

Long answer: Not only did Emperor Trump just admit that a court gave law enforcement permission for “wire tapping”, which makes it legal, but this is hardly the first time.

In those stories linked above NNS tells the inside baseball story of how President Lyndon Baines Johnson tapped the campaign plane of candidate Richard Nixon to determine whether treason had been committed.

The short answer is yes. Treason was committed when Nixon used Anna Chennault to approach the South Vietnamese — where U.S. soldiers were dying — and tell them to hold out to get a better deal from Nixon after he was elected. The South Vietnamese walked away from the Paris Peace Talks and people on all sides of this war continued to die.

See the parallel? Was Trump using many people, not just a single Anna Chennault, to go around President Obama and tell them not to worry about the sanctions just imposed because Emperor Trump could make them all go away?

If so, this would be treason.

LBJ obtained audio evidence of Nixon’s treason, but decided it would be hard to explain why he had tapped Nixon’s plane, so he gave the information to Democratic candidate Hubert Humphrey to use as an October Surprise. Humphrey was too honourable to do so and eventually lost to Nixon (who, in case you need reminding,  eventually quit rather than face impeachment).

See the parallel? We have already learned from previous leaks that President Obama’s administration had a ton of info on Trump/Russian connections. However, Obama was too honourable to use it against him and didn’t want to be seen meddling in the election (unlike the F.B.I., but that’s another story for another day).

Does Cheetos Jesus have anything else?

IRONY #4: Lawyers can make a good case out of anything. However, they need proof to win. Where’s the proof, you lying sumnabitch?

We already know your spelling is atrocious, but it’s “tap” not “tapp”.

IRONY #5: Spelling aside, for Trump to thumb the words “very sacred election process” is the height of hypocrisy. Trump did nothing but shit all over the “very sacred election process” from the minute he threw his toupee into the ring, through the rest of the campaign, and beyond his inauguration.

That during this “very sacred election process” he also got all that extra help from the Ruskies [allegedly, of course], is the ALMOST the biggest irony of all.

IRONY #6: The biggest irony is that Emperor Trump just guaranteed there will be Senate and Congressional hearings about all these issues until the cows come home, or the pigeons come home to roost, whichever comes first. Pass the popcorn.


The Twitterer-in-Chief also had time for some serious business this morning:


Krazy Kat ► Saturday Morning Cartoons

A hundred years ago Krazy Kat was turning the battle between cartoon cats and cartoon mice on its head.

Krazy Kat and Ignatz the mouse came from the fevered imagination of George Herriman and first appeared in the comic strip The Dingbat Family. And, you thought Archie Bunker invented the word?

Krazy Kat jumped to [his? her? it’s never made clear and both sexes are used at times] their own strip in 1913 and lasted until Herriman’s death in 1944. What made this cartoon so unusual is that first, like Little Nemo in Slumberland, Krazy Kat takes place in a dreamscape of surreal imagery and plots. [Unlike Nemo, the art is minimalist.]

Next, Krazy Kat is a love story. Krazy is madly in love with Ignatz. Ignatz hates Krazy with a passion. That’s why Ignatz is always throwing bricks at Krazy’s head. Occasionally, Offisaa Bull Pupp, who is in love with Krazy Kat, prevents this and arrests Ignatz. However, when the brick connects, Krazy misinterprets this as demonstrative love (not unlike some abused women, now that I think about it). That only make Krazy love Ignatz all the more.

The George Joseph Herriman WikiWackyWoo says:

More influential than popular, Krazy Kat had an appreciative audience among those in the arts. Gilbert Seldes‘ article “The Krazy Kat Who Walks by Himself” was the earliest example of a critic from the high arts giving serious attention to a comic strip. The Comics Journal placed the strip first on its list of the greatest comics of the 20th century. Herriman’s work has been a primary influence on cartoonists such as Will Eisner, Charles M. Schulz, Robert Crumb, Art Spiegelman, Bill Watterson, and Chris Ware.

According to Comics Alliance:

But what makes Krazy Kat so noteworthy, and what makes a contender for the title of best comic strip ever made, is the way that Herriman worked within the confines of this repeated premise: the way he stretched it out over his beautifully drawn (and constantly shifting) Southwestern landscapes set in a fever dream version of Coconino County, Arizona. Herriman played with language, turning dialect and multilingual puns and malapropisms into a poetry that is purely American in the way that it forms a melting pot of Southern, Creole, Mexican, and Navajo cultures. He employed meta-fiction and self-effacement to create a constant sense of charm and whimsy. There is nothing else like it, though many have tried to replicate its achievements.

I fell in love with Krazy Kat back in my college days when I started researching the history of comic strips. However, I only recently learned that there were animated Krazy Kat cartoons. Enjoy:

View vintage Krazy Kat comic
strips at The Comic Strip Library.

Tom & Jerry ► Saturday Morning Cartoons

Tom & Jerry are the prototypical cat and mouse cartoon characters: Mouse irritates cat. Cat chases mouse. Mouse bests cat. Repeat ad nauseum.

Tom & Jerry were created in 1940 by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, who went on to invent some of the most memorable cartoon characters under the name Hanna-Barbera Productions. These include The Flintstones, their historical opposites The Jetsons, Yogi and Boo Boo Bear, Huckleberry Hound, Top Cat, Smurfs, Scooby-Doo, and Josie and the Pussycats, among man others.

Tom & Jerry were also among those early cartoons created specifically for the big screen in the days before tee vee. They were short films distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to be run between its feature films. As the WikiWackyWoo explains:

[Tom & Jerry] cartoons are known for some of the most violent cartoon gags ever devised in theatrical animation such as Tom using everything from axes, hammers, firearms, firecrackers, explosives, traps and poison to kill Jerry. On the other hand, Jerry’s methods of retaliation are far more violent due to their frequent success, including slicing Tom in half, decapitating him, shutting his head or fingers in a window or a door, stuffing Tom’s tail in a waffle iron or a mangle, kicking him into a refrigerator, getting him electrocuted, pounding him with a mace, club or mallet, causing trees or electric poles to drive him into the ground, sticking matches into his feet and lighting them, tying him to a firework and setting it off, and so on.[1] Because of this, Tom and Jerry has often been criticized as excessively violent. Despite the frequent violence, there is no blood or gore in any scene.[2]:42[3]:134

And, of course, Tom & Jerry were the inspiration for Itchy & Scratchy, who took it one step further.

TRIVIA ALERT: Tom and Jerry were originally called Jasper and Jinx, in their first appearance, Puss Gets the Boot:

Tom And Jerry – 001 – Puss Gets The Boot (1940) from Girish Kumar on Vimeo.

It was not all fun and games. Like so much in the mainstream media in the ’40s and ’50s, Tom & Jerry reflected the times in which they were made. In later years some of these cartoons would deemed racially offensive. I’ll let the WikiWackyWoo tell the unpleasant tale of Mammy Two-Shoes, who appeared in the cartoon above.

Like a number of other animated cartoons from the 1930’s to the early 1950’s, Tom and Jerry featured racial stereotypes.[6] After explosions, for example, characters with blasted faces would resemble stereotypical blacks, with large lips and bow-tied hair. Perhaps the most controversial element of the show is the character Mammy Two Shoes,[39] a poor black maid who speaks in a stereotypical “black accent” and has a rodent problem. Joseph Barbera, who was responsible for these gags, claimed that the racial gags in Tom and Jerry did not reflect his racial opinion; they were just reflecting what was common in society and cartoons at the time and were meant to be humorous.[9] Nevertheless, such stereotypes are considered by some[who?] to be racist today, and the blackface gags are often censored when these shots are aired.

Saturday Evening Puss – Mammy Two-Shoes rarely showed her face

From Mammy Two-Shoe’s very own Wiki:

In the 1960s, the MGM animation studio, by then under the supervision of Chuck Jones, created censored versions of the Tom & Jerry cartoons featuring Mammy for television. These versions used rotoscoping techniques to replace Mammy on-screen with a similarly stocky white woman (in most shorts) or a thin white woman (in Saturday Evening Puss); Randolph’s voice on the soundtracks was replaced by an Irish-accented (or, in Puss, generic young adult) voice performed by actress June Foray.[3][5] Paul Mular, head of Broadcast Standards and Practices (BS&P) at KOFY-TV (Channel 20) in San Francisco in the late 1990s, believes this was an overreaction to calls for racial sensitivity as the original Mammy was inoffensive.[3]

However, Tom & Jerry cartoons are meant to be enjoyed. Sadly, the Not Now Silly Newsroom cannot share with you any examples of entire vintage Tom & Jerry cartoons. Those Warner Bros. must be pretty powerful brothers.

All I discovered had either been sliced and diced, had awful wrap-a-rounds added from later tee vee incarnations, or more recent overdubbing of voices and, I believe, music. But, every video found were nothing but truncated versions or mere snippets.

Apologies in advance, but some of this is still vintage Tom & Jerry:

Is Michael Flynn A Traitor? Is Trump? The GOP? Watergate Redux?

Three Amigos

Alleged traitor Michael Flynn, Emperor Trump‘s National Security Advisor (a position that does not need Senate approval) has been revealed as a modern day Anna Chennault. If true, this could actually lead to the impeachment of Agent Orange, if the dominoes fall the right way.

First, who is Anna Chennault? I previously wrote about her in my longer exposé Did Roger Ailes Dupe James Rosen, Or Did Rosen Dupe ‘Merka? Here’s a quick sketch for those who have forgotten their Watergate history:

Chennault helped Richard Nixon commit treason against the United States during the 1968 election. During the ’60s she was one of what was known as the China Lobby. In 1968, when Nixon was running for POTUS, he had Chennault carry a message to the South Vietnamese government. President Lyndon Johnson had been trying to broker a peace deal in Vietnam. Chennault told them to hold out and they would get a better deal after Nixon was elected. This scuttled the Paris Peace Talks and the war in Vietnam continued until 1973.

There is no longer any debate that these events happened, but it took decades for them to be confirmed. Now the only debate is whether it was treason, or just a contravention of the Logan Act.

Two Amigos

It’s taken only a few months to ferret out the new! improved! Anna Chennault. Step right up Michael Flynn. Just the headlines since late Thursday tell a story. Don’t drill down unless you want to be shocked. OH MY!!!

CIA freezes out top Flynn aide  • Michael Flynn’s DebacleThe scandal over Mike Flynn’s secret talks with the Russians, explainedJust how much trouble is Michael Flynn in?When it comes to his contacts with Russia, Michael Flynn has bigger problems than the Logan ActFlynn Is Said to Have Talked to Russians About Sanctions Before Trump Took OfficeNational Security Adviser Mike Flynn, Security Risk Reports: Trump Adviser Michael Flynn Discussed Sanctions With Russia in Potential Violation of Federal LawDemocrats call for Michael Flynn’s dismissal after reported Russia talks Nancy Pelosi Demands The Suspension Of Mike Flynn Over Russia Ties

Suspension? I’d be screaming for a House investigation.

Here’s why: Emperor Trump should be impeached if he knew Flynn was going behind President Obama’s back with Russia at the very same time Obama was applying sanctions for the hacking that helped elect Trump. It won’t take decades to confirm collusion. All the involved parties are STILL HERE.

What has convinced the entire Not Now Silly Newsroom that Emperor Trump knew all about this is how he pretended he didn’t know anything about this when asked about it on Hair Force Whine [jump to 1:12]:

We know that Emperor Trump watches — and tweets about — the latest news obsessively. It requires more than simple credulity to believe him when he says, “I don’t know about it. I haven’t seen it. What report is that?” When pressed he makes a promise. “I said I haven’t seen it. I’ll look into it.”

Right. But he can take shots at Saturday Night Live and Nordstrom’s.

Let’s see a show of hands. Who believes he will really look into it? It takes ignorance, willful or otherwise, to buy that pile of bullshit.

Let’s not forget how many times Emperor Trump has confounded conventional thinkers with his undisguised — and inexplicable — love for the Russian Prez.

The New York Times makes the point in Trump Will ‘Look Into’ Reports That Flynn Discussed Sanctions With Russia:

Even as Mr. Trump professed his lack of knowledge of the episode, administration officials were scrambling to contain the fallout of the latest revelations about the embattled former three-star general, who has been criticized internally for his judgment and for staffing the National Security Council with military officers instead of trained civilian personnel.

Perhaps a bigger concern for Mr. Flynn is his relationship with Vice President Mike Pence, who sometimes has had to defend him in public.

As much as we now know about Watergate, one of the unknowns is just exactly what Nixon’s plumbers were looking for that fateful night they were caught trying to bug the DNC in the Watergate hotel. There have long been suggestions they were looking for the Anna Chennault Treason Dossier (which was already in Herbert Humphrey’s possession. But, that’s another story).

Let’s also not forget that there’s a dossier in the slow-motion Emperor Trump-Russian scandal. While the most salacious allegations in that document have not been confirmed, it’s now generally acknowledged that the rest of it is pretty solid. The Russian government may indeed have blackmail material on Trump.

Nixon tried to pass Watergate off as a “third rate burglary,” but eventually it took down his presidency. How long before we learn the truth about Flynngate? Or, will Flynn fall on his sword to protect Pence and Trump?

More importantly: During the Watergate hearings, the GOP showed great courage during the bipartisan questioning of Nixon’s aides to determine whether the president had committed “high crimes and misdemeanors”. Today’s GOP capitulated to Emperor Trump, proving it supports party over country. Is there anyone left in the GOP with enough courage to call for a bipartisan investigation?

Heckle and Jeckle ► Saturday Morning Cartoons

Heckle and Jeckle are 2 wisecracking magpies from Paul Terry, whose Terrytoons also produced Mighty Mouse and Deputy Dawg, among a host of other cartoon characters.

Terry — credited with over 1300 cartoons in 40 years — started in media in 1904 as a newspaper cameraman, where he also drew comic strips. Inspired to go into animation by Winsor McCay’s Gertie the Dinosaur, he drew his first cartoon Little Herman, which he sold. After a 2nd cartoon he was hired in 1916 by the J. R. Bray Studios, where he created and made 11 cartoons starring Farmer Al Falfa. He was able to take that character with him when he left in 1917 to start his own studio. Paul Terry Studios lasted for 9 more cartoons, only one with Farmer Al, before he joined the army to fight in WWI.

On his return he partnered up with the improably named Amedee J. Van Beuren to form Fables Studios, where they produced a successful series of cartoons based on Aesop’s Fables. In 1928 they released Dinner Time, the first cartoon with synchronized sound. It was released several weeks before Disney’s Steamboat Willie, often incorrectly credited as the first cartoon with sound. Watch:

Ironically, Terry and Van Beuren split up over the issue of sound, so Terrytoons was launched in New Rochelle, New York, where Terry had sold his first cartoon to Thanhouser film. That’s where Heckle and Jeckle were hatched just after WWII.

No less an authority than the Wiki tells us:

Paul Terry was quick to adopt techniques that simplified the animation process, but resisted “improvements” that complicated the production. He was one of the first to make use of “cel animation” including animation of separate body parts. His studio was slow to switch to synchronized sound tracks and to color. While this may have sometimes prevented his films from achieving the technical excellence of Disney or Fleischer Studios, he did manage to keep his studio profitable, while others went out of business. Terry was once quoted as saying, “Disney is the Tiffany of animation. I’m the Woolworth.”

Keep in mind that these were the days when cartoons were made to be shown between the movies in theaters. Television had been invented, but was not yet a commonplace household item. It would still be a decade before most homes had a tee vee.

However, Paul Terry cashed in when television came calling, but that didn’t go so well at first. As the Wiki also tells us:

Terry became the first major cartoon producer to package his old films for television. In 1955, Terry sold his animation studio and film library to CBS for $3.5 million and retired.[2] CBS appointed Gene Deitch, who replaced the old characters with new ones such as Sidney the Elephant, Gaston LeCrayon, Foofle, Clint Clobber, and John Doormat. Deitch departed after three years. After Deitch’s departure, Mighty Mouse and Heckle & Jeckle returned, as well as new characters such as Deputy Dawg. CBS made the Terrytoons library of films a mainstay of its Saturday morning programming and continued operating the studio making both new theatrical films and series for television until the late 1960s. -Today Terrytoons are most fondly remembered by Baby Boomers who grew up watching them on TV.

That’s my generation and I loved Heckle and Jeckle. I even had two gal pals, who were sisters, that Pops called Heckle and Jeckle. I saw both at his funeral in December.

Here are some more Heckle and Jeckle cartoons, starting with this dubious subject matter from ’47:

Little Nemo In Slumberland ► Saturday Morning Cartoons

Click HERE for larger size

Little Nemo In Slumberland is not really a Saturday morning cartoon, but a weekly comic strip created by famed artist Winsor McCay, sometimes called The Father of American Animation.

If Nemo were his only creation, McCay would still go down in history. However, Zenas Winsor McCay was also the artist behind 1914’s Gertie the Dinosaur, considered the first example of true character animation. The WikiWackyWoo also tells us:

Although Gertie is popularly thought to be the earliest animated film, McCay had earlier made Little Nemo (1911) and How a Mosquito Operates (1912). The American J. Stuart Blackton and the French Émile Cohl had experimented with animation even earlier; Gertie being a character with an appealing personality distinguished McCay’s film from these earlier “trick films”. Gertie was the first film to use animation techniques such as keyframes, registration marks, tracing paper, the Mutoscope action viewer, and animation loops. It influenced the next generation of animators such as the Fleischer brothers, Otto Messmer, Paul Terry, and Walt Disney. John Randolph Bray unsuccessfully tried to patent many of McCay’s animation techniques and is said to have been behind a plagiarized version of Gertie that appeared a year or two after the original. Gertie is the best preserved of McCay’s films—some of which have been lost or survive only in fragments—and has been preserved in the US National Film Registry.

Little Nemo began his life as a comic strip, running in the New York Herald from 1905 to 1911. Hired away by William Randolph Hearst — in an early dispute about Intellectual Property — the Herald won the rights to the Little Nemo name, but McCay was able to move the characters he created to the New York American, where they reappeared under the name “In the Land of Wonderful Dreams.”

McCay led a fascinating life. During his time with the Hearst papers, he also debuted a vaudeville act, where he would produce drawings at a rapid pace. He would also appear with his animated creation Gertie in an interactive show. A live McCay would command the animated figure, who would comply.

It was a box office hit in much simpler times.

Eventually, Gertie toured the country in the form seen above, without the live segments, using intertitles instead.

Hearst, who seemed to think he owned McCay, objected to his vaudeville career because he thought the strip suffered. When he couldn’t reach McCay because he was on stage, Hearst ordered his papers not to run advertising for the stage show. Eventually the artist was forced to limit his stage appearances and, in the end, Hearst got McCay off the stage almost completely. However, he also agreed to pay McCay more to make up for the loss of the box office income.

In the ’70s I became interested in comic strips that came before my time. Starting with what’s considered the Golden Age of Superheroes, I worked backwards.

I fell in love with Little Nemo the second I found him. He’s been my favourite comic strip character ever since. I’ve bought large coffee table books filled with Slumberland comics and return to them often.

Little Nemo is simply gorgeous to look at. Each viewing brings out details not noticed before. While McCay created much of the later vocabulary of the graphic artist, no other comic strip before, or since, looks this way. Cartoonists ever since have tried to imitate him, but nobody has ever come close.

However, it’s appeal to me is based on more than that. Little Nemo has always appealed to both the child and the cynic in me: Dreaming big but waking up in the same mundane world day after day no matter how exciting a night I may have had.

Apparently there was a crappy animated movie made in 1989 called Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland. From all reports I’m glad I missed it.

The images for this post came from (were swiped at) The Comic Strip Library, a wonderful source. Here are a couple more full size:


Felix The Cat ► Saturday Morning Cartoons

Forget Mickey Mouse. The earliest cartoon I can remember is Felix The Cat, which premiered on tee vee when I was just a year old.

However, Felix The Cat is a lot older than that. In fact, he’s one of the very first stars of the silver screen, going all the way back to the Silent Era in 1919. Among his mysterious beginnings is that way back then Felix went by the nom de mouse of Master Tom. Why? What was he trying to hide?:

Master Tom left behind his former life with a name change for his 3rd movie, “The Adventures of Felix.”

Another mystery: From which back alley did he come from. The WikiWackyWoo has that story:

Felix’s origins remain disputed. Australian cartoonist/film entrepreneur Pat Sullivan, owner of the Felix character, claimed during his lifetime to be its creator. American animator Otto Messmer, Sullivan’s lead animator, has also been credited as such.[3] What is certain is that Felix emerged from Sullivan’s studio, and cartoons featuring the character enjoyed success and popularity in the popular culture. Aside from the animated shorts, Felix starred in a comic strip (drawn by Sullivan, Messmer and later Joe Oriolo) beginning in 1923,[4] and his image soon adorned merchandise such as ceramics, toys and postcards. Several manufacturers made stuffed Felix toys. Jazz bands such as Paul Whiteman‘s played songs about him (1923’s “Felix Kept On Walking” and others).

By the late 1920s, with the arrival of sound cartoons, Felix’s success was fading. The new Disney shorts of Mickey Mouse made the silent offerings of Sullivan and Messmer, who were then unwilling to move to sound production, seem outdated. In 1929, Sullivan decided to make the transition and began distributing Felix sound cartoons through Copley Pictures. The sound Felix shorts proved to be a failure and the operation ended in 1932. Felix saw a brief three-cartoon resurrection in 1936 by the Van Beuren Studios.

Felix cartoons began airing on American TV in 1953. Joe Oriolo introduced a redesigned, “long-legged” Felix, added new characters, and gave Felix a “Magic Bag of Tricks” that could assume an infinite variety of shapes at Felix’s behest.

This is the Felix I remember from my childhood and this may have been the first song I knew by heart:

I loved the cartoons that featured Poindexter and The Master Cylinder.

Sadly, most of the Felix The Cat cartoons now found on the innertubes have these horrible wraparound segments. However, if you can last out that first 60 seconds, there’s still a classic Felix The Cat cartoon at the chewy center:

This year the big news from Tinsel Town was that all is forgiven and Felix The Cat — one of the very first balloons — would return to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Just enjoy: