Monday, February 27, 2012

Number 1113

Beany & Cecil & Bob & Jack

Bob Clampett was the creator of the popular Time For Beany puppet show, a very early children's program on television. When it came time to do a comic book version, Clampett asked for Jack Bradbury.*

It's been a long time since I featured any artwork by Jack Bradbury, who is one of my favorites of the moonlighting animators drawing comic books in the '40s, working on comic books like Giggle Comics and Ha Ha Comics, and his own creation, Spunky, Junior Cowboy.

Bradbury, who was born in 1914, died in 2004.

"Horse-fly Hubbub" is from Bob Clampett's Beany in Horse-Fly Hubbub, Four Color #414 (1952):

*Source for this information is the web site The Comic Art of Jack Bradbury, a site maintained by Bradbury's son. There are over 1700 pages of comic art scans there, including Beany and Cecil. Another Beany and Cecil story is available from Mykal Banta's The Big Blog of Kids' Comics here.

After this posting appeared I got a nice e-mail from reader John Hindsill, who shared his reminiscence of the Time For Beany puppet show, the basis for the comic book version:

Boy does this take me back...waaay back to 1949 or thereabouts when I was 9 years old. If you did not grow up in Los Angeles, (or even if you did) allow me to flesh out Beany's history as I recall it.

Time for Beany began as a daily live television show during the late afternoon/ dinner time period. It is alleged that its most famous, most erudite fan was Albert Einstein when he was at CalTech in Pasadena. This is not as far-fetched as it might sound, as many of the jokes, puns and use & allusions to current music (Ragg-Mopp, comes readily to mind) often was above the ken of the under-10 set.

The characters were hand-puppets voiced by Stan Freburg, of song and TV show parody, and commercial production fame (Ann Miller dancing on a soup can), and Daws Butler. Freberg is still alive, and, one hopes, in good health.

Fridays were shows either with an in studio audience, of the illusion of same, during the tirst year or two. At any rate, Cecil would hand out presents from the Leakin' Lena to kids in the audience. I don't recall that I ever actually saw any kids, though.

By the time my sister was old enough to watch such things TfB either was off the air or had become a cartoon show. The animated version lacked the charm, the spunk and the imagination (my considered opinion) of the puppet version.

I'm guessing that a fuller and/or a more accurate history can be found on web, but I thought you might enjoy the reminiscence of somebody who really was there.



Mykal Banta said...

Pappy: Whenever I look at Bradbury's stuff, I always feel immediately that "this is the way bigfoot cartooning is supposed to look." I get the same feeling from Dan Gordon, Howie Post, and a few others. Everything just looks so fluid and graceful - so effortless and smooth. So Bouncy!

Great, great post!

Pappy said...

Mykal, you always have such an insightful way of looking at such things. Thanks for your positivity, old friend.

Mazzu Stardust said...

Pappy: your blog is THE BEST!!!

Pappy said...

Mazzu, thank you!