Trivia: the voice of Owl Jolson was Tommy"Butch" Bond, from Our Gang.
And the voice of his dad was Billy Bletcher, another “Our Gang” actor. While he was in several of the shorts, in my opinion, his best known role was one he wasn’t even in. In “Mama’s Little Pirate,” where the gang goes hunting for a giant pirate’s treasure, he (probably less than 5’6") supplied the voice, (the humming and the “A-HAAAA”) of the giant (Ralph ‘Tex’ Madsen, who was billed at 7’6", but that’s possibly an exaggeration).
I’m 49 and remember cartoons like that “Jazz Singer” parody very well. When I was a kid growing up in New York, there were loads of kiddie shows devoted to old cartoons and old comedy shorts.
On WPIX, you had “Captain” Jack McCarthy with old Popeye cartoons, “Officer” Joe Bolton with old Little Rascals and Three Stooges shorts, and other kiddie shows in which guys like Sandy Becker and Chuck McCann would intersperse their own sketches with old cartoons.
But New Yorkers just a LITTLE younger than myself probably wouldn’t remember a lot of the shows I’m talking about. PART (though certainly not all) of the problem is that a lot of the old cartoons and comedy shorts were highly racist. Many of the old Popeye cartoons, for instance, were made during World War 2 , and had all kinds of anti-Japanese stereotypes that just wouldn’t fly today. Not to mention Little Rascals episodes like “The Kid From Borneo” (which featured, literally, a black man with a bone in his nose, chasing kids with a spear and yelling “Yum Yum, eat em up, eat em up!)” Or Bugs Bunny, facing a firing squad of Mounties, who are all magically transformed into grinning, singing, banjo-playing darkies on a Southern plantation.
There was more ugly stuff in some of my favorite old cartoons than I like to remember. By the early Seventies, a lot of them had been shelved for good.
When I was young, there was a show on Sunday mornings on PBS called Matinee at the Bijou. They showed movies from Ye Olden Days, but usually started off with some classic B&W cartoons and serial shorts, which were why I tuned in. That was where I first became acquainted with Betty Boop and “Smile, Darn Ya, Smile!”
Played by a former boxer who two decades earlier had given Jack Dempsey the worst pounding of his career. (For some reason, I sometimes have to hit ‘refresh’ to pull up that page.)
You know, you can get a lot of those Golden Age cartoons on DVD now. Here is the Looney Tunes collection with “I Love to Singa,” for example. They’ve been restored, so they’ll look a lot better than on your tape.
I remember when it was two hours, then 90 minutes (the “Laugh-and-a-Half Hour-and-a-Half” show).
I never heard it at all until I bought the DVD of Happy Feet for my daughter. It’s an extra.
This is what I remember from the 1980’s until the very early 1990’s. I also remember watching a lot of Tom & Jerry on TBS, which also ran a lot of older cartoons…that’s probably where I saw the Owl Jolson one.
and a sky of blue-a and tea for a two-a… arrrrgh! Earworm!
Nahhhh it was more likely that pink squirrel from Magic Garden (what was his name? Sherlock?)
I remember watching a lot of the old cartoons on one of the local TV stations. WNEP, out of Scranton had an early morning show in the 70s/early 80s called “The Land of Hatchy Milatchy” that showed a lot of the old Merrie Melodies/Looney Toons along with Barney Bear, Popeye, Droopy, etc. so we kids could get our fill of dynamite, falling anvils, and casual violence before school
Also when Cartoon Network first came on, they would play older cartoons several hours a day. They had a show on called “Late Night Black & White” that I wish to hell was still on, where they played stuff like Bosco, Felix the Cat, and early, naughty Betty Boop.
Got it in one! Did you know that Carol Demas, the thinner host of the Magic Garden, was the original Sandy in Grease on Broadway?
Weren’t Carole and Paula married? That’s what I thought when I was little. Funny because I didn’t thing Doug and Emmy Jo were married. I thought he was too ugly to be married to anyone but Henrietta.
Give me a break, I was 7!
Doug, Emmy Jo and Henrietta are from The New Zoo Review. Coming right at you.
With Freddy! Charlie! Henrieeeeeeetta!
We have fun learning what we don’t know!
Jayjay: Yep, that’s why I can’t remember anything important now! Didn’t know that about Carole Demas but you’ve succeeded in replacing my earworm with “Greased Lightning.”
Biggirl: I was worse, I thought Sherlock and Carole were married because they argued all the time :eek: Cause when you’re 5 and spend the afternoons watched by your grandparents who constantly fight like two cats in a sack…
Yes, Doug and Emmy Jo got married, and have lived in Las Vegas ever since. They’re still in the TV business, but not in front of the cameras. They own a TV production company that does a lot of commercials.
The supply of cartoons, short subjects, comedies and such on local New York TV in the 50s and 60s must have been more than the rest of the country put together. There are obscure categories of film and pop music whose fanship today is almost entirely limited to middle-aged New Yorkers.