"Tomfoolery"--Edward Lear cartoons

Remember this?

No… is it in “The Complete Nonsense of Edward Lear”?

“I hope life isn’t a big joke, because I don’t get it,” Jack Handy

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No, this was a cartoon serious (a Sid and Marty Kroffts production) which animated some of Lear’s poems.

Yeah, I kind of remember it. Came out in the early 70’s, around the same time as “Make a Wish” with Tom Chapin.

Edward Lear’s “Book of Nonsense” was one of my favorite books in grade school.

Actually it was a cartoon series.

I’m not familiar with any of Lear’s better know works that were “serious.” :slight_smile:

I remember it WELL. It was great! Perfect fodder for little hippies-in-training. It included Lewis Carroll as well as Lear.

Remember the version of the “White Knight’s Song” ? Instead of a white knight, the narrator was a Victorian dandy riding a penny-farthing bicycle. And the “aged, aged man a-sitting on a gate” looked like Mister Natural!


Whoa…stocking stuffer time. Are TOMFOOLERY videos available?

Nope–and don’t think I haven’t looked for them.

You can find “Land of the Lost,” “Lidsville,” and some other Sid&Marty gems–but something based on some real literature? Oh, no!

Then I must assume that my search for a Beanie Baby of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo is doomed to failure?

– Uke, the Man Who Knows How to Spell Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo

Indeed, as well as the Enthusiastic Elephant and the Fizzgiggious Fish.

Nuts. I remember the Enthusiastic Elephant well (didn’t he have a W.C. Fields voice?) but I’m drawing a complete blank on the Fizzgiggious Fish.

Who were the other “regulars” ?

The writers also included jokes from other sources, including HELLZAPOPPIN’. I remember the “Plant for Mister Pappadoupoulous!” routine, where the porter keeps walking through the scene with a houseplant, which grows larger and larger.


[peering cautiously left and right]

Don’t look now, Mjollnir, but I think we’re all alone here.

Yes, EE did indeed speak like WC Fields.

The Fizzgiggious Fish (they might have called him “Fastidious” on the cartoon, but that’s the way it’s spelled in Lear’s poetry) walked around on stilts, which supported his fish bowl. Lear’s drawing, IIRC, didn’t include the bowl, but it made the fish more “presentable.”

The Yongy Bongy Bo was not only a regular, but was the subject of an animated “feature” on the cartoon that animated his poem (I could have some ideas about the “bong trees.”)

Other “featured poems” that they animated were “Why the Pobble has no toes,” “The Jumblies,” and “Spikky Sparrow.”

I also remember the one about “There once was a man in the kingdom of Tess.”

I’ve been on a jihad for a number of years to get them. So far, it’s all been a dead end.

Now, if I knew how the contact the Kroffts, hmmm. . . .

It was on the air for an entire season, wasn’t it? There must have been more than a dozen installments, so they covered a HELL of a lot of poetry.

I don’t remember seeing the Pobble, that paradigm of castration anxiety, but I do recall “The Quangle-Wangle’s Hat.”

While I don’t think they ever did THE HUNTING OF THE SNARK, they DID serialize that long prose piece of Lear’s, “The Four Children Who Sailed Around the World.” Right? They had a boat with a HUGE tea-kettle in it, and they fished for Soles, which came out of the sea complete with anchovy sauce? And Lionel took the feathers out of the Parrots’ tails, and Violet put them in her headdress, which created a Pleasing Effect?


OK, I was wrong about something: It wasn’t the Kroffts clan–it was Rankin/Bass.

According to my source (“The Encyclopedia of Television Series, Pilots, and Specials 1936-1973,” there were 17 episodes, and it ran from the fall of 1970 thru early 1971.

I don’t remember the White Knight, but they did indeed do “The Four Children Who Sailed Around the World.”

Some others: Mr and Mrs Discobbolos, The New Vestments (already mentioned, "There once was a man in the kingdom of Tess. . . .), and “The Dong with the Luminous Nose.”

They also animated some of Lear’s “alphabets.” The one that I can specifically remember was the Yonghy Bonghy Bo saying “‘X’ is for Xerxes.”

He spoke sort of like Sylvester the cat, sort of a lisping, almost spitting voice.

Also, taking a cue from Lear, they created “recipes.” They might have even used some of his recipes, but I don’t remember them well enough.

I can still hear the Yonghy Bonghy Bo instructing what “ingrediments” to add, and typically one of the instructions would be something like “Bake at 400 degrees for 100 minutes, or 100 degrees for 400 minutes. . . .”

BTW, the aforementioned book is to this day the only evidence (other than my own memory) that this cartoon ever existed.

Don’t say that…there’s MY memory of it, too.


Seventeen episodes, you say? Just like THE PRISONER.

You don’t think…nahhhhhhh.