The Bullwinkle Show

September 24th Celebrates The Bullwinkle Show

“Who remember, “The Bullwinkle Show” premiered in prime time on NBC-TV on September 24th 1961, the show was originally on ABC in the afternoon as “Rocky and His Friends.”

The story line, involved Rocky and Bullwinkle in conflict with spies Boris and Natasha. Other segments included “Fractured Fairy Tales”, “Peabody’s Improbable History” (smart dog Peabody and his boy Sherman get in the way-back machine), the “Adventures of Dudley Doright” (Canadian Mountie vs. evil Snidley Whip Lash) and “Aesop and Son” (odd telling of the famous fables).

During a brief, experimental run in prime time, “The Bullwinkle Show” incurred the wrath of no less a Hollywood heavyweight than Walt Disney. Each prime time episode was “introduced” by Bullwinkle himself (as a hand puppet, voiced by Bill Scott), and social commentary was often sprinkled in with the gags.

Probably one of the most famous cartoon shows in history, it stars a dim-witted six foot tall moose and his common-sense flying squirrel friend Rocky. These two get into all sorts of trouble!

It started with Jay Ward. Born in 1920, he was destine to become one of the most comical and satirical writers of animation to date. Teamed with funny man, Bill Scott, the duo crafted the earliest version of an animated television series.

Today’s YouTube presentation brought to you by user name, (Retro Heroes) is theme song from The Bullwinkle Show, which premiered on NBC TV on September 24th 1961.

Where did the name Bullwinkle come from?

Jay Ward and Alex Anderson knew a man with the last name of Bullwinkel. A Berkeley landlord and owner of an Oakland Chevrolet dealership, the man had a big nose and a funny personality. After Ward and Anderson talked for a while, they thought ‘Bullwinkle’ would be the perfect name for their dimwitted moose.

The first story of the season was an epic multi-part adventure about the moose and squirrel’s search for the elusive Kirwood Derby.

In November 1961, Durward Kirby threatened to file suit. Jay Ward reportedly responded to the threat, in his usual style, by offering to let Kirby use any name of his choosing for any character from his show.

The Bullwinkle show premiered on the same night that Walt Disney’s television show moved to NBC and became “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color”.

Jay Ward was a real estate agent with an MBA from Harvard when he began work on the show.

Rocky and Bullwinkle live in the town of Frostbite Falls, Minnesota.

Bullwinkle is originally from the state is Moosylvania, a small island in the Lake of the Woods, and is actually its governor. The ownership of the state is the subject of dispute between the United States and Canada, with each country claiming it belongs to the other.

As a publicity stunt, Ward and Bill Scott, the show’s head writer and voice of Bullwinkle, bought a small island on a Minnesota lake, named it Moosylvania and started a national tour and petition drive to campaign for Moosylvania’s statehood.

After visiting 50 cities and collecting signatures, they went to Washington to present President Kennedy with their petition. At the White House gate they declared, “We’re here to see President Kennedy. We want statehood for Moosylvania.”

They were escorted from the property at gunpoint and didn’t learn until days later that they had shown up during the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis. On the show, Rocky and Bullwinkle had much better luck getting their petition delivered.

As we remember today’s day to remember how The Bullwinkle show made its debut on September 24th 1961, it brings back to a nostalgic time of our childhood.

Written & Designed by JD Mitchell
jdmitchelldesigns@gmail.com

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