Monday, December 18, 2006

Dudley Do-right Dad Dies

With fond memories and a bit of sadness, we note the death at 81 of Chris Hayward. He worked with Jay Ward almost from the beginning, with Crusader Rabbit. He created our personal role model, Dudley Do-right.

Variety has the the show biz obit here. The one in the LA Times has more detail.

Image note: The old capture from Crusader Rabbit is floating around the Net. It may still be copyrighted. We put it here only for fair-use commentary.

As a tot, I had the good fortune to be near enough to a station that carried Crusader Rabbit. That was the beginning of cartoons as we know them. The first ones were black and white, crude, and very funny. Ward, Hayward, Bill Scott and a few other went on to develop Bullwinkle J. Moose and much of the snapper patter that we hear even today.

Hayward also co-developed the droll TV comedy The Munsters. He wrote for numerous TV shows, like 77 Sunset Strip and Barney Miller, and won several Emmy awards for it.

Groan-producing puns, integration of political jokes into cartoons, and smudging the line between slapstick and sophisticated humor were the specialty of Hayward in particular and Jay Ward Products in general. Hayward gave me a lot of yucks. Bless him.

1 comment:

Peter Porcupine said...

I missed this! And I've been calling Mitt 'Dudley Do-right' for years!

We also lost Barbera, who created the Flintstones while living down the street from me in Worcester.

There are no laughs in Mudville...