Saturday, August 25, 2007

Saturday Morning Cartoons!

The World of Commander McBragg (debuted in 1963)

So, here's something I didn't know. The World of Commander McBragg was a staple of The Underdog Show, which began in 1964. It was also a staple of Tennessee Tuxedo and his Tales, which ran for one year in 1963. Poor Tennessee was went from the main attraction to fellow rotating segment when Underdog became the anchor.

The commander was a classic character. An older British fellow who liked to corner unwilling listeners at the upper crust men's club he frequented. Often we would find him and another gentleman who "really needs to be going" sitting in overstuffed chairs in a library near a globe. The commander would regale the gentleman with his fantastic, and highly improbable, tales of adventure from all around the world.

Here's a weird and loose pre-Kevin Bacon six degrees thing. The cartoon character Foghorn Leghorn, voiced by Mel Blanc, was based on a comic character called Senator Claghorn that was performed by Kenny Delmar. The older British man with the stiff upper lip was often personified in Hollywood movies by a character actor named C. Aubrey Smith. Smith is believed to be the inspiration for the commander. Kenny Delmar was the voice of Commander McBragg.

I have fond memories of McBragg. In looking up the cartoons for this, I was surprised to find each episode was only a minute and a half! They are packed to the gills with adventure. What I also find hysterical now, that I didn't notice then, is that the commander always looks the same age, even in flashbacks where he invents the aeroplane or builds the first pyramid.

Jim Zulevic and Brian Stack from The Second City were also fans of Commander McBragg and created a piece called The Men's Club where they traded tales of adventure that were acted out by the rest of the ensemble. I got to perform it with Peter Gwynn while I was in The Second City Touring Company. Some of the most fun I had on stage with that company.

Here's a classic tale from the commander that rivals Phineas Fogg's trip around the world. Enjoy!

McBragg also made a cameo on The Simpsons not too long ago. Here are the scenes in which he appeared.


Yesterday, I asked...

"According to President Bush, the following terms 'boat people,' 're-education camps' and 'killing fields' were created by what?"

100% of you got the right answer on this... "The U.S.'s withdrawal from Vietnam"

And it's a good thing to. If anyone had gone for any of the fake answers I would have turned this website around and gone home. I mainly threw it in there because I am so upset about this and haven't been able to approach writing a commentary on it. After years of denying any correlation between Vietnam and Iraq, Bush finally makes a connection. The wrong connection, an inaccurate but a connection. The reason the U. S.'s withdrawal from Vietnam was such a clusterf@ck is because it was ill-planned and OVERDUE! Are we really going to have to sit through another year of this butthead and his cronies? Why did impeachment become so unfashionable when it is so desperately needed. Hey, I'd settle for a good tar and feathering for Misters Bush and Cheney. Throw Rove, Rumsfield and Gonzales in there, too.