REVIEW POTPOURRI: Heckle and Jeckle

Peter Catesby Peter Cates

Heckle and Jeckle

4 cartoons, posted on YouTube.
From 1946-1952.

Paul Terry

Among the funniest animated characters, right up there with Foghorn, Wiley and Bugs, were two blisteringly arrogant magpieish partners in crime, Heckle and Jeckle. These semi-birds/buzzards of too many feathers were among the creations of animator Paul Terry (1887-1971); he launched Terrytoons, which included Mighty Mouse and Farmer Alfalfa, with his lazy dawg, and a host of other such beings. I remember some of these from my 1950s childhood, when they and other such suitable, syndicated programs were scheduled during the Monday through Friday children’s hour between 5 and 6:30 p.m. and on Saturday mornings.

The four very hilarious examples of their unique scorched-earth humor were the following:

The Uninvited Pests – 1946. Farmer Alfalfa and his lazy, good-for-nothing, very loyal and endearing dawg are trying to have a family picnic but the two pestulants are fighting hard battles to keep them derailed.

King Tut’s Tomb -1950. Arguably the funniest visit to Tut’s underground museum of Egyptian mummified cadavers. The choreography of the magpies and mummies are worth the time spent .

Bulldozing the Bull -1951. H and J see huge profit potential for their homemade hot tamales inside the food court of a bullfight astrodome; unfortunately, they don’t have enough pocket change for admission from the beer-bellied ticket seller. And his personality might seem nice upon initial acquaintance but, once they connive at getting in for free, his true colors are quickly seen in all their deadly glory.

Ned Sparks

He even uses the bull as an agent of his wrath. But the giftedly manipulative birdbrains convince the bull to deploy his wrath towards the ticket seller.

Off to the Opera -1952. Heckle and Jeckle deliver a comic rendition of Rossini’s Barber of Seville that holds its own with the one of Bugs Bunny and his arch nemesis, Yosemite Sam.

Actor Ned Sparks (1883-1957) did captivating voices for both conbirds from the mid-’40s to early ‘50s.




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