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Jay Ward

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The Ninja Turtles watch an Aesop and Son cartoon.

Jay Ward (1920-1989), born J (no period, so he could choose a full name later) Troplong Ward, was a television producer best known for his many animated series, ranging from Crusader Rabbit (1949), which became the first original cartoon series created specifically for television, and Rocky and His Friends and its various incarnations (1959-1964) and supporting segments to George of the Jungle (1967-1968).

In contrast to the often assembly-line approach used by Hanna-Barbera and others, Ward's shows were known for their satirical humor, carefully crafted scripts (penned by Looney Tunes veteran and Bullwinkle voice Bill Scott and writers who would go on to develop such series as Get Smart and The Mary Tyler Moore Show), bad puns, and innumerable references to literature, pop culture, and current events. The humor extended to the credits, which almost invariably credited the mythical Ponsonby Britt OBE as executive producer. Ward's work has been cited as an influence on such later series as The Simpsons.

Other Ward productions included Hoppity Hooper, the unaired puppet pilot Watts Gnu, Fractured Flickers (a live-action showcase for vintage mostly silent film footage re-dubbed with comic voices), and many commercials for Cap'n Crunch and other Quaker Oats products.

In 1997, George of the Jungle was adapted into a live-action film, with Jim Henson's Creature Shop providing semi-realistic versions of such Ward characters as An Ape Named Ape and the Tookie Tookie Bird.

References

Babygonzo-flyingsquirrel
Baby Gonzo pretending to be a famous flying squirrel

Trivia

Connections

Several actors with Muppet/Henson connections appeared in projects based on Jay Ward characters.

  • Jason Alexander played Boris Badenov in The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle (2000)
  • Mel Brooks voiced Albert EInstein in Mr. Peabody and Sherman (2014)
  • Ty Burrell voiced Mr. Peabody in Mr. Peabody and Sherman (2014)
  • John Candy played Kalishak in Boris and Natasha (1992)
  • Stephen Colbert voiced Paul Peterson in Mr. Peabody and Sherman (2014)
  • Billy Crystal played a mattress salesman (uncredited) in The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle (2000)
  • Robert De Niro produced and played Fearless Leader in The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle (2000)
  • Brendan Fraser played Dudley Do-Right in Dudley Do-Right (1999)
  • Kathie Lee Gifford made a cameo as herself in Dudley Do-Right (1999)
  • Whoopi Goldberg played Judge Cameo (uncredited) in The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle (2000)
  • John Goodman played an Oklahoma cop in The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle (2000)
  • C. Ernst Harth played Shane in Dudley Do-Right (1999)
  • David Alan Grier played Measures in The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle (2000)
  • Allison Janney voiced Mrs. Grunion in Mr. Peabody and Sherman (2014)
  • Sally Kellerman played Natasha Fatale in Boris and Natasha (1992)
  • Leslie Mann voiced Patty Peterson in Mr Peabody and Sherman (2014)
  • Andrea Martin played Toots in Boris and Natasha (1992)
  • Sarah Jessica Parker played Nell Fenwick in Dudley Do-Right (1999)
  • Regis Philbin made a cameo as himself in Dudley Do-Right (1999)
  • Jon Polito played Schoentell in The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle (2000)
  • Carl Reiner played P. G. Biggershot in The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle (2000)
  • Rene Russo played Natasha Fatale in The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle (2000)
  • Dave Thomas played Boris Badenov in Boris and Natasha (1992)
  • John Travolta played himself in Boris and Natasha (1992)
  • Stanley Tucci voiced Leonardo Da Vinci in Mr. Peabody and Sherman (2014)
  • Patrick Warburton voiced Agamemnon in Mr. Peabody and Sherman (2014)
  • Paxton Whitehead played Anton Paulovitch and Kregor Paulovitch in Boris and Natasha (1992)
  • Ellis E. Williams played a security guard in The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle (2000)
  • Jonathan Winters played a Whoppa Chopper pilot, an Ohio cop, and Old Jeb in The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle (2000)
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