Calvin and The Colonel was one of ABC’s animated prime time follow-ups to the phenomenal success of The Flintstones. Unfortunately, the show not only bombed – but it has essentially disappeared off the face of the Earth. The program aired on ABC, beginning October 3, 1961. As Stu Shostack informs us (in the comments below), all 26 episodes of Calvin and the Colonel aired in prime time. It started out on Tuesday nights at 8:30pm, but was moved to 7:30pm on Saturday nights from January of 1962 until it went off after summer reruns in September – and from there, into animation obscurity.
There are several nice posts about Calvin and The Colonel (I particularly recommend Michael Sporn’s), but I thought I’d post a few things I had in my files I haven’t seen on the internet… Like this publicity photo (below) of Writer-Producers Joe Connelly (right) and Bob Mosher.
Connelly and Mosher were veterans of the radio show Amos ‘n Andy, were were hoping to replicate that success with this animated version. Connelly and Mosher were the successful producer-creators of Leave It To Beaver – and a few years later would produce The Munsters.
The lead characters were voices by Freeman Gosden (as The Colonel) and Charles Correll (as Calvin), Amos and Andy themselves. This was not their first time voicing animation – Van Beuren Studios made two Amos n’ Andy cartoons in 1934.
The show was made at Creston Studios and produced by Bob Ganon, San Nicholson and Gerald Ray. It had an incredible roster of talent behind the scenes:
Art Director: Norm Gottfredson
Visual Adaption: Lee Mishkin, Ed Levitt, David Hill
Layout: Ellie Bogardus, Bob Gore, Bill Kohn, Al Hubbard
Animation Directors: Chuck McKimson, John Walker
Supervising Animators: Tom McDonald, Fred Madison, John Sparey, Bob Bemiller, Ben Washam, Volus Jones, Jim Davis, Harvey Toombs, C.L. Hartman
Animators: Buf Partch, Arch Lean, Bob Maxfield, Barbara Williams, Earl Combs, Casey Onaitus, Phil Roman, Barney Posner, Morey Golub, Tom McDonald Jr., Frank Andrina
Production Coordinator: Dave Hoffman
The show was produced in color, but broadcast in black & white. Here is a surviving color cel:
Merchandising was short-lived… a two issue comic book, and this board game from Milton Bradley:
Here are several publicity stills, the comic book covers and a three page bio of Godsen and Correll from the press kit (click thumbnails below to enlarge) – below that is a typical entry in the series. This is literally “illustrated radio”. Additional voices include Paul Frees and Frank Nelson. :