The election here in the States is now less than a week away, and this season has had me thinking about the many cartoon characters that have ‘run for President’- and some of the publicity and giveaway items related to their ‘Campaigns’. This is as political as I think we ever need to get here at Cartoon Research, but you never know if we’ll get trolled for this post!
To start: while not officially *completely’ a cartoon character, perhaps my favorite poster of any of them is the one for Bozo. This poster begs the voter to ‘Put a real Bozo in the Whitehouse’- and seems more relevant than ever this particular year. These are from 1972:
Of course, if we’re talking about children’s show hosts running for president, Howdy Doody at least needs a mention for his run in the mid-50s:
I really like the various buttons produced with Hanna Barbara characters in the early 60s….
And a Magilla Gorilla supporting button:
Here’s a later Fred Flinstone one from the late 70s:
I wasn’t aware that Terrytoon Character Dingbat actually ran, but here’s his button!
(Actually… that button was produced in the early 70s, spoofing Edith Bunker, from All in the Family, for President)
As regular readers of Greg Ehrbars column here already know, Disney’s Winnie the Pooh actually had his own record for the Campaign in the 1976, sold exclusively at Sears:
Here is the story on the record… lots of fun to hear Sterling Holloway as Pooh:
….and a very nice recording of the song:
Snoopy of course was probably the most popular of the characters int he 60s and 70s to throw his hat into the political arena. over and over.
..and Snoopy even had his own song too, by the royal Guardsmen, who had a minor hit with their ‘Snoopy and the Red Baron‘ Christmas song int eh late 60s,stingingly similar to this tune:
Walt Kelly’s Pogo ran for office over and over as well. Pogo first ‘ran’ in 1956, with the comics about the election gathered in the compilation book I Go Pogo (spoofing the ‘I Like Ike’ campaign) This book was later retitled ‘Pogo for President’.
This storyline was later used as the basis for the stop-motion animated feature I Go Pogo (1980). Wouldn’t it be great to see that film on Blu-ray?
Here’s a clip from the TV special, The Fabulous Funnies (1979)
..and a neat little clip from Evening Magazine that includes a moment on the making of ‘I go Pogo”.
The Chipminks (and Ross Bagdasarian) of course got into the ring…how could they not? Here’s ‘Alivin for President’ from 1960. I find this song particularly charming as the best of the Chipmonks recording are, and even really innocent. Sadly, the years to follow were anything but:
I really don’t know when Felix the Cat ran, but of course a button exists, likley from the 80s:
Of course, earlier classic cartoon characters have run as well. Here are some favorites:
Betty Boop for President (1932), Olive Oyl for President (1948) and lastly, Popeye For President (1956).
I’ve always liked Olive Oyl for President- a lot. It features lots of clever gags and a fun song plus a quick Little Audrey guest appearance! Olive is a Democrat in this cartoon (with all the Donkeys accepting everything) with an all star special cabinet of famous men “who’s names I need not mention”. This is easily one of my favorite late 40s Famous Studio’s cartoons.
Of course, later, Daffy Duck ran for president in book and cartoon form, as written by Chuck Jones. The book version was sold at post offices in the States:
Have a good week everyone, and make sure to go vote!!