We have a twofer for you today. Two animators, one whom you probably know about, and one whom you may not know so much about. Emery Hawkins and Herman Cohen. Both of these men had long, busy careers.
Herman Cohen spent significant time at the Max Fleischer studio in New York before moving west to the Leon Schlesinger studio. He worked at Walter Lantz, and at MGM during the CinemaScope era. He was one of the regulars at Playhouse Pictures. He also did work for Jay Ward and UPA (on The Famous Adventures of Mister Magoo.) While Cohen did great animation of the more traditional type, he had a graphic sensibility that really became apparent when he was animating more stylized characters.
Emery Hawkins moved around a lot but worked steadily. He had worked at Mintz, Disney, MGM, Walter Lantz, and Warner Bros. Most of his commercial work was for Playhouse and Storyboard Inc. Hawkins had an unusual and elastic style of animating, and he too was able to do creative work on the more stylized type of characters.
Here then are a few of their commercials…
Stop at the Sign of 76 (aka Faces)
Produced in 1956 by Playhouse Pictures for the Young & Rubicam agency. Herman Cohen animates the first part, and Emery Hawkins animates the second part. Directed by Bill Melendez and designed by Chris Jenkyns. The lively score is by Jack Fascinato with lyrics by Rubye Mae Griffith.
Falstaff – Punt
Comic actor Eddie Mayehoff is “The Old Pro”. From 1959. Animation is by Emery Hawkins. He gets amazing variety into the walks and runs in this commercial.
Old Pro Dance
Herman Cohen animates this spot featuring “Mrs. Old Pro”. From 1957.
Here is a rare photo of actor Eddie Mayehoff with Playhouse Pictures publicity director George Woolery who, funny enough, is not related to producer Ade Woolery.
Maypo – Uncle Ralph
Produced by Storyboard Inc. and directed by John Hubley. Animation is by Emery Hawkins, who animated a few other Maypo spots including the very first one.
Made for the Tennessee Ernie Ford show in 1958. Herman Cohen animates. Herschel Bernardi does the voices.
From 1959. The first of several spots for Kaiser foil starring Clark Smathers, aluminum foil salesman. Directed by Bill Melendez. Designed by Chris Jenkyns. Animated by Herman Cohen. Written by Stan Freberg who also voices Smathers. In his 1988 autobiography, Freberg wrote about the fact that Kaiser foil had very poor distribution:
“It turned out that the main airtime for these spots would be once a week in the ABC television show Maverick, starring James Garner. I remember wondering why a company would buy time on an expensive network show if its foil wasn’t in most stores. Years later I found out that Henry Kaiser played golf with his friend David Reynolds, CEO of Reynolds Wrap, who sponsored some big network show, and it was embarrassing to Kaiser that he didn’t have a network show too. So he ordered the agency to buy some nice highly rated show. They bought Maverick. That way, even if nobody bought his foil, he could at least say, ‘Ahem! I have a TV show too, you know!’ when he played gold with David Reynolds.”