The Spies Report
May 24, 2021 posted by Kamden Spies

Animators On “Dick Cavett” and “To Tell The Truth”

In this post, I’m going to share two great TV appearances with directors Bob Clampett and Chuck Jones.

This first video is Chuck Jones appearing on The Dick Cavett Show in 1979. The episode aired on October 25th, 1979. The appearance was to plug The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie. In the interview Cavett and Jones discuss Chaplin and how he was influenced by silent comedians and about his own career. Also, of course, Chuck does some sketches.

As an added bonus, here is Charles Schulz on The Dick Cavett Show:

Because celebrities are well known by everyone worldwide, To Tell the Truth couldn’t use them as contestants. However, people in animation were used frequently on the show because audiences could enjoy seeing people who wouldn’t be regular guests on most programs. Here in this appearance in 1975, Bob Clampett is the guest. Here, Clampett is promoting Bugs Bunny: Superstar. Clampett does a great job to help fool the panelists by lending his trademark coat for one of the false contestants to wear. To Tell the Truth has been mentioned a few times here and other sites for other episodes you may have already seen with Jack Mercer, Chuck Jones, and Bill Hanna. I’ve added them below as well, because I think its a good idea to have them all in one convenient place..

Here is Bob Clampett’s appearance (November 1975)

Clarence Nash (from 1963 – Here he appears as an imposter! He’s pretending to weeder geese breeder Fred Cervinka)

Jack Mercer (1973)

Bill Hanna (1975)

Chuck Jones (October 1980)

Feel free to post links to other animators appearances on game or talk shows in the comments below.


  • Now I remember why I never watched Dick Cavett: I couldn’t stand his theme music. It’s a jazzed-up arrangement of a passage in the coda of Bernstein’s “Candide” Overture, which is a great overture and a great show, but the Cavett arrangement always annoyed the hell out of me. Still does. I wonder if Leonard Bernstein was ever a guest on that show. He must have been. I guess he didn’t mind as long as he got a royalty.

    Dick DeBartolo, who wore the Bugs Bunny costume in the “To Tell the Truth” segment with Bob Clampett, was a longtime writer for MAD magazine. No idea whether he wore the Yogi Bear costume as well.

    Nipsey Russell seems to be quite the Krazy Kat fan!

    • You never watched the show because the theme music annoyed you?
      You missed a lot of great interviews and some great comedy.
      It sure beats the garbage that passes for television today.

      • A friend of mine used to make that point too, but back then the Skip and Mute buttons that we take for granted today didn’t yet exist. I also missed out on “Entertainment Tonight” and “Family Ties”, for the same reason. And I couldn’t tell you how many products I never bought because I hated the commercial jingle. That’s normal, isn’t it?

        • Trust me you didn’t miss anything not watching Entertainment Tonight or Family Ties.
          Surely you had a Slinky!😁

          • Yep, and I can still sing the song!

  • There’s an appearance of Chester Gould on”What’s My Line?” and it’s clear panelists Orson Bean and Tom Poston were huge “Dick Tracy” fans!

  • There’s Walt Disney and Clarence Nash’s appearances on What’s my Line?

    And just for fun, here’s Mel Blanc with his son Noel on That’s my Line in 1980.

  • Bob Clampett guested on THE JOYCE DAVIDSON. It is a half hour well spent. You cam also find the videos I made of him, Friz Freleng, Shamus Culhane and Grim Natwick on the web.

    • That was a good interview especially when Bob Clampett puppeteered Cecil in a question and answer with Davidson. Cecil really had to navigate the situation carefully, especially after Davidson asked “What makes you mad, Cecil?”, to which Cecil replied “When you Tweety a girl!”. That opened up a can of worms, but Cecil/Bob prevailed! It was watching that interview just now on a tape I transferred to digital that prompted me to see if a better copy existed on the internet. Apparently not!

  • Does anyone recall Bob Kane (Batman co-creator), appearing on any game or talk shows?

    • He guested on that obscure gameshow, NOTHING BUT BULLSHIT.

  • The original To Tell the Truth, of course, was hosted by Bud Collyer, the voice of Superman for radio, Fleischer, and Filmation.

  • Of course, we can’t leave out Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston were guests on Carson’s Tonight Show one time, and demonstrated how to draw a flour sack with various personalities:

  • For about a year in the early nineties, Channel 64 in Cincinnati aired a weekend movie show called “The Basement Tapes”, hosted by local radio personality Eddie Fingers. I recall that the movies were all shlocky horror fare — no animation. But one week Eddie had a guest who had been an animator at the Max Fleischer studio, working on the Betty Boop, Popeye and Superman series. I wish I could remember his name, but I can’t, and unfortunately the Internet provides few details about this short-lived local program.

    The animator talked about his work for Fleischer, stressing that he only made ten dollars a week, lived in a shabby boarding house, and could only afford a piece of toast with cream cheese for lunch each day. Towards the end of the interview, Eddie asked him: “Why do cartoons nowadays suck?” He replied: “Because the animators decided they wanted enough money to live on.”

  • Nipsey Russell is the only “celebrity” I even recognized on that 1980 To Tell the Truth episode!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *