Ever since the advent of sound film, celebrity vocal impersonations have been a staple of animation. Some of cartoondom’s brightest stars (Gandy Goose and Sourpuss anyone?) have been patterned after familiar movie and radio stars. Even animated television commercials often make use of celebrity sound-alikes. Several spots we have already featured in this column have used this technique, but here are a few we haven’t shown yet…
If Jimmy Durante wasn’t the most imitated voice in cartoons, he must surely be near the top of the list. Directed by Paul Fennell. Circa 1950.
Here we have Len Maxwell impersonating Frank Nelson. Directed by Len Glasser.
Pink Seal Salmon
Alfred Hitchcock enjoys golf and canned fish, not necessarily in that order. Okay, it isn’t really Alfred. From Playhouse Pictures, 1963.
Up The Wall
Another Hubley Studio film made for The Electric Company. That singer seems familiar somehow…
W. C. Fritos
One of the characters who were used as a spokesman for Frito’s corn chips (after the removal of The Frito Bandito) was W. C. Fritos. He looked and sounded like ol’ Bill, and sometimes started to spots by saying “Greetings my little chip-a-dees!” Produced by New York’s Buzzco, animated by Vinnie Cafarelli and Vinnie Bell.
(The image quality of this video leaves something to be desired, but by golly it was the only copy available.)
Pat Harrington does the Groucho Marx voice in these famous pickle commercials. The doctor sounds like Roger Bowen. This is probably from Jack Zander’s studio.
Ford Show Opening
Snoopy does another kind of impersonation in this Ford Show opening from 1960. Produced by Playhouse Pictures.