A moment of silence for one of the greats … Chris Hayward

While Joseph Barbera’s death is getting all the press, the real loss in the world of animation is Hayward who gave us Dudley Do-Right and much of the wonderful world of Rocky & Bullwinkle. R&B was brilliant, clever and worked just as well for adults as for kids. It channeled the spirit of Mad Magazine and remains one of the best examples of satire ever broadcast. Furthermore it has held up very well. Whatsamatta U. and Fractured Fairy tales are still funny and relevant. Let us remember for a moment Snidely Whiplash, Dudley’s love interest Nell and Nell’s strange fascination with Dudley’s horse who was named Horse.

Although Mr. Barbera gave us Tom & Jerry, I think that accomplishment is severely overshadowed by the incredibly horrible worked churned out by his Hanna-Barbera Studios. I can’t think of a single cartoon HB did that was even vaguely funny (and all those of you who want to argue for the Flintstones clearly haven’t seen it in a while). Hanna-Barbera cartoons were remarkable for their consistency: They were consistently ugly and stupid. I hated them when I was a kid and nothing I’ve seen since has given me a reason to change that opinion.


7 thoughts on “A moment of silence for one of the greats … Chris Hayward

  1. You’re so right, and I didn’t even know Hayward had died until I did a search just now. HB cartoons were simplistic hack work. Speaking of Dudley and Nell, June Foray did the voices of Rocky the Flying Squirrel, Natasha Fatale, and Dudley’s girlfriend, Nell. According to IMDB, none other than Chuck Jones said “June Foray is not the female Mel Blanc. Mel Blanc was the male June Foray” (this reminds me to get that ‘Chuck Jones: Conversations’ book). Hayward also wrote some episodes of ‘Get Smart’ and helped develop ‘The Munsters,’ which I didn’t know until today.

    I noticed how often Snidely Whiplash is used as periphrasis for a mustache-twirling villain type – most often in reference to the GOP. “Curses, foiled again!”

  2. If you haven’t read Chuck Amuck, Jones’ autobiography you must. It is one of the funniest things ever. Worth it just for the chapter about his cat who got him started on all this.

  3. …whew,I am fifty six years old-and in my bathroom is a wash cloth from my kid brothers days-Dudly Doright…of course,preserved friends-his voice was too much!

  4. “Occasionally Johnson, with his grapefruit helmet stuck firmly on his head, would wander drunkenly down the beach picking up tar, bits of dead sea gulls, and, on one notable occasion, bumping blindly into a picnic of YWCA girls.”

    (“Only the peculiar will get you anywhere.”)

  5. While Joseph Barbara was gifted Hayward was genius. There is a difference- just compare the quality of their work. Growing up in the neighborhood The Hayward family were all comedy geniuses.If you sat next to Tony in Class forget- about- it, your grade was lowered-he was simply too funny I’ve never seen that kind of Hollywood insider creative satire exacerbatory humor 24/7. It was like sitting next to the SNL writers daily!Thanks Mr. Hayward you’ll be missed but never forgotten!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s