RIP Chuck McCann

(Above: Chuck McCann and friends)

Multi-faceted entertainer Chuck McCann, who died yesterday at 83, was not a household name – except for a generation of New York baby boomers entranced by his antics as a kids’ show host during the 1960s. Here, in 2012, McCann revisits his old TV home:

McCann, though, was much more than that.

National viewers of a certain age would probably know him most from commercials, most notably as the “Hi, Guy” neighbor in 1970s Right Guard ads, a couple of which are shown in the video below. McCann also created and voiced the “I’m cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs!” bird.

In addition to commercials, McCann acted in scores of movies and TV shows, and provided the voices for many animated characters. A couple of times, he even transcended character actor anonymity for featured roles, such as in the 1975 Saturday morning CBS kids series Far Out Space Nuts — co-starring with Bob Denver (Gilligan’s Island) in outer space adventures. Here’s episode one:

Most prominently, McCann starred in The Projectionist, a 1971 feature film. In this clip, he gets to display his skills as an impressionist:

McCann’s most famous impression was probably Oliver Hardy, of whom he was a major fan. Indeed, in 1965, he co-founded The Sons of the Desert, the “International Laurel and Hardy Appreciation Society.” Here, in sketches from a 1958 episode of CBS’ The Garry Moore Show, McCann appears as both Hardy and The Honeymooners’ Ralph Kramden – accompanied by Dick Van Dyke as both Laurel and Ed Norton:

For additional info on McCann’s career, including more videos, visit

About Les Luchter

Les Luchter is a former managing editor of Multichannel News, editor-in-chief of Cable Marketing, and news editor of Broadcast Week.

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