(Above: ‘George of the Jungle,’ 1967. Source: Amazon.com)
New cartoons of Lassie, Mr. Magoo and George of the Jungle will debut on subscription streamer CBS All Access this Friday, January 17. If that kindles nostalgia for the original TV versions of each, you can stream them for free via Uncle Earl’s Classic TV Channel.
The famous dog starred in a live-action show for 19 seasons (591 half-hours) from 1954 to 1973, 17 of them on CBS (always at 7 pm ET Sundays) and the final two in syndication. Lassie was Jeff’s (Tommy Rettig’s) collie for more than three seasons. Then, Timmy (Jon Provost) joined the cast for the fourth season, with Lassie forced to transfer her loyalties during episode 13. Here, from December 1, 1957, is Lassie’s bittersweet “Transition” (spoiler alert: she also saves Timmy from drowning).
Provost would stay on the show for seven years, but Timmy’s new adoptive parents — played initially by Cloris Leachman and Jon Shepodd – would be replaced by June Lockhart and Hugh Reilly a season later.
For more episodes of live-action Lassie, visit Uncle Earl’s solie.org/alibrary/Lassie.html.
The bumbling, severely near-sighted Mr. Magoo was voiced by the cackling Jim Backus (whose other roles during his career ranged from James Dean’s suffering dad in Rebel Without a Cause to the pompous but loveable millionaire on Gilligan’s Island). Backus began voicing Mr. Magoo theatrical shorts in 1949, before the character moved to TV as Mister Magoo in 1960. From 1960 to 1962, 130 five-minute cartoons were syndicated, running either in half-hour shows or as daily segments during local kids’ shows.
Here, from January 19, 1962, is “Magoo’s Surprise Party.” Warning: it includes ethnic stereotyping, which we’re sure will not occur in the CBS All Access version.
For more of Mr. Magoo, including some theatrical entries, visit Uncle Earl’s solie.org/alibrary/MrMagoo.html.
George of the Jungle
The original George of the Jungle cartoons ran for just 17 episodes, Saturday mornings on ABC, during the last four months of 1967. Jay Ward and Bill Scott, the brains behind this Tarzan parody, had previously foisted the satirical adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle upon the American public.
All together now, let’s sing:
“George, George, George of the Jungle,
Strong as he could be…”
For more of the original George of the Jungle, visit Uncle Earl’s solie.org/alibrary/GeorgeoftheJungle.html.
For new cartoons of Lassie, Mr. Magoo and George of the Jungle, visit cbs.com/all-access starting Friday. We don’t know their length or number of total episodes.
CBS All Access offers a $9.99/month almost commercial-free version, and a $5.99/month plan with ads. Both come with a seven-day free trial. For more information, visit CBS All Access.
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