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Movie Mom

Rocky and Bullwinkle Celebrate their 50th Anniversary

posted by Nell Minow

My friend Bob Elisberg has a marvelous salute to the sensational Rocky and Bullwinkle, “from the maniacally clever mind of Jay Ward,” who yesterday celebrated the 50th anniversary of their first broadcast.

My parents were very strict about television, but this was one of the few shows they let us watch. They not only let us — they watched with us. It was one of the first television shows for children to have jokes for adults. As I grew up, there were innumerable times when I would learn something new and suddenly have the retroactive pleasure of understanding some past Rocky and Bullwinkle joke. There’s an opera called “Boris Godunov?” Aha! That explains the name of R&B bad guy Boris Badanov! And remember the name of their alma mater? Wassamata U? Remember “fan mail from some flounders?” And “watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat?” (“That trick never works!”)

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Few people today will get the joke about the Kerward Derby (a play on the name of then-minor-celebrity Durward Kirby), but this is still purely delightful.

And of course I always had a special fondness for Dudley Do-Right because his leading lady was named Nell.

  • jestrfyl

    This and church was as a part of our Sunday staples; Rocky and Wonderful World of Color (Disney). Other shows came and went, but these two shows were always anticipated with delight. My favorite have always been Sherman and Mr Peabody and Fractured Fairy Tales (recently collected in book form). My dad preferred Dudley Do-Right and Snidely Whiplash. I didn’t care what my little sister liked and my Mom only knew we were all quiet and getting along well.
    Well Done Moose & Squirrel – and Jay!!

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