The Woody Woodpecker Show

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ABC (ended 1958)

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8.0
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User Rating
177 votes
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SHOW REVIEWS
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The Woody Woodpecker Show

Show Summary

Woody Woodpecker was a brash, high-strung woodpecker whose trademark was his staccato laugh, "ha-ha-ha-HA-ha". The character first appeared in the 1940 Andy Panda short, Knock Knock, voiced by Mel Blanc. When Blanc signed an exclusive contract with Warner Brothers, he was replaced by the man who originally designed Woody, Ben "Bugs" Hardaway, a former Schlesinger Studios animation director who had helped develop Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny. Woody received a permanent voice in 1952, when Lantz's wife, actress Grace Stafford, anonymously auditioned for and was awarded the job. The theatrical cartoon business was losing money in the 1950's. By 1956 there were only seven animation producers in the short-subjects business, and by the end of the decade that number would dwindle down to three. Movie theater owners were finding that they could release features with reissued cartoons, or no cartoons at all, and the audiences would still come. Walter Lantz and his distributor, Universal Pictures, knew that the only way to subsidize the rising costs of new shorts was to release their product to television. Norman Gluck from Universal's short-subjects department made a deal with the Leo Burnett Agency to release some older Lantz product on television. Burnett handled the Kellogg's cereal account, and Lantz soon met with the Kellogg's people to sign the contract. Lantz complied his best films into a half-hour TV show which he hosted himself. Additional live action & animation segments were created, such as "Woody's Newsreel" and "Around The World with Woody". 30-minute animated escapades of the world-famous woodpecker and other Walter Lantz character, including Andy Panda and Chilly Willy. Host-producer Lantz intergrated new footage with his theatrical cartoons and appeared with informative looks at the animation process. The Woody Woodpecker Show originally ran on the ABC-TV network from October 3, 1957 through September 25, 1958. Sponsored by Kellogg's, each episode featured three theatrical cartoons, with new animated Woody wraparounds and live action hosting chores handled by Lantz himself. The live-action segments were directed by Jack Hannah. Hannah was fresh from the Disney Studio where he had done similar live-action/animation sequences for the Disney show. Woody also appeared in animated commercials for Kellogg's. The series was seen once a week, on Thursday afternoons, replacing the first half hour of the shortened Mickey Mouse Club. After the initial year on ABC, The Woody Woodpecker Show was syndicated until 1966. In 1970, it reappeared on network television, with 26 additional episodes assembled by Lantz for NBC-TV. The 1976 show featured cartoons (and additional cartoons) from the early days to the later days, all products of full animation that created the appearance of natural movement. Other characters featured were Buzz Buzzard, Gabby Gator, Space Mouse, Homer Pigeon, Charlie Beary, Charles Beary Jr., Sugarfoot, Cuddles, Smedley, and Knothead and Splinter. Voices were Grace Stafford(Mrs. Walter Lantz) as Woody, and Daws Butler, Walter Tetley, Dal McKennon, June Foray, and Paul Frees.

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Mel Blanc

Mel Blanc

Woody Woodpecker (1940-1941)

Daws Butler

Daws Butler

Chilly Willy/Smedley/Gabby Gator/Windy/Sam/Rover the Talking Dog/Ali Gator

Paul Frees

Paul Frees

Wally Walrus (1953-1961)/Charlie Beary/Charles Beary Jr./Doc

June Foray

June Foray

Knothead/Splinter/Winnie Woodpecker (1954)

Walter Lantz

Walter Lantz

On Camera host/narrator/instructor

Hans Conried

Hans Conried

Wally Walrus (1944-1948)

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • The laugh :D

    9.0
    Few ep (09)
  • Woody the incredibly annoying woodpecker...

    1.0
    An ADHD woodpecker with a laugh that makes me want to put a chair through my television. About as appealing as a toddler's snot bubbles, this is one to avoid.
  • Hilarious, often times mean-spirited show.

    9.0
    Personally I'd put the Walter Lantz Studio and Woody Woodpecker as the second greatest cartoon from the classic era, coming behind only the irreproachable stuff from Warner Bros. Woody Woodpecker cartoons were more sparsely animated than the more popular fare from Disney and Warner, but the setting and background rarely played into a Woody Woodpecker cartoon. All of the action was front and center as each episode had Woody facing off against (and humiliating) some form of bad guy. Most of the toons are a rip of the Bugs Bunny formula for sure, even down to the catchphrase (Woody's laugh vs. Bugs' "What's Up Doc?"), but they're more of a mean-spirited take on Bugs.moreless
  • The Woody Woodpecker Show

    10
    This is yet another classic of a cartoon. It is really funny and enjoyable. I like all the other characters in it like Wally Walrus and of course the star of the show Woody Woodpecker. I like this version of Woody Woodpecker and the newer series of it as well.
  • Brazil...

    9.5
    I don´t know why, but this show was one of my favorites shows when i was young. Here in Brazil almost everyone loves it, but in another countries nobody liked it. "Woody Woodpecker" and "Tom and Jerry" are better than Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Donald... and I don´t know how they got so famous...
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    More Info About This Show

    Categories

    Animation, Kids