Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: Cool McCool's 1st cases, 9/10/66

We've previously discussed Bob Kane's last creation, Cool McCool, which spent three seasons on NBC from 1966-9. However, some full episodes have found their way to YouTube in recent days, and I just happened to find the first episode, which is appropriate, since now we can discuss Cool's dad, Harry, and uncles, Tom & Dick, who occupied the backup feature.

The McCool brothers were modeled after the Keystone Kops, and thus billed as the Komedy Kops. Tom is the smallest of the three and speaks incoherently, needing Harry to translate for him. This was borrowed from the Go Go Gophers, since one had to translate for the other.

Bob McFadden & Chuck McCann did the majority of the voices, with McFadden (previously heard on Milton The Monster) as Cool & Harry. McFadden did a Jack Benny impersonation when voicing Cool, and it seems in "Phantom of the Opera House" that McCann is mimicking Arthur Q. Bryan in voicing the theatre manager.

As for Cool himself, the Benny mimic aside, Kane and co-creator/executive producer Al Brodax envisioned him as a parody of a parody, since there was already a spy spoof on NBC's roster, that being Get Smart, which was in its 2nd season. McFadden, then, opted for doing a Benny mimic rather than Don Adams so it wouldn't be so obvious.

In this first episode, originally broadcast on September 10, 1966, Cool battles Hurricane Harry & The Owl in his two shorts. Regrettably, only 20 episodes were produced and cycled ad infinitum over the three years.

King Features' other network series at the time, The Beatles, was also in its 2nd season, over on ABC, and is the better remembered of the studio's network output. Now, let's watch Cool McCool.

Rating: C. (Harry drags his son's rating down.)

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