Thursday, September 5, 2013

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: Remember Coco the Jungle Man? (1967)

Until today, I had never seen this commercial, but when I found this, and learned about the cast, well, I had to share.

Back in the 60's, Kellogg's used a generic white background for a lot of their cereal boxes, not the rainbow of colors used in later years (blue for Rice Krispies & Frosted Flakes, for example, green for Apple Jacks, etc.). From this era we get a short-lived cartoon hero shilling for Cocoa Krispies.

Coco the Jungle Man, who remotely resembles that kid in the famous Tootsie Pop commercial in design alone, apparently was used sparingly. If the voice sounds remotely familiar, though, well, it should. It belongs to Ted Cassidy, then the voice of Frankenstein, Jr. & Meteor Man of The Galaxy Trio. Now, I'm not sure if Hanna-Barbera was still producing commercials for Kellogg's after their stars (i.e. Yogi Bear, Snagglepuss) stopped appearing on Kellogg's boxes, but this could make a case. If I could venture a guess, I'd say the late Don Messick was Horrible Harry, the British bloke masquerading as an ape, in this bit........

When I found this, some folks on YouTube were debating whether or not it was really Ted Cassidy, or even Thurl Ravenscroft, the long-time voice of Tony the Tiger, but when you consider that Cassidy "spoke" the theme to Atom Ant with a similar pitch to his voice two years earlier, well, what do you think?

Edit: 1/20/16: Turns out that Coco is, in fact, voiced by Thurl Ravenscroft, not Ted Cassidy. Oh, well......

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