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Funny Company, The


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Funny Company

Characters & Voices
Buzzer - Dick Beals
Weisenheimer - Bud Hiestand
Violette - Dick Beals
Polly - Robie Lester
Merry - Nancy Wible
Jasper - Nancy Wible
Terry - Ken Snyder
Broken Feather - Tom Thomas
Todd Goodheart - Hal Smith
Belly Laguna - Hal Smith
Dr. Von Upp - Hal Smith
Located in an underground clubhouse and headed by young Jasper National Park, The Funny Company was less concerned with making a profit (or even a product) and instead concentrated on community service, fundraising and educational field trips. How this company stayed in business was a mystery to all.

Aside from Jasper, other “employees” at the Funny Co. included Merry Twirter, Buzzer Bell, Polly Plum and Shrinkin’ Violet, all kind-natured tykes who served as a good example for the kids at home. Every once in a while, the youngsters were helped out by an adult who happened to stop by, like inventor Dr. Todd Goodheart or Native Americans Super Chief (whose voice sounded like a train's horn) and Broken Feather. Villains like Belly Laguna covered the bad guy roles on the series, throwing a monkey wrench in the do-gooders plans. Rounding out the cast was company mascot, Terry Dactyl, a flying lizard who entertained everyone with jokes and impressions (another such character would return much later on Pee Wee’s Playhouse).

The Funny Company's mission was a large one, but the kids were aided by a giant computer named the Weisenheimer, located in the company clubhouse. In order to help the kids with their activities, the Weisenheimer would play short films and expound on particular points of interest that related to the day’s activities.

Perhaps surprisingly, The Funny Company was created, in large part, by Mattel Toys. In response to a plea for more educational children’s shows, Mattel, with the help of Ken Snyder, came up with a show that appealed to kids and had the freedom to teach them about a variety of different subjects. The 260 five-minute episodes of The Funny Company were successful enough to inspire other “edu-tainment” shorts like The Big World of Little Adam.
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On this day:

In 1923, cartoonist Morrie Turner was born.