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King Leonardo and His Short Subjects

USA



Original Air Date:
1960
Channel:
NBC
Prod. Co.:
Total Television
Genre:
Series
 

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Characters & Voices
King Leonardo - Jackson Beck
Biggie Rat - Jackson Beck
Odie Colognie - Allen Swift
Itchy Brother - Allen Swift
 
This cartoon, made by the same people who created Underdog, chronicled the story of King Leonardo, a lion who ruled the fictional Bongo Congo. Like most animated leaders, Leonardo was fairly inept and relied on the services of his aide, a wise skunk named Odie Colognie. Odie, who sounded like Ronald Coleman, defended the throne against Biggy Rat, a gangster rodent, who wanted to install Leonardo's brother, Itchy, as King. Oftentimes, Biggy would employ the help of Professor Messer, a deranged scientist with a constantly changing accent, and Mr. Mad, who needed more additions to his "people collection."

Chiefest among the titled "short subjects" was Tooter Turtle, a simple reptile who dreamed of fantastic adventures. His friend, Wizard the Lizard, happily granted Tooter's numerous wishes, sending him off to faraway places, but when Tooter inevitably found himself in over his head, he would cry out for help from his magical co-star. With the magic words, "Drizzle Drazzle Druzzle Drome, time for this one to come home," Tooter would be transported back where he belonged, but he would soon return to the wizard asking for another trip.

Another of the show's "short subjects" was The Hunter, a private eye dog who spent every episode chasing his nemesis, The Fox. The Hunter was a persistent bloodhound, and he always let people know he was "on the case" by trumpeting his horn.

One original segment of the show that was never seen in syndication was Twinkles the Elephant. Twinkles was a direct tie-in to General Mills cereal, who sponsored the show. Like Linus the Lionhearted, the FCC decided that Twinkles was too commercial to be part of a cartoon show.

While King Leonardo never achieved the success of Underdog or Tennesee Tuxedo, the studio that created them paid homage to the feline monarch by naming their company "Leonardo Productions."
 
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In 1923, cartoonist Morrie Turner was born.