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Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales

USA



Original Air Date:
1963
Channel:
CBS
Prod. Co.:
Total Television
Genre:
Series
 

3.33

Good
3
Votes
Characters & Voices
Tennessee - Don Adams
Chumley - Bradley Bolke
Phineas J. Whoopee - Larry Storch
Yak - Kenny Delmar
Baldy - Kenny Delmar
Stanley Livingston - Mort Marshall
Jerboa - Bradley Bolke
 
Tennessee Tuxedo lived in the Megopolis Zoo, but he yearned for more than eating fish and swimming in freezing water. The determined penguin never stopped thinking of new and different ways to make himself successful. Whether it was starting a newspaper or winning a jumping contest, Tennessee tried his hardest, proclaiming, “Tennessee Tuxedo will not fail!” At the Tennessee's side was loyal walrus Chumley, who, like most sidekicks, often pointed out the danger of Tennessee’s schemes.

Whenever they would get in over their heads (which was often), the pair would seek out the advice of Mr. Whoopee. The ambiguously employed Mr. Whoopee would impart logical, easy to understand advice to Tennessee and Chumley with the help of a three dimensional blackboard. The animated drawings on the 3DBB explained visually how things worked.

Much to the irritation of zookeeper Stanley Livingston, Tennessee’s schemes rarely panned out, sending him back to his pen to be comforted by Chumley and pals Yak (a yak) and Baldy (an eagle).

Tennesee’s distinct voice came from Don Adams, who would later become famous as agent Maxwell Smart on the spy spoof Get Smart. Adams' voice was particularly effective when Tennessee went into reruns, because it added another side to his character, changing him from a precocious penguin to a sort of sly waterfowl on a clandestine mission.

Accompanying the cartoons were supporting shorts both old and new. Originally, Tennessee Tuxedo got its support from "The King & Odie," "The Hunter" and "Tooter Turtle," all former segments of King Leonardo and His Short Subjects. New episodes of "The King & Odie" and "The Hunter" were included, but the kids still wanted something fresh.

They got their wish a bit later in the show's run, when the all-new "The World of Commander McBragg" premiered. These segments starred the title officer, a self-proclaimed adventurer and world traveler. Each of McBragg’s stories depicted his using extraordinary means to extract himself from inescapable situations-so extraordinary, in fact, that even his animated listeners found him hard to believe. When his veracity was questioned, McBragg was unfazed. He would simply clear his throat and mutter, “Quite.”

Unlike the typical cartoon, part of this show's appeal was its subtle educational content. Mr. Whoopee’s demonstrations were both interesting and accurate, letting kids learn important information without being talked down to or bored to death. More importantly, Whoopee’s exhibitions usually concerned the sciences of rocketry or electronics, making it useful information even by today’s standards.
 
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