Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hokay, this is probably one of those posts that will elicit a comment from Bill Shute and no one else, but given DEPUTY DAWG's importance to the entire BTC canon of hotcha kiddoid tee-vee upbringing how could I manage to run a blog without mentioning this crucial and oft-neglected cartoon series? We're talking my earliest and perhaps happiest life memories when I tell you that it sure was a joy to eyeball these early-sixties vintage 'toons when they ran on THE BARNEY BEAN SHOW during my turdler years, and when I just happened to tune into channel 17's JEEPERS' CLUBHOUSE during the middle portion of the seventies and discovered that this verifiable BEAN ripoff was also running DAWG, well you can bet that I would attempt to be front and center for that 'un which eventually turned out to be a great difficulty considering how JEEPERS got canceled rather post haste. I guess seventies kids were more sophisticated than their sixties counterparts, the sad results of which can be seen today.

Anyway, out of reasons that were more than just purely nostalgic I bought a few DEPUTY DAWG Dee-Vee-Dee's in order to remind me of what fun I used to have back when the boob tube was definitely my very best friend until it began showing MAUDE and we were suddenly pretty angry with each other. The 'toons that were used on these "bootleg" disques were recorded off the the USA network back in the late-eighties long before they started cramming their schedule with old tee-vee movies, and hey, you too might remember when DAWG seemed to be popping up around the same time on your local stations during what was perhaps commercial broadcast television's last gasp of ever airing 50's/60's obscurities again. Locally 33, who used to run 'em on the aforementioned BEAN show, was sticking 'em on Saturday mornings at 7:30 (and who gets up that early on Saturdays unless they're going to be shot!) although 23 in Akron had the good sense to run 'em weekdays at nine in a move which I hope indoctrinated enough kiddies of the day to grow into maladjusted wizeasses guaranteed to continue the grand tradition of fun mid-class trash gulcher for at least another seventy years. Well, if you got 'em on broadcast or on cable and at whatever timeslot that was available good for you, because for the unforeseeable future I can't fathom any outlet airing these oft-ignored cartoons ever again, preferring to pump a load of modern-day subpar sputum into the brains of mindless postnatals who obviously need and crave this kinda programming that certainly made ME the well-adjusted and proud example of manhood that I am and will remain!

It also looks as if you probably won't be able to find this one at the local Dee-Vee-Dee supermarket either cuz like I said these are illegal dupes (though I have the feeling that the copyright holders, if any, ain't knockin' down any doors with their barrage of lawyers!). Too bad, even though the general quality with some of that faint cable snow kinda looks as if these were retrieved from some boss UHF station out in the boonies back 'round 1974, the classic age of UHF/indie/syndicated television if you ask me. Maybe the best thing for you to do if you latch onto your own burns is to watch 'em on a boss workable 60/70s television (b&w preferred though if it's color make sure it's one of those really ghastly kinds that bleeds green all over the place) and plop belly-down in front of it with a lotta snax and koolaid by your side...real Amerigan kiddiehood pleasure even though there ain't no kidshow host hawking cheap X-mas toys or cranky sister bugging you to change the channel so she could watch PATTY DUKE reruns!

Can't believe I gabbed through three paragraphs w/o actually telling you about the cartoons in question! They're great mind-numbing entertainment about as good as Terrytoons could get at that time (1961) and loads better'n those MIGHTY MOUSEes which kinda rubbed me the wrong way with all of that sissy singing in 'em. Pleasant enough too, conveying an idyllic view of the Southern portion of These Here United States featuring the cornpone antics of the klutzy Deputy Dawg as he and friendly adversaries Muskie, Vincent Van Gopher and Ty Coon try to outwit and scam each other in that ol' Southern way that used to be milked to the hilt at least before the Civil Rights movement had the entire white population down there become held in contempt even more by standoffish New England liberals. The music also adds a lotta easy-living atmosphere with that accordion and harmonica playing these hopped up scales or lazy fishin' by the river toonz. It's so good that even the more ass-picking animation snobs who sneer at anything less than CINDERELLA might actually enjoy it for what it's worth as far as television cartooning goes. But I kinda doubt it. (Personal fave episode is the one about "The Whopper Contest" where Muskie and Vince get to tell their biggest lies, only to be superceded by Deputy Dawg's real-life adventures!)

It's funny in one way and sad in another that these cartoons were a major part of a healthy broadcast day in the early-sixties then sorta got shoved to the back of the bus once the flash of late-sixties gulcher made these cartoons oh-so-obsolete. But fear not chaps, because thanks to the miracle of Dee-Vee-Dee's and even youtube it's not like we have to starve and only live on our fading memories like I know I and a whole lotta people did back when we suddenly realized it was (seemingly) gone for good! Turn your computer or television into your very own personal independent station with DEPUTY DAWG and a whole load of other fine programming now available on disque, and all you need to do is do a little ebay hunting and internet scouring for the lost classic of your choice!


Anonymous said...

Favorite DD catchphrase...Vincent Van Gopher saying "What happened? What happened?"

Robert Cook said...

Talk about synchronicity! I was in Jim Hanley's UNIVERSE on Tuesday, (it's a big comic book store here in NYC) and I saw they had an issue of a DEPUTY DAWG comic on display behind a glass case with other old or rare valuable comics. Of course I immediately recognized DD, as I also watched his cartoons avidly in my (late 50s/early 60s) young childhood, but I hadn't thought about the character in years and I had essentially forgotten him.

And here today I find your panegyric to the estimable old hound.

I feel fortunate that my childhood tv-watching days were filled with DD and Yogi Bear and the Flintstones and the Jetsons and Soupy Sales and Beaney and Cecil, etc. etc. rather than the Smurfs and Sesame Street and god knows what other tripe came after.

Serena WmS. Burroughs said...

Deputy Dawg is all well and good, but the biggest show in town is Huckleberry Hound!