Chuck McCann

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Chuck McCann
Chuck McCann 2013 (crop 2).jpg
McCann in 2013
BornCharles John Thomas McCann
(1934-09-02)September 2, 1934
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
DiedApril 8, 2018(2018-04-08) (aged 83)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Resting placeForest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale)
OccupationActor and voice artist
Years active1942–2017
Spouse(s)
Betty Fanning (m. 1977)
Children3

Charles John Thomas McCann (September 2, 1934 – April 8, 2018) was an American comedian, radio, stage, television, and film actor, puppeteer, voice artist, commercial presenter and television host, he was best known for his work in presenting children's television programming and animation, as well as his own program The Chuck McCann Show and he also recorded comedy parody style albums.

Career[edit]

Early work[edit]

McCann worked his way up to regional star status by apprenticing on a number of other children's shows, such as Captain Kangaroo and Rootie Kazootie in the 1960s. The best-selling The First Family, an early 1960s LP record album which lampooned the newly elected United States President John F. Kennedy and his family, included McCann among its voices.[1]

Until 1975, McCann hosted comedy/variety TV puppet shows in the New York area. McCann (with Ashley) did The Puppet Hotel for WNTA-TV, Channel 13; then Laurel & Hardy & Chuck, Let's Have Fun, and The Chuck McCann Show for WPIX, Channel 11; and finally, The Chuck McCann Show, The Great Bombo's Magic Cartoon Circus Lunchtime Show, and Chuck McCann's Laurel and Hardy Show for WNEW-TV, Channel 5. In addition, Chuck was the comedy sidekick on the WPIX long-running Clay Cole Show. By the end of the 1960s, he had appeared in the 1968 film The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter and performed regularly on CBS's The Garry Moore Show.

He began an animation acting career, doing everything from Bob Kane's Cool McCool to Sonny the Cuckoo Bird ("I'm cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs" and "Ripe for Rice Krispies!") in commercials for General Mills. He had even been one of the stars of Turn-On, producer George Schlatter's offshoot of Laugh-In.

1970s television[edit]

In the 1970s, McCann's life and career shifted west, and he relocated to Los Angeles. He made frequent guest appearances on network television shows including Little House on the Prairie, Bonanza, Columbo, The Rockford Files and The Bob Newhart Show. He appeared in the 1973 made-for-TV movie The Girl Most Likely to... and was a regular on Norman Lear's All That Glitters.

In addition, he co-starred with Bob Denver in CBS's Saturday-morning sitcom Far Out Space Nuts, which he co-created. The 1970s also brought him fame in a long-running series of commercials for Right Guard antiperspirant: he was the enthusiastic neighbor with the catch phrase "Hi, guy!" who appeared on the other side of a shared medicine cabinet, opposite actor Bill Fiore.[2]

McCann impersonated Oliver Hardy in commercials for various products (teaming with Jim MacGeorge as Stan Laurel), and for a few years, he played the holiday-season recurring role of Kris Kringle on the NBC soap opera Santa Barbara. In 1965, he and John McCabe were two of the five founding members of the now worldwide society of The Sons of the Desert, an appreciation club for the works of Laurel and Hardy. He had a role in Kojak in 1974.

Film[edit]

After The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, McCann's motion picture career took a turn back into comedy with many supporting roles and a co-starring turn (with Tim Conway) in They Went That-A-Way & That-A-Way (1978).

His most notable post-Hunter films were The Projectionist (1971), Jennifer on My Mind (1971), Linda Lovelace for President (1975), Foul Play (1978), C.H.O.M.P.S. (1979), The Comeback Trail (1982), Hamburger: The Motion Picture (1986), and Herbie Rides Again (1974), where he played Loostgarten, president of Loostgarten Wrecking Company.

He had a supporting role in the 1988 horror film Cameron's Closet. He had a brief appearance in Mel Brooks' 1993 comedy film Robin Hood: Men in Tights as a villager and also appeared as an innkeeper in another Brooks production; Dracula: Dead and Loving It in 1995.

Return to roots[edit]

In 1980, McCann and Paul Ashley were reunited for a pair of TV show pilots:

  • Tiny TV (a satirical/variety puppet series aimed at adults for the cable market)
  • LBS Children's Theater (a children film anthology show where McCann and the Paul Ashley Puppets were to introduce reruns of primetime animated TV specials and theatrical cartoons from Europe). However, Paul Ashley was forced to leave the projects when he found to be suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Tiny TV never reached fruition, but LBS Children's Theater was picked up for national syndication in 1983. McCann emceed the series alone because Ashley did not live long enough to see the show, having died on September 3, 1984.
  • McCann voiced Dreamfinder in Disney's attraction Journey Into Imagination.
  • In the 1980s, McCann reprised a number of his best sketches from his New York television days as interstitial material for a two-hour presentation of cartoons on KCOP-TV, Channel 13 in Los Angeles. (He was assisted by Bob Ridgely.)
  • In 1989, McCann returned to daily children's television one more time with Chuck McCann's Funstuff (produced by fellow New York kid show legend Sonny Fox). Chuck McCann's Funstuff was seen weekday mornings on KHJ (KCAL) from Monday, September 18, 1989 until Friday, October 13, 1989. McCann also voiced the character Duckworth in the 1987 animated series DuckTales.

1990s[edit]

In the 1990s, McCann co-founded and participated in Yarmy's Army, a group of comedians and character actors of his generation who gathered regularly to cheer up Don Adams' brother Dick Yarmy, who was dying of cancer. A group with a massive array of comic talent, its members included Harvey Korman, Shelley Berman, Tim Conway, and many others.

After Yarmy's death, the group stayed together to cheer themselves up since increasing age and health problems made it increasingly more difficult for them to get steady work. In addition to having monthly dinners, they performed in various group-directed shows in select venues around the country.

McCann continued voice work for cartoons, playing Jollo, Bookworm, Bump-On-A-Log, and Woof in 1992's King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow. One of his best-known voiceover roles was The Thing in the Fantastic Four and Hulk animated series, as well as the villain Blizzard in another animated adaptation, Iron Man.

He also played Heff Heffalump, a recurring not-so-villainous character in Disney's The New Adventures of Winnie The Pooh. He was also the voice of Leatherneck on the second season of G.I. Joe. Throughout the 1990s and into the new millennium, he has been in commercials at Christmas time, he has played Santa Claus for one product or another—and TV/movie gigs (Sabrina, the Teenage Witch).

2000s–2010s[edit]

In the 2000s, McCann appeared in They Call Him Sasquatch (2003) and Dorf da Bingo King (with his old pal, Tim Conway). He supplied voices for The Powerpuff Girls and Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas.[citation needed] He moved into the field of video games, providing voices for True Crime: New York City. He made an appearance in The Aristocrats (2005), with an animated rendition of a "clean" version of the "dirty" joke that serves as the movie's subject.

In 2006-07 he made appearances on The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd as Benjamin Franklin and Dr. Floyd's father. He has also made multiple appearances as a judge on Boston Legal, including the two-hour series finale in December 2008. In 2007, McCann played the villain Dalton Kern on the radio drama Adventures in Odyssey and also Navarro and Buck in Random! Cartoons.[citation needed]

In 2013, McCann voiced Moseph "Moe" Mastro Giovanni on an episode of Adventure Time, Mayor Grafton on The Garfield Show, and reprised Duckworth, Bouncer Beagle and Burger Beagle in DuckTales Remastered. In 2016, he reprised the role of the Amoeba Boys in the 2016 reboot of The Powerpuff Girls. In 2017, McCann recorded a comedy podcast program, "Trump: The Last Family" with Kevin Sean Michaels, a modern send-up to the best-selling The First Family LP of the 1960s.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

McCann was born in Brooklyn, New York, to a bandleader/singer father.[3] He was a close friend of Hugh Hefner and a regular at the Playboy Mansion.[4]

Death[edit]

McCann died of congestive heart failure in Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles at the age of 83.[3]

He was survived by his wife, Betty Fanning, and two daughters. His son, Sean, died in 2009.[5][6]

Selected filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
List of Live-Action Performances in Movies
1968 The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter Spiros Antonapoulos
1974 Herbie Rides Again Loostgarten
1975 Linda Lovelace for President The Assassinator Credited as Alfredo Fetchuttini
1976 Silent Movie Studio Gate Guard
1978 They Went That-A-Way & That-A-Way Wallace
1986 Hamburger: The Motion Picture Dr. Mole
1988 Cameron's Closet Ben Majors
1989 That's Adequate Lowell Westbrook Mockumentary
1990 Guns Abe
1992 Ladybugs Bartender
1992 Storyville Pudge Herman
1993 Robin Hood: Men in Tights Villager
1995 Dracula: Dead and Loving It Innkeeper
2003 They Call Him Sasquatch Bob Mabely Direct-to-video
2009 Citizien Jane Judge Thomas Television film
2011 Night Club Manny Melowitz
Year Title Role Notes
List of Voice Performances in Movies
1968 The World of Hans Christian Andersen Uncle Oley
1986 G.I. Joe: Arise, Serpentor, Arise! Leatherneck Television film
1987 G.I. Joe: The Movie Direct-to-video
1990 DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp Duckworth the Butler
2004 Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas Santa Claus Direct-to-video

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
List of voice performances in Television
1966 Cool McCool Number One / The Owl / Tom McCool / 3 Episodes
1979 Fred and Barney Meet the Shmoo Billy Joe
1979 The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show Badladdin
1980 Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels Additional voices Ep. "Cavey and the Volcanic Villain"
1980 Drak Pack Mummy Man 7 Episodes
1981 Thundarr the Barbarian Artemus / Mutants Ep. "Trial by Terror"
1981 Space Stars Additional voices 11 Episodes
1982 Richie Rich Additional Voices Ep. "Dollar's Exercise/Richie's Cube/The Maltese Monkey/Everybody's Doing It"
1982-1983 Pac-Man Blinky and Pinky 19 Episodes
1984 The Get Along Gang Sammy Skunk/ Bus Driver
Mule Warehouse Worker
Fruit Vendor/ Diner Cook
5 Episodes
1985 Snorks Additional Voices Ep. "Snorkitis Is Nothing to Sneeze At/The Whole Toot and Nothing But..."
1985 The Jetsons Ep. "Elroy in Wonderland"
1985-1986 Galtar and the Golden Lance Orloc 21 Episodes
1986 G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero Leatherneck 16 Episodes
1986 Pound Puppies Biff Barker Ep. "Ghost Hounders"
1988 A Pup Named Scooby-Doo Cashmore / Additional Voices Ep. "The Schnook Who Took My Comic Book"
1989 The Smurfs Additional Voices Ep. "Smurfs That Time Forgot: Part 1/Smurfs That Time Forgot: Part 2"
1989 Ring Raiders Baron Von Clawdeitz 5 Episodes
1988-1989 Fantastic Max Additional Voices 3 Episodes
1990 Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers Sugar Ray Lizard 2 Episodes
1987-1991 Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears Sir Gaya / Knight / Chef / Tadpole 3 Episodes
1987-1990 DuckTales Duckworth / Burger Beagle
Bouncer Beagle
57 Episodes
1988-1990 The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh Heff Heffalump / Tigger Look Alike 2 Episodes
1990-1991 TaleSpin Dumptruck / Gibber / Rhino Goon 16 Episodes
1988-1991 Garfield and Friends Uncle Ed / Dog 2 Episodes
1991 Attack of the Killer Tomatoes Beefsteak 5 Episodes
1991 Where's Wally?: The Animated Series 13 Episodes
1991 Toxic Crusaders Mayor Grody 13 Episodes
1992 Tom & Jerry Kids Ep. "Penthouse Mouse/12 Angry Sheep/The Ant Attack"
1993 Animaniacs Codger Eggbert Ep. "Critical Condition"
1993 All-New Dennis the Menace 13 Episodes
1993 ABC Weekend Special Santa Claus Ep. "P.J.'s Unfunnybunny Christmas"
1994-1995 Fantastic Four Thing 26 Episodes
1995 The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat Voices / Worm 2 / Talents Of Trial 2 Episodes
1996 What a Cartoon! The Amoeba Boys Ep. "The Powerpuff Girls: Crime 101"
1994-1996 Iron Man Blizzard / Camera Man 10 Episodes
1996 Duckman Ep. "Pig Amok"
1996 The Tick Filth #2 Ep. "The Tick vs. Filth"
1996 The Incredible Hulk Thing Ep. "Fantastic Fortitude"
1998-2003 The Powerpuff Girls The Amoeba Boys 5 Episodes
2008-2013 The Garfield Show Additional Voices 5 Episodes
2013-2015 Adventure Time Moe 3 Episodes
2016 The Powerpuff Girls The Amoeba Boys Ep. "Viral Spiral"

Videogames[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1992 King's Quest VI Jollo / Bookworm / Bump-on-a-Log
2005 True Crime: New York City Gino
2006 Heroes of Might and Magic V Tribes of the East DLC
Gothic 3 Additional Voices English Dub
2007 Spider-Man 3
2013 DuckTales: Remastered Duckworth / Burger Beagle / Bouncer Beagle

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nesteroff, Kliph (16 June 2015). "Classic Television Showbiz: An Interview with Chuck McCann".
  2. ^ Dusenberry, Phil (2006). One Great Insight Is Worth a Thousand Good Ideas. Portfolio Trade. ISBN 978-1591841425.
  3. ^ a b Koseluk, Chris (April 8, 2018). "Chuck McCann, Comic Actor and Popular Kids TV Host, Dies at 83". The Hollywood Reporter. ISSN 0018-3660.
  4. ^ Arnold, Jeremy (April 2002). "Everybody Comes to Hef's". Premiere. Archived from the original on May 8, 2006.
  5. ^ Roberts, Sam (April 9, 2018). "Chuck McCann, Zany Comic in Early Children's TV, Dies at 83". The New York Times.
  6. ^ "Chuck McCann, legendary comic and WPIX personality, dead at 83: friends". pix11.com. April 9, 2018. Retrieved April 9, 2018.

External links[edit]