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Charles John Thomas McCann
September 2, 1934
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
|Died||April 8, 2018 (aged 83)|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Resting place||Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, California, U.S.|
|Occupation||Actor, comedian, puppeteer, commercial presenter, television host|
Charles John Thomas McCann (September 2, 1934 – April 8, 2018) was an American actor, comedian, puppeteer, 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.
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McCann worked his way up to regional star status by apprenticing on a number of other children's shows, such as Captain Kangaroo 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.
Until 1975, McCann hosted comedy/variety TV puppet shows in the New York area with Paul Ashley, featuring the Paul Ashley Puppets. Together, they 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 WPIX's long-running rock music showcase, The Clay Cole Show. During this time, McCann appeared at many New York area venues, including Palisades Amusement Park and Freedomland U.S.A., to meet and entertain children. At Freedomland, McCann hosted a yo-yo contest, filmed several Halloween specials, filmed a WPIX Freedomland special with other children's show hosts and appeared with Clay Cole at the park's Moon Bowl entertainment venue that featured celebrity singers and other performers. McCann's ties to Freedomland are featured in the book Freedomland U.S.A.: The Definitive History (Theme Park Press, 2019).
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.
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.
McCann appeared as Wally Stone in Season Two of Starsky and Hutch in an episode named Murder on Stage 17 in which he played an ex-comedian turned murderer. In this episode, McCann's talent as an actor was spotlighted and he was able to portray various characters throughout the episode.
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.
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
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, and LBS Children's Theater, a children's 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 proved 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.
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, assisted by Bob Ridgely. McCann also voiced characters for various projects by The Walt Disney Company, such as Dreamfinder in the theme park attraction Journey Into Imagination, and several characters including Duckworth, Burger Beagle and Bouncer Beagle in the 1987 animated series DuckTales.
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-TV from Monday, September 18, 1989 until Friday, October 13, 1989.
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).
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. 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.
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.
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|1968||The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter||Spiros Antonapoulos|
|1970||The Projectionist||Chuck McCann, the projectionist / Captain Flash|
|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|
|1983||Likely Stories, Vol. 3||Ralph Warner|
|1986||Hamburger: The Motion Picture||Dr. Mole|
|1988||Cameron's Closet||Ben Majors|
|1989||That's Adequate||Lowell Westbrook||Mockumentary|
|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||Citizen Jane||Judge Thomas||Television film|
|2011||Night Club||Manny Melowitz|
|2013||I Know That Voice||Himself||Documentary film|
|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|
|1973||Columbo||Roger White||Ep. "Double Exposure"|
|1974||Little House on the Prairie||Tinker Jones||Ep. "The Voice of Tinker Jones"|
|1975||Far Out Space Nuts||Barney||12 Episodes|
|1977||All That Glitters||Bert Stockwood||Unknown Episodes|
|1977||Starsky and Hutch||Wally Stone||Season 2, Ep.24: "Murder on Stage 17"|
|1977||The Rockford Files||Kenny Bell||Ep. "Requiem for a Funny Box"|
|1982||The Greatest American Hero||Captain Bellybuster||Ep. "Captain Bellybuster and the Speed Factory"|
|1985||Knight Rider||Bombo The Clown||Ep."Circus Knights"|
|1987–1988||Santa Barbara||Kris Kringle||7 Episodes|
|1997||Invasion||Chairman of Health Committee||2 Episodes|
|1966||Cool McCool||Number One / The Owl / Tom McCool /||3 Episodes|
|1977||CB Bears||Boogie / Blubber||13 Episodes|
|1979||Fred and Barney Meet the Shmoo||Billy Joe|
|1979||Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo||Additional voices||16 Episodes|
|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||Super Friends||Colossus||Ep. "Colossus"|
|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
|1985||Snorks||Additional voices||Ep. "Snorkitis Is Nothing to Sneeze At/The Whole Toot and Nothing But..."|
|1985||The Jetsons||Additional voices||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
|1988–1990||The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh||Heff Heffalump / Tigger Look Alike||3 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||Additional voices||13 Episodes|
|1991||Toxic Crusaders||Mayor Grody||13 Episodes|
|1992||Tom & Jerry Kids||Additional voices||Ep. "Penthouse Mouse/12 Angry Sheep/The Ant Attack"|
|1993||Animaniacs||Codger Eggbert||Ep. "Critical Condition"|
|1993||All-New Dennis the Menace||Additional voices||13 Episodes|
|1993||Droopy, Master Detective||"Baby Bandit's Henchman"||Ep. "The Babyman Bank Heists"|
|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||Additional voices||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|
|2009||Random! Cartoons||Navarro / Buck||2 Episodes|
|2013–2015||Adventure Time||Moe||3 Episodes|
|2016||The Powerpuff Girls||The Amoeba Boys||Ep. "Viral Spiral"|
|1992||King's Quest VI||Jollo / Bookworm / Bump-on-a-Log / Woof|
|2005||True Crime: New York City|||
|2006||Heroes of Might and Magic V||Tribes of the East DLC|
|Gothic 3||Additional Voices||English Dub|
|2013||DuckTales: Remastered||Duckworth / Burger Beagle / Bouncer Beagle|
- Nesteroff, Kliph (16 June 2015). "Classic Television Showbiz: An Interview with Chuck McCann".
- Dusenberry, Phil (2006). One Great Insight Is Worth a Thousand Good Ideas. Portfolio Trade. ISBN 978-1591841425.
- Koseluk, Chris (April 8, 2018). "Chuck McCann, Comic Actor and Popular Kids TV Host, Dies at 83". The Hollywood Reporter. ISSN 0018-3660.
- Arnold, Jeremy (April 2002). "Everybody Comes to Hef's". Premiere. Archived from the original on May 8, 2006.
- Roberts, Sam (April 9, 2018). "Chuck McCann, Zany Comic in Early Children's TV, Dies at 83". The New York Times.
- "Chuck McCann, legendary comic and WPIX personality, dead at 83: friends". pix11.com. April 9, 2018. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
- Luxoflux. True Crime: New York City. Activision. Scene: Pause menu credits, 4:29:26 in, VOICE TALENT.