Sunday, 10 October 2010

Choo-Choo, Flintstein and Skypad Land

A yowp-out to fans of Top Cat: Marvin Kaplan and Leo De Lyon will be on Shokus Internet Radio this coming Wednesday at 4 p.m. (West Coast time) with animation writer and Shaindlinologist Earl Kress. The two of them will be talking about their voice work on the show. It’s a shame another actor from the show, John Stephenson, isn’t a part of the roundtable as I’ve never heard him interviewed about his lengthy work in cartoons. However, it should be fun and insightful. They’ll even accept questions in advance by e-mail. Don’t fret if you miss it. The show is rebroadcast on weekends. Click here for information.

The Tablet has an interesting article about Alan Reed and his radio/cartoon voice work related to his days growing up as a Jew in New York. It’s certainly a unique perspective and worth a read. Go here for a look.

Since we’re talking about the earliest H-B animated sitcoms, we’d better include The Jetsons. All those futuristic designs and gadgets were, arguably, the best part of it and the show’s name is still invoked in newspaper articles and blogs about, well, futuristic designs and gadgets (you will never see a story about a flying car without the word “Jetsons,” usually in the first sentence).

Interior Design magazine’s blog has picked up on some Jetsons design sketches that are on the fine blog belonging to Jay Spector, whose dad Irv spent time at animation studios from the ‘30s to ‘70s on the east and west coasts. The majority of the TV stations we could pick up when I was a kid came from Seattle so the Space Needle was a familiar sight on the tube around the time The Jetsons was first broadcast. The Skypad Apartments always reminded me of the Space Needle, and there’s a reference to that in the blog article here.

The ‘Spectorphile’ blog has been unfortunately fallow as of late; such is the transitory nature of blogs. But you can check it out here.


  1. Thanks!!!! looking forward to hearing the radio show. It is too bad John Stephenson won't be there. Hopefully, his health is still good these days. Stephenson was VERY busy in the sixties and seventies with his H-B voice-overs and he was in front of the camera a lot on sitcoms and dramas. Very well rounded actor. Thanks for the heads-up on the radio show.

  2. Errol, he wasn't part of the Top Cat DVD interviews either and I've never thought to ask Earl Kress why he wasn't.
    It may be about a year since I've heard his voice on spots but I don't listen to much American radio outside of newscasts.

  3. Marvin Kaplan has kept very busy since his TOP CAT days performing various cartoon and sitcom roles- always with same endearing Brooklyn accent. He's one of those one-voice voice actors that's a reassuring presence in any cartoon. Marty Ingels, Scatman Crothers, Lorenzo Music, and to some extent Casey Kasem are others in this category.

    Leo DeLyon seems to have disappeared from sight (at least as far as animation) from 1962 to the 80s, when his name turned up in the credits for the SMURFS. It was rather surprising to see him alive and well in the TOP CAT DVD extras. It's interesting that he did Brain's voice in these features, but not Spook. Maybe the latter's voice was too difficult for DeLyon to do anymore; indeed, Spook sounded very 'off' in the syndicated TV 1988 reunion movie.

    Stephenson has been heard periodically in recent years as 'the boss' in radio commercials for Accountemps and Fedex. It's the same sarcastic, authoritative voice he used for bosses, cops, soldiers and villians in hundreds of H-B cartoons.