(The Story of Bill Scott, a Jack of All Trades)

By Brian Kistler

January 23, 2001

Bill Scott
Bill Scott, from The Moose that Roared, by Keith Scott

From the really important things, to the superficial things, Bill Scott was a man who made incredible contributions to Jay Ward Productions..........had his hand in almost every aspect of these cartoons! Yet he modestly accepted very little credit for his work. He was actually an equal producer, with Jay Ward, but he opted to let Ward have exclusive recognition when they named the studio.

The fact of the matter is, Bill Scott actually had a lot more "overall experience", in the cartoon industry, than did Jay Ward. For years he worked in various animation departments (lest there be any confusion, he actually worked in "animation" in the strictest sense of the word: the actual drawing end of the business), including stints with Warner Brothers and even while in the military. From animation, itself, he moved on to the layout departments and, later on, to the story-writing departments. Last, but not least, he claimed to be a fairly successful radio actor, for two to three years, when he was in his twenties (thus giving him the added experience to be able to do voices for cartoons).

Jay Ward, though he did have a love for cartoons, seemed to be much more of a businessman. According to Keith Scott, who penned The Moose That Roared, Ward had a real estate business, both before and during the studio's reign.

In Scott's 1974 letter, to me, he said that he and Jay Ward had discussed the name of their enterprise and had concluded that, since Ward already had a name in cartoons (he had produced the very first television cartoon series, ever, around 1950----Crusader Rabbit.), they would name their studio after him. Scott also said that,he was willing to go along with this, because he knew that Ward was the one "who always worried about the money".

I asked Bill Scott why he chose to never receive any credit for the voices that he did for all their cartoons.......After all.........he did nearly all of the starring voices, in their three series. He answered my question, in the "P.S." portion of his letter. He wrote: "I decided that it would look pretty dumb for my name to keep coming up for everything: Production, Direction, Writing, Voices.........So I opted to take the highest credit: Producer."; he added, "Looking back, I'm not sure that was such a good idea.......".

A really interesting fact, about Bill........not only did he do most of the starring voices but, per voice actor, Daws Butler (in his own letter to me), Bill wrote about 90% of all the scripts for Jay Ward Productions (even for their Quaker Oats and Aunt Jemima waffles commercials, which came later). Daws Butler, who had also dabbled in comedy writing (even after he had established himself as a voice-over artist), added that he and Bill had worked together, as writers, before Bill had met Jay Ward (Bill had told me that they met in 1957). Butler said that they used to compare notes. He said, "I'd laugh at Bill's stuff and he'd laugh at mine!".

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