August 25, 2001

Greg Burson followup


Greg Burson made some followup comments on my response to his previous email. With regards to my remarks, that there would have been problems for Daws, if he had been credited for voices on both Jay Ward and Hanna-Barbera's studios (due to the fact that their cartoons had competing sponsors/cereal companies), he pointed out a couple things to me:

HB was Kellogg's, Ward was Quaker hence: Cap'n Crunch.

Jay Ward did start out with General Mills. They did commercials for Lucky Charms, Trix and other such cereals. It was later on that they started doing the Quaker Oats commercials (Cap'n Crunch). For many years those Quaker Oats commercials were the only cartoons that they did (when they got fed up with censors, and the new wave of making a didactic slant more of a priority than a humorous slant, in kids' cartoons). They refused to bow to the new standards in cartoon series and let animated commercials be the extent of their endeavors in this field, for the last 17-18 years that their studio was open.

Greg also said the following about the role of the sponsors, in 50s/60s cartoon series:

In those days it was common practice for sponsors to "barter" a show; that's where the sponsors actually pay the costs of the show, add their commercials and give it to the networks who in turn sell the remaining time to other advertisers. The barter-sponsors then felt that they owned all appendages of the show.

(which would explain why Daws would have had problems being credited for voices on both Jay Ward and H-B's cartoons)

However, Greg went on to point out still more, about this, in Daws' case:

Daws' actions to not receive voice credit outside of the H-B cartoons were also his own actions, which demonstrated his loyalty to Bill and Joe........a loyalty which was truly exceptional. His talents, and his station in life, were, of course attributed to God.

About Don Messick, whom I mentioned I met, when I took a tour of the H-B studio (Don Messick did the voices of Scooby-Doo, Ranger Smith, Boo-Boo Bear and Arnold the newspaper boy on the Flintstones, among others), Greg said:

Don was a very dear friend

(He died on October 24, 1997 of a stroke. Lest there be any doubt, Don never worked for Jay Ward Productions)

About my remarks:

The casting director, who arranged for me to visit, said that Daws Butler was still working for them (this was the year before he died). She said that someone had to read his lines to him, into a head set, and then he would repeat, what they said, into the mike. Since he had had a stroke, it took him a little longer, than it used to, to read the lines from his script, and digest them mentally. The director said that they did this for him, to help him out.

Greg said:

Gordon Hunt is a very smart director and knew the they just couldn't "bump" into another man with Daw's still radiating talent.

And about my remarks:

Why does Joe Barbera's email address have a competing studio name in the address (Warner Bros.)?

Greg said:

Now that I think about it, he might have a different address; his office is physically in the Warner Bros. Animation building (formerly Robinson's dept. store, I think they occupy the lingerie section). The reason H-B and WB are in the same building is, AOL-TIME WARNER is now H-B's owner.

After a number of years of "ping-ponging" from one holding company to another, Joe stated " Finally, we once again answer to fellow animators."