Chocodile and Friends (Johnsonverse)
Chocodile and Friends is an American animated anthology series hosted by Chocodile that mainly consists of classic Ludicrous Limericks cartoons released by Johnson Studios. It has aired since September 3, 1955, and moved to WBC on September 6, 1969, having previously aired on CBS for the first fourteen seasons. Each episode runs for one hour, and includes seven theatrical cartoons, combined with newly-animated linking sequences of Chocodile hosting a TV series in a studio, all produced by the Johnson Cartoon Studios staff.
Since its inception in 1955, the show has maintained consistent viewership, even during the infamous Phil Stacker era of WBC (then known as JTV). It has been considered one of the greatest animated series of all time, and paved the way for various compilation series in the years to come. It has been nominated for ten Emmys, winning seven of them; in 2009, it also won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation.
Chocodile and his friends host a variety show in a television studio. Throughout the show, one or more of the characters appear on the set, either to contribute or to cause mayhem. Each episode consists of seven cartoons
- Mel Blanc as Chocodile, Bobby Bear, Dr. Ricardo, Rudy Rat, Rambling Ron, Barnaby Price, Private Emerson, Don Sonny, (1955-1989), and Larry J. Crock (1955-1987)
- Noel Blanc as Chocodile and Private Emerson (1989-2005)
- Dana Snyder as Chocodile (1995-)
- Jeff Bergman as Larry (1987-), Dr. Ricardo, and Don Sonny (1989-)
- June Foray as Cherridile, Muffy Dyer, Countess Carly, and Katy (1955-2017)
- Candi Milo as Cherridile, Muffy Dyer, Countess Carly (1990-), and Sammy Squirrel (2009-)
- Billy Bletcher as Solomon (1955-1978)
- Gregg Berger as Bobby Bear (1990-)
- Sara Berner as June Stanford (1955-1969)
- Julie Bennett as Sammy Squirrel (1955-2009), June Stanford, Stanley Price, and Deputy Private Winslow (1969-2009)
- Kath Soucie as June Stanford (1992-)
- Kaitlyn Robrock as Stanley Price (2009-)
- Kari Wahlgren as Deputy Private Winslow (2009-)
- Barbara Luddy as Bud Charles (1955-1979)
- Tress MacNeille as Bud (1979-)
- Hal Smith as Dr. Numchuck (1955-1994)
- Joe Alaskey as Rudy Rat (1989-) and Dr. Numchuck (1994-)
- Gerald Jankowski as Darrell Dog (1955-1979)
- Tom Kenny as Darrell Dog (1984-)
- Rochelle Hudson as Dorothy Dog (1955-1972)
- B. J. Ward as Dorothy Dog (1972-)
- Pinto Colvig as Creighton Cat (1955-1967)
- Larry Storch as Creighton Cat (1967-)
- Eric Bauza as Creighton Cat (2001-)
- Erik Estrada as Officer Thomas Mondo (1988-)
- Howard Morris as Dynamite Dennis (1948-2005)
- John Kassir as Dynamite Dennis (2005-)
- Maurice LaMarche as Rambling Ron (1989-)
- Billy West as Barnaby Price (1989-)
- J. P. Karliak as Private Emerson (2005-)
- Randy Perkins as Kerry (1961-2007)
- Rodger Bumpass as Kerry (2007-)
- Joan Gerber as Katy (1961-2011)
- Jessica DiCicco as Katy (2011-)
- Stan Freberg as K-02 (1955-2015)
- Larry Miller as K-02 (1999-)
- John Stephenson as Old Man Clancy (1955-)
- Charlie Adler as Sheldon Garfield (1989-) and Old Man Clancy (2000-)
In 1953, the then-CEO of Johnson Industries, Sheldon Johnson, wanted to produce a compilation series of Ludicrous Limericks cartoons for television. He envisioned a series in which classic cartoons would be bookended by a variety show. This
The animation is done in-house at Johnson Cartoon Studios. Directed by Johnson staff members, these segments are noted for their high-quality animation, with lush, detailed backgrounds.
Chocodile and Friends debuted on CBS on September 3, 1955, airing on Saturdays at 8:30 AM EST, under the sponsorship of The Hershey Company. New linking sequences produced by Bob Clampett, Randy Perkins, and Gerald Jankowski were used to link the three cartoons together. The opening theme was the Chocodile theme by Mayhew Lester Lake, with added lyrics, accompanied by Chocodile and his friends dancing throughout the stage. The intro sequence is still used today, and still uses Mel Blanc's vocals long after his 1989 death, as well as the original animation (which was rotoscoped to widescreen in 1994 for the show's 40th season due to it being the show's first season in widescreen).
Expansion to one hour (1961-1969)
In 1961, the series was expanded to one hour. More cartoons were also added to the show's rotation, including cartoons dating back to 1926's "In a Bind", the first cartoon in the Ludicrous Limericks series. It also had a much higher budget than before, with animation that was described as "Disney-quality".
Move to WBC (1969-1981)
When WBC was created in 1968, Johnson announced that it would conclude the show's run on CBS at the end of the 1968-1969 season. Starting on September 6, 1969, the show moved to WBC, where it has remained ever since. In 1979, at the age of 80, Jankowski retired.
Stacker era (1982-1991)
Starting in the show's 28th season (1982-1983), it was decided
Back under Johnson (1991-1994)
Early in the 1991-1992 season, Sheldon Johnson, Jr. became the new showrunner.
Move to widescreen (1994-1999)
Starting in the show's 40th season (1994-1995), the series switched to widescreen. The first episode in that season, which aired on September 10, 1994, featured the original, standard-definition version of the Chocodile and Friends opening being played for the last time, then in the first segment, Chocodile is about to introduce the show, only for a station manager to notify him of the change. Chocodile and the manager then pull the black bars away from view, symbolizing the change.
In 1996, Ludicrous Limericks creator Gerald Jankowski passed away at the age of 90. His son, Gerald Jankowski, Jr., replaced him as per the terms of his will.
Addition of modern cartoons (1999-2010)
The Tim Johnson era (2010-present)
With the show's 56th season, Tim Johnson became the executive producer of the show. He encouraged the writers to add in
The series was critically acclaimed. It
The series inspired other compilation series such as The Bugs Bunny Show (1960-present),