I have been looking for episodes from the Tomfoolery Show at least since 2002, when I heard of this show largely based on characters created by Edward Lear.

The Yonghy Bonghy Bo (?)

While no episode has turned up so far, Ron Kurer’s Toon Tracker at least provides a few pictures; according to the entry, Tomfoolery was

a series patterned after NBC’s then popular live-action Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, aired on NBC-TV from September 12, 1970 through September 4, 1971. It was a Rankin-Bass Production, produced in England by Halas & Batchelor Animation Ltd.

The series was based upon the nonsensical verse and whimsical characters of authors such as Edward Lear, Ogden Nash, Frank Gelett Burgess, and Lewis Carroll. It was billed as a mixture of “Riddles, Jokes and Silly Things”.

Some of the characters included The Yonghy Bonghy Bo (a creature whose head was larger than his body), The Scrooby Snake, The Umbrageous Umbrella Maker, The Purple Cow, Goops, The Fastidious Fish, and The Enthusiastic Elephant. The voices were provided by Peter Hawkins, Bernard Spear, and The Maury Laws Singers. The show was intended to entertain and educate the younger viewers on the elements of children’s literature, but most viewers were confused by the disjointed and difficult to follow segments and it left the air within a year.

The Scrooby Snake (?)

Halas & Batchelor (short biographies on screenonline), by the way, also produced a nice 3D cartoon from “The Owl and Pussycat” in 1952 which is available (in normal 2D) on the DVD The Cartoons of Halas & Batchelor (Hen’s Tooth Video, 2000).

The Owl and the Pussycat, Helas & Batchelor 1952.

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2 Responses to Tomfoolery

  1. Pingback: A Blog of Bosh - » Tomfoolery

  2. Glenn Hall says:

    Oh wow, I remember watching this cartoon series! It made quite an impression on me at the time! I’ve often thought about it.. & tried to find anyone else who can remember it.. (but no one ever does). I didn’t realise it only lasted a single year. Another thing I never realised was that it was English.. (& not American). I think the an animated cartoon of the Osmond brothers (US pop group) was on TV at the same time so it kind’ve reminded me of that. I was born in 1963 so I guess I must have been around 7 or 8yrs-old at the time. The main characters that stick in my head are the Umbrella Man.. & a goldfish bowl walking on stilts..! Ah, happy (& weird) memories.

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