On a Swinger

George, George, George of the Jungle,
Strong as he can be.
(Ahhhhahhhahhhhhh)
Watch out for that tree.

George, George, George of the Jungle,
Lives a life that’s free.
(Ahhhhahhhahhhhhh)
Watch out for that tree.

When he gets in a scrape,
he makes his escape
with the help of his friend,
an ape named Ape.
Then away he’ll schlep
on his elephant Shep
While Fella and Ursula
Stay in step.

Well….George, George, George of the Jungle,
Friend to you and me.

Watch out for that tree.

—-

George is a dim-witted parody of Tarzan

#30 on TV Guide’s 50 Greatest Cartoon Characters

Basic plot: District Commissioner Alistair contacts George to save jungle inhabitants from various threats

Running gag: George forgetting he lives in a treehouse, thus falling to the ground every time he leaves home

Other Characters

  • Ursula, a Jane-like character whom George refers to as “Fella”
  • Ape (an ape) is George’s closest friend
  • Shep, George’s pet elephant (“great big peanut-lovin’ poochie”)
  • Tookie Tookie, a bird whose call is, “Ah ah ee ee tooky tooky”
  • Frequent foes are hunters”Tiger” Titherage and “Weevil” Plumtree, plus Dr. Chicago (a mad scientist)

Production
Produced by Jay Ward and Bill Scott

First Jay Ward production since Rocky and Bullwinkle

Appeared on ABC Saturday mornings from September 9 to December 30, 1967

Only 17 original episodes, so reruns continued through 1970

Unlike previous Ward series, the animation production was done in Hollywood

Limited number of episodes due to production going over budget

Bill Scott, June Foray, Paul Frees, and Daws Butler provided most of the character voices over all three segments.

The Show
Each episode featured three segments in the form of three unrelated cartoons: George of the Jungle, Tom Slick, and Super Chicken.

Each segment’s theme song was written by the team of Stan Worth and Sheldon Allman

Tom Slick Intro

.
Super Chicken Intro

.

Other Tidbits
“Weird Al” Yankovic did a cover version of the George of the Jungle theme on his 1985 album Dare to Be Stupid

Disney released George of the Jungle movies in 1997 and 2003

Dedicated George of the Jungle website

Enjoy The Sultan’s Pearl

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37 thoughts on “On a Swinger

  1. #30 In the top 50 with so few episodes ? Doesn’t seem right. I remember super chicken but not tom slick.

    Have you covered Dudley dooright? Or was he part of the entire Bullwinkle package ?

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  2. I don’t remember watching George. But, the other Ward production of Rocky was one of my favorites, and still is. How clever and witty. It was not a kid’s cartoon series.
    Dudley deserves to be covered along with Snidely Whiplash. And, Jane?

    Thanks for the memories. Those were buried under lots of detritus in my mind.

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  3. Oh, I loved George. But John will not be lovin’ you, Frank. I’ve got that song stuck in my head and it’s your fault!

    I loved Brendan Frasier as George. Hilarious. Painful, but hilarious.

    Thanks Frank!

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  4. You do know that I’ll now be singing that song ALL day, Frank! (There are FAR worse songs to be singing, I suppose….)

    It’s strange, but I remember the theme song well, but I don’t remember anything about the cartoon itself. Thanks for the reminder. By the way, what’s your take on Hollywood’s insistence in re-making all these classics?

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  5. The ranking kind of surprises me but at the same time it doesn’t. After watching the Disney movies, I was pretty much hooked on the idea of George. It was brainless, catchy, and pretty awesome. I never really thought of it as a Tarzan parody, but that really makes a lot of sense! My aunt took me to see Tarzan the day it came out in theaters. I seem to have an affinity for ape-men.

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  6. I’m happy for the return of Saturday morning cartoons. I remember this cartoon. And it’s a welcome respite from SpongeBob. “On a swinger” haha, good one! Hope you’re having a fabulous weekend, Frank. xo

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  7. All new to me again ….. but I love “George of the Jungle” – funny guy … but a bit beaten up by all the trees .. *smile – and I love that “pearl in the box” … she didn’t take any prisoners. *smile – thanks for the smiles, Frank.

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  8. Ah yes, George! I can hear the song in my head and certainly knew who he was, but he was a little later and by the time he came along I wasn’t watching cartoons. Somehow he still is very familiar, so maybe I did sneak in a show now and then, but probably didn’t admit it to anyone. 🙂

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  9. Frank, I recall being a huge fan of the fun theme song but remembering next to nothing about the cartoons, even though I surely watched all 17. Now almost 46 years later, I rather enjoyed the episode you embedded in this post. Granted, it was lame brained, but very imaginative and there was a risque (lite) joke snuck into the storytelling — the camel’s crotch-flavored ice cream bar. As tree stump dumb as George was, a lot of thought went into these episodes, except I suppose, how to stay on budget.

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    • Lame,
      As I watched this episode, I was drawing the script similarities to Rocky and Bullwinkle … however, I can’t recall catching that at the time. As always, thanks for your analysis.

      Like

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