On Two Crazy Birds

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It’s Heckle and Jeckle!

A pair of identical magpies in appearance and who are brash, cynical and antagonistic to deliberately annoy and outwit foes with comic aggression

Also characterized by their witty banter with each other

They seldom referred to each other by name

#25 on TV Guide’s All-Time Cartoon Characters

Jeckle

  • Speaks with an English accent
  • Uses refined language
  • Refers to Heckle as “old chap”, “old thing”, “old boy” or “old featherhead”
  • More devious than Heckle
  • Initially more polite

Heckle

  • Speaks with a gruff New York dialect
  • More rough and informal than refined
  • Refers to Jeckle as “chum” or “pal”
  • More confrontational than Jeckle

They can sing (as in the beginning of Blue Plate Symphony (1954)

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Background

Created by Paul Terry at his own Terrytoons animation studio

Heckle and Jeckle preceded Goofy Gophers (Warner Brothers) and Chip ‘n’ Dale (Disney)

5 voices actors (1946-1981) with Sid Raymond being the first

52 Heckle and Jeckle theatrical shorts
First appearance The Talking Magpies (Terrytoons, 1946)
Last appearance Birds of Paradise (Filmation, 1981)
Last made by CBS Messed-Up Movie Makers (1966)

Appeared as husband and wife in The Talking Magpies, which only last one episode  (If she prefers, Tiny Geek can click here for a low-quality version in French)

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First television appearance July 13, 1956, CBS Cartoon Theatre hosting by Dick Van Dyke

Frequently appeared on various Mighty Mouse shows and eventually, their own show

Also appeared in comic books as Terrytoon Comics,  St. John Publications, Pines Comics, Dell Comics, and Gold Key Comics

Enjoy Taming the Cat (1948)

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52 thoughts on “On Two Crazy Birds

  1. Your country must be full of mad cartoons – those birds has never flew into my life – but they are crazy and wonderful … love the chef video. Have a great weekend now.

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  2. Definitely remember it watching them. Loved their semi-formal banter while looking like airborne hobos. I always wondered if there was any controversy about them seeming too portray a black stereo type. Sort of like Amos and Andy with wings.

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  3. I had totally forgotten about Heckle & Jeckle. Thanks Frank!

    I remember when somebody gave me Mexican Jumping beans when I was a kid. I expected them to act like they did in the cartoon.

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  4. I loved Heckle & Jeckle when I was a kid! I knew it came on with another cartoon but couldn’t remember which until I saw the reference to Mighty Mouse. I kept thinking it was part of the Rocky & Bullwinkle Show, which I also loved. I like the Goofy Gophers, too, though I remember it as Go Go Gophers for some reason – maybe that was the theme song??

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    • Sandy,
      Glad that H&J triggered those memory cells! Meanwhile, you got me going on the two sets of gophers. The think the Goofy Gophers were part of Looney Tunes while the Go Go Gophers was part of the Underdog Show. So here’s the song to toast you efforts.

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    • LeClown,
      When I saw the French version, the turning wheels of my neurological pathways thought of Tiny Geek … thus the reason for the reference. Hope she enjoys these two wild and crazy birds.

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  5. I do remember Heckle and Jeckle very well, Frank, but I had forgotten their voices! It was good to hear them again. It’s funny to me that before being reintroduced to so many cartoon favorites through your weekly review, I would have said I didn’t watch that many cartoons as a child. But I obviously did! I remember so many of them entirely too well to think that any longer. This was a really fun one for me. They were around for quite a while with many episodes, so I must have watched it regularly! 🙂

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  6. I have nominated you (given you) blogging awards. Claim your awards on my blog, please. Just check my most recent post. Thanks!

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  7. Heckle and Jeckle are great! I enjoyed the music, the accents, the snappy one-liners, and the detailed (pre-Hannah Barbera) animation.

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  8. I completely forgot about Heckle and Jeckle, Frank. I don’t recall watching them much as a kid. The violence would not have been an issue with my parents. And the animation was good. Maybe they were being broadcast a I was rotting my mind on some other show?

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    • Lame,
      You were probably on another show. After all, I wasn’t a Mighty Mouse regular, which may also mean I didn’t watch many of the CBS cartoons. Nonetheless, they are classics!

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  9. I actually was inspired by your love of old cartoons to make a post about the physics of old cartoons…sort of. Mostly about how they can eat themselves out of existence. [http://www.debelit.com/2013/07/fun-with-autophagia-art-of-eating.html]

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