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Where Bullwinkle and Rocky Meet

May 13th, 2017 · No Comments · Uncategorized

A former colleague was driving in Banff, Alberta, looking for a restaurant, when he came to an intersection that spoke to him.

Just as it would to most every Baby Boomer who grew up watching Jay Ward Productions on television.

The colleague sent the photo to several members of his age cohort, and the cracking wise was pretty much inevitable.

Wrote one:

“One block removed from Boris and Natasha.”

Suggested another: “Perhaps a certain mounted police officer with a large chin could have helped with directions.”

And a third: “To follow this thread, a person really needs a Wayback Machine.”

This all pertains to a cartoon series that appeared on network television in the United States for about 4.5 years, from 1959 into 1964.

The series now is generally known as The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, referring to the main characters in the primary segment of each episode — Bullwinkle being the moose and Rocket J. “Rocky” Squirrel … the squirrel.

They often struggled with the nefarious cloak-and-dagger duo known as Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale — Boris and Natasha.

A second segment of the show was a send-up of oldtime melodrama, starring the upright Canadian Mountie Dudley Do-Right, who has a heroic chin and a weakness for the vamp Nell — who often is put in mortal danger by the black-hatted Snidely Whiplash.

And the Wayback Machine?

Apparently, the makers of the cartoons (the aforementioned Jay Ward Productions) decided to use a time machine in the Peabody’s Improbable History segment. The idea was to make the time machine sound like a big “modern” (circa 1960) computer. Apparently, the UNIVAC computer gave rise to the cartoon’s WABAC, which is often known a half-century later simply as the Wayback Machine.

So, what is the point?

None. Other than some latter-day fan in Banff came up with the Moose and Squirrel intersection, and that sent us down memory lane, where cartoons were (of course) better and more clever than they are now.

 

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