Chuck McCann, 83, actor (Heart/Lonely Hunter; Far Out Space Nuts; One/Day/Time); 1960s NYC kiddie show host
(too old to reply)
That Derek
2018-04-09 02:01:16 UTC
Breaking on Facebook and on Wikipedia.

More as this develops ...
2018-04-09 02:08:27 UTC
There's this really weird episode of G.I. Joe where Chuck's character
fights a villain named Buck McCann (NOT voiced by Chuck... I think he
was played by Dick Gautier.) I always wondered what the hell that was
all about.
That Derek
2018-04-09 02:30:38 UTC

Chuck McCann, legendary actor and WPIX personality, dead at 83: friends

Posted 10:13 PM, April 8, 2018, by PIX11 News, Updated at 10:16PM, April 8, 2018

Chuck McCann, the beloved comedic actor whose long career included children’s shows on WPIX as well as iconic commercials and appearances on countless TV shows and movies, has died at 83, friends confirmed to PIX11.

He had been ill in recent days, but the exact cause of death was not known.

McCann, who grew up in Queens, was a fixture on New York City television during the 1960s. He, along with Officer Joe Bolton, Capt. Jack McCarthy, Bozo the Clown and Gloria Okon, helped create PIX11's legendary children's programming. He starred in three shows on WPIX: Laurel & Hardy & Chuck, Let's Have Fun, and The Chuck McCann Show.

"It still is my home, PIX11, and it feels like it was just an hour and a half ago," McCann told PIX11 in 2012, when he visited the station for the last time.

His career spanned practically every medium of the entertainment industry, as he left New York for a long and successful career in Hollywood.

He appeared on television shows such as Columbo, The Bob Newhart Show, Bonanza!, Knots Landing, Sabrina The Teenage Witch and Boston Legal. He starred in the critically-acclaimed 1968 film The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter and the 1970 comedy film The Projectionist.

He also starred in several award-winning commercials. In 1962, McCann created the iconic Sonny the Cuckoo Bird mascot for General Mills and voiced the character until 1978. He was known as the “Hi Guy” neighbor in a famous series of Right Guard antiperspirant commercials.

McCann was an accomplished voice actor as well. He voiced characters in Bob Kane’s animated series Cool McCool, Fantastic Four, Powerpuff Girls, Ducktales, Adventure Time and The Garfield Show. His portrayal of Oliver Hardy was the stuff of legend.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.


Chuck McCann, R.I.P.

Published Sunday, April 8, 2018 at 5:17 PM.

Sometimes, you know it's coming any day now but you just don't want to admit it.
That Derek
2018-04-09 02:47:48 UTC

Chuck McCann, Comic Actor and Popular Kids TV Host, Dies at 83

7:34 PM PDT 4/8/2018
by Chris Koseluk

The fun-loving star did lots of voiceover work, was a fine Oliver Hardy impersonator and appeared in 'The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter.'

Chuck McCann, the goofy, good-natured comedian and TV host who was a hero to kids of all ages in and around New York City in the 1960s before he jumped into films, network television and commercials, has died. He was 83.

McCann died Sunday of congestive heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, publicist Edward Lozzi told The Hollywood Reporter.

With his cherubic face and ever-present grin, McCann epitomized fun. If the situation called for a goofy supporting character, he was your guy. An entertainment jack-of-all-trades, McCann worked as a kids show host, puppeteer, star of commercials, nightclub comic, movie actor, voiceover performer and celebrity impersonator.

The portly New York native had a key supporting role in The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (1968) and starred in the low-budget fantasy film The Projectionist (1971), appeared on scores of TV shows and did a spot-on imitation of comedy legend Oliver Hardy. (He was a founding member, along with actor Orson Bean, of the Sons of the Desert, the international fan club dedicated to celebrating Laurel & Hardy.)

"I did everything," McCann told TVParty.com in a 2007 interview. "I never closed doors. If you look at my career — if I had one — I never think of it as a career, I just look at it as things I love to do. I have just as much fun doing a 30-second commercial as I do making a movie."

In fact, one of McCann's most memorable roles came in a series of TV spots for Right Guard throughout the 1970s and '80s.

Sharing a medicine cabinet with his neighbor on the other side of the bathroom wall, McCann would bellow a cheerful "Hi Guy!" from behind the glass shelves to the stunned bathrobed guy next door. McCann would then go on to extol the benefits of this particular brand of spray-on deodorant.

McCann also created the voice of Sonny the Cuckoo Bird for General Mills' Cocoa Puffs TV commercials. His loony intonation of "I'm cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs" endeared the character to generations of cereal lovers.

McCann credited famed New York kids show host Sandy Becker for giving him a big break in the mid-1950s when they two worked together on a kids show for WABD-TV, Channel 5, then a DuMont network station.

"One day he called me over and said he was going and he wanted me to take over the show," McCann told Steve Fritz in a 2006 article for Animated Shorts. "At first, I couldn't believe he was talking to me. I said, 'Me?' and he said, 'Yeah.' Then I started to think about it. So I said, 'When do I start?' He said, 'Well, today's Friday. So you start Monday.'

"I said, 'Well, where are you going?' and he turned around and said, 'South America. You start at 7 in the morning. So long!' The elevator doors close, and off he went. That was my baptism by fire. The first day was just disastrous. It was hell on earth. It was also fun. It was really fun."

Becker also introduced McCann to Paul Ashley. The master puppeteer took McCann under his wing, teaching him everything there was to know about the craft. Starting with Rootie Kazootie in the 1950s, the pair collaborated well into the '60s.

Chuck McCann was born in New York City on Sept. 2, 1934. His grandfather performed in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, and his father, Val McCann, was a big band leader who served as the music arranger at New York's Roxy Theatre.

McCann liked to say that he grew up in the orchestra pit in that place. His time at the Roxy exposed him to the top comedians of the day, and he fondly remembered when Lou Costello treated him to ice cream.

Val McCann also had a running gig with CBS Radio, and during one of his appearances there, a director spotted Chuck and offered him a job doing voice-overs. McCann was 7 at the time, and he worked steadily in radio into his teens.

While attending Andrew Jackson High School, McCann would keep his classmates in stitches with his impersonations, and he appeared in nightclubs in and around Manhattan and Long Island. He then helped create Wonderama, a much-loved Sunday morning show that Becker hosted.

In November 1959, McCann started on The Puppet Hotel, a Saturday morning show that emanated from WNTA-TV in Newark, N.J. He hosted the program and played the befuddled desk clerk of a hotel populated by puppets created by Ashley.

Later, McCann manned the three-hour show Let's Have Fun on Sunday mornings, pretty much doing everything. One of his bits was to read the comics, dressed as the strip's character, from the day's newspaper. Among his favorites were Dondi, Dick Tracy, Superman and The Lone Ranger. His Little Orphan Annie — complete with big, blank white eyes (which he created by using a pair of coffee creamer containers) — was a classic.

And then, starting in 1963, every afternoon from Monday to Friday, he also headed The Chuck McCann Show. Like Let's Have Fun, it ran on WPIX-TV, Channel 11, so McCann was on that station seven days a week.

His final local TV endeavor was Chuck McCann's Laurel & Hardy TV Show, which debuted in 1966 on WNEW-TV, Channel 5. Featuring Laurel & Hardy animated cartoons created by Hanna-Barbera, the series gave McCann the opportunity to do his Oliver Hardy imitation. (Ashley played Stan Laurel.)

McCann had spent hours on the phone when he was a 12-year-old in Queens trying to locate Laurel, who lived in Santa Monica. Much to the youngster's surprise, Laurel answered the phone one day, and the two talked for hours. It led to a friendship that lasted until Laurel's death in 1965. (Hardy had died in 1957.)

One of McCann's first network television appearances was playing Hardy opposite Dick Van Dyke on a 1958 episode of The Garry Moore Show. The following year, he was Hardy to Tom Poston's Laurel on The Steve Allen Plymouth Show.

In the '80s, he teamed with comedian Jim MacGeorge to re-create the duo in commercial spots for Arby's, Tony's Pizza and Anco Wiper Blades.

For a brief time, McCann also appeared on The Captain Kangaroo Show as Sailor Clyde.

In a more serious role, McCann made his film debut in 1968 in The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, the adaptation of Carson McCullers' best-selling novel that starred Alan Arkin. The drama saw McCann tackle the difficult role of Spiros Antonapoulos, a mentally disabled man who is mute.

The only feature starring role of McCann's career came in the quirky The Projectionist, written and directed by Harry Hurwitz, in which he played an introvert who spends his days holed up in the tiny projection booth of a New York movie house.

The Projectionist gave McCann the opportunity to show off his talent for mimicry. Staring at pictures of the Hollywood stars that lined the booth, the projectionist let his imagination run wild, imitating the likes of Humphrey Bogart, Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne, Wallace Beery and yes, Laurel & Hardy. McCann also got to play an imaginary superhero, Captain Flash.

(The Projectionist also marked the movie debut of Rodney Dangerfield, who played McCann's condescending boss.)

McCann's film résumé also included Play It as It Lays (1972), Herbie Rides Again (1974), Linda Lovelace for President (1975), Silent Movie (1976), Foul Play (1978), C.H.O.M.P.S. (1979), Ladybugs (1992), Storyville (1992), Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993) and Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995).

McCann was a cast member of Turn On, producer George Schlatter's ill-fated 1969 attempt to go one step further than his sensational hit, Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In. Convoluted and unfunny, Turn On was canceled after one episode.

In 1975, McCann teamed with Bob Denver for the CBS family sitcom Far Out Space Nuts. Along with Earl Doud and Sid & Marty Kroft, McCann created the slapstick series about two bumbling maintenance workers who accidently get launched into space.

McCann also had recurring roles on Santa Barbara, Knots Landing and Boston Legal (as Judge Byron Fudd) and guest-starred on such shows as Bonanza, The Bob Newhart Show, Columbo, Kojak, Little House on the Prairie, Starsky & Hutch, The Rockford Files, One Day at a Time, St. Elsewhere, Diff'rent Strokes, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Mad About You.

When he wasn't in front of the camera, McCann lent his voice to projects. He was part of the cast of the big-selling album The First Family, Vaughn Meader's 1962 satire of President Kennedy and his entourage, and he did voices for NBC's Cool McCool, a 1966-69 animated spoof of James Bond co-created by Bob Kane of Batman fame.

McCann's animation credits also included Pac-Man, G.I. Joe, The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, DuckTales, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, Where's Waldo?, Animaniacs, Fantastic Four (as the voice of Ben Grimm/The Thing) and The Powerpuff Girls.

McCann married Betty Fanning, a former William Morris executive, in 1977 and had three children from his previous marriage.
That Derek
2018-04-09 14:54:33 UTC

[Mark Evanier’s “News from ME” pop culture blogsite]

Mr. Chuckles

Published Sunday, April 8, 2018 at 9:34 PM

I rarely called him that but others did often and it's obvious why. Chuck McCann was an outstanding member on any list of Funny People. His sixties kid show in New York was legendary and I don't think I was ever in a public place with Chuck without someone recognizing him and telling him how much they'd grown up on that show and loved it…and him.

Often, I'd find myself around a table with Chuck and other funny folks and here is how it would go: Someone would tell a story about a bad agent. Then almost everyone else around the table would tell a story about a bad agent. And then Chuck would tell the best story about a bad agent.

Or someone would tell a story about Milton Berle. Then almost everyone else around the table would tell a story about Milton Berle. And then Chuck would tell the best story about Milton Berle.

Or someone would tell a story about TelePrompters. Then almost everyone else around the table would tell a story about TelePrompters. And then Chuck would tell the best story about TelePrompters. When it came to telling great anecdotes, no one could follow him.

He loved to perform — any time for any audience. It could be two people or two million…didn't matter. The happiest I ever saw him was when I got him to come down to San Diego and be part of one of my Cartoon Voices panels at Comic-Con. Or maybe it was back when I was teaching Comedy Writing down at U.S.C. I drove Chuck down there to speak to my class and the students were mesmerized. At least one of them — he told me this, after — was less interested in learning from Chuck how to write funny than he was in learning how to brighten up a room and make everyone laugh and smile and have a good time.

That was a good reason to be around Chuck…to try and learn that. Another reason was that you laughed a lot. And you felt more creative. And you felt honored to have someone like that as your friend. I just started to write "I'm going to miss that guy" and then I realized: I already do.


• L.A. NOW

Actor and comedian Chuck McCann dies at 83

By Associated Press
APR 08, 2018 | 10:05 PM

Actor and comedian Chuck McCann, who recorded the famous line "I'm cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs!" has died. He was 83.

His publicist Edward Lozzi says McCann died Sunday of congestive heart failure in a Los Angeles hospital.

McCann was born Sept. 2, 1934, in Brooklyn. He moved to Los Angeles in the 1970s and made guest appearances on shows including "Little House on the Prairie," "Bonanza" and "Columbo."

He began an animation acting career, in which he voiced Mayor Grafton on "The Garfield Show" and reprised Duckworth in "DuckTales: Remastered."

He also played Heff Heffalump in Disney's "The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh."

He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Fanning, and two daughters.


Chuck McCann Dies: Comedian And Legendary Children’s TV Show Host Was 83

by Dino-Ray Ramos
April 8, 2018 8:07pm

Beloved children’s TV show host, comedian, puppeteer, actor, and voiceover artist Chuck McCann died on April 8 from congenital heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, Deadline has confirmed. He was 83.

McCann was born on September 2, 1934 in Brooklyn, New York. It was in his hometown where he made a name for himself as a versatile entertainer in the ’60s. He, along with Soupy Sales, Sandy Becker, and Claude Kirschner were comedic influencers of the time. He worked on various children’s shows including Captain Kangaroo and Rootie Kazootie.

In 1963, he headed The Chuck McCann Show which ran on New York’s WPIX-TV, seven days a week. He went on to host Chuck McCann’s Laurel & Hardy TV Show in 1966 which featured Laurel & Hardy animated cartoons created by Hanna-Barbera. The show gave McCann the opportunity to do his Oliver Hardy imitation.

His television career also included recurring roles on Santa Barbara, Knots Landing, and Boston Legal. He also had guest-starring roles on iconic shows such as Bonanza, The Bob Newhart Show, Columbo, Kojak, Little House on the Prairie, Starsky & Hutch, The Rockford Files, One Day at a Time, St. Elsewhere, Diff’rent Strokes, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Mad About You.

On the film side, he starred in the critically-acclaimed, Academy Award-nominated 1968 film The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter with Alan Arkin as well as the 1970 comedy The Projectionist opposite Rodney Dangerfield and Ina Balin. Other film credits include They Went That-A-Way & That-A-Way (1978), C.H.O.M.P.S. (1979), The Comeback Trail (1982), and Herbie Rides Again (1974). He also appeared in Mel Brooks’ 1993 cult comedy classic Robin Hood: Men in Tights.

He was also remembered for many award-winning commercials particularly Sonny the Cuckoo Bird, the mascot for General Mills’ cereal Coco Puffs. He voiced the memorable character who was “cuckoo for Coco Puffs” from 1962 until 1978. He may also be remembered for being the famous “Hi Guy” from the Right Guard series of Right Guard antiperspirant commercials.

As a voiceover actor, McCann is essentially a legend, having voiced numerous characters on animated series for decades. His credits include DuckTales, TaleSpin, Chip ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers, The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Garfield and Friends, Animaniacs, Fantastic Four, The Powerpuff Girls, Adventure Time and many more.

McCann married former William Morris executive Betty Fanning in 1977. He has three children from a previous marriage.



04/09/2018 05:47 am ET

Comedian Chuck McCann, The Voice Of Cocoa Puffs’ Cuckoo, Dead At 83
He also starred in scores of children’s TV programs, such as “Lunch with Soupy Sales” and “The Captain Kangaroo Show” and “Rootie Kazootie.”

Rich McKay

April 9 (Reuters) - The goofy voice behind the “I’m cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs” call for breakfast cereal fell silent Sunday, as comedian and voice actor Chuck McCann died, his publicist said.

“His work was legendary,” said his publicist Edward Lozzi. “What baby boomer doesn’t know cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs?”

The Brooklyn, New York, native died of congestive heart failure at a Los Angeles hospital at age 83, Lozzi said.

Showbusiness was in his blood, Lozzi said. He practically grew up in an orchestra pit where his father was a big band leader at New York’s Roxy Theatre. His grandfather also performed in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.

Through his family, McCann was exposed to some of the best comedians of the 1930s and 1940s and he would have his classmates in stitches imitating them at school, Lozzi said.

He got his professional start in local radio and television doing voices, puppetry work and standup comedy. McCann later starred in scores of children’s television programs such as “Lunch with Soupy Sales” and “The Captain Kangaroo Show” and “Rootie Kazootie,” Lozzi said.

McCann later moved to Los Angeles and worked as a character actor on shows including; “Little House on the Prairie,” “Bonanza,” and “Columbo.”

But he is best known for voicing the hungry bird Sonny for General Mills cereal.
“We all grew up with him,” Lozzi said. “He was a pioneer.”

He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Fanning, and two daughters.


Chuck McCann, New York comic, dead at 83


Sunday, April 8, 2018, 11:14 PM

Chuck McCann, the comedian and WPIX children’s show host, died Sunday in Los Angeles.

He was 83.

The Brooklyn-born comic began his career on “The Puppet Hotel,” a Saturday morning show in Newark, in 1959 before moving to WPIX in 1963 to host the daily “Chuck McCann Show.”

By the end of the decade, McCann was performing regularly on “The Garry Moore Show” and had appeared in the movie “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter,” but his career moved west to Los Angeles where he became a frequent guest on shows like “The Bob Newhart Show,” “Columbo” and “Little House on the Prairie.”

He also lent his voice to projects including “The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh,” “Animaniacs,” “DuckTales” and “The Powerpuff Girls.”

The comic was also a longtime friend of Hugh Hefner and frequented the Playboy Mansion in the ‘80s.

One of McCann’s last projects was a comedy podcast with documentarian Kevin Sean Michaels called “Trump: The Last Family.”

“He was our generation's God of Comedy,” publicist Edward Lozzi, who called himself McCann’s best friend, said in a statement to the Daily News.

“His connections to stars and showbiz range from working with his heroes Oliver & Hardy, Mae West and Cary Grant, to contemporary icons like Hugh Hefner, Howard Stern, George Schlatter, Tim Conway, Carol Burnett, Harvey Korman, Stan Lee and Jerry Lewis...he knew everyone.”