Beany and Cecil
Beany and Cecil first appeared as a hand puppet TV show in the late 40’s created by Bob Clampett. It later became an animated cartoon series under the Warner Brothers aegis. The puppet show, entitled Time for Beany, originally aired in 1949, with the animated series first appearing in Matty’s Funday Funnies in 1959, later renamed Matty’s Funnies with Beany and Cecil and finally Beany and Cecil in the USA. Another season was produced in 1988. In its original form of hand puppets, the show conveyed a greater sense of personal communication than did the animated series which followed. The hand puppets were extensively marketed and did well as a merchandising function.
Originally created as a children’s show, the genius of the creators and writers soon became evident and the show began attracting more adults than children. When it was Time For Beany, the entire family was crowded around the 6″ television screen. The crux of Beany’s success was the intermingling of current political issues and fiascos that appeared as thinly veiled plots easily recognizable as lampoons of current political issues or personalities. The Shakespearian asides given by Beany, Cecil and the rest of the cast were magnificent and often alluded to embarrassing public fiascos or personages, on which the adult audience immediately picked up. That those gems of wisdom are lost forever is a great literary tragedy.