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B&F meet Freleng and Clampett

Once again, I’ve dug out a few embarrassing photos of myself which I thought I’d post online for posterity. In 1982, Will Friedwald and myself took a trip to L.A. to visit a few friends – including our Warner Bros. cartoon heroes Bob Clampett and Friz Freleng.

Clampett was already a friend to us from previous trips and long distance phone calls, and he was delighted to pose with us and our newly printed Looney Tunes guide (the original Scarecrow Press edition). I think he’s reading a direct quote from Bosko’s Picture Show as the camera snapped. This photo is dated 8/25/82.

Freleng was at his office at Warner Bros. in Burbank two days later (8/27/82) when we met him. I recall him showing us storyboards from Daffy Duck’s Fantastic Island, which was well into production, during our tour of the studio. Note the Pvt. Snafu statue on his desk – It had been on his shelf and we asked to have it included in the photo. Freleng was great to us and I got to know him well in later years — and he was certainly nothing like the hot tempered Yosemite Sam he was known to have inspired. (Click on photos below for a larger image).

  • Thanks for sharing this wonderful experience with us, Jerry. If Bob Clampett was as nice as his daughter Ruth, who was my VP, Creative Director at the WB Stores, it must have been a wonderful experience. I’ve also heard that Friz was very charming and gracious from my buddy, illustrator Kirk Mueller. Unfortunately I was toiling away in the NYC advertising business in those days, dreaming of a chance to draw comics and cartoons.

    Jeez, Jerry, were we ever really that young?

    Long live the Brew!

  • Christopher Cook

    Very nice. I got to meet Chuck Jones in 1983 at the Atlanta Fantasy Fair, and he was quite knowledgeable and genial. Two of us in the autograph line started reciting dialogue from “Hare Coniditioned” (“I’d like to see something nice in a pair of bedroom slippers…”).

    Chuck was a judge in that year’s amateur film contest, and I had an entry–an 8mm cartoon I did at home that calling it on a shoestring would have been more than kind. I wasn’t going to tell Chuck I was a contestant; if he saw my name tag and pegged me as a contestant in mind, cool. But our conversation was strictly about him.

  • Jerry, Very cool pics–thanks for sharing ’em!!!

  • Those are not embarrassing photos. Speaking as a young punk who was born the year Clampett died, I can say that if I had pictures of myself with him or Freleng, I’d post them everywhere all the time.

  • BillField

    Amazing how far the pursuit of animation history has driven both publishing and blogs-Not to mention the dvd format as the means to preserve these treasures,these pre-net interviews, brushes with greatness that they are.

  • I was lucky enough to spend a weekend with Bob and his family when we taped the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame in the Bay Area some years ago.

    He was a great guy, and so much fun to be around.

  • Bob Clampett had a wastebasket with the words “RABBIT RUBBISH” printed on it? I love it!!

    And you were pretty good looking in those pictures, Jerry…=)

  • Nice pictures, Mr. Beck. You may think those are embarrassing, but at least you have moments in time from knowing true legends of animation. Guys like you were lucky to meet Clampett and Freleng, among other animation idols. Some of us never had that chance.
    John Kricfalusi told a story in Ottawa about meeting Bob Clampett and seeing his office. From the sound of it, Clampett was someone who enjoyed meeting people, and always leaving his impression on them. I wish I had the resources to meet more of my idols.

    Also, in the Clampett photo, I notice a trash bin labeled “RABBIT RUBBISH,” which of course is from CORNY CONCERTO. Nice touch there.

  • Stephen DeStefano

    Photos of all my animation heroes.

  • amid

    I raise your Clampett and Freleng with a Jones:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/1087695598/

  • Anna

    sir, I wish I had “embarrassing” moments of ..err.. photos like these!

  • Whatever happened to your pal Will, Jerry? We never hear much about him these days anymore.

    BTW, Jerry, did Clampett have any comment to make about “you dirty f***” from Bosko’s Picture Show?

  • Dan Varner

    FYI: That statue of Snafu was modeled by a guy named Ray Harryhausen.

  • Milt Gray made that trash can!

  • joe s

    you are very lucky to have met giants in your area of expertise. i wouldn’t think anyone would want to see me posing with a quality control supervisor in the aerosol industry.

  • uncle wayne

    thank YOO for that great sharing!! When Mr. C. died, Sody sent me a (gigantic) Beany & Cecil poster….which, to this day, is a prized possession! I also had the (extreme) pleasure of having “spent the afternoon” with Mr. J. in New Orleans in the mid-80s. Royalty, indeed!

  • Awesome stuff, Jerry and Amid. Always love seeing it.

  • Wes Riojas

    Love the studio t-shirt!!!

  • Jim Engel

    I have two or three photos w/Bob Clampett where he’s got his index finger jammed up my nose…he did it the first time “by accident”, asking the photog “have you got Jim in the picture?” and reaching over his shoulder, “pointing” towards me, to my surprise, he shoved his finger straight up my nostril!

    Twice after THAT, when Chuck Fiala & I would see him, he proposed a commemorative re-creation… you didn’t get that kinda zaniness outta the Twain & Santayana-quoting Chuck Jones. I loved Clampett for being just the kind of wacky cartoonist you’d expect a Termite Terrace guy to be…

    The Minneapolis Comicon presented him with a giant silk carrot when he & Sody were guests, and when we took a picture THERE, he stuck the end of the CARROT up my nose…

    I note that self-same silk carrot on the couch in your photo, and it is mischieviously aligning itself with Will’s groin…death cannot stop wacky Clampett pix!

  • Tom Minton

    Will Friedwald turns up as a talking head in the documentary “Anita O’Day: The Life of a Jazz Singer” which screened recently at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Anyone the least bit curious about what came before in popular music should read Will’s thoroughly researched book on Sinatra, “The Song is You”, a paragon of the genre.

  • Looney Lover

    This stuff always brings a little tear to my eye. I wish the animators of today had the blessings that you guys had of meeting and becoming friends with some of the greats cartoonists of all time. I guess the only benefit we have now over then is that we can actually see and study the cartoons these greats made. Thanks Jerry

  • You guys are indeed lucky to have met the true greats of animation and two of the folks who were part of the LOONEY TUNES from moment one!! Jerry, you should also post any sketchings that you might have of Bosko from Hugh Harmon when you met *HIM*! When I wrote my piece on the BOSKO trilogy, I only wish that I had such a graphic to share!

  • Collin Kellogg

    Thanks for the nostalgia, Jerry.

    As you may recall, I took that trip with you to L.A. from NYC in the summer of 1983 and again in 1984, where you repeated these same two visits (with me in your presence) with these two giants of toondom at their respective offices. It’s a experience I will always treasure for the rest of my life.

    We also visited the Don Bluth studio, where we spoke with Bluth, John Pomeroy and Gary Goldman, and the Paramount Pictures studio. Thanks for being my friend and inviting me along!

    Will Friedwald is the jazz writer for the great New York Sun newspaper where he has at least two or three big articles a week.
    Your old pal,

  • I met Chuck and Friz, but there’s no photographic proof the meetings ever took place. (sigh)

  • P.C. Unfunny

    I am always super jealous you met the greats Jerry.

    Amid: Aww….

  • top_cat_james

    I’m luckier than most, I guess. I’ve meet Bill Melendez and Billy West.

    Jerry, I still remember buying you and Will’s Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies guide at a San Antonio comics shop in 1989 and pouring over it on the way home to west Texas, delighting in the more smart-assed reviews and comments of some of the cartoons. Still has ahonored place on my bookshelf.

    Caption to Amid’s photo:

    “Mr. Jones, when I grow up I want to alienate cartoon fans all over the world with my curmudgeonly comments, just like you!”

  • (My computer freezes every time I try to post so this my final & hopefully successful attempt)

    Here’s my photo with Chuck Jones. Though I was 3,000 miles away, I refused to let this minor detail stand in the way of having my pic taken with him:


  • Dana Anderson

    I was fortunate enough to meet Bob and his lovely wife Sody on two(actually three) different occasions and I took a tremendous amount of photos of these two very fine people and came away with some wonderful memories. I took a trip to CA. (from Tx.) back in Oct.1978 , wandered into Bob’s office unannounced and spent about two hours with him and Sody-no one could have been nicer and more giving than these two terrific friends! I traveled to the Minneapolis Comic Con in Oct.1979 and actually ended up having breakfast with Bob and Sody on Sunday morning (yes, Cecil was there and we had a great time) Sadly, the next time I went on vacation(March 1986), Bob was gone but Sody was a wonderful friend and invited us to her office and we had supper at her home with her and her daughter Cheri one evening (good food, good friends and loads more pictures). I write all of this to say that while I am not a “worshipper” of Bob -I have never met a more genuine person in my life (57 years so far ) Looking back I feel VERY fortunate to have spent time with these giants in the entertainment industry and no amount of negative blogging could ever change what I personally saw in Bob and Sody!

  • Dana, Can you post the pics? They sound incredible!

  • Jerry, by any chance did you or Will take any photos at the 1980 Cinecon with Bob, Hugh Harman and Grim Natwick?