Caricatures of Hollywood celebrities have been common practice in animated cartoons since the silent era. And comedians authorizing their personas for animation go back just as far (Otto Messmer’s series of Charlie Chaplin cartoons may have been the first). Since then, the essence of Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, The Three Stooges, et al.Ã¢â‚¬”all the way through Rodney (Rover) Dangerfield and coming up next fall, Jerry Seinfeld (Bee Movie)Ã¢â‚¬”live on in animated form. The cartoon counterpart for Mexican comedian Cantinflas continues today in animated shorts south of the border.
Comedy writer/actor/comedian Bill Dana created a Hispanic personality, Jose Jiminez, as a character for THE STEVE ALLEN SHOW in 1959. As Jiminez, Dana appeared on all the top variety shows, nightclubs, made record albums and even had his own TV series (although titled The Bill Dana Show, the 1963 NBC series starred Jose).