Philbert (1963)

In 2005 Warner Bros. released, as bonus material on Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 3, a rarely seen 1963 TV pilot called PHILBERT, one of the last things produced by Warner Bros. Cartoons before they closed shop. The live action/animation show starred William Schallert as Griff, a bachelor newspaper cartoonist who lives with his creation, a mischievous hipster cartoon character named Philbert. I was honored to do some audio track commentary on the DVD with animator Art Leonardi and voice actor Trustin Howard. When the show failed to sell (it was intended for ABC), Warner Bros. stripped the show of its laugh track, did some re-editing and released it as a 26 minute theatrical short subject. The version released on the Looney Tunes set is the theatrical version.However, Friz Freleng (who directed the animation) once gave me a damaged copy of the original TV show version and I’ve posted a clip of the opening below for the sake of comparison. Note the lively theme song with lyrics missing on the DVD release. Other deletions include the illustrated titles and the laugh track. It’s worth noting that the pilot was directed by Richard Donner and the opening sequence of Philbert dancing was animated by Art Babbitt.