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55 years ago today: Rocky & His Friends premiered.

In a post-Simpsons/South Park/Family Guy age, it’s perhaps a little difficult to understand how revolutionary Rocky and Bullwinkle were in their time, but Jay Ward, Bill Scott, and team laid the foundation for much of the adult TV animation that has followed, both in tone and substance.

bullwinkle-thumbSee Also: The Art of Jay Ward Productions: A Visual Essay by Darrell van Citters

Below you can see how audiences were first introduced to Rocky, Bullwinkle, and the rest of the gang on Thursday, November 19, 1959. From the very start, the show took jabs at politicians, the media, world affairs, and the military-industrial complex, while at the same time proving that a limited budget doesn’t have to mean limited creative expression:

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[Thanks, Dann Pryce, via Cartoon Brew’s Facebook group]

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