“Rocky” J. Squirrel and Bullwinkle J. Moose Turns 61 Years Old

Sixty-one years ago today, the world was introduced to Rocket “Rocky” J. Squirrel and Bullwinkle J. Moose. An animated television series called Rocky and His Friends debuted on ABC at 5:30 pm on November 19, 1959.
Sponsor General Mills retained all United States television rights to the series. Two packages, each containing different episodes, are available. The syndicated version of The Bullwinkle Show contains 98 half-hour shows.

The syndicated version of The Bullwinkle Show contains 98 half-hour shows. The first 78 comprise the Rocky & Bullwinkle story lines from the first two seasons of the original series (these segments originally aired under the Rocky and His Friends title). Other elements in the half-hour shows (Fractured Fairy Tales, Peabody’s Improbable History, Dudley Do-Right of the Mounties, Aesop and Son, and short cartoons including Bullwinkle’s Corner and Mr. Know-It-All) sometimes appear out of the original broadcast sequence. The final 20 syndicated Bullwinkle Show episodes feature later Rocky & Bullwinkle story lines (from “Bumbling Bros. Circus” through the end of the series, minus “Moosylvania”) along with Fractured Fairy Tales, Bullwinkle’s Corner, and Mr. Know-It-All segments repeated from earlier in the syndicated episode cycle. Originally, many syndicated shows included segments of Total Television’s The World of Commander McBragg, but these cartoons were replaced with other segments when the shows were remastered in the early 1990s. A package, promoted under the Rocky and His Friends name but utilizing The Rocky Show titles, features story lines not included in the syndicated Bullwinkle Show series.

The most recently syndicated Rocky and His Friends package retains the 15-minute format, consisting of 156 individual episodes, but like The Bullwinkle Show, the content differs from the versions syndicated in the 1960s. The various supporting segments, including Fractured Fairy Tales, Peabody’s Improbable History (91), and Aesop and Son (39) segments are syndicated as part of Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales, and 38 of the 39 Dudley Do-Right cartoons are syndicated as part of Dudley Do Right (sic) and Friends.

Known as
* Rocky and His Friends (ABC)
* The Bullwinkle Show (NBC)
* The Rocky Show (Syndication)
* The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show (Syndication/Cartoon Network)
* The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle (Syndication)
* The Adventures of Bullwinkle and Rocky (Syndication)
* Bullwinkle’s Moose-O-Rama (Nickelodeon)

Created by
* Jay Ward
* Alex Anderson
* Bill Scott

Narrated by
* William Conrad
* Paul Frees
* Edward Everett Horton

Theme music composer
* Frank Comstock (Seasons 1–2)
* Fred Steiner (Seasons 3–5)

No. of seasons: 5
No. of episodes: 163 (815 segments)

Production company(s)
* Jay Ward Productions
* Gamma Productions
* Producers Associates of Television, Inc.

Original network
* ABC (1959–61)
* NBC (1961–64)

Original release
November 19, 1959 – June 27, 1964
Running time: 23 minutes

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Mark Addy