Gerald McBoing Boing
Real Name: Gerald McCloy
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Gerald McBoing Boing is a cartoon character derived from a Dr. Seuss story. The basic motif of the character is that he is only able to communicate through sound effects.
He was originally given animated life by a 1950 Academy Award-winning short, still considered by modern animators as one of the best cartoons of all time. Indeed, the original cartoon has been specially archived by the Library of Congress as significant to American cultural history.
In most of the theatrical shorts released by Columbia/UPA, narrators and other characters spoke in Seussian rhymes, punctuated by Gerald's sound effects.
This was dropped in the last theatrical cartoon, and not continued in the subsequent television series that ran in 1956. Despite this movement away from the award-winning formula, the TV cartoon nevertheless enjoyed unusual success for its age. It likely was the first animated series to run in prime time, although it did so only in re-runs in 1957. Still, Its high production costs caused it to be nixed after just three months.
The character himself evolved over time to display a dual persona. Originally, McBoing Boing was a child who communicated solely through sound effects. Later, however, it was revealed that this was just an act for the cameras, and that previous appearances had been "plays within plays". The real life Gerald was, in fact, a child actor whose gig was that he didn't speak onscreen.
It was this actor who eventually crossed over into Mr. Magoo cartoons, also produced by the same company.
This distinction actually didn't originate onscreen, but rather in Dell comics. Perhaps because they were unable to convey sound effects convincingly on the page, they introduced this notion of the "real" Gerald in their 1953 series, well before the first Magoo/Gerald team-up onscreen.
According to the original short, the character is actually named "Gerald McCloy", with "McBoing Boing" just a nickname given to him by the kids in his school. Additionally, some sources have his nickname hyphenated as "Gerald McBoing-Boing", although this spelling does not appear on any comic cover.
First Appearance: None listed.
View a chronological listing of this character's appearances
Four Color Comics (1942)
#561 Gerald McBoing Boing and the Nearsighted Mr. Magoo (1952)
- 'The Nearsighted Mr. Magoo and Gerald McBoing Boing'#602
- 'The Nearsighted Mr. Magoo and Gerald McBoing Boing'
Mr. Magoo's Holiday Special (2003)
One Shot The Comics Journal (1977)
- 'Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol'
The Nearsighted Mr. Magoo and Gerald McBoing Boing (1953)
The Toon Treasury of Classic Children's Comics (2009)
- 'The Toon Treasury of Classic Children's Comics'
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