"Phineas J. Whoopee, you're the greatest!"
Total Television created this Saturday Morning Cartoon
in 1963 as a response to the famous "vast wasteland" speech given two years earlier by Newton Minow, who was then head of the FCC.
Tennessee Tuxedo, a penguin
, and his walrus friend, Chumley, sought to improve their lives in the zoo. Despite gaining helpful information from their friend Phineas J. Whoopee, Tennessee and Chumley still ran afoul
of zookeeper Stanley Livingston.
Supporting segments included The Hunter
and Tooter Turtle
, both repeated from King Leonardo And His Short Subjects
, as well as The World of Commander McBragg
. The series' voice talent included Don Adams as Tennessee Tuxedo, Bradley Bolke as Chumley and Larry Storch as Mr. Whoopee.
When CBS acquired the broadcast rights to Underdog
in 1966, Tennessee moved to ABC
, where it aired Sunday afternoons. In syndication, Tennessee Tuxedo
ran on its own as a series and as a component of Underdog.
Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales provides examples of:
- The Ace/Parody Sue: Commander McBragg
He can do anything, in his world he's a king!
Or so says the brag of McBragg!
- All Just a Dream: Tennessee's American Civil War dream in "Tell-Tale Telegraph".
- Animated Series
- The Big Board: Mr. Whoopee's 3DBB.
- Blind Without 'Em: Zig-zagged in an episode which had Tennessee competing in a bowling match against Jerboa Jump, who tricks Tennessee into thinking he needs glasses. Jerboa gives him a pair of glasses with bottle caps in place of the lenses, rendering him unable to see. Mr. Whoopee then explains how the human eye functions.
- Bold Explorer: Commander McBragg of The World of Commander McBragg, was a now-retired bold explorer who had visited some of the most remote and dangerous parts of the world—at least to hear him tell it.
- Catch Phrase: "Tennessee Tuxedo will not fail!"
- Distinguished Gentleman's Pipe: Commander McBragg.
- The Ditz: Chumley.
- Edutainment Show: An early example.
- Epic Fail: Once an Episode.
- Everything's Better With Penguins
- Exploding Closet: Mr. Whoopee's 3D chalkboard is kept there.
- Expy: Commander McBragg displays a great deal of similarity to P.G. Wodehouse's Mr. Mulliner and The Eldest Member. Physically and vocally, he strongly resembles the actor C. Aubrey Smith.
- Fat and Skinny: Chumley and Tennessee
- Gentleman Adventurer: Commander McBragg
- Great White Hunter: Commander McBragg
- Herr Doctor: Zo vhat elze kann exshplain a Lizard mit a German aksent?
- Hey, It's That Voice!: Whoa, when did Inspector Gadget turn into a penguin?
- Or Maxwell Smart. He even looks like Don Adams!
- Some might additionally notice that Chumley is also Jangle the Elf from The Year Without a Santa Claus.
- Let Me Get This Straight: So you say that Tennessee will often restate exactly what someone has just said to him.
- Magic Hat: Mr. Whoopee's animated chalkboard, which also served as The Big Board.
- Misplaced Wildlife: Deliberately averted; Chumley the walrus is at the South Pole because he accidentally traveled there. Not, of course, that the zookeeper who comes to capture him realizes it.
- The Munchausen: Commander McBragg, of course.
- Rain Dance: Chumley attempts one (indoors!) in the episode The Rainmakers, and it does nothing. This is, of course, the lead-in to Professor Whoopee's explanation of what really makes rain.
- Rhymes on a Dime: As recited by Mr. Lizard the Wizard every time Tooter got himself into a jam.
Drizzel, drazzel, drozzel, drome —
Time for dis vun to come home.
- Shout-Out: In 1998 when the Houston Oilers moved to Nashville, Tennessee, ESPN's Chris Berman referred to the team as the Tennessee Tuxedos.
- Talking Animal
- Tall Tale: The World of Commander McBragg consisted of McBragg (loosely based on Baron Munchausen) telling ridiculous tall tales about himself.
- Three Shorts
- Tin Can You Hear Me Now: Done in "Telephone Terrors".