The Woody Woodpecker Show
Title card
GenreAnimation, comedy
Created byWalter Lantz
Directed by
Voices ofGrace Stafford
Composers
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons5
No. of episodes113
Production
ProducerWalter Lantz
Editors
  • F.Y. Smith
  • Norman Suffern
Running time30 minutes
Production companiesWalter Lantz Productions (1957–58; 1963-64; 1970-72)
Universal City Studios (1976–77; 1988)
Original release
NetworkABC (1957–58)
Syndication (1963–64; 1988)
NBC (1970–77)
ReleaseOctober 3, 1957 (1957-10-03) –
January 29, 1977 (1977-01-29)
Related
The New Woody Woodpecker Show

The Woody Woodpecker Show is an American television series mainly composed of the animated cartoon shorts of Woody Woodpecker and other Walter Lantz characters including Andy Panda, Chilly Willy, The Beary Family and Inspector Willoughby all released by Walter Lantz Productions.[1] The series was revived and reformatted several times, but remained popular for nearly four decades and allowed the studio to continue making theatrical cartoons until 1972 when it shut down. It also kept the Walter Lantz/Universal "cartunes" made during the Golden Age of American animation a part of the American consciousness. The Woody Woodpecker Show was named the 88th best animated series by IGN.[2]

History

Movie theater owners in the 1950s were finding that they could release features with reissued cartoons, or no cartoons at all, and the audiences would still come. Because of the practice, the theatrical cartoon business was suffering and losing money. By 1956 there were only seven animation producers in the short-subjects field, and by the end of the decade that number would dwindle down to three. Walter Lantz and his distributor, Universal Pictures, knew that the only way to subsidize the rising costs of new shorts was to release their product to television. Norman Gluck from Universal's short-subjects department made a deal with the Leo Burnett Agency to release some older Lantz product on television. Burnett handled the Kellogg's cereal account and Lantz soon met with the Kellogg's people to sign the contract.[3] Lantz admitted that he was only working in the medium because he was "forced into TV" and "cartoons for theaters would soon be extinct".[4]

The Woody Woodpecker Show debuted on ABC on the afternoon of October 3, 1957. The series was shown once a week, on Thursday afternoons, replacing the first half-hour of the shortened Mickey Mouse Club. Lantz integrated his existing cartoons with new live action footage, giving the show an updated look that satisfied both viewers and Lantz himself. The live action and animation segments created for the show, called 'A Moment with Walter Lantz', featured an informative look at how the animation process for his "cartunes" worked as well as how the writers came up with stories and characters. The live-action segments were directed by Jack Hannah, who was fresh from the Disney studio where he had done similar live-action/animation sequences for the Disney show.[3]

After the initial year on ABC, The Woody Woodpecker Show was syndicated until 1966. The "A Moment with Walter Lantz" segments were eventually replaced with "Woody's Newsreel" and "Around The World with Woody" which used footage of Universal Newsreels and featured voice-over commentary by Walter Lantz and Woody Woodpecker.

In 1970, the show reappeared on network television, with 26 additional episodes assembled by Lantz for NBC. The show ran on NBC until September 2, 1972, which is the same year the Walter Lantz Productions studio shut down. The show was revived again on September 11, 1976, featuring cartoons made from 1940 to 1965.[5] The show ended its network run on September 3, 1977. Local stations continued to air The Woody Woodpecker Show for the next several years.

In 1984, Lantz sold everything outright to MCA/Universal, though he remained active in overseeing how Universal handled his characters (for merchandise, TV, home video, theme parks, limited edition cels, etc.) up until his death in 1994.[6]

In 1987, MCA/Universal and The Program Exchange returned the show to television with a new 90 episode package for syndication. This Woody Woodpecker Show featured a complete overhaul of the series format. Gone were the newsreels, "Around the World" segments, and live action scenes with Walter Lantz, replaced by vignettes known as "Musical Miniatures", in which new musical compositions were played over montages of classic cartoon footage. New commercial bumpers were added and a new opening sequence was created. This one featured Woody, Andy Panda, Chilly Willy, Smedley the Dog, and Inspector Willoughby along with Woody's nemeses Buzz Buzzard, Gabby Gator, and Wally Walrus as they caused chaos in a small town. Episodes of this Woody Woodpecker Show typically consisted of two Woody cartoons bookending another Lantz cartoon (typically a Chilly Willy cartoon). The series continued airing in syndication until 1998. Around that time, Cartoon Network picked up rerun rights and aired The Woody Woodpecker Show for several months, after which the series disappeared from television.

After Cartoon Network dropped The Woody Woodpecker Show, Universal revived most of the Lantz characters in The New Woody Woodpecker Show with Billy West voicing Woody, which ran from 1999 to 2002 as part of the Fox Kids Saturday morning lineup.

In August 2023, MeTV acquired the broadcast rights to Walter Lantz cartoons from 1934 to 1972 to air The Woody Woodpecker Show on Saturday mornings on September 2 as part of MeTV's Saturday Morning Cartoons animation block, marking Woody's return to television after 21 years. They were not aired in the actual The Woody Woodpecker Show anthology episodes formats, but the separate theatrical cartoon prints are shown directly from the Universal vaults.

Episodes

Cartoons with an '*' are repeats.

Series 1 (1957–1958)

# 1st cartoon 2nd cartoon 3rd cartoon Original air date
1 Who's Cookin' Who? The Overture to William Tell Bathing Buddies October 3, 1957 (1957-10-03)
2 Ace in the Hole The Bandmaster Banquet Busters October 10, 1957 (1957-10-10)
3 Life Begins for Andy Panda Pied Piper of Basin Street Knock Knock October 17, 1957 (1957-10-17)
4 Chew Chew Baby The Sleeping Princess The Dizzy Acrobat October 24, 1957 (1957-10-24)
5 Fish Fry Pixie Picnic Woody Dines Out October 31, 1957 (1957-10-31)
6 The Hollywood Matador Adventures of Tom Thumb Jr. Well Oiled November 7, 1957 (1957-11-07)
7 Andy Panda Goes Fishing The Poet and the Peasant Ski for Two November 14, 1957 (1957-11-14)
8 Fair Weather Fiends Scrambled Eggs Woody The Giant Killer November 21, 1957 (1957-11-21)
9 Mousie Come Home Apple Andy The Dippy Diplomat November 28, 1957 (1957-11-28)
10 Pantry Panic Kiddie Koncert Wacky Bye Baby December 5, 1957 (1957-12-05)
11 The Painter & The Pointer Dog Tax Dodgers The Mad Hatter December 12, 1957 (1957-12-12)
12 The Screwball Three Lazy Mice Solid Ivory December 19, 1957 (1957-12-19)
13 Crow Crazy Sliphorn King Of Polaroo The Reckless Driver December 26, 1957 (1957-12-26)
14 The Wacky Weed Musical Moments from Chopin The Beach Nut January 2, 1958 (1958-01-02)
15 Meatless Tuesday Jungle Jive The Loose Nut January 9, 1958 (1958-01-09)
16 Smoked Hams Fox & the Rabbit The Barber of Seville January 16, 1958 (1958-01-16)
17 100 Pygmies and Andy Panda Kitten Mittens The Coo Coo Bird January 23, 1958 (1958-01-23)
18 The Dizzy Acrobat* Toyland Premiere Woody Dines Out* January 30, 1958 (1958-01-30)
19 Life Begins for Andy Panda* Fish Fry* The Hollywood Matador* February 6, 1958 (1958-02-06)
20 Well Oiled* Pixie Picnic* Ski for Two* February 13, 1958 (1958-02-13)
21 Andy Panda Goes Fishing* Adventures of Tom Thumb Jr.* Fair Weathered Fiends* February 20, 1958 (1958-02-20)
22 Woody The Giant Killer* The Poet and the Peasant* The Dippy Diplomat* February 27, 1958 (1958-02-27)
23 Mousie Come Home* Scrambled Eggs* Pantry Panic* March 6, 1958 (1958-03-06)
24 Wacky Bye Baby* Apple Andy* The Mad Hatter* March 13, 1958 (1958-03-13)
25 The Painter & The Pointer* Kiddie Koncert* The Screwball* March 20, 1958 (1958-03-20)
26 Solid Ivory* Dog Tax Dodgers* The Reckless Driver* March 27, 1958 (1958-03-27)

Series 2 (1963–1964)

# 1st cartoon 2nd cartoon 3rd cartoon Original air date
27 I'm Cold* A Horse's Tale Puny Express August 8, 1964 (1964-08-08)
28 Slingshot 6 7/8 Syncopated Sioux Wet Blanket Policy October 12, 1963 (1963-10-12)
29 What's Sweepin' The Mouse and the Lion The Legend of Rockabye Point October 19, 1963 (1963-10-19)
30 Woodpecker In The Rough Egg Cracker Suite Sh-h-h-h-h-h October 26, 1963 (1963-10-26)
31 Sleep Happy Goodbye Mr. Moth Flea For Two November 2, 1963 (1963-11-02)
32 Hot Noon* The Flying Turtle Room and Wrath November 9, 1963 (1963-11-09)
33 Wild & Woody Crazy House Dig That Dog November 15, 1963 (1963-11-15)
34 Wrestling Wrecks Pig in a Pickle Drooler's Delight November 22, 1963 (1963-11-22)
35 The Great Who-Dood-It Andy Panda's Pop; a.k.a. Goofy Roofer Paw's Night Out November 30, 1963 (1963-11-30)
36 Real Gone Woody Boogie Woogie Sioux; a.k.a. Indian Beatnick Chilly Willy; a.k.a. Deep Freeze December 7, 1963 (1963-12-07)
37 Get Lost Dog That Cried Wolf Hot Rod Huckster December 14, 1963 (1963-12-14)
38 Wicket Wacky Andy Panda's Victory Garden (Springtime for Andy) Ostrich Egg and I December 21, 1963 (1963-12-21)
39 Secret Weapon ft. Space Mouse Convict Concerto* I'm Cold* December 28, 1963 (1963-12-28)
40 The Redwood Sap Crazy Mixed Up Pup The Screwdriver; a.k.a. Woody's Jalopy January 4, 1964 (1964-01-04)
41 Nutty Pine Cabin Scalp Treatment The Talking Dog January 11, 1964 (1964-01-11)
42 Termites From Mars Swing Your Partner Hold That Rock January 18, 1964 (1964-01-18)
43 Ration Bored; a.k.a. The Gas Bandit Scrappy Birthday Plywood Panic January 25, 1964 (1964-01-25)
44 Hypnotick Hick Dizzy Kitty Maw & Paw February 1, 1964 (1964-02-01)
45 Buccaneer Woodpecker The Hams That Couldn't Be Cured Hot & Cold Penguin August 1, 1964 (1964-08-01)
46 Belle Boys Broadway Bow Wows Woody Woodpecker August 8, 1964 (1964-08-08)
47 Helter Shelter Hot Noon* Juke Box Jamboree October 5, 1963 (1963-10-05)
48 Jungle Medics Real Gone Woody* The Legend of Rockabye Point* September 19, 1964 (1964-09-19)
49 Alley to Bali Destination Meatball/Under The Spreading Blacksmith Shop; a.k.a. The Village Blacksmith** Pigeon Holed October 24, 1964 (1964-10-24)
50 The Loan Stranger Playful Pelican Under The Counter Spy November 14, 1964 (1964-11-14)
51 Operation Sawdust Man's Best Friend Hay Rube December 5, 1964 (1964-12-05)
52 Convict Concerto* Mouse Trappers Born to Peck December 26, 1964 (1964-12-26)

From Series 3 onward, the episode include four cartoons instead of three.

In the process of remastering 49th episode, Destination Meatball (from Woody Woodpecker) was replaced with one of Andy Panda's shorts for unknown reasons.

Special episode (1964)

# 1st cartoon 2nd cartoon 3rd cartoon Original air date
- Playful Pelican* Under The Counter Spy* Spook-A-Nanny October 10, 1964 (1964-10-10)

Series 3 (1970–1971)

# 1st cartoon 2nd cartoon 3rd cartoon 4th cartoon Original air date
53 Pistol Packin' Woodpecker St Mortiz Blitz Fodder & Son Freeloading Feline August 8, 1970 (1970-08-08)
54 Chief Charlie Horse Space Mouse After The Ball Big Snooze August 15, 1970 (1970-08-15)
55 Box Car Bandit The Goofy Gardener Woody Meets Davy Crewcut Hyde and Sneak August 22, 1970 (1970-08-22)
56 Arts and Flowers Salmon Yeggs Gabby's Diner Doc's Last Stand January 16, 1971 (1971-01-16)
57 The Woody Woodpecker Polka Truent Student Tree Medic Witty Kitty September 5, 1970 (1970-09-05)
58 Woodpecker In The Moon Little Televillain Calling All Cuckoos The Bongo Punch August 29, 1970 (1970-08-29)
59 Misguided Missile The Bear & The Bees Watch The Birdie Punchy Pooch September 26, 1970 (1970-09-26)
60 Half Empty Saddles Fowled Up Party Round Trip To Mars A Chilly Reception October 24, 1970 (1970-10-24)
61 Ballyhooey Rough and Tumbleweed Franken-Stymied Mother's Little Helper October 31, 1970 (1970-10-31)
62 The Unbearable Salesman Yukon Have It Dopey Dick The Pink Whale Phoney Express November 7, 1970 (1970-11-07)
63 Private Eye Pooch Hunger Strife Ozark Lark Polar Pests November 14, 1970 (1970-11-14)
64 Panhandle Scandal Eggnaper Fowled-Up Falcon Operation Cold Feet January 23, 1971 (1971-01-23)
65 Woodpecker From Mars Tricky Trout Everglade Raid Three Ring Fling November 28, 1970 (1970-11-28)
66 International Woodpecker Swiss Miss-Fit Niagara Fools Mississippi Slow-Boat December 5, 1970 (1970-12-05)
67 Socko in Morocco Salmon Loafer To Catch a Woodpecker Papoose on the Loose December 12, 1970 (1970-12-12)
68 Southern Fried Hospitality Mackerel Moocher Bats in The Belfry Case of the Cold Storage Yegg December 19, 1970 (1970-12-19)
69 Stage Hoax Bee Bopped His Better Elf Robinson Gruesome December 26, 1970 (1970-12-26)
70 Kiddle League Charlie's Mother-in-Law The Bird Who Came to Dinner Fish and Chips January 2, 1971 (1971-01-02)
71 Poop Deck Pirate Pesky Pelican A Fine Feathered Frenzy Corny Concerto January 9, 1971 (1971-01-09)
72 Log Jammed Hi-Seas Hi-Jacker The Tee Bird Sufferin' Cats August 22, 1970 (1970-08-22)
73 Billion Dollar Boner Coming Out Party Romp In a Swamp Pest of Show November 21, 1970 (1970-11-21)
74 Red Riding Hoodlum Fowled Up Birthday Tree's A Crowd Fish Hooked January 30, 1971 (1971-01-30)
75 Tomcat Combat The Goose is Wild Heap Big Hepcat Tin Can Concert February 6, 1971 (1971-02-06)
76 Jittery Jester Clash and Carry How to Stuff a Woodpecker Mouse Trapped February 13, 1971 (1971-02-13)
77 Square Shootin' Square Plumber of Seville Witch Crafty Goose in the Rough February 20, 1971 (1971-02-20)
78 Bunco Busters Case of the Red-Eye Ruby Bedtime Bedlam Pigeon Patrol February 27, 1971 (1971-02-27)

Series 4 (1971–1972)

# 1st cartoon 2nd cartoon 3rd cartoon 4th cartoon Original air date
79 Careless Caretaker Half-Baked Alaska Guest Who? Busman's Holiday November 27, 1971 (1971-11-27)
80 Tragic Magic Chilly Chums Foot Brawl Room and Bored February 19, 1972 (1972-02-19)
81 Crowin' Pains Fractured Friendship Davey Cricket Woody's Kook-Out October 9, 1971 (1971-10-09)
82 Greedy Gabby Gator Deep Freeze Squeeze Case of the Elephant's Trunk Shutter Bug January 15, 1972 (1972-01-15)
83 Science Friction Hot Time on Ice Mouse in the House Home Sweet Homewrecker November 6, 1971 (1971-11-06)
84 Rocket Racket Pesty Guest Roof Top Razzle Dazzle Short in the Saddle January 8, 1972 (1972-01-08)
85 Voo-Doo Boo-Boo Chilly and the Woodchopper Rah Rah Ruckus Skinfolks September 11, 1971 (1971-09-11)
86 Stowaway Woody Coy Decoy Ski-Napper Little Woody Riding Hood December 25, 1971 (1971-12-25)
87 Freeway Fracas Polar Fright Window Pains Calling Dr. Woodpecker December 4, 1971 (1971-12-04)
88 Dumb Like a Fox Lighthouse Keeping Blues The Case of the Maltese Chicken The Tenant's Racket October 16, 1971 (1971-10-16)
89 Saddle Sore Woody Vicious Viking Snow Place Like Home Get Lost Little Doggy January 22, 1972 (1972-01-22)
90 Woody's Clip Joint Operation Shanghai Tee-Pee for Two South Pole Pals September 4, 1971 (1971-09-04)
91 Robin Hoody Woody Phantom of the Horse Opera Teeny Weeny Meany Rock-A-Bye Gator February 26, 1972 (1972-02-26)

Series 5 (1976–1977)

# 1st cartoon 2nd cartoon 3rd cartoon 4th cartoon Original air date
92 Astronut Woody A Haunting We Will Go Airlift a la Carte All Hams on Deck September 4, 1976 (1976-09-04)
93 The Big Bite Tumbleweed Greed Bugged in a Rug Buster's Last Stand September 11, 1976 (1976-09-11)
94 Bye Bye Blackboard Moochin' Pooch Chiller Dillers Canned Dog Feud September 18, 1976 (1976-09-18)
95 Show Biz Beagle Sissy Sheriff Let Charlie Do It Sioux Me September 25, 1976 (1976-09-25)
96 Fat in the Saddle What's Peckin' Chilly and the Looney Gooney Feudin' Fightin-n-Fussin' October 2, 1976 (1976-10-02)
97 Flim Flam Fountain Under Sea Dogs A Fish Story For the Love of Pizza October 9, 1976 (1976-10-09)
98 Genie with the Light Touch Wild Bill Hiccup Chilly's Cold War Gold Diggin' Woodpecker October 16, 1976 (1976-10-16)
99 Hassle in a Castle Woodpecker Wanted Charlie the Rainmaker Have Gun, Can't Travel October 23, 1976 (1976-10-23)
100 Hi-Rise Wise Guys Paste Makes Waste Chilly's Hide-a-Way Horse Play October 30, 1976 (1976-10-30)
101 Hook Line and Stinker Woody and the Beanstalk Charlie's Campout Hot Diggity Dog November 6, 1976 (1976-11-06)
102 Janie Get Your Gun Rain Rain Go Away Chilly's Ice Folly Indian Corn November 13, 1976 (1976-11-13)
103 Kitty from the City Sleepy-Time Bear Charlie's Golf Classic A-Lad in Baghdad November 20, 1976 (1976-11-20)
104 Little Skeeter How to Trap a Woodpecker A Gooney is Born Lonesome Ranger November 27, 1976 (1976-11-27)
105 Lotsa Luck Woody the Freeloader Cool It Charlie Monster of Ceremonies December 4, 1976 (1976-12-04)
106 The Nautical Nut Bungling Builder Gooney's Goofy Landings One Horse Town December 11, 1976 (1976-12-11)
107 A Peck of Trouble Woody's Knight-Mare Charlie in Hot Water Pecking Holes in Poles December 18, 1976 (1976-12-18)
108 Phoney Pony Unlucky Potluck Highway Hecklers Practical Yolk December 25, 1976 (1976-12-25)
109 Prehistoric Super Salesman Woody's Magic Touch Gopher Broke The Reluctant Recruit January 1, 1977 (1977-01-01)
110 Roamin' Roman Sleepy-Time Chimes Project Reject Rough Riding Hood January 8, 1977 (1977-01-08)
111 Seal on the Loose Snoozin' Bruin Jerky Turkey Secret Agent Woody Woodpecker January 15, 1977 (1977-01-15)
112 Shanghai Woody The Unhandy Man The Rude Intruder Ship A'hoy Woody January 22, 1977 (1977-01-22)
113 Chili Con Corny Candyland Jolly Little Elves Coo Coo Nuts January 29, 1977 (1977-01-29)

List of shorts not included in the original TV packages

Broadcast history

Title Network Run Notes
The Woody Woodpecker Show ABC October 3, 1957 – September 25, 1958 original animation with bridge animation*
Syndication 1958–1966 reruns of ABC series, sponsored by Kellogg's
new episodes produced in 1963–64*
NBC September 12, 1970 – September 2, 1972
September 11, 1976 – September 3, 1977
new episodes without bridge animation
Woody Woodpecker and Friends Syndication 1977–1987 Package of 185 individual shorts; 170 more added in 1982
The Woody Woodpecker Show January 1988–1997 90-episode rerun package with new opening, bridges and music
Also broadcast on TNT from 1991 to 1992 and Cartoon Network from 1997 to 1998
MeTV 2023–present Package of individual shorts

(*) = total of 59 episodes with original animation

Home media

In the early 2000s, a series of mail-order Woody Woodpecker Show VHS tapes and DVDs were made available through Columbia House. Each volume featured "cartunes", bumpers, and 'A Moment with Walter Lantz' or "Newsreel" segments set in the 1957-1977 format of The Woody Woodpecker Show, though Volumes 11-15 hardly feature any "Moments" or "Newsreels". There were complaints about cuts made to the shorts, which ranged from shorts from restored and intact prints to severely cut TV edits.[7]

In 2007, Universal Studios Home Entertainment released The Woody Woodpecker and Friends Classic Cartoon Collection, six behind-the-scenes segments from The Woody Woodpecker Show and a 1964 episode that contained the cartoon "Spook-a-Nanny" were released on the collection as bonus features. The following year, The Woody Woodpecker and Friends Classic Cartoon Collection: Volume 2 was released, featuring twelve behind-the-scenes segments and two pilot cartoons, "The Secret Weapon" and "Jungle Medics" from The Woody Woodpecker Show.

References

  1. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 915–917. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  2. ^ "88, The Woody Woodpecker Show". IGN. 2009-01-23. Archived from the original on February 19, 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-24.
  3. ^ a b "Toon Tracker's The Woody Woodpecker Show Page". Toontracker.com. Archived from the original on June 3, 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-23.
  4. ^ Grossman, Gary H. (1987). Saturday Morning TV. New York: Arlington House, Inc. Pg. 346.
  5. ^ Grossman, Gary H. (1987). Saturday Morning TV. New York: Arlington House, Inc. Pg. 413.
  6. ^ Lenburg, Jeff (2006). Who's Who in Animated Cartoons: An International Guide to Film & Television ... - Jeff Lenburg - Google Books. Hal Leonard Corporation. ISBN 9781557836717. Retrieved 2012-10-23.
  7. ^ "The Walter Lantz Cartune Encyclopedia: Cartunes on DVD: Columbia House Cuts". Lantz.goldenagecartoons.com. Retrieved 2012-10-23.