Rocky and Bullwinkle turn 61

Sixty-one years ago this past Thursday, Rocket "Rocky" J. Squirrel and Bullwinkle J. Moose were introduced to American TV audiences. The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends debuted on ABC and NBC at 5:30 pm on November 19, 1959.

Rocky and Bullwinkle was one of the first cartoons I saw as a child and I'm sure it twisted my tiny, impressionable nervous system in all sorts of subversive way. I'm still known to proclaim "Fanmail from some flounder?" when reaching into the mailbox. And, of course, there's "Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat" and "That trick never works."

You've got to love a show that spends over three and a half minutes setting up and delivering a groan-worthy pun about an 11th century Sufi poet… on a kid's program!

Here's a full Rocky and Bullwinkle story, The Goof Gas Effect. In it, Fearless Leader from Pottsylvania develops a gas to make all Americans stupid ("One poof, you're a goof"). OK, this could explain a lot.

And, that time that the Bullwinkle J. Moose puppet told kids to remove the channel knobs on their TV sets and thousands of kids did.

Rocky and Bullwinkle Funfact: Homer's name on Matt Groening's The Simpsons is Homer J. Simpson in homage to Bullwinkle J. Moose and Rocket J. Squirrel.

Image: Screengrab