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Howard, Cal

Posted in WB Cartoon Companion on March 22, 2004

    Story writer for the studio in the 1930s and the 1950s. Screen credits include Little Red Walking Hood (Avery, 1937) and Canned Feud (with Warren Foster for Freleng, 1951). Howard co-directed Porky’s Phoney Express (1938) and A Lad in Bagdad (1938) with Cal Dalton. Howard also provided the voice for Gabby Goat in the handful of cartoons in which this character appeared.

    Howard was famous at Schlesinger’s for running what amounted to a miniature delicatessen out of his desk, complete with efficiency stove and supplies of ice, mustard, etc. A basket system allowed him to distribute foodstuffs to upstairs offices. Menu prices were listed on a board that could be reversed to show an autographed (?!?) picture of Jesus with the legendary inscription, “To my pal, Cal, from Jesus.” (See Chuck Amuck, pp. 61-65.)

    Along with Tedd Pierce, Howard left Warners to work for the Fleischer studio in Miami in the late 1930s, during the expansion of that studio which had arisen from their attempts to produce feature-length animated films. Howard is one of the writers credited for Gulliver’s Travels (1939). According to Solomon, he also served in this film, padding on his thighs, as the rotoscope model for Prince David. Howard put in stints at Screen Gems around 1946-47, Walter Lantz around 1933-35 and again between 1962-65; Terrytoons, where he worked on the Deputy Dawg series around 1965, and Disney around 1930.

    Howard also worked for MGM in the 1930s. According to Solomon, he taught the Cub Scout troop his son belonged to to shout “[Producer Fred] Quimby is a red-faced jerk!” when they drove past his office.

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