Wednesday, April 28, 2010

RIP: Allen Swift

From the New York Times:

Allen Swift, the voice of Mighty Mouse, Dinky Duck and, for a brief period, Howdy Doody, not to mention an Eveready battery, a toilet plunger for Drano, Vita’s Beloved Herring Maven and other characters both human and inanimate in more than 30,000 television and radio commercials, died on April 18 at his home in Manhattan. He was 87.
Mr. Swift, a class clown turned stand-up comedian, found his unusual niche in show business when Bob Smith, the host of “Howdy Doody” and the voice of its main character, suffered a heart attack in September 1954, precipitating a crisis.
The exposure on Howdy Doody made Mr. Swift an unsung star in countless radio and television spots over the next 25 years. Recording as many as 30 commercials a day, he could be heard plugging beer, laundry detergent, Jell-O, Hostess Ho Hos and Sanka decaffeinated coffee (“It lets you sleep,” he intoned soothingly).
For Terrytoons, where he was a mainstay, he did the voices of Mighty Mouse and Dinky Duck, among others. He was Simon Bar Sinister and Riff Raff on “Underdog,” and most of the characters on the “Tom and Jerry” cartoons made from 1960 to 1962.
Before long, he was drawing comparisons to Mel Blanc, the multivoiced virtuoso of Warner Brothers cartoons.
“I’ve never found a voice I could not duplicate if I worked on it,” he once said.

The full obit is here.

BeltwayBlips: vote it up!

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