Remembering Mr. Cartoon
I know for many, the thought of the 24-hour stations dedicated to cartoons wasn’t something that could have been fathomed 15-20 years ago. While cartoons were generally on when I came home from school, it was a Saturday morning ritual to wake up early and watch cartoons, a kid’s equivalent to the adults’ daily soap operas.
Each Saturday morning from the time I was around 7, my weekend schedule usually started with waking and wondering what Mr. Cartoon had it store with his trusty sidekick Beeper.
Earlier this week, Jule Huffman who portrayed Mr. Cartoon passed away at the age of 91. Thinking back, I distinctly remember his staple outfits and hat along with his way of making you part of the show.
Looking back, while the goal was to entertain and introduce the next cartoon to appear on the TV, Mr. Cartoon always had a wonderful way of transcending through the television set to make you a part of the show.
I can remember always wondering how those kids were lucky enough to be at a taping of the show in person and sit on those risers. You know, the things we stood on to get our class picture taken each year.
Jule “Mr. Cartoon” Huffman certainly left an indelible mark on my life because of his personality always made me laugh and simply put a smile on my face each Saturday morning.
After a quarter century, Huffman retired as Mr. Cartoon and left a big void that would never be filled. Looking back, he not only entertained but also looked to be a positive influence on children’s lives. He worked to teach children to be respectful to their parents and others. Unfortunately, we do not see that a great deal on television today.
As a boss or softball coach, I always look for versatility. Huffman was just that, as he started in the news industry in a time where broadcasts were live and he did commercials and was a singer. Then, he transitioned to a weatherman and did that for several years before taking over as Mr. Cartoon.
All too often in today’s society, we don’t have many people on television that we would want to be role models for our children. Mr. Cartoon was certainly someone that I know I looked up to and would want to be a role model for my child.
After learning of his passing, my wife told me that she was once on the show as part of a class trip in elementary school. She said that being there live in the studio for a taping of the show allowed them to see the real man, and he was exactly what everyone has always said. Huffman was a genuine person who wanted to entertain, whether it was children or adults, and ultimately he did just that throughout his life and career.
In the end, I want to thank you Jule Huffman, aka Mr. Cartoon for the great years of entertainment and lessons I was able to learn just by watching television.
Josh Morrison is the general manager at The Tribune. To reach him, call 740-532-1441 ext. 16 or by email at email@example.com.