Monday, August 29, 2016

1952 Video: Bob Dunn: Quick on the Draw

(Above photo of Bob Dunn tossing a lucky horseshoe via the Comics Kingdom Ask the Archivist blog. The THEY’LL DO IT EVERY TIME original of December 17, 1948 is on his board.)

Some years back, Lone Ranger artist and pal Tom Gill would describe Bob Dunn to me. Bob Dunn (1908 - 1989) was the long-time assistant on THEY'LL DO IT EVERY TIME by Jimmy Hatlo. Bob, and later, Al Scaduto, assisted on the strip as well as all LITTLE IODINE comics too. According to King Features, Bob was such a ball of energy, that King let him do his won strip, JUST THE TYPE, to keep him happy. According to historian Allan Holtz was

[N]ever a syndication success, King Features may well have let him do the feature just to keep him happy while working on the Hatlo cash cow feature... When Hatlo died in 1963, though, Dunn's workload presumably got that much heavier and Just the Type was dropped. Dunn finally got an official byline on THEY'LL DO IT EVERY TIME starting in 1966

Bob Dunn was also a joke writer, contributing to books and magazines, as well as Earl Carroll's successful Vanities show on Broadway.  He was an author with such titles as HOSPITAL HAPPY, I'M GONNA BE A FATHER, and ONE DAY IN THA ARMY among others. These sold in the millions. During WWII, Bob toured with the USO drawing on-the-spot live caricatures of the soldiers and doing his "amateur magic act."

Bob was there in New York City in 1947, at the very beginning of the NCS. Tom Gill downplayed who Bob Dunn was, really. Bob was more than an emcee, he was one of the founders of the group. He and his pal Rube Goldberg raised $58 million for US Savings Bonds during a three month tour that year. Bob would go on to be the "official toastmaster" for the NCS and served as its President from 1965-67.

So, good ol' Tom Gill would tell me about Bob and what a firecracker he was. And Tom would always end his Bob Dunn anecdotes with, "I wish you would have met him. He was a great guy."

Today, I just found out that Bob was on TV, as early as 1946. And someone saved some of the old kinescopes. 

The closest I have yet come to actually seeing Bob Dunn in action is this: a copy of an old short-lived game show titled QUICK ON THE DRAW. It was on a couple of networks and a couple of hosts while it was on the air from 1950 to 1952. This segment has ventriloquist Paul Winchell (and Jerry Mahoney) hosting.

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