Question: A very long time ago there was a very cool show, Tomfoolery, which I adored as a child. Whatever happened to it? Maybe it was another too-smart-to-live show. What can you tell me about it? Thank you. — Kim, Bellevue, Wash.
Televisionary: I can tell you that it was indeed too smart for TV, but it still managed to run for a year on NBC beginning in September 1970. How smart? Well, it was a literary cartoon based on the poetry of Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear (a good part of it was presented in rhyme) and its brainy, zany humor included such characters as the Obsequious Ornamental Ostrich, the Fitzgibbious Fish, Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo, the Umbrageous Umbrella Maker, the Scroobious Snake, and the Enthusiastic Elephant. (Try putting that up against today's action-figure-oriented shows.)
Tomfoolery was produced by Rankin Bass and benefitted from the talents of the late, great Romeo Muller Jr. The name might not be familiar to you, but I guarantee you've made time for repeated viewings of at least one of his specials. Among Muller Jr.'s writing credits are the scripts for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town, Frosty the Snowman and The Little Drummer Boy.