Heckle and Jeckle

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Heckle and Jeckle

Heckle and Jeckle was a theatrical cartoon series created by Paul Terry, and released by his own studio, Terrytoons. The characters were a pair of identical magpies who calmly outwitted their foes in the manner of Bugs Bunny, while maintaining a mischievous streak reminiscent of Woody Woodpecker. Their names were inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson's famous novella "Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde".

One magpie spoke with a British accent, while the other spoke with a Brooklyn dialect, although it is uncertain precisely which character was which. Some sources assert that Jeckle was the British one, perhaps by association with the British surname "Jekyll", coupled with the assumption that a resident of Brooklyn might be more likely to "heckle" someone. Others say they were just the opposite. Both characters were voiced at different times by Dayton Allen, Sid Raymond, Roy Halee, Ned Sparks and Frank Welker.

Since the birds never addressed each other by name, there was originally no apparent resolution to the question of which was which. In 1978's The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse and Heckle & Jeckle, however, the birds introduced themselves by name in the opening credits; in this version, Heckle had the Brooklyn accent, and Jeckle the British one.

The first Heckle and Jeckle cartoon premiered in 1946, the last in 1966. In Filmation's Mighty Mouse series in their own segment.

Heckle and Jeckle had their own comic book title for several years.

  • St. John Publications, #1-24 (1951-55)
  • Pines Comics, #25-34 (1956-59)

In September of 1998, the duo made a cameo appearance in the Simpson's episode "The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace" as attendees of Homer Simpson's self-imagined funeral. The magpies had the following dialogue:

Heckle: "Now there goes a real bag of crap."

Jeckle: "Indubitably."

Heckle and Jeckle (along with the entire Terrytoons library) is currently owned by CBS Paramount Televsion. Sadly, they have never done anything of note with the library.

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