Do You Know Bullwinkle’s Namesake?

Posted April 2015


Jay Ward and Alex Anderson created the dimwitted but always upbeat Bullwinkle J. Moose featured in their 1959-1964 cartoon series, Rocky and Bullwinkle, which later became The Bullwinkle Show. Co-producer Bill Scott was the voice of Bullwinkle until his passing in 1985.

Bullwinkle’s namesake was Clarence Bullwinkel, the owner of a Ford dealership in Oakland, Calif., a respectable member of the community. He and Jay Ward were members of the local Rotary Club, and Jay received permission from Clarence to use his last name, reversing the last two letters so as to not “…upset the family.”1

Some facts about the good-hearted moose:

  • *He lived in Frostbite Falls, Minnesota.
  • He could remember everything he ever ate.
  • He and Rocky’s alma mater was Wossamotta U (What’s the matter with you?), which happens to have a Facebook page today where you can hear its fight song played by a complete orchestra backed up with accordions.
  • He had a difficult time pulling a rabbit out of his hat, usually bringing out a tiger, rhino or Rocky.

Collectors still have a place in their hearts for Bullwinkle. A 1988 Rocky and Bullwinkle cel sold for $185 on eBay in November of 2014. A 5.5-inch tall ceramic Bullwinkle figure from 1993, one part of an 11-piece set, sold for $61, and a mint-in-the-box Fossil Limited Edition Bullwinkle wristwatch sold for $50 on eBay in January 2015.



Photo: Ad for Clarence Bullwinkel’s car dealership.




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