Tuesday, February 5, 2008

HAW-HAW-HAW: A Tribute to Eddie Fitzgerald

Oh, hello there!



I am quite privileged to personally know one of the greatest cartoon animators/directors of today: Uncle Eddie!



There are tons of cartoon blogs out there that speculate and observe the lives of amazing people in animation. Avery, Clampett, Disney, Jones, Natwick, Kricfalusi, Hanna, Barbera, Scribner, Wolverton, Gross, Bakshi, and more. While I'm a huge fan of all of them, Eddie Fitzgerald has yet to be recognized with the large, nicely-packed blog post of history that he deserves. I think today is that day. I think that right now is as good a time as any.

I should start off by saying that not many people realize that Eddie has had many successful careers BESIDES working in cartoons! He's been a professional yodeler, a radio DJ...


...a best-selling author...

...the perfect placement for in-studio cartoon gags...

...not to mention available for children's birthday parties!!


EDDIE, THE FAMILY MAN

Eddie is very close with his father. Papa Fitzgerald visits on a weekly basis because his son is such a hoot to be around!

Eddie is a great team player, especially when hanging out with his good chums! Here he is thoughtfully helping me escort Kali back to her home.

You know, Eddie is also an animal lover! He's the ultimate animal lover, actually. He happily shares his home with TONS of pets. You name it! Cats, dogs, hamsters, rabbits, chickens, horses, koala bears(!!) and many, many birds.
I didn't have enough memory in my camera to snap a photo of them all, but I did manage to photograph his loyal hound dogs. Edward, Eddington, and Eddie Jr.


EDDIE'S CARTOONS


Like any high-profile artist, Eddie has a secret place, a private sanctuary if you will, that he visits sometimes in order to think up all those ideas that eventually mature into the Eddieisms that captivate the rest of us. This secret place is...
THE THEORY CHAIR
...and don't forget the tap water!




Looks like someone has another idea!!!


Hey, and speaking of cartoons, I'm pleased to announce here on my cartoon blog, that for my animated short I am working on right now, Eddie Fitzgerald voices my main male character! I don't want to give too much away besides that for right now, but here is a direct screencap from one of the shots I have completed so far. It is the character Eddie voices, named Henry:


---------------------------------------------



This short aired on Cartoon Network when I was about 12 years old. Much later I would find out that Eddie directed it, but at the time, I had no clue as to who any of the Spumco cartoonists were. All I knew was that if it looked like "the Ren and Stimpy guys" did it, then that meant cartoon-watching fun time for me!


This is a CRAZY cartoon! At the time it was on TV, it felt like some kind of strange, strange dream. I always tried to tape it because in the days before TV listings on the internet, you had no idea when something like this would repeat again.


Years later, I found a VHS tape for sale on eBay of a bunch of the random cartoons that Cartoon Network would produce themselves. "Tales of Worm Paranoia" was on it!! So I had that for a while, and then unfortunately lost the tape when I moved places. Since then, it's been uploaded to and taken off of YouTube over and over again, and I don't believe it can be found on that site at the moment!

Look at THIS, below! Such elasticity in the characters, and so much fun. I love big saggy cartoon hats that grow hair!

"YOU FILTHY CHILDREN"




THE MANY LIVES OF EDDIE

Not many people also know that Eddie has lived a life of many different backgrounds, situations and extreme super-adventures!!!


DID YOU KNOW that Eddie has many faces?? For a brief period, he was a dashing romantic, and Spanish inquisitor! Feared all over Spain! This was the middle 1980s, of course.

FACT: Eddie once saved a bus-load of children from plummeting off a cliff, using only a paper clip and some sewing thread.
What a school bus of children was doing out in the wilderness, near a cliff, is beyond me!
"NO THANKS NECESSARY"


For a VERY brief period, Eddie was a SUPERVILLAIN! A huge threat to all of 'em - Batman, Superman, EVEN THE WONDER TWINS - Eddie was a true master of mayhem!


Feared by every damsel in distress!

Another hapless victim is doomed!!!!!



But, the past is the past. A life of danger can get.. well, dangerous after a while!


In fact, a couple of months ago, Kali chose ME to help out on the set of her school film project! A short subject starring Eddie! You can tell from the photo below that you're NOT GONNA WANT TO MISS IT!


IN CARTOONS, Eddie has made quite a name for himself! Here he has a cameo in Tiny Toons, I think?

Eddie's brain!

Plus many loving caricatures by cartoonist bigshots!
by John K:

by Kali Fontecchio:
(this should be hanging up on Eddie's wall!)

by Katie "Boundless Talent" Rice:

I think this is by Mike Fontanelli? My apologies if I'm wrong!



Being a Spumco fan for years and years and years, since Ren and Stimpy debuted, I've always been an extreme fan of all these very talented folks. And I'm so glad that I've reached a point in my life where some of them are now friends of mine!!

But.............
TRUE STORY:
Early last year when we were all at Mike Fontanelli's house, I had the chance to meet Eddie for the first time. I'll never forget when Eddie walked in the door, and as soon as he saw me, he nearly jumped out of his skin!! I was very befuddled as to why he seemed so alarmed. What had happened was, the moment he saw me, he recognized me from online. So before I could even fully stand up to say "Hi my name is Nico", he did a huge cartoony double-take, started howling-out laughing, and thrusted his hand out for a hearty shake. "Oh my god HAW HAW HAW! It's Nico, from the internet! Holy cow, YOU'RE REAL!!!" The reason he was so happy about this was that he now had proof that I was a real person, and not a figment of his internet imagination. This meant that he wasn't crazy! And naturally, this made me feel pretty good about myself. Eddie is very observant to other people's feelings!


Let's rummage around through this box a little more... AH, LOOK what we've found here in the Uncle Eddie attic! A REAL treasure: Eddie's "NO" Hat!

Ah, old photos. Eddie and John were quite the crazy kids!

And take a look at this one! Ahh, young love. Who could possibly forget prom night? What a scamp!


Well............
This has been a very touching evening, I think, having the rare opportunity to peek at only 1 page in the life of this fine and profound gent.


As the sun sets, and our day is coming to an end, what of Eddie? How does his day end? Oh, not much. Back to the quiet sanctity of his Theory Chair, Eddie comfortably smokes a Bic pen, leans back, and reflects quietly. Quite humble, I think.


"OKAY OKAY, ENOUGH ABOUT ME! MOVE ALONG. SCRAM!!!"
Sorry Eddie! We'll all go now. Hope to visit with you again!

4 comments:

Booo Tooons Ltd. said...

Dammit, I need to move to LA so's I can be friends with all of you.

Thanks for the informative post, Nico. Incidentally, you don't happen to have the picture of Eddie subtitled 'The Hand That Remained Clean' do you?

It was the first time I'd ever heard of him, in Wild Cartoon Kingdom #1 when they were talking about how Bob Camp left to take over R&S for Nickelodeon and that the only person in the studio who wouldn't shake his hand goodbye was Eddie.

I decided then and there that anything this man said or did, I would make it a point to absorb.

Thanks again for the insight, fellow cartoonist.

- trevor.

PS: I'm so fucking jealous.

Kali Fontecchio said...

THIS POST RULES BALLS! EDDIE IS MY HERO! ALL HAIL! HAIL!

I'm glad you did this Nico- seeing all those Eddie heads makes me laugh so hard, hahaha.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Holy Cow!!! It's me!!!!!! I'm flabbergasted! flummoxed, and...I can't think of another word that starts with "F!"

Boy, thanks a lot for putting that together! It's weird to see yourself like that. It makes me feel like iI just turned on The Biography Channel and I'm thinking, "I wonder who this guy is? He's pretty goofy-looking, but he must be somebody famous or they wouldn't do a show about him."

BTW, that Clampett post farther down the page was great!!!!!!!!!!!

Bruce said...

OMG, Eddie had HAIR!

On a more serious note, this is a fitting tribute to such a talent. To me, there is none like him; he is the genuine article, one of a kind.

That, and he has alot of funny stories when he was working for "Old Man Ralph".

See ya

From an inspiring cartoonist/ artist