If you’re a comics lover — and we mean a REAL comics lover, the kind of person who wants to understand the joy and sorrow implicit in the butterfly wing of every line on paper — then #1 TV show of all times for cartoonists was definitely MY WORLD AND WELCOME TO IT.
The show was based on the work of James Thurber, the brilliant writer and cartoonist whose whimsical flights of fancy on the page belied his deteriorating eyesight. (He created Walter Mitty, among other things.) The program starred William Windom and here are the opening credits:
You can see another clip here. Each episode mixed some gentle sit-com situations with illuminating forays into animation based on Thurber’s work. The writing was by smart people like Melville Shavelson and Danny Arnold, and the animation by DePatie-Freleng, best known for The Pink Panther.
The show isn’t out on DVD of course — it’s pretty obscure even by TV standards. (The young Beat watched just about every episode.) However, some bootleg DVD’s are available now which have sparked tributes by Eddie Campbell:
After many years of thinking about it, I have at last found access to dubs of one of my favourite tv shows of all time (thanks Gareth). These are not official and I can’t point you in any direction. In fact the quality is somewhere close to looking at the picture through a woolly cardigan.
The title was called My World and Welcome to it. It was a half hour comedy series that ran for one season of 26 [According to IMDb 14] episodes over 1969-70, and then won an Emmy after it was cancelled. It starred William Windom as a cartoonist, John Monroe.
and Jerry Beck at Cartoon Brew:
The series was a bit laid back in some respects, and Thurber’s witty parables were possibly over the heads of much of its viewing audience. Despite winning two Emmys (Best Comedy Show and Leading Actor, William Windom) it was cancelled after one season. A DVD release of the complete series would be quite enlightening. I’d love to see it again.
By the way, Thurber’s bad eyesight stemmed from a childhood incident in which his brother shot James’ eye out with an arrow. See? It isn’t always funny.