Tuesday, 24 April, 2018

Chuck McCann, legendary comic and WPIX personality, dead at 83: friends

Chuck McCann. Firstpost Chuck McCann. Facebook
Adrian Cunningham | 11 April, 2018, 04:53

Chuck McCann, a zany comic who hosted a popular children's television show in NY in the 1960s, branched out as a barrel-chested character actor in movies and TV, and voiced the bird who cries "I'm cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs!" in long-running cereal commercials, died April 8 at a hospital in Los Angeles.

McCann started his career in the 1960s in New York City, before venturing into films, TV, and commercials.

Chuck McCann, a journeyman actor and well-known children's entertainer whose roles included dozens of iconic voice roles in animation, died April 8 of congestive heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He starred in the critically-acclaimed 1968 film The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter and the 1970 comedy film The Projectionist. After moving to Los Angeles, he continued to work in television, doing notable commercial work and becoming known for his impression of Oliver Hardy.

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"I think he taught a whole generation of kids not to be afraid to laugh", says author-screenwriter Mark Evanier, who directed McCann's vocal performance on the animated TV series "The Garfield Show". "I just look at it as things I love to do", he said.

He credited his fame to NY kids' show host Sandy Becker who gave him his big break in the mid-1950s when the two worked together.

The actor is also known for creating the voice of Sonny the Cuckoo Bird for General Mills" Cocoa Puffs television commercials and for starring in a series of commercials for deodorant Right Guard throughout the 1970s and "80s. That year he moved his namesake show to WNEW/5 (now WNYW), where he added "The Great Bombo's Magic Cartoon Circus Lunchtime Show" and "Chuck McCann's Laurel and Hardy Show".