WebFind: “Passing Parade” spotlights the top American newspaper cartoonists of 1945

Passing Parade“, also known as “John Nesbitt’s Passing Parade“, was an American radio series created, written and narrated by John Nesbitt, later adapted into an Oscar-winning series of MGM shorts. In both formats, the series usually focused on strange-but-true historical events, both obscure and famous, as well as on historical figures such as Catherine de’ Medici and Nostradamus. But for one episode, “People on Paper“, the spotlight was turned on now legendary American newspaper cartoonists, including Chester Gould, creator of Dick Tracy, and Hal Foster, creator of Prince Valiant.

The Old Time Radio Catalogue web site notes John Nesbitt got the idea for The Passing Parade while looking through old newspaper clippings of strange events kept in trunk in his father’s attic. The stories were so extraordinary; he thought they would make an interesting radio show. The stories were seriously documented and researched, and were by all accounts true.

First shown in American cinemas on 17th November 1945, John Nesbitt’s Passing Parade Episode 55 – “People on Paper” was directed by Herbert Morgan, from a script and screenplay by John Nesbitt.

Offering a brief history of the American comic strip, beginning with “The Yellow Kid”, it features various cartoonists at work: H.H. Knerr (“Katzenjammer Kids”), Bud Fisher (“Mutt and Jeff”), Fred Lasswell (“Barney Google and Snuffy Smith”), Frank King (“Gasoline Alley”), Chester Gould (“Dick Tracy”), Dick Calkins (“Buck Rogers in the 25th Century”), Milton Caniff (“Terry and the Pirates”), Chic Young (“Blondie”), Raeburn Van Buren (“Abbie an’ Slats”), Ham Fisher (“Joe Palooka”), Hal Foster (“Prince Valiant”), Harold Gray (“Little Orphan Annie”) and Al Capp (“Li’l Abner“).

All the Passing Parade shorts were first shown in cinemas between 1938 and 1949, and re-edited for television screenings in the early 1960s.

There’s more about Passing Parade here on the Classic TV Archive

With thanks to Van Reid for the spot

Categories: Comic Art, Comics, Creating Comics, Digital Media, Features, Film, Other Worlds, US Comics

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