Here’s a personal memory for me about Bob Clampett, the creator of the animated “children’s” show, Beany and Cecil, in which they also included adult jokes such as an island called No Bikini Atoll.
Back in the late 70’s, in my first job in the film biz after film school, I had to deliver some materials from my boss to a company in an office building in downtown Hollywood.
As I went in looking for the location, I passed by an office that said “Bob Clampett” on the door. Being a fan, I decided to drop in unannounced.
I entered the outer office where you would expect to find a secretary/receptionist, but there was no one at the desk. But I could see the inner office door was slightly ajar.
So, I poked my head in, and there was Mr. Clampett, sitting behind his desk. He was pretty old looking – wrinkly face, pale skin, but what set it all off was his dark black pompadour hair that looked as if it was shiny black plastic that had been vacu-formed to his head!
To my knowledge, he hadn’t produced anything in years, and I got the impression that perhaps there was no secretary at all, though I don’t know that for a fact.
I introduced myself, told him I was a fan and that it was a pleasure to meet him. He was very gracious, so I asked if he had any advice for a young filmmaker just starting out.
He said there was just one thing – don’t give up, just keep trying. He said it was a tough business to get into, but once you break down the door your career can start.
I thanked him and departed, not wanting to over-stay my welcome, but as I returned to my car I was both elated at having me him and a bit disappointed by his hair, obviously not natural, which spoke to me of vanity, though I had no proof of that.
Inspired by this memory, I decided to look up Mr. Clampett on Wikipedia, and learned a bit about him, and about why he might have done that to his hair. A good read if you are interested in cinema trivia. Either way, Beany and Cecil is a good watch, so you may want to check out the old episodes.