Commander McBragg

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Commander McBragg was a cartoon character, created by Jay Ward, who appeared in short segments, first on Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales (1963), and then later on the Underdog animated television show from 1964-1973, and on some syndicated prints of Rocky & Bullwinkle. The segments opened with an image of a revolving globe and the title "The World of Commander McBragg." In each episode, the Commander would buttonhole a hapless member of his gentleman's club, relate some story filled with unlikelihoods and outright impossibilities, always concluding with a hairbreadth escape. As an example, McBragg would point to a map on the wall and say to an unsuspecting colleague: "There! Zanzibar! Did I ever tell you about the time I ..." The person listening to the story would, despite his initial reticence, become very engaged in the exciting tale, and at its conclusion compliment the Commander on his cleverness, to which he would always respond "Quite!"

The voice of Commander McBragg was provided by veteran voice talent Kenny Delmar, best known for his stammering Southern character "Senator Claghorn" on the old Fred Allen radio show (Mel Blanc's Foghorn Leghorn was a riff on Delmar's Claghorn). The stories, more often than not, were either taken directly from, or were imitations of, the "Baron Munchausen" stories of Rudolf Erich Raspe. Other influences include the early animated character Colonel Heeza Liar, the subject of a number of animated shorts created by John R. Bray, and directed by Walter Lantz, who would later become better known for the Woody Woodpecker franchise.