Charles John Thomas “Chuck” McCann delighted children for decades, first on local New York City television, then nationally, and finally in animation. McCann died on April 8 from congenital heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 83.
Born Sept. 2, 1934, in Brooklyn, McCann made his name on his hometown station, WPIX Ch. 11, with The Chuck McCann Show in 1963.
A few years later, he added Chuck McCann’s Laurel & Hardy TV Show to his duties, which allowed McCann to show off his Hardy impersonation.
In the 1970s, he also co-created the CBS Saturday morning comedy Far Out Space Nuts, (for Sid and Marty Krofft), in which he co-starred with Bob Denver.
You also could see and hear McCann frequently between the shows, as he starred in to famous TV ad campaigns. As Sonny the Cuckoo Bird, he declared “I’m cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs” for more than a decade. He also showed up in unsuspecting medicine cabinets to say “Hi, guy!” for Right Guard. Here he was opposite comedy legend Groucho Marx.
He had a lengthy list of TV and film cameos, as well, and as he became a senior citizen, he found he could entertain children as Santa Claus, too.
In the late 1980s, McCann also started getting more work in animation, beginning in 1987 with the role of Duckworth in DuckTales. His credits would go on to include TaleSpin, Chip ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers, The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Garfield and Friends, Animaniacs, Fantastic Four, The Powerpuff Girls, Adventure Time and many more.
He will be missed.