|cognitivedissonance - 2017-07-28 |
I know way, way too much about Jay Ward Studios. His slow decline following a car crash (he was the first beneficiary of the Jaws of Life!) into paranoia, extreme agoraphobia and absurd levels of personal greed led him to do some strange things. He famously had a high level of "fun" creature comforts for employees, like free ice cream, espresso machines before that was a thing, go-karts, complicated costume parties with expensive party favors, while simultaneously paying his American employees on par with his Mexican employees across the border. He intended this to be progressive but in reality instead of paying the Mexicans like Americans, he was paying the Americans like Mexicans, and he would make up new studio positions that were variations on producer so his writing staff would be credited as production and his animation staff would be credited as development, so as to work around union rules.
The original concept for "The Munsters" was to be an animated sitcom, with a more lavish budget that Ward usually had. Chris Haywood had used the Ward brand to get it sold. Ward was keen to do it, but kept trying to negotiate for less expensive animation whilst trying to keep the same budget, the intention being to pocket the difference. Haywood ultimately just left Ward entirely and CBS let him do it live action.
It all came crashing down for Ward when he went on Johnny Carson dressed as a Gilbert and Sullivan character, carrying a five foot long salami. He had some sort of nervous breakdown and just sat there for five minutes, giggling stupidly. After that, he became a recluse and would only talk to employees via office telephone. Cap'n Crunch was designed to look like Ward during his Johnny Carson meltdown and the cereal
Company didn't get that it was an office in-joke. And now you know.