Taking Time To Remember Bradley Bolke
Baby boomers fondly remember the 1960's cartoon "Tennessee Tuxedo" as the series focused on a wise cracking penguin featuring the voice of "Get Smart's" Don Adams and Chumley, his South Pole sidekick walrus. The gentleman who brought Chumley to our TV screens, Bradley Bolke sadly passed away this past Tuesday. He was 93 years old.
Bradley was a native of Mount Vernon, a northern suburb of New York City. He was an accomplished voice over actor who also gained accolades for portraying Soviet leader Nikita Khrushcev in a vintage comedy album entitled "The First Family" which was recorded in October of 1962 around the same time President John F Kennedy was delivering a speech regarding the Cuban Missile Crisis to a national radio and TV audience. The LP sold over a million copies and won a Grammy the following year.
His iconic role of Chumley was appointment viewing for fans of the Tennessee Tuxedo series which ran from 1963 to 1966 and was still enjoying popularity in syndication after it's 3 year run ended. Tennessee and Chumley resided at The Megapolis Zoo as they were always relying on the wisdom of their dear friend Phineas J. Whoopee (aka The Man With ALL The Answers) to help them solve problems. That beloved character featured the vocal talents of Larry Storch (best known as Corporal Agarn on the 60's sit-com "F Troop")
His other accomplishments included providing voices of The Ghostly Trio featured in the ABC series "The New Casper Cartoon Show" and was best remembered as the elf affectionately known as Jangle Bells in the 1974 holiday cartoon "The Year Without A Santa Claus". Bradley's brother, the late Dayton Allen was also a talented voice actor. He was best known as Deputy Dawg in the beloved Terrytoons animated series. Allen was also a regular cast member in "The Howdy Doody Show" and a designated "Man On The Street" reporter on Steve Allen's variety show.
On a personal note, I was fortunate to meet Bradley last year at The Triad Theatre in New York City as we all got together for a milestone celebration to honor our dear friend, Larry Storch for his 95th birthday. He was a sweet, gentle and kind man who appreciated my loyalty in his work. I also asked him if he snacked on oysters (Chumley's favorite snack on the Tennessee Tuxedo series) prior to the show and we shared a chuckle afterwards. I also told him how he made so many people happy as his accomplishments in show business will never be forgotten.
Thank you Bradley as you were there for me when I needed a smile on my face and I will never forget our time together on the evening of January 8th 2018. His memory will ALWAYS remain eternal and everlasting.