R.I.P. Chuck McCann, children's television host and the voice of "I'm cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs"

The 'Far Out Space Nuts' and 'Captain Kangaroo' actor was 83.

Image: The Everett Collection

In a 2007 interview with TVParty.com, Chuck McCann looked back on his career as not really a career. "I did everything," he said. "I never closed doors. If you look at my career — if I had one — I never think of it as a career, I just look at it as things I love to do. I have just as much fun doing a 30-second commercial as I do making a movie."

Indeed, McCann's body of work included everything from beloved children's television shows to General Mills ads to Oliver Hardy impressions.

He was the voice of Sonny the Cuckoo Bird in Cocoa Puffs commercials, delightfully declaring, "I'm cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs!" McCann also starred in a series of memorable spots for Right Guard deodorant in the 1970s and 1980s, in which he spouted another catchphrase: "Hi, guy!"

McCann was born into a family of entertainers. His grandfather performed in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. A generation later, McCann's father was arranging music at the Roxy Theatre in New York, which gave young McCann the opportunity to meet Lou Costello. 

Starting on local stations in the New York City area, McCann began his own career in children's television in the 1950s. He worked on series such as The Puppet Hotel and Let's Have Fun. He also had a hand in creating the regional favorite Wonderama. In 1963, he earned his own title, The Chuck McCann Show, which lead, a few years later, to Chuck McCann's Laurel & Hardy TV Show. Chuck was no dilettante when it came to Laurel & Hardy. He was a co-founding member of the Sons of the Desert, an international fan club devoted to the classic comedy duo.

Elsewhere, McCann continued to craft quirky characters for kids on shows like Far Out Space Nuts, a Sid and Marty Krofft sci-fi show co-starring Bob Denver of Gilligan's Island fame, and Captain Kangaroo, on which he portrayed Sailor Clyde.

On MeTV, you can spot McCann's smiling face on a variety of shows — he popped up on Bonanza, The Bob Newhart Show, Columbo, Diff'rent Strokes and far more. Or perhaps you heard his voice on Saturday mornings, if you grew up in the 1980s, as McCann voiced characters on cartoons like Pac-Man, G.I. Joe, The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and DuckTales. He was even the voice behind the Thing in the Fantastic Four cartoon.

On Sunday, April 8, McCann died of heart failure at the age of 83, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

People we have lost in 2018

  • David Ogden Stiers, M*A*S*H star and Disney voice actor
  • John Mahoney, the beloved father of 'Frasier'
  • Vic Damone, legendary singer, popular entertainer and TV host
  • Doreen Tracey, original 'Mickey Mouse Club' Mousketeer
  • Mickey Jones of 'Home Improvement' and 'National Lampoon's Vacation'
  • Peter Wyngarde, British actor who appeared in 'The Prisoner,' 'Flash Gordon' and a Lucy special
  • Dorothy Malone, Oscar-winning actress and 'Peyton Place' star
  • Robert Dowdell of 'Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea'
  • John Gavin, 'Psycho' actor who was twice almost cast as James Bond
  • Hugh Wilson, creator of 'WKRP in Cincinnati,' 'Frank's Place'
  • Jean Porter, actress from 'The Abbott & Costello Show'
  • Greta Thyssen, actress on 'The Three Stooges' and 'Perry Mason'
  • Harry Landers, co-star on 'Ben Casey' and many beloved TV shows
  • Frank Buxton, writer, actor and director on 'The Odd Couple,' 'Happy Days'
  • Bradford Dillman, prominent '60s and '70s film and TV actor
  • Frank Avruch, best known as Boston's Bozo the Clown
  • David Ogden Stiers, M*A*S*H star and Disney voice actor
  • John Mahoney, the beloved father of 'Frasier'
  • Vic Damone, legendary singer, popular entertainer and TV host
  • Doreen Tracey, original 'Mickey Mouse Club' Mousketeer
  • Mickey Jones of 'Home Improvement' and 'National Lampoon's Vacation'
  • Peter Wyngarde, British actor who appeared in 'The Prisoner,' 'Flash Gordon' and a Lucy special
  • Dorothy Malone, Oscar-winning actress and 'Peyton Place' star
  • Robert Dowdell of 'Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea'
  • John Gavin, 'Psycho' actor who was twice almost cast as James Bond
  • Hugh Wilson, creator of 'WKRP in Cincinnati,' 'Frank's Place'
  • Jean Porter, actress from 'The Abbott & Costello Show'
  • Greta Thyssen, actress on 'The Three Stooges' and 'Perry Mason'
  • Harry Landers, co-star on 'Ben Casey' and many beloved TV shows
  • Frank Buxton, writer, actor and director on 'The Odd Couple,' 'Happy Days'
  • Bradford Dillman, prominent '60s and '70s film and TV actor
  • Frank Avruch, best known as Boston's Bozo the Clown

David Ogden Stiers, M*A*S*H star and Disney voice actor

The actor behind "Winchester" died at the age of 75. READ MORE

Image: The Everett Collection

John Mahoney, the beloved father of 'Frasier'

The veteran stage actor was 77. READ MORE

Image: AP Photo / Reed Saxon

Vic Damone, legendary singer, popular entertainer and TV host

On February 11, the entertainer passed away at the age of 89. READ MORE

Image: The Everett Collection

Doreen Tracey, original 'Mickey Mouse Club' Mousketeer

Actress Doreen Tracey passed away January 10 at the age of 74. READ MORE

Image: The Everett Collection

Mickey Jones of 'Home Improvement' and 'National Lampoon's Vacation'

On February 7, Mickey Jones passed away at the age of 76. READ MORE

Peter Wyngarde, British actor who appeared in 'The Prisoner,' 'Flash Gordon' and a Lucy special

He was one of the men who inspired Austin Powers. READ MORE

Dorothy Malone, Oscar-winning actress and 'Peyton Place' star

On January 18, Dorothy Malone passed away at the age of 93. READ MORE

Image: The Everett Collection

Robert Dowdell of 'Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea'

The Lieutenant Commander Chip Morton died at the age of 85. READ MORE

Image: The Everett Collection

John Gavin, 'Psycho' actor who was twice almost cast as James Bond

The actor and diplomat passed away at the age of 86. READ MORE

Image: The Everett Collection

Hugh Wilson, creator of 'WKRP in Cincinnati,' 'Frank's Place'

The Emmy-winning writer passed away on January 14 at 74. READ MORE

Image: The Everett Collection

Jean Porter, actress from 'The Abbott & Costello Show'

The '40s and '50s starlet passed away at the age of 95 on January 13. READ MORE

Image: The Everett Collection

Greta Thyssen, actress on 'The Three Stooges' and 'Perry Mason'

The actress passed away on January 6 at the age of 90. READ MORE

Harry Landers, co-star on 'Ben Casey' and many beloved TV shows

Bette Davis kickstarted an acting career that led to the 'Star Trek' finale. READ MORE

Frank Buxton, writer, actor and director on 'The Odd Couple,' 'Happy Days'

The multifaceted TV talent passed away on January 2 at the age of 87. READ MORE

Image: The Everett Collection

Bradford Dillman, prominent '60s and '70s film and TV actor

We saw Dillman step into top-tier classic shows, like Wagon Train and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, and returning for recurring roles on shows like Dr. Kildare and Court Martial. READ MORE

Frank Avruch, best known as Boston's Bozo the Clown

The host of Bozo's Big Top died at the age of 89. READ MORE

Image: WHDH-TV / YouTube

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