I highly recommend “How Bullwinkle Taught Kids Sophisticated Political Satire,” an article by Beth Daniels posted September 7 at Smithsonian.com. It begins,
“Mr. Chairman, I am against all foreign aid, especially to places like Hawaii and Alaska,” says Senator Fussmussen from the floor of a cartoon Senate in 1962. In the visitors’ gallery, Russian agents Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale are deciding whether to use their secret “Goof Gas” gun to turn the Congress stupid, as they did to all the rocket scientists and professors in the last episode of “Bullwinkle.”
Another senator wants to raise taxes on everyone under the age of 67. He, of course, is 68. Yet a third stands up to demand, “We’ve got to get the government out of government!” The Pottsylvanian spies decide their weapon is unnecessary: Congress is already ignorant, corrupt and feckless.
I’m reminded of the time Rocky and Bullwinkle were in a jet airliner that ran out of fuel. To stay aloft, Bullwinkle read The Congressional Record into a microphone with the sound piped into the engines. This provided enough hot air to keep them running.
Daniels recalls watching the cartoons in reruns as a child (see was born in 1964) and talks about some of the voice actors involved, including the recently deceased June Foray, but there’s one major omission: anything about creator Jay Ward. Still, the article is worth reading, not just for fans of the classic animated series but also for those not yet familiar with it.
There’s a lot of Rocky and Bullwinkle on YouTube, for example here: