September 1963 - December 1966, CBS
ennessee Tuxedo was a penguin
who shared living quarters at Megapolis Zoo with his best pal
Chumley, a dim-witted walrus. Not content with his lot in life,
Tennessee (with the help of Chumley) was always attempting
schemes to improve his fortune or make his life easier. He came
up with extravagant plans (which usually involved building
something) that he assumed would be simple to execute
actually attempted them and things went horribly wrong.
Not to be discouraged, Tennessee
and Chumley made a habit of then visiting the office of their
good friend Phineas J. Whoopee, the "man with all the answers"
to get some expert advice. Mr. Whoopee knew a good deal about
everything and was always happy to explain the scientific
principles underlying how things worked. To help illustrate his
points he used a 'three-dimensional black board' (or 3DBB, as he
called it) that he stored in a closet. Each time he opened the
closet door he was buried in an avalanche of miscellaneous
items, from which he triumphantly emerged with the device. The
3DBB had the ability to render what was drawn on it into
three-dimensional reality. This made the lessons he was
ostensibly teaching Tennessee and Chumley entertaining to the
kids watching at home, and informative as well. With the
assistance of their newfound knowledge, Tennessee and Chumley
set off and generally succeeded in carrying out whatever task
they had begun, but rarely without creating some unforeseen,
unintentional victim of a good deal of Tennessee's
shenanigans was the zoo's director, Stanley Livingston.
Tennessee caused him endless aggravation, to the point that
when something went wrong Stanley (quite correctly) didn't
hesitate to place the blame on the pertinacious penguin and
his chronic cohort. He doled out plenty of punishments for
the two, such as assigning them to wash pots and pans in the
zoo kitchen for six months, running them ragged as zoo
messengers, and even sending them to work on a chain gang.
Also working at the zoo was Stanley's assistant, Flunky.
Other recurring characters were
introduced as the series got underway. Two additional friends to
Tennessee Tuxedo and Chumley were an eagle named Baldy and a yak
named Yakkety Yak. Tennessee even gained an arch rival by the
name of Jereboah Jump. Jereboah was an unscrupulous jerboa
(similar to a jumping mouse) who vied with Tennessee to be top
dog (so to speak) at the zoo. The two were always trying to
out-do one another. Unlike most episodes, which ended with a
less than desirable result for Tennessee and Chumley, the two
had a knack for getting the better of Jereboah.
were eight-and-a-half minutes in length, with Tennessee Tuxedo
being the first segment shown in the half-hour show. Other
segments included The King & Odie, The Hunter and
Tooter Turtle. These segments were later replaced by
The World of Commander McBragg and Klondike Kat.