Today is the birthday of Jack Burns (b. 1933), or as I like to call him, the “Huh? Huh? Huh? Guy”. When I first knew him he was one half of the team of Burns and Schreiber (Shreiber being the late Avery Shreiber, the chubby curly haired guy with the bushy mustache from the Dorito’s Commercials). They briefly had their own tv variety show in 1973. Their most famous bit is the “taxi cab routine”.
This was just hard on the heels of Burns being a voice-over regular on Wait Til Your Father Gets Home, Hannah-Barbera’s answer to All in the Family. I’ll say that again: Hannah-Barbera’s answer to All in the Family. The idea was one step beyond The Flintstones and The Jetsons, but instead of being set in the past or the future, it was in the NOW, the present, baby! Burns played the right-wing vigilante neighbor of suburban dad Harry Boyle (Tom Bosley) whose two oldest children were hippies, and whose youngest kid was voiced by Willie Aames of Eight is Enough. His wife Irma was voiced by popular cartoon voice over artist Joan Gerber. To watch it is to see a dry run for The Simpsons, Family Guy and American Dad.
The topical show lasted from 1972 through 1974. After this, Burn’s greatest claim to fame was as writer, performer, announcer and sometime producer on the ABC comedy show Fridays in 1980. That’s another post!