Friday, May 6, 2011


"THE GOLFER" by Al Hirschfeld
In 1991, CBS VIDEO hired 20 illustrators (including myself) to create the VHS cover box art for the "Classic 39" TV episodes of "The Honeymooners", starring Jackie Gleason, "with the stars Art Carney, Audrey Meadows and Joyce Randolph", released on 20 cassettes, each containing two shows. The illustrations were art directed by Lou Dorfsman, who years earlier had created the CBS logo. (I'm proud that I suggested to the series coordinator at CBS video that Al Hirschfeld, who had already committed to the project, should illustrate "The Golfer")
Famed art director Lou Dorfsman, creator of the EYE-conic CBS logo

This was the single photo, sent out to each artist, to use as reference (no Google back then)

Mort Drucker was the original choice of CBS video to create all 20 images for the boxes, an interesting choice as he had illustrated the Honeymooners comic book back in the fifties before he joined MAD. But for some reason that fell though.
 The Honeymooners cassettes have since been relegated to the VHS dust-bin of history, which is why I wanted to revive them here. These are some of my favorites:

                              "TV OR NOT TV" Illustrated by C. F. Payne

                          "FUNNY MONEY" Illustrated by Robert Grossman

                "ALICE AND THE BLONDE" Illustrated by Stephen Kroninger

           "UNCONVENTIONAL BEHAVIOR" Illustrated by Seymour Chwast

                                "A DOG'S LIFE" Illustrated by Jack Davis

                          "SOMETHING FISHY" Illustrated by Philip Burke      

                      "MAMA LOVES MAMBO" Illustrated by Robert Risko

                            "A MAN'S PRIDE" Illustrated by Victor Juhasz

                     "RALPH KRAMDEN, INC." Illustrated by Bill Seinkiewicz

                      "THE MAN FROM SPACE" by the Will Vinton studios

                                  "The Sleepwalker" art by Richard Thompson

                "Twas the Night before Christmas" by the Hanna-Barbera studios

A limited edition poster was made available to video purchasing customers   showing all 20 illustrations. Mine is top, second from right.


  1. These were all art directed by Lou Dorfsman, yes? Nice post.

  2. Right, Lou Dorfsman (love that name), pretty old by then. He was a CBS legend, having designed the CBS logo, which he constantly reminded me.

  3. Simply stunning!! All the masters are here.

  4. Working with Lou Dorfsman is one of the highlights of my career. What a character. Larger than life. I remember being invited to the studio in his townhouse somewhere up town. The decor was right out of the Frank Tashlin/Jerry Lewis Technicolor school. I loved it. When he first called me to do this job he said, "There are people who can nail likeness every time and do it perfectly---you are a crapshoot." I still get a laugh out of that. He was a big man with a big voice, a big personality and a big talent and credentials to match. I met him again years later at an opening of his work at SVA. He shook my hand and said, "You were a crapshoot but you nailed it." I saw him one more time shortly before his death at a dinner for celebrating the latest inductees into the art director's club hall of fame. He was the giant in the room. I got to shake his hand and thank him one last time. Loved working with him. LOVED!

  5. Right, Lou was the real deal. A legend and he knew it. I also visited his studio (E. 60th I think?) and he was a no nonsense guy. Hadn't heard of me before and Wanted FINISHED art delivered to him, no "Color overlays" which I had meekly suggested (I was just beginning to work in color and was still tentative about it.)

    I don't remember the name of the younger guy from CBS Video who instigated this project, but he called me at one point to tell me they just landed Al Hirschfeld and knowing I was a huge Honeymooners fan, asked what image I thought Al should depict. I instantly suggested the iconic Golf episode as perfect for Hirschfeld. I'd like to think I was correct.

  6. Loving these posts Drew!! Keep 'em coming.