aul Terry’s silent
Terrytoons creations found new life with the dawn of the
television era. Farmer Al Falfa, Ignatz Mouse, Kiko the
Kangaroo and other bouncy, lively creations had gone out
of style once the “talkies” took over in the late 1920’s,
but with TV programmers hungry for material to fill their
broadcast schedules, the original Terrytoons got a second
chance at the big time.
Farmer Al Falfa and the gang first appeared on network
television in CBS’ 1953 series Barker Bill’s Cartoon Show.
New titles and new sound effects were added to the old
shorts, and Farmer Al Falfa was renamed Farmer Gray. Even
with the changes, the old bits were timeless - animals
playing tricks on Farmer Al, a cow going on an
alcohol-fueled rampage, the farmer’s puppy getting into
mischief with pipes, trucks and a fighting rooster, and so
After Barker Bill’s Cartoon Show went off the air,
Farmer Al Falfa got his old name back for a new syndicated
package, Farmer Al Falfa And His Terrytoons Pals. Along
with Al’s regular stable of barnyard shenanigans, the
package included other Terrytoons shorts like the “Aesop’s
Fables” series, many of which starred Al himself.
The syndicated series was still a hit with kids, and
Farmer Al continued to tickle the funnybones of several
generations, turning up everywhere from video compilations
to Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. Still today, wherever classic
cartoons are loved and admired, Farmer Al Falfa And His
Terrytoons Pals will be found.