Chuck McCann

Active - 1968 - 2005  |   Born - Sep 2, 1934 in Brooklyn, New York  |   Genres - Comedy, Drama, Children's/Family

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Biography by Hal Erickson

The son of musical arranger Val McCann, rotund American comic actor Chuck McCann began working up laugh-getting routines while attending high school. A nightclub performer at 17, McCann made regular, well-received appearances on Steve Allen's various network programs even before he was twenty. In 1959 McCann launched a local Manhattan kid's show, Let's Have Fun, where he hosted Laurel and Hardy comedies and read the newspaper funnies -- with appropriately zany voices for such characters as Little Orphan Annie and Dick Tracy. His gift for mimickry was a godsend for the many novelty records and animated cartoons for which McCann provided voiceovers (he was still a cartoon regular into the '90s). As a film actor, McCann offered a brilliant, noncomic performance in 1968's Heart is a Lonely Hunter; and in collaboration with his friend Harry Hurwitz he co-wrote and starred in a marvelous pastiche of old movie clips and new routines titled The Projectionist (1971). Chuck McCann's greatest fame rests securely on his many appearances as Oliver Hardy (with such actors as Jim McGeorge and Larry Harmon in the Stan Laurel role) in TV commercials for everything from gasoline to pizza, and for his recurring appearances as the "Hi, guy" nosey neighbor in the Right Guard commercials of the '60s and '70s.

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