Wednesday, October 20, 2004

The Dudley Do-Right Emporium

Recently a Hollywood institution closed down.
The Dudley Do-Right Emporium was located at 8200 Sunset Blvd. just a short drive from the Walk of Fame. The store stood next to the production offices of Jay Ward productions, the makers of Dudley Do-Right, Rocky and Bullwinkle George of the Jungle and the Cap'n Crunch commercials.

The studio had ceased production on animation years ago, but had new life breathed into it in the 1990's with the success of the live action George of the Jungle film. A live action revival of Dudley Do-Right and of Rocky and Bullwinkle followed, but neither matched George of the Jungle's success.

The Dudley Do-Right Emporium was a bizarre little shop where you could find ANYTHING you could imagine featuring the beloved Jay Ward characters. If you wanted a T-Shirt with Bullwinkle on it, they had it. If you wanted a stuffed Bullwinkle with a T-Shirt with Rocky on it, they had it. If you wanted a stuffed giraffe wearing a Rocky and Bullwinkle T-Shirt with a button that you pushed to make it play the theme from Mr. Belvedere, they probably had it. And, it probably danced to the music.

The store closed recently when the Jay Ward offices relocated. It probably will not reopen. The reason is simple: with the internet character merchandise is much easier to come by. The store kept unusual hours, opening only from Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, from 11 AM - 4:30 PM. Oddly enough, those are the exact same hours that the McDonalds down the street served the FRESH meat. Any other time, squeeze your burger first, it may play Mr. Belvedere.

A few doors down, the statue of Rocky and Bullwinkle that once stood in front of the studio still stands, only now the building is (fittingly) a high class pet salon.

The statue originally was a satire of a billboard that stood across the street. The Rocky and Bullwinkle Statue has long outlasted the subject of its parody. Kind of like comic genius Rob Schneider.

At the base of the statue are the signatures and elbow prints of some of the famous animators and voice artists that worked at the studio. Today you can find those same prints at on the bar at Slappy's Pub on Gower Street. If you see them, buy them a round and tell ‘em you liked those Cap’n Crunch commercials.