Cartoonist Ted Key (Theodore Keyser, 1912-2008) would have been one hundred years old today. Key was the creator of Hazel, the savvy outspoken housemaid who appeared in single panel cartoons beginning in 1943. Hazel appeared regularly in The Saturday Evening Post until the magazine folded in 1969. Hazel then moved to an original daily newspaper feature for the King syndicate until Key retired in 1993; from that point on, the syndicate continued the cartoon with daily reprints. Hazel began a four-year run on national television in 1961 with Shirley Booth in the title role.
Key also created the Peabody's Improbable History segment for Jay Ward's classic The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show.
Key wrote three films for the Disney studios: Million Dollar Duck (1971), Gus (1976), and The Cat from Outer Space (1978). (Million Dollar Duck has the distinction of being only one of three films that critic Gene Siskel walked out of during his professional career. Oh, well.)
Among Ted Key's books is 1960's The Biggest Dog in the World (filmed as Digby, the Biggest Dog in the World, 1973), which was published two years before Norman Bridwellfirst drew the sketch that became Clifford, The Big Red Dog. Hmmm.