This is by my cartoonist buddy Randy Enos!
Back when I worked at The Famous Artists Schools, a man came to the school looking for a cartoonist who could draw quick stuff on a large pad of paper, y’know, like a chalk-talk kind of thing. I was recommended to him and I took the job.
It involved me going to New York to participate in the shooting of a pilot for a game show. I’ve forgotten what they called the show. They were going to have celebrity guests on this show and an artist who would draw a few lines on a giant pad and stop mid-stream. If the celebrities couldn’t guess what the artist was drawing, he would add a few more lines until someone could finally guess what the image was.
When I arrived at the room in New York where the pilot was being shot, I was introduced to the two celebrities who were going to participate. They were Jonathan Winters and Carol Burnett. They had a large pad of paper for me to work on and the appropriate crayons or whatever I was to use to draw my images.
I started drawing things like a curved line, then I added a circle to the mix and so on and so forth bouncing around on the big sketch adding little details and trying to keep it mysterious and unpredictable as the two celebrity guests threw out guesses as to what I was drawing. It was lots of fun.
We broke for lunch and they brought some food in. I got a chance to talk to Jonathan and Carol as we ate. They were both very nice and, as I’ve found out through my life when I’ve met people in the humor racket like comedians, comic actors, cartoonists or humor writers, they were serious-minded people. They asked about my life and what I did (which wasn’t much at that point) and they told me stuff about their lives. They both had an interest in drawing. Carol was actually taking The Famous Artists Schools illustration course. Jonathan told me that he had almost pursued a career in art instead of show business. He had an interest in becoming a cartoonist when he was young but finally realized that his talent was limited and that he would probably, as he put it, never be better than just an art department guy so when an acting opportunity came, off he went into acting. Carol was pursuing her art as just a sideline hobby.
I drew some cartoons for them and they drew some for me. Carol drew an ordinary fashion-drawing of a girl in a dress. Jonathan drew a couple of World War 2 soldiers which looked just like Mauldin’s Willie & Joe. They were both pretty good drawings. Winters was obviously a BIG fan of Bill Mauldin.
Unfortunately, down through the decades, I’ve lost both of those drawings so I can’t show them here. I’m very bad at keeping stuff like that. I think the drawings were both so derivative of other artists that I didn’t place much stock in them. Now, I realize that drawings by two famous people like that have a certain unique value.
Anyway, it was a very pleasant day with two charming comedians.
Of course the show we were testing never saw the light of day.
Somewhere those two drawings by Burnett and Winters are hiding away there amidst all those socks I’ve lost. Maybe I’ll find them someday.
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Read many more of Randy’s cartooning memories: