"The Bullwinkle Statue"
The year was 1961, on the eve of the new "The Bullwinkle Show" on NBC. In a switch from the program's previous home on ABC, the revamped series was eager to make its presence known on the new network. A name change ("Rocky and His Friends" to "The Bullwinkle Show"), a new time slot, and more insane stories were a big enough reason to celebrate for Jay Ward.
"I always wanted to do a takeoff of Grauman's [now Mann's] Chinese Theater," said Mr. Ward. In his typical fashion, the grand gala would call out Hollywood for this black tie affair, with an offbeat twist. First, instead of having celebrities leave imprints of their hands and feet in the cement panels in front of the Jay Ward Productions building, Jay opted to have imprints of celebrity "drinking elbows" instead. Yes, literally an imprint of the elbow that was lifted when they drink.
The Ward offices, located at 8218 Sunset Boulevard, dawned not only an assortment of celebrity elbows, but also one of Jay's other pride and joys...the 30 foot tall statue of Bullwinkle and Rocky. That statue is almost a spoof of the statue across the street at the time. On the other side of Sunset in 1961 stood a bikini-clad cow girl that spun on a pedestal on the top of a huge sign for the Sahara Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. She stood on one foot holding a lasso and her hat. Back near the Ward offices, Bullwinkle spun on a rotating pedestal of his own on the ground.
The statue was unveiled to the public at a kick-off party to commemorate "The Bullwinkle Show" joining NBC on September 24, 1961. The party was a raging success. Jayne Mansfield, a 1950's film star (and sex symbol) pulled the ribbon that released the canvas that covered Hollywood's oddest treasure. Three of the four lanes on Sunset Blvd. were blocked, leaving one very slow lane of traffic filled with onlookers. Jay even put up a sign on the edge of the road that read " Stop Complaining, or We'll Block This Lane Too".
Today the statue still stands on Sunset Blvd, outside of the former offices and the Dudley Do-right Emporium, the Bullwinkle mega-store that sells merchandise from all of Jay Ward's cartoons.