Friday, October 31, 2008

Ronald Searle Gets Bewitched

Bewitched Illustration by Ronald Searle

To set the stage for a day of spooks and spirits, I'm excited to share with you some really rare illustrations by artist Ronald Searle. In 1966 Searle was commissioned by TV Guide magazine to conjure up a series of images based on the Screen Gems television show Bewitched.  The tableaux above of Elizabeth Montgomery, Agnes Moorehead, and baby Tabitha appeared on the cover of TV Guide for the week of June 18-24.

Bewitched Illustration by Ronald Searle
The technical staff on Bewitched conspires to inspire.

Bewitched Illustration by Ronald Searle 
Dick York as the original - and best -Darrin!

In spite of the obvious fun Searle had with these, the show itself apparently failed to cast a spell over the artist. "I know that the canned laughter underscoring those mournful lines in Bewitched is the laughter of lost souls," Searle wrote. "Who else would applaud so hysterically the words: "What's for breakfast, Sam?"

Bewitched Illustration by Ronald Searle
An extreme makeover!

Nevertheless, Searle knew his craft so well. His sense of humor and skill at caricature really sparkle in these illustrations.

Bewitched Illustration by Ronald Searle

And now, as you prepare to head out the door this evening with treat bag in tow... 
twitch your nose, and click the YouTube window below, for a musical send-off by Samantha Stevens herself... 
Happy Halloween!


giddy girlie said...

these are fantastic illustrations! And could Elizabeth Montgomery be any cuter? No, I think not.

Have a spooky fun day!

Drake Brodahl (pumml) said...

These are absolutely fabulous! I don't think I've ever typed that before. They're that good. Thanks for posting these gems!

Pete Emslie said...

As much as I enjoy all of his cartoon work, I really love seeing Searle's caricatures. Many years ago I happened upon a book of his art that was done for the movie, "Those Daring Young Men in Their Jaunty Jalopies". It was in a bin of library castoffs going for a dollar, so I quickly snapped it up. In addition to the drawings he did that were used in the animated film titles, there are also a lot of sketches he made on the set of the various performers, including Tony Curtis, Terry-Thomas and the duo of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore. Terry-Thomas in particular looked like he was born to be a Searle drawing!

It was also quite the pleasure to see Searle's art in those occasional issues of TV Guide back in the 60s and 70s. It's too bad that TV Guide didn't use much in the way of illustrations and cartoons on the covers in its later years, instead just using uninspired photos. I like to believe it was that decision that ultimately led to its demise...

Kyle said...

Great post, Kevin! I'd never seen those other Searle drawings for Bewitched before. Very clever & witty. The YouTube video was nice, also. Cool pic of you in front of 1164 Morning Glory Circle! Thanks for all the great postings; it's always a treat. Hope you had an awesome Halloween!

Daveland said...

The only thing missing was the original (and best) Gladys Kravitz, Alice Pearce. Loved the caricatures!

Disney On Parole said...


Where do you come up with this?????
Thanks Kevin!

Matt Jones said...

Fantastic! You've got the whole spread of illustrations here, I've only ever seen the cover image. Mind if I add them to my Searle Tribute blog?

Cat Chew said...

I think the Tabitha caricature bears a downright spooky resemblance to Dick Sargent.