top of page
Untitled design (4).gif


  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • TikTok
Work animation  (1).gif
Untitled design (4).gif
New blog posts will be uploaded at 5:00 PM CST
Every Tuesday & Thursday!
A writer's life during the golden age of television

I’m Jack Olesker, creator, writer, producer and director of more than twelve hundred episodes of television, eighteen motion pictures and seven published novels. I've written and created many animated series during The Golden Age of Television Animation including Care Bears, M.A.S.K., Heroes on Hot Wheels, The New Adventures of He-man, The Super Mario Bros. Super Show, Hello Kitty’s Furry Tale Theater, Popples, my co-creation of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and many more.

It’s been my joy to have entertained countless millions of viewers who were young fans and stayed fans as they grew up and introduced their own children to many of my series continuing to air worldwide.

And now, through my A Writer’s Life…During the Golden Age of Television Animation blog, I’m going to take all of you on an amazing journey back to those shining years of animated television series. It’s a real-life journey that has everything – history, action, adventure, cliffhangers, comedy and drama, suspense, devastating disappointments and tremendous triumphs.

We who labor – and labored -- in the animation industry are forever indebted to you for being fans. So my A Writer’s Life…During the Golden Age of Television Animation blog is a labor of love dedicated to you. It’s my way of saying “Thank-you.” I promise it will be a fascinating journey.

Let’s go on it together!


After we viewed the videocassettes of previous episodes, I’m jamming with Ray on M.A.S.K. In two days we’ve knocked out ten story springboards. Lori pushes them through and gets the springboards approved. We knock out ten treatments in three days. When the treatments are all approved in two days, I have a hunch neither Jean nor Andy looked at them, instead just letting us run with them.

We’ve got a week to write five scripts each. Oh this is going to be fun!

We need a quick breather. As Fate would have it, our breather synchs perfectly with the Entertainment Softball League’s final scheduled game of the season. We’re up against arch rivals Warner Bros. So far, DIC has a 12-0 perfect season. Warner Bros. is 11-1, their only loss to us at the start of the season. We win tonight and we’re the champs. If Warner Bros. wins we’ll both finish 12-1 and there’ll be a playoff game.

I’m on the mound, bleachers packed with fans from both teams. Bobby Logan, Linda Levin and Mike Cowan are in the infield. Lori’s behind home plate. I strike out the first three Warner Bros. players, DIC fans in a frenzy.

We come to bat in the bottom half of the inning to see Warner Bros. has a monster of a dude pitching and he burns in the ball at a fast-pitch speed – something we haven’t seen before. He duplicates my feat, striking out our first three players. As we take the field, Bobby meets me on the mound. Bobby tells me I have to put more speed on my pitches. He says, “If you can’t speed it up, I can pitch.”

Despite my never having fast-pitched in my life, I assure Bobby that I know how to fast-pitch. It’s gonna be a long night.

A few moments later, one of DIC’s sound technicians told me Mel had been at the recording studio earlier doing ADR work. ADR stands for ‘automated dialogue replacement’ which means re-recording dialogue so it can be used to rectify a problem encountered with the original recording during post-production.

It was common knowledge that Mel was suffering from emphysema as a result of years of heavy cigarette smoking, so the ADR work was tough on him. The technician told me Mel was in the middle of delivering one of Heathcliff’s dialogue lines when he paused, running out of breath, then raised his oxygen mask to his mouth, labored to draw a couple deep breaths and continued the dialogue delivery, perfectly matching the volume and cadence that lead up to it. I shook my head in awed admiration. When I asked the technician what they’d do about the pause where Mel had drawn on the oxygen to catch his breath, the technician shrugged and said, “We’ll fix it in post.”

I wished someone could fix Mel in post, but he was past that. Still, even in the throes of emphysema, Mel Blanc had the talent, drive and dogged determination to perfectly nail that line of dialogue. It was inspirational. It was what being a professional and a legend was all about.

Sadly, Heathcliff the Cat would be his last voiceover character.

I looked to the door, saw a staffer holding it open for him, saw Mel walking outside. It was the last time I’d see the legend.

By late afternoon I finish reading the M.A.S.K. series bible. Ray comes to

DIC and picks up his copy, promising to finish it by tomorrow so he can start writing story springboards. If all goes well, I’ll start writing springboards later tonight. I open my office door to see movers packing boxes and carrying them from the studio. The move to the new studio has begun.

I’m eager and excited to see the new offices in Encino, but right now I’ve got a big job ahead with M.A.S.K. and that’s what I’m focused on. I take five steps from my office when my focus completely shifts. I see him moving slowly past cubicles ahead of me and I instantly recognize him. He’s animation industry royalty.

Anyone who knows anything about animation knows the name Mel Blanc. And anyone doesn’t know his name certainly knows his work. The ‘Man of a Thousand Voices’ is unquestionably the greatest and most prolific voiceover artist in the history of the entertainment industry. Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Pepé Le Pew, Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam and, of course, Heathcliff the Cat were just a few of the countless characters Mel voiced during his six-decades-long career.

Working with Mel’s son, Noel, at Blanc Communications was my first job in the industry. I rushed to greet Mel. But I slowed as I got closer, seeing the wheeled oxygen tank he was pulling. I reintroduced myself, telling him what a pleasure it had been for me to have worked with Noel many years ago. Mel brightened at the mention of his son. But I could see he was tired, so I didn’t overstay. We shook hands, he wished me well and moved toward the exit.

Untitled design (4).gif


bottom of page