Throwback Thursday: J.J. Morgan, celebrity dog from the 1950’s

TV star dog J. J. Morgan (L) acting as a third date on the television show Blind Date. (Photo by Walter Sanders/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
TV star dog J. J. Morgan (L) acting as a third date on the television show Blind Date. (Photo by Walter Sanders/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

When the weekly musical variety show A Couple of Joes premiered on ABC in 1949, the titular hosts Joe Rosenfield and Joe Bushkin were quickly eclipsed in fame by their occasional co-star J.J. Morgan, a three-year-old basset hound owned by producer Richard Gordon.

Morgan didn’t do tricks or perform feats of agility and intelligence, but his soulful snout and droopy eyes won the hearts of audiences.

His deadpan reactions to the actors and musicians around him quickly earned him guest spots on other television shows.

A tongue-in-cheek LIFE magazine article in March 1950 declared him a celebrity, praising his “polished acting and superb critical aplomb.”

Here’s to one of the OG animal memes, in black and white.

TV star dog J. J. Morgan posing for a Life picture. (Photo by Walter Sanders/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
TV star dog J. J. Morgan posing for a Life picture. (Photo by Walter Sanders/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
TV star dog J. J. Morgan sitting on a grand piano during the show A Couple of Joes. (Photo by Walter Sanders/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
TV star dog J. J. Morgan sitting on a grand piano during the show A Couple of Joes. (Photo by Walter Sanders/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
TV star dog J. J. Morgan (L) listening to trombonist Mike Riley play. (Photo by Walter Sanders/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
TV star dog J. J. Morgan (L) listening to trombonist Mike Riley play. (Photo by Walter Sanders/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
TV star dog J. J. Morgan singing with Peggy Martin. (Photo by Walter Sanders/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
TV star dog J. J. Morgan singing with Peggy Martin. (Photo by Walter Sanders/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
TV star dog J. J. Morgan walking standing with Bill Grady as he talks with Laurie Collier on the phone. (Photo by Walter Sanders/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
TV star dog J. J. Morgan walking standing with Bill Grady as he talks with Laurie Collier on the phone. (Photo by Walter Sanders/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
TV star dog J. J. Morgan sitting with Laurie Collier and Bill Grady. (Photo by Walter Sanders/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
TV star dog J. J. Morgan sitting with Laurie Collier and Bill Grady. (Photo by Walter Sanders/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
1950 Morgan visits a "Diaper Derby" baby race in Palisades Park, New Jersey. Image: Keystone-France/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images
Morgan visits a “Diaper Derby” baby race in Palisades Park, New Jersey. (Image: Keystone-France/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images)

(Via: Mashable)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s