HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — A man known to millions in the tri-state simply as Mr. Cartoon died Thursday. Jule Huffman was 91.
Huffman was a weatherman at WSAZ-TV in Huntington for 38 years but was better known as Mr. Cartoon. A show that aired each weekday at 4 p.m. with a studio full of kids from West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky.
“He not only played the cartoons that they wanted to hear but he gave them lessons in manners, in being polite and things like that,” former WSAZ-TV news anchor and Huffman co-worker Bob Brunner remembered. “Then as soon as the cartoon show was over he took off the silly hat and he took off the silly coat and he prepared weather reports for the six o’clock news.”
Huffman talked about his years as Mr. Cartoon in a 2007 interview with WSAZ.
“I ended programs and I’ll say it again….don’t forget cartooners, it’s getting closed to the weekend now, go to your church, synagogue. Don’t forget to get to say your prayer. Don’t forget thank you and I’m sorry. Politeness is so strong. That’s what I want them to do,” he said.
Huffman took over the show in 1969. It aired five days a week until Sept. 1988. It then moved to Saturdays for several years.
“He was a marvelously talented man. A great singer, certainly a good weatherman and a kids’ show host and probably touched as many lives as anybody in the last 50 years,” Brunner said.
Current WSAZ-TV morning anchor Rob Johnson posted a note on his Facebook page Thursday after Huffman’s death.
“Most of you knew him as Mr. Cartoon. We knew him as a weatherman, a voice for WSAZ ads, a singer, and a good friend. He entertained and educated children in the WSAZ studio with his afternoon cartoon show for years. Mr. Cartoon was his alter ego. The show was his passion and his life. He had been in failing health for quite a while. Now he is at peace.”