Schoolhouse Rock Co-Creator Passes
Thomas G. Yohe, co-creator of the classic interstitials "Schoolhouse Rock," passed away on Thursday, December 21, 2000. Yohe had pancreatic cancer and was 63 years old. Yohe and partner George Newall produced 40 editions of "Schoolhouse Rock" from 1973-1985. The three-minute musical lessons aired between cartoons on ABC's Saturday Morning line-up. A revival of the series came in the early 1990s when new episodes where commissioned and current alternative bands covered the series' songs for a tribute album. Yohe was responsible for the character designs and worked with songwriter Bob Dorough on the show's lyrics. The interstitial series came to life when Yohe and Newall were working at New York ad agency McCaffrey & McCall. In 1971, David McCall commissioned Yohe and Newall to create a song to the multiplication tables so his son could learn them. McCall had found that the little tyke had an easier time memorizing Rolling Stones' lyrics than the times tables. In 1973, the duo took the idea to a young executive at ABC Michael Eisner who green lit the series. The educational team later formed their own production house, creating educational shows like DRAWING POWER. In 1980, Yohe won an Emmy for animation for that series.