Kurwood Derby -
The mythical hat featured on episodes of the animated cartoon ROCKY
& HIS FRIENDS/ABC/1959-61 (a.k.a. THE BULLWINKLE SHOW). The Kurwood
Derby was a famous hat that made anyone who wore it, the
"smartest man in the world." Legend tells that a cave man who first
wore it immediately went out and invented the wheel. The Kurwood
Derby was first seen in 1961 in 26 (3 & 1/2 minute) episodes
entitled "Missouri Mish Mash".
Throughout the ages, the Kurwood Derby resurfaced on the heads of such people as
Aristotle, Philip of Macedonia, Ghenghis Khan, Julius Caesar and
Elvis Presley. The hat's last known owner was a Princeton professor
who put the hat on his head and remarked "E=MC squared."
Pottsylvanian spies Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale were instructed
by their Fearless Leader to find the hat. For whoever owned the hat
would "RULE ZA VERLD!"
Bullwinkle J. Moose (who could never get the
"hat" to work right) was the current owner of this magical bowler
originally created by a race of Moonmen who were the progenitors of
square-headed space aliens named
Gidney and Cloyd.
TRIVIA NOTE: The
name "Kurwood Derby" was a parody of the name of a popular celebrity
of the time named Durward Kirby who starred on the variety program
THE GARRY MOORE SHOW/CBS/1958-64 and later on CANDID CAMERA
When Mr. Kirby's lawyers wrote Jay Ward, the creator of
the cartoon series, and demanded that he stop using the name "Kurwood
Derby" because it spoofed the celebrity's name, Jay Ward encouraged
the lawyers to sue because. he could "use the publicity." (Of Moose
and Men: The Rocky & Bullwinkle Story, a documentary aired on PBS in
While searching the internet for the "Kurwood" Derby use also
the variations of "Kirward," "Kerwood" and "Kirwood" for a
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