The first story of the season was an epic multi-part adventure about the moose and squirrel's search for the elusive Kirwood Derby. In November 1961, Durward Kirby threatened to file suit. Jay Ward reportedly responded to the threat, in his usual style, by offering to let Kirby use any name of his choosing for any character from his show.
"The Great Boxtop Caper" storyline (Boris planned to control the world's economy by counterfeiting cereal boxtops) had to be resolved early because of objections from cereal manufacturer General Mills, the show's sponsor and owner.
Production budgets and time restraints were so tight that many times when actors flubbed a line and ad-libbed around it, it was included in the finished cartoon. In one infamous incident, announcer William Conrad couldn't finish the closing lines to the episode with the time limits. Producer Jay Ward then had Conrad read the script once again, and set fire to the bottom of the script as he read. Conrad quickly finished the lines before the flames reached his fingers.
During a brief, experimental run in prime time, "The Bullwinkle Show" incurred the wrath of no less a Hollywood heavyweight than Walt Disney. Each prime time episode was "introduced" by Bullwinkle himself (as a hand puppet, voiced by Bill Scott ), and social commentary was often sprinkled in with the gags. Disney had recently changed his own weekly show's name from _Disneyland_ to _Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color_ and was appearing on screen to relentlessly promote the sale of color TV sets, still a relatively newfangled phenomenon. Bullwinkle, taking note, told his audience there was no need to buy an expensive new set, telling them instead to think of all the nasty things Walt Disney had said about their old black and white TVs. "Now then," he said, "don't you see red?" By all accounts, Uncle Walt was not amused.
The show has gone under several names. "Rocky and His Friends" was the name of the pilot produced by Jay Ward, "The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show" was the more popular title, but it is also known as "The Bullwinkle Show."
The images of the Pottsylvanian spies Boris and Natasha were modeled after the spooky husband and wife portrayed in Charles Addams' New Yorker cartoons. (The New Yorker characters would be named Gomez and Morticia Addams in the later live action TV comedy series "The Addams Family" which was based on the magazine cartoons.)