Professor Kapp has the Solution
The film Space Ball introduced one of Art Clokey’s most lovable characters, Professor Cap. With a shape like a brown fig topped by a halo of white hair over wide eyes, and a voice like Ed Gwynn, the professor was the ultimate doddering genius. In many episodes his only clothing is a Phi Beta Kappa key positioned to protect his modesty.
We asked Art where he got his idea for this character.
“Yes, Professor Kapp! The only piece of clothing he has is a Phi Beta Kappa key. In the early episodes, I used my father’s gold Phi Beta Kappa key, which was just the right size for Kapp. But the idea for the character came from this teacher of music that was a friend of my father’s, and we were at a restaurant in Claremont, where Pomona College is located. My father was teaching there at Pomona College of Music, and I noticed this one guy. He always wore a vest and he had a Phi Beta Kappa key. That was his first thing he put on in the morning. I thought that was a good idea; a trademark for Professor Kapp.”