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- 04/13/13--07:34: _Quick Draw McGraw —...
- 04/17/13--07:36: _Mars, 1960
- 04/20/13--07:03: _Pixie and Dixie — P...
- 04/24/13--06:10: _Cue the Music, Q th...
- 04/27/13--06:15: _Huckleberry Hound —...
- 04/30/13--06:29: _Flintstones Weekend...
- 05/01/13--12:32: _TC in the Mirror
- 05/04/13--07:07: _Snooper and Blabber...
- 05/07/13--08:00: _Yogi Bear Weekend C...
- 05/09/13--08:18: _Smoking Yogi and an...
- 05/11/13--04:20: _Yogi Bear — Barefac...
- 05/15/13--07:18: _The Continuing Hunt...
- 05/18/13--07:14: _Augie Doggie — Hors...
- 05/20/13--07:02: _Puppets Expose Fred...
- 05/22/13--07:21: _Flintstones Weekend...
- 05/25/13--07:42: _Quick Draw McGraw —...
- 05/29/13--19:25: _The Bear That Wasn't
- 06/01/13--07:50: _Pixie and Dixie — M...
- 06/03/13--12:28: _Yogi Bear Weekend C...
- 06/06/13--09:26: _Cooking the Flintst...
- 04/13/13--07:34: Quick Draw McGraw — Bullet Proof Galoot
- 04/17/13--07:36: Mars, 1960
- 04/20/13--07:03: Pixie and Dixie — Party Peeper Jinks
- 04/24/13--06:10: Cue the Music, Q the SL and Bracco…what?
- 04/27/13--06:15: Huckleberry Hound — Fast Gun Huck
- 04/30/13--06:29: Flintstones Weekend Comics, April 1963
- 05/01/13--12:32: TC in the Mirror
- 05/04/13--07:07: Snooper and Blabber — Big Shot Blab
- 05/07/13--08:00: Yogi Bear Weekend Comics, May 1963
- 05/09/13--08:18: Smoking Yogi and and Yoga Yogi
- 05/11/13--04:20: Yogi Bear — Bareface Disguise
- 05/15/13--07:18: The Continuing Hunt for Red Coffey
- 05/18/13--07:14: Augie Doggie — Horse Fathers
- 05/20/13--07:02: Puppets Expose Fred and Barney
- 05/22/13--07:21: Flintstones Weekend Comics, May 1963
- 05/25/13--07:42: Quick Draw McGraw — Gun Shy Gal
- 05/29/13--19:25: The Bear That Wasn't
- 06/01/13--07:50: Pixie and Dixie — Mouse For Rent
- 06/03/13--12:28: Yogi Bear Weekend Comics, June 1963
- 06/06/13--09:26: Cooking the Flintstones
Produced and Directed by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera.
Animation – Don Patterson, Layout - Dick Bickenbach, Backgrounds – Dick Thomas?, Story – Mike Maltese, Story Director – Alex Lovy, Titles – Art Goble, Production Supevision – Howard Hanson (no credits).
Voice Cast: Quick Draw, Baba Looey, Bank Teller – Daws Butler; Narrator, Townsman, Fast-Gun Finnegan, Little Man – Doug Young.
Music: Phil Green, Jack Shaindlin, Harry Bluestone/Emil Cadkin.
Episode: Quick Draw McGraw Show M-028, Production J-84.
First Aired: 1960.
Plot: Quick Draw tries to bring in a bad guy while dealing with a mechanical sheriff.
“Fight fire with fire, and tin with tin, I always say!” declares Quick Draw McGraw. And so, dressed in armour made from an old hot water heater (with pipes sticking out of his hat), our hero walks into battle, hand ready to reach for his gun—and take on the good guy.
Good guy?!? Yes, it’s another inspired story from Mike Maltese, who came up with the concept of a mechanical sheriff years before Mel Brooks in Blazing Saddles—one that has a brain buried in that tin, as we discover. Quick Draw spends the cartoon trying to prove to a town that they need him as sheriff, even though it clearly doesn’t, and he wins in the end—but only temporarily.
Some of the poses are pretty nice. They’re by Don Patterson. I especially like how Quick Draw’s snout becomes pancaked by Clarence’s fist.
Here’s Baba’s mouth in an “o” shape as he yells “Yahoo!” The lips are stretched out forward, like something out of an early ‘30s cartoon from New York.
And here’s one of Patterson’s drawings of Quick Draw zipping out of the scene. The animation’s used twice in the cartoon.
The lack of credits is annoying. Who did the backgrounds? The clouds are like Art Lozzi’s but the two-tone mountains and mesas are the same as Dick Thomas drew in the Snooper and Blabber cartoon “Outer Space Case” (which does have credits). So, I’m going with Thomas. Note there’s a sign in this cartoon drawn like the one in “Bad Guys Disguise” in the first season.
Dick Bickenbach was the layout artist on that one, and he draws the townsman’s ear like he did Tombstone Jones in the earlier cartoon; it’s shaped like a fortune cookie. You’ll notice Baba’s eyes are closed like a baseless triangle dissected down the middle, typical of Patterson at Hanna-Barbera at the time.
And here’s part of Lozzi’s town we see at the beginning. It’s one with pale rose-shadowed mountains in the background.
The cartoon opens with a pan over the background above, with Doug Young’s narration explaining that Fast-Gun Finnegan was tougher than Billy the Kid and the James boys, and “could not be brought to justice.” The narrator is interrupted by Quick Draw McGraw, who promises to do it. Baba Looey then adds that “any minutes now, Fast-Gun Finnegan will come a-runnin’ to give hisself up.” How? “You tell ‘im, Baba boy. I’m too modest. And don’t leave nothin’ out.” The cartoon now flash-backs to the morning when Quick Draw and Baba arrive in Peaceful Gulch, a town with no sheriff, and doesn’t need one, as Quick Draw is told when he applies for the job. Quick Draw decides to prove the town needs a sheriff by staging a fake bank hold-up so he can arrest the bandit. Baba to the audience: “I’ll give you one guess who’s going to be the bandit.”
“Now, remember,” Quick Draw says to Baba to start the next scene. “Shoot twice-t over your shoulder and yell ‘Yahoo’,” —the “sig-giginal” (Daws Butler’s word-bending at work again) for Quick Draw to make the phoney arrest. Baba gets nowhere. The bank teller pushes a button to activate Clarence, the mechanical sheriff. Baba gives the signal, but also fires his gun which brings down the bank sign on top of Quick Draw’s head, which gives him temporary amnesia (“Who am I? What am I? Besides bein’ good lookin’,”) and thus has no idea what the signal is. Clarence throws Baba on top of Quick Draw’s head to restore his memory.
Baba explains to Quick Draw the town has Clarence so they don’t need him as sheriff. “Hold on thar! Anybody named Clarence couldn’t be such a much.” Quick Draw goes to the entrance of the bank and ends up getting socked by the mechanical man, after thinking a teeny man coming out of the bank is Clarence and challenges him to a punch. The scene’s a little puzzling. The little man says “I couldn’t hit anybody,” says the meek man. My hands have small bones.” Quick Draw replies with “Now, don’t hurt your small-boned hand,” even though he can see the mechanical man in front of him; in fact, Clarence brushed off his nose. So I don’t understand why Quick Draw still mistakes one for the other. Catchphrase after the punch: “Ooo. That smarts!”
Catchphrase to start the next scene: “I’ll do the thinnin’ for both of us...” This is when Quick Draw dresses up in the stove outfit and shoots at Clarence. I love how Quick Draw is so satisfied with himself when he’s ravingly incompetent. The bullets just bounce off Clarence’s metal, but Quick Draw says “That’s pretty good shootin’, eh, Clarence?” The metal sheriff simply bends at 90 degrees, turns himself into a cannon and fires. We hear a bell sound effect when the cannon ball hits Quick Draw.
Oh, yes, Fast-Gun Finnegan. Now he shows up in the story to rob the bank. Quick Draw warns him about Clarence. “Anybody named Clarence couldn’t be such a much,” laughs Finnegan. The cartoon now returns to the present with Baba talking to the narrator. Just then, a clothing-torn Finnegan runs screaming to be locked up. Clarence isn’t around so the audience is left to assume what happened (saves animation, too). What’s Quick Draw going to do with the reward for the capture? Take apart Clarence bolt-by-bolt so he can be sheriff. Clarence may be mechanical, but he understands the situation and fires more cannon balls at Quick Draw. The cartoon ends with our hero running from a bunch of cannon balls toward “Arizony.” Baba’s tagline: “That’s what I like about Quickstraw. Once he finishes a job, he’s off to a new place. Whether he likes it or not.” Yeah, it’s not strong, or even a pun. But Maltese seems to have made a decision a quip from Baba should end all cartoons (it does in all 13 of them in the second season) so that’s what he came up with.
The sound cutter gives Clarence his own little theme. It’s Jack Shaindlin’s “Six Day Bicycle Race.” Phil Green dominates the rest of the soundtrack and we get a harmonica version of “Red River Valley” which may be from the Sam Fox library.
0:00 - Quick Draw McGraw Sub Main Title theme (Curtin).
0:15 - Red River Valley (Trad) – Pan of town, poster, “Hold on thar!”
0:30 - GR-99 THE DIDDLECOMB HUNT (Green) – Quick Draw talks to narrator, sign scene.
1:17 - GR-255 PUPPETRY COMEDY (Green) – Quick Draw talks to townsman, teller presses button.
2:23 - SIX-DAY BICYCLE RACE (Shaindlin) – Clarence rolls out, Quick Draw loses memory, regains memory.
3:04 - GR-87 SKELETON IN THE CUPBOARD (Green) – “Hold on thar!” Quick Draw talks to little man, teller presses button.
4:06 - SIX DAY BICYCLE RACE (Shaindlin) – Clarence rolls out, clobbers Quick Draw.
4:24 - GR-87 SKELETON IN THE CUPBOARD (Green)) – Quick Draw’s nose is pancake, Quick Draw as stovepipe.
5:04 - SIX DAY BICYCLE RACE (Shaindlin) – Clarence rolls out, cannon fire, Quick Draw talks to Finnegan.
6:04 - CB-87A COME AND GET ME (Cadkin-Bluestone) – Baba talks to narrator, Finnegan yells for help, Quick Draw with gun on Finnegan.
6:31 - SIX DAY BICYCLE RACE (Shaindlin) – Clarence rolls out, Quick Draw runs to Arizona, Baba talks to camera.
7:00 - Quick Draw McGraw Sub End Title theme (Curtin).
Outer space and futurism go hand-in-hand. I mean, you never see astronauts land on a planet where aliens are driving something that looks like a ‘51 Nash.
The Hanna-Barbera studio visualised the ultimate in futurism in The Jetsons, but it used futuristic designs in some of its earlier space cartoons. In fact, H-B’s first series, Ruff and Reddy began with a space adventure. Aliens invaded Jellystone Park in “Space Bear.” And Snooper and Blabber ended up on Mars in “Outer Space Case” (1960-61 season), a cartoon designed by Don Sheppard with scenes painted by Dick Thomas.
These buildings wouldn’t be too out of place in the Jetsons’ world. The grille on the oval speaker above the door isn’t in perspective but that’s not too big a deal.
Here are a couple of interiors. The kitchen isn’t as futuristic as Jane Jetson’s, but the floor’s nice and shiny. Unfortunately, I can’t get a clear shot of the hallway (the only two Mars interior backgrounds in the cartoon). But I like the painting of the King on the wall.
Here’s the planetary surface. Not terribly elaborate, but it doesn’t overpower the action.
The credits have been removed from all the old Jetsons episodes so I couldn’t tell you if Sheppard worked on the original series. He was a storyboard artist on the 1990 movie. Thomas eventually provided some backgrounds for the spacey-est of all ’60s TV cartoons: Spider Man’s “Revolt in the Fifth Dimension.”
Produced and Directed by Joe Barbera and Bill Hanna.
Credits: Animation – Dick Lundy; Layout – Tony Rivera; Backgrounds – Bob Gentle; Story – Warren Foster; Story Direction – Alex Lovy; Titles – Lawrence Goble; Production Supervision – Howard Hanson.
Voices: Dixie, Mr. Jinks, Cat – Daws Butler; Pixie, Rocky, Grey Cat – Don Messick.
Music: Jack Shaindlin, Spencer Moore.
Episode: Huckleberry Hound Show K-44.
First Aired: week of November 28, 1960.
Plot: Jinks won’t invite Pixie and Dixie to his birthday party, so the dog next door gets revenge.
If you’re expecting a lot of gags in this cartoon, guess again. “Party Peeper Jinks” is more of a personality piece than anything. Jinks is a greedy jerk. The meeces just want to be friends. The dog feels he has to right a wrong. And that’s just about it. Witness this dialogue to start the cartoon, as Pixie and Dixie are in their hole, rehearsing a birthday song to Jinks:
Dixie: Hold it, hold it, Pixie.
Pixie: What’s the matter, Dixie?
Dixie: You’re singin’ off key.
Pixie: Oh, gee, I’m sorry.
Dixie: Okay. Let’s try it again.
(Cut to Jinks in his basket)
Jinks: Shee. Why, you’d think a chap could, you know, could get some sleep on his birthday morning.
Where’s the comedy you ask? That’s a really good question. Other than a misspelling gag and a few observations from Jinks, there sure isn’t much. The cartoon’s like one long set-up with not much of a punch line. But perhaps writer Warren Foster was going for mood and wanted viewers merely to get satisfaction that Jinks gets his comeuppance at the end.
After comparing the meeces’ singing to having a tail caught in a trap, Jinks declares: “Call me commercial if you wish but, uh, on my birthday, I want presents. P-R-E-Z-N-T-S. Gifts.” Ah, but the two did get Jinks a gift. He reads a card. “A present in your name has been sent to the National Foundation for Homeless Cats?” he asks. “Oh, yeah, great. I like, uh, nothin’ better than to have my present sent to a bunch of tramp cats.” With that, Jinks orders the meeces out of the house and tells them “My party is for my friends, which you two are not numbered among, like.”
A scene follows where Rocky, a dog who has whiskers (and one of Don Messick’s growly voices), learns the meeces aren’t invited to Jinks’ party and decides to get back at the cat because of it. So Rocky gets on the phone and makes a bunch of calls, pretending to be all of Jinks’ cat friends who bail on the party because of “laryn-gity-is.” Well, Malcolm also broke his leg. “Is your leg too bad to hobble over with my present?” Jinks asks. “Malcolm. Chee. Some name for a pussycat,” says Jinks after a loud unintelligible voice apparently says “no.” Foster apparently used names of the H-B staff for some of the cats, who are named Charlie, Malcolm, Joe (Barbera), Alex (Lovy), Bill (Hanna), José and Sam, who doesn’t have laryngitis. He has the measles.
So Jinks stacks all the plates back in the kitchen. “Some birthday. You know, uh, you think you have friends until the chips are down and it’s time for presents. Aw, why kid myself. I have no friends.” At that moment, the meeces appear in the window with noisemakers to wish Jinks a happy birthday. He’s touched and invited them in. The meeces then stand on Jinks’ cake and sing their little birthday song as the cat appears proud. I don’t know if I’d want footprints on my cake. Then again, Pixie and Dixie may not want a piece considering the cake has liverwurst frosting, ‘Happy Birthday’ spelled out in sardines and catnip sprinkled on top. Suddenly, there’s a knock on the door. It’s Jinks’ cat buddies with presents. One is a grey cat who sounds like Doug Young in the first sentence and Don Messick in the second. “You guys and your larynx-gityis-es! Beat it!” exclaims Jinks before he slams the door in their faces. Then he realises they showed up on time—and with his presents (Jinks comes down with a case of Instant Watch Syndrome, a common malady of cartoons where a character wears a watch only for the brief period it’s needed in the plot, but at no other time). The cartoon ends with a solo shot of Jinks running after his friends invited them back to the party. “Come back with my presents, you guy-uys!” he shouts, after telling us he hates those two meeces to pieces.
Only Jack Shaindlin and Spencer Moore’s cues are heard in this cartoon. It sounds like the cutter used the full two-minutes of one tune to start the cartoon; I don’t have a copy of it so I can’t say for sure. It was used in a few other cartoons in the 1960-61 season, such as “Missile Bound Cat” and the Augie Doggie cartoon “Let’s Duck Out.”
0:00 - Pixie and Dixie Main Title theme (Hanna-Barbera-Curtin-Shows).
0:12 - Meeces sing a birthday song.
0:18 - comedy flute and quack cue (Shaindlin) – “Hold it!”, Jinks in basket, Jinks and meeces talk, meeces run out of house.
2:18 - L-78 COMEDY UNDERSCORE (Moore) – Meeces on lawn, talk to Rocky.
3:28 - LAF-27-6 UNTITLED TUNE (Shaindlin) – Rocky on phone, calls from Charlie and Malcolm.
4:45 - LAF-10-7 GROTESQUE No 2 (Shaindlin) – Calls from Joe, Sam.
5:26 - L-75 COMEDY UNDERSCORE (Moore) – Jinks in kitchen, meeces sing song.
6:04 - L-1139 ANIMATION COMEDY (Moore) – Knock at door, cats with presents, Jinks accuses meeces.
6:39 - LICKETY SPLIT (Shaindlin) – Jinks runs.
6:56 - Pixie and Dixie End Title theme (Curtin).
Die-hard Hanna-Barbera fans have heard of—and maybe even seen—the 1970 summer replacement series “Where’s Huddles?” A similar question arises in thumbing through a 1963 edition of Broadcasting magazine—Where’s Hoyt?
Nowhere in the BMI ad above is there any mention of Hoyt Curtin, the man who wrote the music for Hanna-Barbera cartoons at the time this ad appeared. It’s not like Curtin’s music wasn’t licensed through BMI; a check of the company’s site finds 1,779 of Curtin’s works under its wing.
Curtin confirmed Bill Hanna wrote the lyrics to the earliest H-B theme songs. I’ve never figured out what Joe Barbera’s involvement was, other than listening to the songs, but he’s handed a composer credit through a number of publishing companies. Charlie Shows is also credited as a composer as well. Just not in the ad above, since he was a member of ASCAP. Shows’ ASCAP listing is a little curious. For example, he has a composer cue for “Bear on a Picnic.” There are no songs in the cartoon with that name and the only music is stock music. Perhaps he wrote continuity for a record of that cartoon.
Let us cleverly segue into the world of H-B characters on Little Golden Records and also into a thank-you to faithful Yowp readers who have passed on notes or pictures of items that would interest early Hanna-Barbera fans. Unfortunately, I can’t recall who sent everything. Sorry. Anyway, back to the records.
Hanna-Barbera had a few different record contracts before the H-B Records label was established in the mid-‘60s. One was Colpix, the record arm of Screen Gems, owned by Columbia Pictures, which partly bankrolled the cartoon studio when it began in 1957. Another was New York-based Golden Records, which put out kids’ 78s and 45s. We’ve linked before to some H-B tunes released by the company, but someone has sent along pictures of record sleeves.
What’s interesting is the Flintstones’ record advertises “The Original TV Voices.” The main problem with the Golden Records is Daws Butler was sewn up by Colpix so he was unable to voice characters for Golden. Hence some not-very-good Daws imitators were hired to play Yogi et al. You’ll notice the Huck cover says “Video Cartoon Voices,” which doesn’t categorically mean you’ll hear Daws or Don Messick on the sides. And the Quick Draw cover tells you in teeny-weeny letters that the voices are supplied by Gil Mack and Don Elliott. Thanks to this link via Andrew Morrice, you can hear how weak another member of the Golden stock company, Frank Milano, sounded as Hokey Wolf.
While we’re on the topic of weak, Scott Shaw passes on this very nice one-sheet for theatres that really wanted to promote Loopy De Loop cartoons on their screens.
I’m not a Loopy fan. Huck, Quick Draw and Yogi were far more likeable cartoon characters. Frankly, I’d rather watch Wally Gator, and the studio’s short cartoons were already sliding down hill by the time Wally came along in 1962. Loopy first appeared three years before that.
How was it that Columbia Pictures began distributing Loopy cartoons to begin with? I’d sure love to know what was in the bankrolling deal the movie studio had with Hanna-Barbera. It doesn’t seem like much of a stretch to conclude that someone like Columbia’s Harry Cohn barked “We own a cartoon studio. Why do we need to distribute those over-budget, artsy-schmartsy UPA cartoons anymore?” Cohn never seemed concerned about the quality of shorts so long as they were ground out on budget and, even if he was concerned, might have concluded that kids in theatres would accept limited animation just as they did on TV. It’s a real shame the H-B artists were saddled with Loopy instead of getting the money to do full personality animation on a new character with embellished sight gags like the kind Warren Foster and Mike Maltese wrote at Warners, with the score accenting and augmenting the artwork.
Columbia had released Scrappy cartoons some 25 years earlier. Scrappy’s biggest fan, Harry McCracken (note the segue again), has posted this interesting and, we suspect, home-made QSL card featuring Pebbles and Bamm Bamm from the ‘70s.
QSLs go back to the earliest days of radio when stations were experimental and listeners were hobbyists. A radiophile would tune in a station far away then send its engineers a reception report. The station would, in turn, reply with a thank-you postcard; some may still do it today. This card is for picking up some one’s CB radio transmissions from Port Alice, a somewhat remote mill town on Vancouver Island. Note the “Monitor 19” on the card. CBers generally use Channel 19 in Canada; some on the west coast use Channel 1. Chatting via CB and ham radio seems a little old-fashioned now, but you can meet some very genuine and friendly people that way.
Shortwave stations, too, sent QSL cards, like Italy’s RAI. And while we’re on the subject of Italian telecommunications (yeah, that segue is a real stretch), he’s something Charles Brubaker has discovered. It’s an Italian TV commercial from 1967 featuring Huckleberry Hound. Huck is known in Italy as “Broccobaldo.” I plugged the word into one of those Italian-to-English on-line translators to find out what it means. I got “Huckleberry Hound.” Therefore, I’m left to conclude the word didn’t exist before Huck’s creation in 1958.
Huck gains weight during the middle of the commercial, which has light backgrounds like a ’30s cartoon and some unidentified background music (besides the Huck theme).
Lest anyone think Huck is appearing as a twin in drag, Chris Sobieniak supplied this helpful information:
"Actually the girl is Huck´s girlfriend, Kitty, and the puppy is his nephew. These characters never appeared in Huck´s American cartoons or comic books; instead, they appeared in Italian comics with material featuring the Hanna-Barbera characters. drawn by local artists. In his Italian stories, Huck even had a mean grouchy grandpa, mirroring Donald Duck´s relationship with Uncle Scrooge. Oh, and the mole appearing at the beginning had originally appeared in one of Huck's comic books published in the early 60´s by Dell, in a story drawn by Harvey Eisenberg."You’d think his girl-friend would be named Clementine.
My thanks to the contributors to this post. Others have sent neat little things which will find their way into a future writing on this blog.
Produced and Directed by Joe Barbera and Bill Hanna.
Credits: Animation – Brad Case; Layout – Walt Clinton; Backgrounds – Dick Thomas, Written by Warren Foster; Story Director – Alex Lovy; Titles – Art Goble; Production Supervision – Howard Hanson.
Voice Cast: Huckleberry Hound, Dying Man, Flesh Wound Bystander, Neighbour, Bar Patrons – Daws Butler; Narrator, Teeny Terwilliger, Shooter, Bar Patrons, Sheriff – Don Messick.
Music: Spencer Moore, Jack Shandlin, Bill Loose-John Seely, Victor Lamont, Geordie Hormel.
First Aired: week of January 9, 1961.
Episode: Huckleberry Hound Show K-047.
Plot: Huck, the fastest gun in the West, brings in Teeny Terwilliger, the second-fastest gun in the West.
Tedd Pierce was the one writer that Hanna-Barbera didn’t hire from Warner Bros. but that didn’t stop Pierce’s Warner material from showing up at H-B from the writers it did—Mike Maltese and Warren Foster. Maltese decided Sylvester Jr’s back-of-the-hand-to-the-head “Oh, the shame of it!” would work well for Augie Doggie (first used in Pierce’s “Who’s Kitten Who”). In this cartoon, Foster has borrowed a more obscure gag from Pierce. Teeny Terwilliger loads a rifle to shoot Huck. “First, the ball,” he says. “Then the powder. Then the waddin.’ Now, I’ll ram it down tight.” The rifle explodes in Teeny’s face. “I must have done somethin’ wrong. I’ll put in the waddin’ in first this time…” If you don’t recognise the gag, it comes from “The Slap-Hoppy Mouse,” a cartoon released in 1956 where Pierce gives similar dialogue to Sylvester and the same two explosions in the face.
The funniest part of the whole scene is something that Foster came up with himself. While all this is taking place, Huck is completely oblivious to it. He’s entirely wrapped up in his steady line of patter to the bad guy so he has no idea what’s going on around him. Foster comes with some really good bits. The only thing that’s jarring is first few seconds. It’s just plain ugly. Dick Thomas’ background resembles a child’s drawing and the gunman clomping down the street looks like something out of a Gene Deitch Tom and Jerry. But then we get into better stuff.
Actually, the first scene has no direct bearing on the plot. It’s a shootout, with the angle mimicking the title card—we see a guy getting shot (in silhouette, and in cycle animation) through the bow-legs of a gunman. The gagline: “Call me bow-legged, will ya’?” Don Messick digs up his serious narrator’s voice and is accompanied by some very effective stock music. We actually get into the action in the second scene when Messick intones famous names of the Old West, dropping the seriousness to ask “Quick Draw McGraw?” when the inside reference comes up on the screen. We’re now introduced to the Huckleberry Kid, the Fastest Gun in the West. The basic premise of the cartoon is everyone is afraid of whoever the fastest gun is—except the second-fastest, who wants to be number one.
But being the fastest gun has its drawbacks. The narrator points out that Huck is steely-eyed and always ready to draw, and the scene cuts to our hero bouncing up and down on his faithful horse (“named ‘Horse’,” the narrator informs us). Huck looks at us. “You know, this always bein’ ready to draw shore crimps up my arms.” And it also has people high-tailing it out of towns before Huck arrives. “I don’t get it,” Huck tells us. “I read in the papers where the West is really buildin’ up. But all I ever see is empty towns.” And then he tells us his burden, as the corny melodramatic “Winter Tales” plays in the background. “This bein’ fastest gun in the west is a lonesome life. Only ones that’ll speak to me are the lawmen.” And even the sheriff in this cartoon is hiding behind an uprighted saloon table in fear. “Would you please stop that steely-eyed stuff and put your arms down?” the sheriff asks.
Huck agrees to take on the job of bringing in Teeny Terwilliger, the second-fastest gun. “I get so lonesome, I’ll talk to anybody.” Foster makes fun of a Western cliché in the next gag. Huck has his hands ready to draw, walking toward the door, the sound of spurs jingling on the soundtrack. He stops and looks at us. “You know, I just cain’t figure out that jinglin’ noise. I’m not even wearin’ spurs.”
Huck arrives at Teeny’s hideout badly singing a chorus of “Clementine” over some randomly strummed guitar strings. He wants to “talk a bit before blastin’.” Teeny isn’t impressed. He calls Huck a “no-good, wart-headed varmint” (can you tell Foster wrote for Yosemite Sam at Warners? Teeny calls Huck a “horny-toad” later). Huck apparently hasn’t talked to anyone for so long, he has no conception he’s been insulted. “Sure is nice to find a feller that’ll engage in some perlite conversation with you,” he confides to the audience. Teeny looks at us. “Yack, yack, yack. I never heerd nobody yack so much.” Now we get the rifle scene mentioned above.
“I better quit while I’m behind,” Teeny says to us. The cartoon has reached its climax and we get a bizarre gun battle. “I’m fightin’ ya fair and square because I have no other choice,” Teeny says to Huck, who informs the bad guy he has a lightning draw. And he does. A lightning bolt comes out of Huck’s gun and zaps Teeny. It’s a visual pun that you don’t expect. And then Huck has another surprise. In exchange for the return of stolen gold, he offers to retire from the fast-gun racket, making Teeny number one.
The cartoon ends with civilian Huck being greeted by townspeople—and Teeny popping up from inside a rain barrel where he’s hiding. Teeny can’t stand being the Fastest Gun. His friends run away from him. He cries that no one has spoken to him in three months. “Poor feller. I know just how he feels,” Huck says. Then he has an offer for viewers. “If anyone wants to be the Fastest Gun, I can get you a really good deal.” The cartoon ends with Huck winking.
Some appropriate music has found its way onto the soundtrack. The first cue reminds me of Spencer Moore’s material on the Capitol Hi-Q “D” series. I’m missing about a half-dozen reels of the first 20 and I suspect it’s on one of them. A couple of nice Western cues and the tinkly “Winter Tales” work really well. It and “Home on the Range” are among some solo old-time piano cues he arranged for the Sam Fox library (“Man on the Flying Trapeze” was another one, but it wasn’t used in cartoons as far as I know).
0:00 - Huckleberry Hound Sub Main Title Theme (Curtin).
0:13 - Dramatic Underscore (Moore) – Gunfight scene.
0:40 - ZR-39A WESTERN SONG (Hormel) – Scroll of names, Huck ready to draw guns.
1:02 - TC-205 LIGHT MOVEMENT (Loose-Seely) – Huck on horse. 1:20 - off-key banjo – Huck sings.
1:30 - TC-205 LIGHT MOVEMENT (Loose-Seely) – Narration, Huck rides in empty town, bar patrons take off.
2:00 - WINTER TALES (Lamont) – Huck regrets being a fast gun, sheriff talks to Huck, “buckin’ for first place.”
2:50 - HOME ON THE RANGE (Lamont) – “Only the fastest gun,” jingling gag.
3:13 - L-1154 ANIMATION COMEDY (Moore) – Huck on horse.
3:22 - off-key guitar – Huck sings.
3:31 - L-78 COMEDY UNDERSCORE (Moore) – “That’s the Huckleberry kid,” “…yack so much.”
4:27 - L-80 COMEDY UNDERSCORE (Moore) – “I’ll put a stop to it,” wadding gag.
5:09 - L-75 COMEDY UNDERSCORE (Moore) – Huck talks about a stagecoach, lightning gun scene.
5:55 - LAF-10-7 GROTESQUE No 2 (Shaindlin) – Huck offers to quit the fastest gun racket, Huck walks down street, talks to off-camera people.
6:22 - zig-zag strings/bassoon music (Shaindlin) – Twerwilliger in barrel scene.
6:58 - Huckleberry Hound Sub End Title theme (Curtin).
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A familiar idea and some great shapes highlight the Flintstones Sunday comics (Saturday in Canada) from 50 years ago this month. Fortunately, only one of the story lines involves Pebbles. Alas, Baby Puss doesn’t even rate a background-of-the-first-panel appearance.
You loved the Flintstone Flyer (né the Barney Copter). Now, Fred’s come up with his own flying machine in the April 7th comic. I wish I could find decent versions of these on-line to get a better look at the composition. I like how the first panel in the bottom row has the perspective looking up at the action and the next panel’s looking down. It’s followed by a silhouette panel and the crashed copter. Dino makes an incidental appearance in the opening drawing.
By the way, as a comparison, here’s the Flintstone Flyer by the wonderful Carlo Vinci. I’d love to know if Ed Benedict designed it.
“Eugene” rates a mention in the list of Water Buffalo members on April 14th. The coincidence between the name and the fact Gene Hazelton was in charge of the H-B comics is too great. So perhaps he came up with the story. It’s not his artwork; the way he draws eyes on the characters is quite distinctive and you can already see them in the Flintstones daily comics published at this time. You guess is as good as mine who the other Water Buffalos are named for (maybe one is Clark Mallory).
The highlights of the April 21st and 28th comics are the great shapes; the tied-up dinosaur in the former and the toothy mouth in the latter. Well, and Fred’s expressions in the latter, too. Mr. Slate doesn’t exist yet; Fred has an unnamed boss.
Click on any of the comics to enlarge them. It seems most of the papers available to me on-line didn’t pick up the Flintstones Sunday comics. There are a lot more Yogis out there.
Prime-time cartoons were all the rage in 1961, and the TV Radio Mirror was there to cover the story.
The Mirror was a precursor to the supermarket tabloids of today. It contained newsy items of what was happening in television but was more into stories such as (and these are actual titles) “Why I’m Still a Bachelor”, “Why I Quit The Edge of Night” and “The Day They Told Marty Milner ‘You’ll Never Walk Again’,” interspersed among ads for hair colouring products, tampons and books with marriage advice. The actor profiles are fairly fluffy and far more innocent than the preoccupation with sex, rehab and “celebrity” gossip that seems to circulate in successor publications in this day and age. They’re a great little time capsule and it’s neat to read something about, say, Don Knotts at home.
1961 saw the debut of “Top Cat,” “The Bullwinkle Show,” “The Alvin Show” and “Calvin and the Colonel” in prime-time, thanks to the success of “The Flintstones” and “The Bugs Bunny Show” the season before. The first three soon ended up on weekend mornings and the fourth became an Amos ‘n’ Andy footnote. The Mirror’s fall preview issue had brief mentions of them (with publicity art for “Top Cat” and “Calvin”) and then featured T.C.’s Arnold Stang in a two-page spread in its October edition. One page was a full-colour drawing of T.C. and Benny the Ball. The other had a family photo and the following text about Stang. Fans reading this post probably know all this information but I post it nonetheless.
HOT VOICE FOR A COOL CAT
Arnold Stang’s high-decibel tones send strong and clear from the back fence for a loveable backslid feline
Arnold Stang, the funny little man with the famous falsetto, takes on a new job this fall as the voice of a battling big-city feline known as "Top Cat" or "T.C." to his furry friends in the ashcan set. Stang, who weighs in at 106 and stands five-three, has parlayed this unprepossessing exterior and unique voice into a steady success as an actor-comedian. With oversize lens-less glasses ("Who needs glasses?") perched on his parrot-like nose, Stang has panicked the customers on TV and in movies—enacting roles sometimes requiring comedy facility, sometimes dramatic talent in touching characterizations. . . . Movie-goers may recall him best for his superb acting as Sparrow, the little punk who was Sinatra's sidekick in "The Man with the Golden Arm." TV viewers will probably recall him as the stagehand who regularly frustrated the star on The Milton Berle Show. And, on radio, Stang was well established as Seymour on The Goldbergs. In more recent years, he did a regular comedy stint on Bert Parks' Bandstand show, sandwiched in with numerous dramatic roles on major TV shows. . . . Top Cat is a new cartoon animal comedy series from the Hanna-Barbera studio, which originated that successful Stone Age romp, The Flintstones. Along with "T.C." Stang, there is a roster of famous voices. Benny the Ball, T.C.'s straight man, has the voice of Maurice Gosfield of "Doberman" fame. Allen Jenkins talks for a "human" policeman, Officer Dibble. Fancy Fancy, a feline Don Juan, is played by John Stephenson. Spook and Brain—two far-out cool cats—are spoken for by comedian Leo DeLyon. Choo-Choo, an impetuous torn more daring than wisdom dictates, is voice-fed by Marvin Kaplan. . . . With his commitment for this series, Arnold Stang has moved his family from their home in New Rochelle, near New York, to the Los Angeles area—a cross-country trek which represents a change of home and school life for JoAnne, Arnold's pretty wife, and David Donald, 10, and Deborah, 9 ... as pictured above with "T.C."
_______________________________________________________________________________ Beginning Sept. 27, Top Cat will be seen on ABC-TV, Wednesdays, 8:30 P.M. EDT, as sponsored by Bristol-Myers Company and the Kellogg Co.
The Mirror used its pages for a promo piece on “The Flintstones” earlier in the year but there’s also a mention of the Modern Stone Age Family in an article by Jo Ranson in the December issue, where 10-year-olds talk about their favourite TV shows.
Youngsters of all ages are infatuated with the production of The Flintstones, each episode of which costs $65,000 to produce. Surveys have shown that children will watch cartoons over and over again, each time with glassy-eyed receptivity. This, however, is not true of The Flintstones—this reporter's survey reveals that it is greeted with the enthusiasm children usually reserve only for a super-duper royal banana split.
Joe Barbera, who is responsible for the creative end of The Flintstones, remarked recently: "Cartoons have changed. They've grown up. It is very difficult now to write just for kids. The kids today are too smart. We use updated dialogue, updated situations. Right from the start, we steered away from the icky, juvenile stuff of the past." As a result, The Flintstones has a following from six to sixty. Opined one tousle-haired ten-year-old from Levittown, Long Island:
"Yummy, yummy, yummy! The Flintstones! They're cute! They live in the Rock Age! They are cavemen! They are like cartoons! It's a Suburban Rock Age! It's a half-hour program! It's on at eight-thirty! It's keen! It's yummy! That's all!" This is the manner in which most of the youngster generation appears to express itself about television programing today.
I don’t believe I’ve seen Joe Barbera use the word “icky” before. He wasn’t specific about which cartoons he was referring to. Certainly not Quick Draw McGraw, I imagine. Unfortunately, the word might be used to describe some his own studio’s product in later years.
Produced and Directed by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbara.
Animation – Lew Marshall; Layout – ?; Backgrounds – Bob Gentle?; Story – Mike Maltese; Story Director – Alex Lovy; Titles – Art Goble; Production Supervision – Howard Hanson (no credits).
Voice Cast: Snooper, Blabber – Daws Butler; Scientist – Don Messick.
Music: Jack Shaindlin, Phil Green, Lou De Francesco?
First Aired: week of November 28, 1960 (rerun, week of May 1, 1961).
Episode: Quick Draw McGraw Show M-031, Production J-94.
Plot: After accidentally swallowing an explosion, Blabber forces Snooper to do his bidding or he’ll blow himself up.
Do you realise Snooper swears in this cartoon? Twice?
Actually, he does it in “Fleas Be Careful” as well. I didn’t think anything of it then but then I heard it again in this cartoon and decided to find out what it meant.
Snooper says the phrase “What in tunket…” According to the Old English Dictionary, “tunket” is a euphemism for “hell.” You can read a bit more about it here. Where in tunket Mike Maltese first heard the word, I don’t know, but with his affinity for odd words and phrases, only he would put it in a cartoon.
A week ago, we talked about how Maltese and Warren Foster weren’t above borrowing material from their fellow Warner Bros. writer Tedd Pierce and putting it in Hanna-Barbera cartoons. Maltese has done it in this one. The basic plot owes a lot to the last part of “Mouse Mazurka” (released 1949), where a little mouse drinks nitro-glycerin and then puts himself in harm’s way, forcing a panicked Sylvester to quickly rescue him so there won’t be an explosion. Maltese even uses a couple of Pierce’s gags. It’s sad in a way, for after Pierce’s departure from Warners, he went from freelance job to freelance job, while Maltese and Foster had steady careers at Hanna-Barbera and praise from Joe Barbera in the public press. Even when H-B was looking for writers, there’s no indication Pierce was ever considered.
Here’s the set-up for the plot: Snooper bosses Blab around, telling him to “dust off those habeas corpuscles” among other things. There’s a shot of Blab sweeping, dusting and polishing all at the same time. Snoop sends him out for a sandwich. The disgusted Blab (off camera) slams the door. “And fix that door,” Snoop adds. Blab walks down the street, lamenting he’ll “always be a nobody assistant.” The cityscape is really simple in this one.
While Blab’s out, a meek scientist knocks on the door, demanding protection from international spies for his invention—a peanut loaded with so many explosives, it could “wreak havoc if disturbed in any way.” “Take it back,” yells Snoop. “I’m allergic to wreaked havoc.” He’s offered $30,000 to guard it. “So what’s a little havoc that’s been wreaked?” Snoop rhetorically asks. The scientist leaves. Blab returns and eats the peanut. “Jumpin’ grasshoppers, Blab!” yells Snoop. “You just swalleyed a dangerous explosive that’ll wreak us all to havoc!” “All of a sudden, I feel a surge of power,” Blab tells us after Snooper explains to him that he’s now important “insofar as blowing me to smithereens.”
Most of the rest of the cartoon is taken up with Blab threatening to hurt himself unless Snoop does his bidding or rescues him.
● Blab tells Snoop to clean up the office, or he’ll jump from the top of a filing cabinet (it’s a chest of drawers in “Mouse Mazurka”). “Do my ears receive me?” asks Snoop. Blab jumps (“Smithereenies, here I come!”), Snoop stops him from hitting the floor and the scene ends with Snoop cleaning the office the way Blab was before.
● Blab demands Snooper’s lunch, and starts skipping rope. “Here’s the lunch, Blab! I don’t look good in smithereens.” Snoop fans him after lunch.
● Blab orders Snoop to repeat “Blab is important, Snoop is a nothin’,” or he’ll drop a safe on top of himself (also from “Mouse Mazurka”). Snoop stops the safe with his head and then repeats the phrase to the fade out.
● “You just broke the straw with the camel’s back,” says Snoop when Blab tells him to clean the office a 12th time. Blab doesn’t like the backtalk and jumps out the window of their office on the 84th floor. (84 floors? It must be the tallest brick building in the world.) Snoop refuses to rescue him until the last second. Blab lands on top of his head. (In “Mouse Mazurka,” the mouse leaps from a beam at the top of the room).
● Blab tells Snoop to answer the phone. It’s the scientist on the other end. He says Snooper can forget all about the bomb because it’s lost its power after two hours. Snooper demands Blab remove himself from his desk. Blabber threatens to paddle himself (in the butt, it would appear). Snooper offers to help and kicks him in the rear. Kablam! Unlike “Mouse Mazurka,” the blast doesn’t kill anyone. “Jumpin’ tunkets!” Snooper exclaims as he realises his watch is running a minute fast. But what difference should that make? Didn’t the scientist tell him the peanut (which should have been in some stage of digestion) was now harmless?
The final scene has Blab back sweeping, dusting and polishing. “Anyway, for a while, I was really livin’ it up,” Blabber happily turns to tell us, and he giggles to end the cartoon.
Lots of familiar Phil Green music here. I wish I had the names of those Jack Shaindlin cues, but I have no idea where to find them.
0:00 - Snooper and Blabber Main Title theme (Curtin, Hanna, Barbera).
0:15 - PG-161H LIGHT MOVEMENT (Green) – Blab runs with fingerprint set, Snoop tells him to clean up the place.
0:26 - GR-90 THE CHEEKY CHAPPIE (Green) – “It’s a mess,” door slam, Blab walks on street.
1:00 - GR-93 DRESSED TO KILL (Green) – Blab talks to himself, Scientist scene.
2:07 - ASININE (Shaindlin) – Blab returns, jumping off cabinet scene.
3:22 - GR-80 FRED KARNO’S ARMY (Green) – Lunch scene, Blab drops safe.
4:08 - LFU-117-2 MAD RUSH No 2 (Shaindlin) – Snooper rushes to stop safe.
4:25 - jaunty bassoon and skipping strings (Shaindlin) – Mopping scene, Blab jumps.
4:51 - light symphonic string music (?) – Blab drops, lands on Snoop.
5:29 - PG-161G LIGHT COMEDY MOVEMENT (Green) – Blab on Snoop’s head, phone rings.
5:37 - jaunty bassoon and skipping strings (Shaindlin) – Snoop on phone with scientist, explosion.
6:27 - GR-454 THE ARTFUL DODGER SHORT BRIDGE No 1 (Green) – Smoke clears, Snoop in wreckage.
6:38 - tick tock/flute music (Shaindlin) – Blab cleans.
7:00 - Snooper and Blabber End Title Music.
Ranger Smith has a split personality, does he not? One minute, he’s Yogi’s friend. Next minute, he’s Mr. Rule Enforcer. That’s the impression one gets reading the Yogi comics for this month 50 years ago.
On May 5th, we kind of get the friendly Ranger Smith. Did you know his name was Bill? I don’t think there was any real continuity for that sort of thing. The teenagers remind me of Gene Hazelton’s drawings; at least thinking about the Gas Genie that Hazelton came up with in the late ‘50s. And Yogi’s expression in the second-to-last panel is a lot different than the comics that people tell me were drawn by Harvey Eisenberg. The Ranger’s lament toward the end is pretty good.
The best part of the May 12th comic is the look of horror on Louie’s face as he peers through the door of his café. You can’t see it too well, but he’s watching through the curtain in the last panel. This comic features the “Yogi is a pain” Ranger Smith. Things evidently have changed since “Yogi Bear’s Big Break” (1958) when the unnamed ranger tried to keep Yogi in Jellystone; Smith is actually happy Yogi has left the park.
Official Smith shows up May 19th, along with Bill Hanna’s beloved Boy Scouts. We get a silhouette panel, too.
Friendly Smith is back on May 26th, enjoying a game of softball with his bear buddies. A nice compact story; the first panel ties in with the final panel. A shame the copy of the last panel isn’t great but you can still get an idea of the composition with Yogi in the foreground and Smith and Boo Boo in the background.
You can click on each cartoon to get a larger image.
Cigarette smoking was deemed fashionable and sophisticated at one time. Millions upon millions of dollars were spent telling you it was. As Hanna-Barbera fans well know, even Fred, Wilma and Barney chatted, in ungrammatical terms, about the wonders of Winstons.
There was never the temptation to put candy cigarettes in the mouth of baby Pebbles Flintstone, though you could buy them at the corner store when I grew up and they may still be sold somewhere. About the closest thing Hanna-Barbera came up with to make kids emulate their smoking moms and dads was this Cartoon Smoking kit by Elvin.
Something tells me this isn’t the kind of product the company would license today.
My thanks to Bryan Lord, once the proud owner of a nice music blog, for passing this on to me. This gives me a chance to pass on more image files that have been sent to me or I’ve grabbed from some place or another. My apologies as I didn’t note the source of most of these.
Awhile ago, we posted pictures of Huckleberry Hound rugs. Rich Graham of Twining, Michigan sent a note saying his father-in-law was going through the basement and found one. He’s sent this picture along with an ad. Anyone interested in buying the rug?
Hanna-Barbera tried marketing all kinds of concepts to the networks. Not all of them sold. Scott Shaw, I believe, posted these drawings of “Space Cat.” I don’t know anything else about the proposal or if the character was an Iwao Takamoto design. I can hear Howie Morris as the mouse.
Tim Hollis sent this note about the above picture:
In one of the early Jellystone franchise booklets was this stunning shot of the merchandise they offered in their souvenir shops. As you can see, some was produced especially for them (like the green plastic ranger hats), while others were items that had first been available a decade earlier (the Kellogg's mugs, the Yogi/Magilla coloring books, etc). If I'm not mistaken, that Day-Glo pink Yogi poster is the same one that was a major plot element in the Brady Bunch episode that was filmed at King's Island.
The caricatures are a bit spotty in places, but here’s a great TV section cover, no doubt from 1961, promoting “Top Cat” and its actors. The drawing of Maurice Gosfield is pretty good. Like many actors, people’s recognition twigged when they heard his character’s name (Doberman) instead of his own. Marvin Kaplan looks a little too jowly here. Sorry, but I don’t remember who posted this.
Another T.C. cover; this one was purloined from Jerry Beck’s collection.
Tim Tipton put this one up on Facebook. I suspect the studio promotional drawings are by Dick Bickenbach. The Captain ran on the NBC station in Amarillo; the ad is probably from mid-1962.
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a bear! Here’s Yogi at, I think, one of his Jellystone Park camps posing behind one-time Superman Brandon Routh. Other than working out his forearms, is Brandon doing anything else these days?
This is cute. Someone decided to come up with a drawing based on the similarity between the words “Yogi” and “Yoga.”
And several people want to direct your attention to this Italian car commercial, featuring real-life versions of the Wacky Racers. Well, almost all real life. Is Muttley computer-generated?
My thanks to the generous people who have passed on these things to pass on to you.
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Produced and Directed by Joe Barbera and Bill Hanna.
Credits: Animation – Art Davis; Layout – Tony Rivera, Backgrounds – Dick Thomas; Written by Warren Foster; Story Director – Alex Lovy; Titles – Art Goble; Production Supervision – Howard Hanson.
Voice Cast: Yogi Bear, Narrator, Superintendent – Daws Butler; Boo Boo, Ranger Smith – Don Messick.
Music: Bill Loose-John Seely, Jack Shaindlin, Geordie Hormel, Spencer Moore.
First Aired: week of October 31, 1960 (rerun, week of March 6, 1961).
Episode: Huckleberry Hound Show K-029.
Plot: Ranger Smith disguises himself as a polar bear to get the goods on Yogi.
Art Davis had been in theatrical animation for more than 30 years before he headed over to Hanna-Barbera after a bitter break with Warner Bros. In this cartoon, he tries to adapt as best as he could to the limits of television animation and does his best. The expressions he gives the characters are basic but convey the emotions of the characters.
Here’s a good one, when it dawns on Yogi why Whitey the Polar Bear’s behaviour doesn’t add up.
And here’s Boo Boo being annoyed and trying to interrupt Yogi’s con job on Whitey. A simple expression but we know what Boo Boo’s thinking.
And here’s a slowed-down version of Boo Boo in shock and running to tell Yogi after thinking Whitey has swallowed Ranger Smith. The drawings are on twos. Artie had a specific way of drawing angular wide-open mouths on characters at H-B in some of his earliest cartoons. Nice balance by Boo Boo.
This cartoon’s a character piece as opposed to a gag-fest. Warren Foster doesn’t give anyone a lot of snappy one-liners; even Yogi’s rhyming phrases are kept to a minimum. It’s a simple battle of wits and Yogi comes out on top. There’s no need to punish him in this cartoon because he doesn’t do anything bad. It opens with Daws Butler as the narrator for a change (Don Messick has plenty to do as Ranger Smith) and a nice night-time background of Jellystone by Dick Thomas. The rounded tips of the bushes are at an angle and there are white and black outlines of trees in the distance. Cut to the Ranger Station where Ranger Smith is telling the superintendent on the phone that he has a sure-fire scheme to catch Yogi with a picnic basket. The superintendent wears his badge to bed. Smith’s scheme is to dress up in a bear costume and mingle with Yogi to catch the bear’s thievery. You can tell Tony Rivera’s the layout artist. Smith has little pipe-stem legs and 5 o’clock shadow. lines.
Smith dresses up as a polar bear and walks into Yogi’s cave. The snoozing Yogi suddenly sits up. “Wake up, Boo Boo. It’s Opening Day! Hey, hey, hey, hey!” Uh, no, Yogi. It’s the middle of the night. There’s even a full moon out. Now comes a long, humourless scene. Ranger Smith-as-Whitey tells how he’s come from the North Pole to learn how to live on picnic baskets in a national forest. Yogi is surprised that they know all about him. But then he reels off a list of all the rules that bears have to follow at Jellystone. That’s even though Yogi doesn’t follow any of the rules, and he’s just heard that bears at the North Pole know he doesn’t. So why does he say “check” as the Ranger begins to list each one? He doesn’t know yet that it’s Ranger Smith in a bear suit.
Ah, Yogi’s a crafty one. He reveals it in the next scene to Boo Boo after he asks Whitey to step outside. He was suspicious before Whitey even said anything because of his perma-smile and how he talks without moving his mouth. Nice suspicious look on Yogi’s face by Artie. The cave wall looks like chips have fallen off it; you can see the grey and blue-grey outlines that gives them their depth. I’m still working to see if this was something exclusive to Thomas’ backgrounds.
Outside, Ranger Smith lifts up the bear head to get some fresh air. Boo Boo sees it and panics, running to tell Yogi he saw Ranger Smith inside Whitey’s open mouth and thinks the polar bear has swallowed him. Ding! Yogi catches on to the Ranger’s con (hey, I can rhyme like Yogi, too! Hey, hey, hey!). He tells Boo Boo to be quiet as he pulls his own slick sell job, telling Whitey what a “brave, handsome woodsman” and great guy Ranger Smith is. Whitey tries to goad Yogi into stealing a sandwich from a nearby picnic basket (thus catching him in the act and allowing him to ship Yogi to the St. Louis Zoo). Instead Yogi goes into his patented phoney histrionics, like a character in a ‘30s Tex Avery travelogue. He can’t do it, he just can’t do it. “I can’t let the ranger down. He’s the best friend a bear ever had!” Yogi cries as he pounds the ground with his fists. Smith has had enough. He reveals that he’s really Whitey and Yogi reacts by “feinting.” Smith tells the bear he was only being tested and since he passed the test, he can have a pie from the picnic basket. Now Boo Boo finally clues in that “Whitey was Mr. Ranger all the time.” It seems to me Boo Boo’s usually more savvy than this.
The cartoon ends with the ranger force-feeding the bear, with a sneaky look from Yogi ending the cartoon (at least the superintendent doesn’t walk in on the ranger’s comfort-feeding like in “Do or Diet”).
The sound-cutter doesn’t seem all that concerned about the music; he changes cues in mid-sentence. There’s one brief snippet, joined in progress, when Boo Boo spots Ranger Smith inside Whitey and rushes into the cave to tell Yogi. I’m pretty sure it’s a Jack Shaindlin cue but I don’t remember hearing it in any other cartoon and don’t have a copy of it.
0:00 - Yogi Bear Sub Main Title Theme (Curtin-Shows-Hanna-Barbera).
0:28 - ZR-50 UNDERWATER SCENIC (Hormel) – Opening narration, Ranger on phone, holds polar bear suit.
1:19 - TC-432 HOLLY DAY (Loose-Seely) – “The first picnic basket he takes,” polar bear walks to Yogi’s cave, “Who’r you, Whitey?”
2:10 - TC-437 SHOPPING DAY (Loose-Seely) – “I’m a polar bear,” polar bear and Yogi talk, “Now who do I know…”
3:11 - LAF-27-6 UNTITLED TUNE (Shaindlin) – “And shoot off his mouth…”, Yogi talks to Boo Boo, Ranger lifts head on costume.
4:00 - horn and oboe music (Shaindlin?) – Boo Boo outside cave, talks to Yogi.
4:10 - LAF-10-7 GROTESQUE No 2 (Shaindlin) – Yogi stares at audience, Yogi cons Ranger as polar bear, picnic basket, “Get a sandwich. Go on.”
5:41 - L-75 COMEDY UNDERSCORE (Moore) – “Let’s see if you have your old cunning…”, Yogi hams it up, feints, Boo Boo finally cues in, “Have a bite to eat.”
6:46 - LAF-7-12 FUN ON ICE (Shaindlin) – “Oh, I don’t know, sir,” Ranger feeds Yogi.
7:10 - Yogi Bear Sub End Title theme (Curtin).
Before there was a Yakky Doodle played by Jimmy Weldon on the “Yogi Bear Show,” Hanna-Barbera had a similar duck with a similar voice provided by Red Coffey. The duck appeared with Yogi, Augie Doggie, Snooper and Blabber and even Loopy De Loop, the
boring good wolf. The duck was called Iddy Biddy Buddy on Yogi’s early cartoon “Slumber Party Smarty” and in merchandise. Before Iddy, there was a similar duck with a similar voice by Coffey on a handful of Tom and Jerry theatrical cartoons at MGM. The only on-screen voice credit for any of those cartoons was on the Loopy short, and the billing read “Red Coffee.”
Trying to answer the question “Whatever happened to Red Coffey?” has been somewhat maddening. A post on the blog was devoted to the subject awhile ago. A few of Red’s former co-workers chimed in with some valuable information. So I’ve tried again to hunt him down and have finally met with a bit of success.
When we last left Red, he had split from his partnership with singer Jerry Wallace and was on the road in 1960 with “Hellzapoppin’.” Commenters picked up the story and said Red was later in a revue featuring his wife Karen and that his actual last name was Coffman.
Leave us put on our Super Snooper deerstalker cap and stalk down some clues. Trying to find someone with the nickname “Red” isn’t exactly easy. So let’s see if we can find him through his wife.
Red and Karen travelled hither and yon during the ‘60s and early ‘70s. Stories and ads about their appearances bill her as “Karen De Luce.” A check of that name on the web has found a couple of complaints were lodged against her in the mid-‘60s before the American Federation of Musicians for back salary. One reveals her name was actually Dolores Coffman. Aha! A clue! So what happens when we plug that name into the search engine at FamilySearch.org? Elementary school, my dear, Blab. We find ourselves with a Dolores Irene Coffman, who was born in Missouri in 1917 and died in Orange County, California in 1997. Her maiden name was “Luse.” Hmm. “De Luce.” “D. Luse.” Coincidence? Let’s find out.
Gingerly, we type “Dolores Irene Coffman” into a newspaper search engine. And that’s when we come up with this story from the Abiline Reporter-News of April 5, 1965.
COUPLE IN HOSPITAL
Voice of Yogi Bear Hurt In East Abilene Smashup
A one-car smashup in east Abilene injured the voice impersonator of a children’s television show and his wife at 4 a.m. Monday, police reported.
In fair condition at Hendrick Memorial Hospital are Mr. and Mrs. Merl Coffman of Reseda, Calif.
Coffman is the voice for the “Yogi Bear” and “Huckleberry Hound” shows under the stage name of Roy Robert Coffee, 40, said Officer Joe Hicks.
Cotfman complained of pains in the head, chest, pelvis and knee. His wife, Dolores Irene Coffman, 47, suffered cuts on the ankle, hand and wrist, a hospital official said.
The accident occurred as the Coffmans attempted to turn off Interstate 20 onto the U. S. 80 business route into Abilene. They were traveling west. Their 1964 station wagon hit a guard railing and wedged. A heavy duty wrecker was called to pull it loose. The car was a total loss, Hicks said.
Coffman was driving and was trying to find a gas station since he was low on fuel, according to Hicks.
The officer said Coffman told him he was the voice for the children’s shows. A hospital official confirmed this. Hicks added he saw receipts for Coffman’s role in the television shows.
Hicks was assisted in the investigation by Sgt. Dwain Pyburn and Officer Carl Ewell.
Well, we finally have part of a real name of our proto-Yakky Doodle and a genaeological web search reveals a little bit more.
Merle H. Coffman was born on April 24, 1923 near Arkansas City, Kansas to Homer C. and Ethel Irene (Mitchell) Coffman. He was the youngest of two brothers. His father was a railway brakeman while his mother worked in a dress shop; they died about six weeks apart in 1982. In 1940, the family was living in Cushing, Oklahoma. Merle and Dolores married in Nevada on February 25, 1961. Their revue had various incarnations. It played at the Gold Room in the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas. But it also trudged through small town America; construction hadn’t finished at the 125-seat lounge the 18-member cast was supposed to open in Spencer, Iowa in 1973 but the show went on. The Social Security Death Index reveals Merle H. Coffman died in August 1988. Legacy.com seems to indicate he died August 1st in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Could they have have been entertaining on a cruise ship? Alas, the trail runs cold again.
There’s one other interesting news story about Red. It’s from the Pasadena Independent of March 4, 1960.
Former Deputy Held on Three Drug Counts
A former deputy sheriff was arraigned yesterday in Los Angeles on three counts involving marijuana possession and sale.
Ross H. Moore, 37, taken into custody at his West Covina home after he assertedly sold marijuana to undercover deputies, appeared before Municipal Judge Winthrop Johnson for the brief court proceedings.
His associate, in the alleged violation of the State Health and Safety Code, Merle H. Coffman, 36, was arraigned on single count of possession of marijuana.
Both men were taken into custody last Tuesday at their home at 436 East Michelle St., following an investigation started February 20 by the sheriff’s narcotics detail. Undercover officers purchased marijuana from Moore last February 25, they alleged.
Following the court appearance, the two suspects were returned to County Jail, pending a preliminary hearing March 10. Bail for Moore was set at $15,000. Coffman's bail on the one count was $2,500.
Moore, who served three years as a Los Angeles county deputy, was allowed to resign in 1951 rather than be discharged for excessive use of force on a prisoner.
I haven’t found whether the charge stuck or what happened to the case, but evidently it didn’t affect Coffey’s career as he toured with “Hellzapoppin’” later in the year.
Karen and Coffee cut a novelty 45 that wound up on a couple of private labels; we can only presume they sold it at venues after each of their sets wrapped up. But ol’ Red also worked out a legitimate record deal. In November 1959, the Warner Bros. label released a novelty Christmas song by Coffey, as Red Coffee, called “Ducky Christmas.” Billboard called it an attempt to take advantage of the Chipmunks’ popularity, though none of the voices are sped up. Here is it, for you fans of Hanna-Barbera duck voices.
As incredible as it may seem, that ditty was an effort of the Sherman brothers, Richard and Robert, who would be tapped by Disney to do outstanding work on Mary Poppins.
You’ll notice his stage name in the references above is “Coffee” instead of “Coffey.” With the exception of a few blurbs on the “Hellzapoppin’” tour, it’s consistently spelled that way in the stories and ads I’ve found during the ‘60s and ‘70s. I can only speculate that Red changed it for good after he and Wallace broke up their act in the late ‘50s. That means the credit as “Red Coffee” on the Loopy De Loop cartoon “This is My Ducky Day” is an accurate reflection of the name he was using at the time the cartoon was made and, therefore, correct.
One final note—a number of ads bleat that Coffey/Coffee was the voice of Yakky Doodle (and worked on Tom and Jerry). We know Coffey was the pre-Yakky duck at Hanna-Barbera. But Coffey did voice Yakky himself at least once. Celebrity interviewer Stu Shotak has a copy of one of the cartoon bumpers from the half-hour Yogi Bear show in his collection, not available on DVD, where Yakky’s voice is definitely Coffey’s. Jimmy Weldon’s Yakky was always more upbeat sounding than Coffey’s duck.
So leave us put away the deerstalker cap for another day. We can only hope in the future we’ll find some more clues in the hunt for Red Coffey.
Produced and Directed by Joe Barbera and Bill Hanna.
Credits: Animation – Don Williams, Layout – Hi Mankin, Backgrounds – Art Lozzi, Written by Mike Maltese, Story Director – Alex Lovy, Titles – Art Goble, Production Supervision – Howard Hanson.
Voice Cast: Augie Doggie, Roscoe, Fly, Passerby – Daws Butler; Doggie Daddy – Doug Young.
Music: Phil Green, Jack Shaindlin.
First Aired: 1961.
Episode: Quick Draw McGraw Show M-037, Production J-109.
Plot: Augie gives Daddy a blue horse for his birthday.
Mike Maltese gave Doggie Daddy an over-emotional horse in “Nag! Nag! Nag!” in the first season, so he tried it again in the second season. Different horse, though. This one is named Roscoe and is blue (I suppose if Hanna-Barbera can have a blue hound dog, it can have a blue horse).
The toothy horse in this cartoon is designed by layout man Hi Mankin, who I presume was freelancing. This is the only H-B cartoon where I can find his name, at least until he arrived at the studio to work on Jonny Quest in the ‘60s. Hi spent most of his life in comic art but he has an interesting animation pedigree. His dad was the owner of Cartoon Colour Co. in Culver City, which supplied paint for cels. One of his aunts was married to Max Maxwell, the Disney and Harman-Ising veteran who was the first production manager at the Fred Quimby-run MGM cartoon studio in 1937. Young Hi was an in-betweener in the Hanna-Barbera unit at MGM in the late ‘40s. You can read more about Hi here. Hiram Julian Mankin III died in Los Angeles on December 30, 1978. He was only 52.
Hi’s layouts aren’t all that spectacular. About the best thing in the cartoon is some of the expressions animator Don Williams gives to the characters, especially Roscoe. Note how first two drawings below of the cowboy hat and Daddy and the horse’s bodies are the same, they’re just turned around and inked and painted in reverse.
I mentioned in the post on Williams’ animation in “Pop’s Nature’s Pup” from the previous season that it looks like Williams animated the medium-shot scenes at one time and the close-up scenes at another because the shots didn’t match. The same thing happens in this cartoon. The two drawings below are on consecutive frames but the expressions don’t match.
Mike Maltese’s story is a variation on the “Can-We-Keep-(insert name of pet here)?” plot he recycled over and over in the Augie cartoons. The difference this time is the animal Augie’s bringing home to Dear Old Dad is a birthday present. Augie enumerates his gifts for us as Daddy sleeps to open the cartoon—a scrumptious birthday cake, a large parcel, a ten-gallon hat (Daddy size) and a noisy wake-up complete with horn and bass drum (“Jupin’ Jumpiter!” exclaims Daddy in a nice word turnaround). No doubt Daddy speaks for all fathers watching when he confides: “After all, it’s a father’s birthday duty to withstand surprises.”
“Be aghast with wonderment at your gift,” says Augie, pointing to the large package. Inside is Roscoe, who jumps on Daddy and slurps him like a dog. Daddy tries to kick him out of the house, but we gets tears from Augie and the Sylvester Junior-like “oh-the-shame-of-it” catchphrase and self-psychoanalysis. “Because my dear old dad rejected my birthday gift, I shall grow up with a trauma.” So Daddy lets Roscoe stay. “I wouldn’t want my boy to grow up with a trauma. They’re the woist kind,” he tells us.
Cut to the next scene, with Daddy about to enjoy his birthday cake with Augie and the horse. Roscoe, for some reason, has lost his nostrils in the medium shot of the three characters. A fly enters the cartoon and lands on Daddy’s nose. Roscoe tries to swat it away but smacks Daddy in the snout instead. Williams animates the nose, as it bounces around in four different positions, a bit of extra drawing that would be deemed superfluous in later cartoons. “It was only a fly, dear old dad” Augie says. “It felt more like a horse fly to me,” Dad muses. It’s time to blow out the candles, but the horse does it before Daddy has a chance—and blows the cake out the window and onto a chuckling “innocent passerby” (as he calls himself). Chuckles gives Daddy a gift, too—a punch in the face.
Roscoe neighs “I’ll say!” when Augie suggests the animal can take “flabby dad” on a healthy horseback ride. “Tall in the saddle dad” crash into the wall above the living room door when the grinning horse gallops through it. The hammy horse bawls when Daddy says “I remain terra firma and terra cotta” in not accepting the Roscoe’s apology, and tells him he can “throw all the transoms” he wants. Roscoe responds with a Muttley-like mutter and another crashing ride for “ditto dad.”
Daddy gives up. But that isn’t the end of it. Roscoe whispers something to Augie. The boy sets-up Dad. “What do you think of anyone who would separate a father and a son?” he asks. “Words cannot elucidate a low-down, no-good, low-life who would dare do such a thing,” Daddy exclaims. That’s Roscoe’s cue to invite his son to live with them. What can they do with two horses in the house? Much like the horse in “Nag! Nag! Nag!”—use them for furniture. Daddy looks at the camera and does his standard “After all, how many homes can boast a pair of real, live horse bookends?” line as the cartoon ends.
The sound-cutter wisely cuts the background music when Augie is tooting the toy horn and banging the drum to wake up Doggie Daddy. Roscoe gets his own galloping music—Jack Shaindlin’s “Six Day Bicycle Race.” Otherwise, the music is Phil Green’s work from the EMI Photoplay library, most of it from the Kiddie Comedy Suite.
0:00 - Augie Doggie Main Title theme (Hanna-Barbera-Curtin).
0:25 - GR-259 AND THEY ALL LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER (Green) – Daddy sleeping, Augie looks over gifts.
1:02 - No music. Noisemaker and bass drum wake up Daddy, Daddy asks “What’s going on?”
1:17 - EM-107D LIGHT MOVEMENT (Green) – “It’s your birthday,” Daddy opens package, Daddy allows Roscoe to stay, horse slurps Daddy.
3:11 - GR-258 THE TIN DRAGOONS (Green) – Horse slurps Daddy, birthday cake scene.
4:35 - GR-256 TOYLAND BURGLAR (Green) – Daddy wants to evict horse, Augie suggests horse ride.
4:55 - SIX DAY BICYCLE RACE (Shaindlin) – Horse ride, crash.
5:06 - GR-255 PUPPETRY COMEDY (Green) – “Tall in the saddle dad,” horse cries.
5:44 - SIX DAY BICYCLE RACE (Shaindlin) – Horse ride, crash.
5:54 - GR-255 PUPPETRY COMEDY (Green) – Daddy gives up, “…do such a thing.”
6:21 - GR-65 BUSH BABY (Green) – “Hear that Roscoe?” Roscoe Jr. comes in, bookends.
7:00 - GR-77 CUSTARD PIE CAPERS (Green) – Daddy talks to audience.
7:10 - Augie Doggie End Title theme (Curtin).
So did Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera actually rip off “The Honeymooners” and turn it into “The Flintstones”? Sure, you’ve heard Joe rhetorically ask “Did ‘The Honeymooners’ have a Pola-rock camera?” as if that settles the question.
But why get the answer from Joe Barbera when you can get it from puppets?
Here’s a clever video on the history of TV which includes a mention of the Modern Stone Age family. It’s terrific and worth your time to watch if you haven’t seen it. These guys are on Facebook at this page.
My thanks to Jim Baxter for the link.
Comic books and comic strips have, on occasion, gone off in different directions than the animated series which gave birth to them. The Roadrunner comics had the Roadrunner talking… and in rhyme. Mickey Mouse had marvellous adventures in Floyd Gottfredson’s comic pages while the on-screen Mickey became fairly lacklustre.
And Gene Hazelton, or whoever came up with stories for the Flintstones comics, thought it’d be a great idea for Dino and Pebbles to talk. Well, they talk to themselves. The concept of thought balloons greatly increases the opportunities for observational humour but the purist in me just isn’t comfortable with it (and don’t ask me about the several lame post-Flintstones cartoon series).
So it is we get to hear Dino’s innermost thoughts beginning this month 50 years ago in the weekend colour comics (whether it happened in the daily strips by this time, I don’t know). Dino and Pebbles actually appear in all four comics in May 1963, though they don’t drive the plot in all of them. As a fan of Baby Puss, I regret to point out the cat doesn’t appear in any of them again this month.
The final panel of the May 5th comic has an imaginative, slightly-overhead layout. I like Dino peeking around the back of the house, with a question mark over his head. Dino’s pretty comical; look at him covering his head in the opener. We get a silhouette panel, and snow-capped volcanoes in the end panel.
Ouch! Bad pun in the May 12th comic. Like the mole drawing though. The exterior of the hospital is nice, too. Nice shape to the title in the opening panel; very ‘60s. Dr. Rockwell has a half cocoanut shell ashtray. I wonder if 100 years from now, people won’t be able to understand there was a time no one gave a second thought about smoking and there was virtually no anti-tobacco lobby. Say, is that hospital receptionist writing on a stone . . . with a pencil?
A great gizmo highlights the comic from May 19th. A dinosaur is overtop of a mountain in the second panel of the second row. Looks like a different artist from the week before.
Dino’s wonderfully expressive in the May 26th comic. Check out the last row. Nice expression on Fred, too. The triceratops toy shows up for a second time in the opening panel. And Wilma comes down with a case of Instant Watch Syndrome, where a cartoon character wears a watch whenever required to by the plot, before and after which it mysteriously disappears.
As usual, you can click on each comic to enlarge it for better viewing.
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Produced and Directed by Joe Barbera and Bill Hanna.
Credits: Animation – Paul Sommer; Layout – Tony Rivera; Backgrounds – Dick Thomas; Written by Mike Maltese; Story Director – Alex Lovy; Titles – Art Goble; Production Supervision – Howard Hanson.
Voice Cast: – Quick Draw, Baba Looey, Candy Store Clerk, Billy the Kidder, Horsie, Wild Bill Hiccup, Sheriff, Townsmen – Daws Butler; Narrator, Townsmen, Man With Hat – Doug Young; Texas Tillie, Ma McGraw – Jean Vander Pyl.
Music: Phil Green, Jack Shaindlin, Geordie Hormel, Emil Cadkin-Harry Bluestone, unknown.
First Aired: 1960?, week of March 6, 1961.
Episode: Quick Draw McGraw Show M-038, Production J-100.
Plot: Quick Draw tries to bring in Texas Tillie.
I’ve always liked the ending of this cartoon. Here you have a bunch of men completely in fear and helpless against the evil badwoman, but a little old lady can take care of her just by walking in, grabbing her ear and pulling her off to jail. And the capper is she takes care of the fibbing Quick Draw McGraw, too.
About the only confusing thing about the cartoon is its title. Who’s the “Gun Shy Gal”? Texas Tillie isn’t shy of guns. It doesn’t appear Ma McGraw is either.
Writer Mike Maltese takes a bit of time to set up the main action in the cartoon, and he turns it into a running gag. “Many stories have been written about the colourful characters of the old West,” our narrator tells us to open the cartoon. Quick Draw keeps butting in, thinking he’s the one the narrator is talking about. And, no, it’s not Baba Looey, who eventually butts in, too. This gives Maltese a chance to fit in puns about some of the colourful characters, such as Billy the Kidder (a jellybean-stealing boy on a stick-horse that inexplicably neighs) and Wild Bill Hiccup (you know the joke). Note that Wild Bill has little pipe-stem legs; Tony Rivera has been designing characters again.
Finally, the narrator gets around to introducing Texas Tillie, who has Jean Vander Pyl’s Mae West voice. She shoots the hat off a man in a saloon because “a gentleman always removes his hat in the presence of a lady.” Cut to the sheriff complaining Tillie got away with all the town’s money. The dialogue lacks Maltese’s real outrageousness in his Warners Bros. dialogue.
Narrator: Well, you’re the sheriff. Why don’t you go after her?
Sheriff: Well, I need a haircut and shave, and I’m married, and besides—she’s dangerous.
With that, the sheriff supposedly zips away. Paul Sommer is the animator. While Carlo Vinci would stretch the character in a bunch of different shapes between the pose and the exit, and Ken Muse would simply eliminate the stretch drawing, Sommer provide a weak in-between, a far too solid drawing. This, by the way, was the only cartoon Sommer seems to have animated upon his arrival at Hanna-Barbera; he was moved into layout and then story direction a year or so later. Sommer had come from the east in 1937 with Fred Quimby’s first hirings at the new MGM studio. He worked at Columbia in the 1940s until the studio closed and then moved back across the country to Terrytoons (thanks to Howard Beckerman for the information). He spent some time with former Columbia director Howard Swift at Swift-Chaplin Productions in Hollywood before taking over at Song Ads in mid-1957. About the same time, he headed a unit at TV Spots run by Sam Nicholson.
The narrator then talks to the townsfolk. In unison, they repeat how dangerous Tillie is. That brings about a “Hold on thar!” and a pan over to Quick Draw who declares he’s “not afraid of a mere frail sensitive female-type bandit.” So now we get some routines of various lengths (like Maltese’s gag-writing for Wile E. Coyote) as Quick Draw fails to arrest her. First, he pretends to be Cane Clobber bearing jewelled brace-e-lets for her. She locks his legs in the handcuffs (off camera, of course). Next, Quick Draw (wearing a sombrero with pom-poms) parks himself outside her window to serenade her to jail in a stupid, off-key song, accompanied by a one-note guitar. Tillie’s atop the house and shoves the chimney on him. Quick Draw then sneaks up behind her in a rocking chair and tries to scare her. Tillie doesn’t even look. She pulls out a gun, aims it behind her and fires. “Ooo. That smarts.”
Finally, Quick Draw decides to “fights fire with fire, and females with females.” That’s when he calls for his Ma and complains “There’s a weak, sensitive, female-type bandit who won’t me arrest her, ma.” And with a “Hold on thar, female bandit,” Ma drags her by the ear to justice. But when Quick Draw tells the sheriff he arrested Tillie “all by myself, too,” Ma washes his mouth out with soap. Baba tagline: “I like that Quickstraw. He’s good to his mother—if he knows what’s good for him. Iris out on Quick Draw sucking on a bubbling bar of soap.
Jean Vander Pyl recycled her Ma McGraw voice (Ma’s only appearance) into Ma Rugg of The Hillbilly Bears a few years later.
This is one cartoon where Quick Draw doesn’t say “I’ll do the thinnin’ around here.”
There’s wisely no stock music behind Quick Draw’s atrocious guitar serenade, and there’s another brief portion of the cartoon where music would distract. Otherwise, there are lots of snippets of cues as some scenes are short. What I think is Clarence Wheeler’s “Woodwind Capers” shows up toward the end, and we get almost a full rendition of the Jack Shaindlin medium march that ends very similar to his cue “Sportscope.”
0:00 - Quick Draw McGraw Sub Main Title theme (Curtin).
0:15 - ZR-39A WESTERN SONG (Hormel) – Narration over desert, shots fired from candy store.
0:27 - related to Excitement Under Dialogue (Shaindlin) – Billy the Kidder scene.
0:47 - GR-347 GATHERING THE PRODUCE (Green) – Narrator over desert, Wild Bill Hiccup scene.
1:11 - GR-96 BY JIMINY! IT’S JUMBO (Green) – Narrator over desert, shot of men in saloon.
1:35 - GR-348 EARLY MORNING (Green) – Men shout “Texas Tillie!”, Tillie tells them to stick ‘em up.
1:41 - GR-99 THE DIDDLECOMB HUNT (Green) – Hat lifting scene, sheriff, Quick Draw vows to capture Tillie.
2:38 - GR-472 HICKSVILLE (Green) – Quick Draw and Baba talk while walking.
3:02 - CRAZY GOOF (Shaindlin) – Shot of Tillie’s house, Quick Draw offers “bracelets,” guns in face.
3:54 - ‘FIREMAN’ (Shaindlin) – “I have a pair of six-shooters,” Quick Draw in handcuffs.
4:14 - La Cucaracha (?) – Quick Draw says he’ll serenade Tillie.
4:32 - off key singing, Tillie drops chimney on Quick Draw.
4:46 - CB-83A MR TIPPY TOES (Cadkin-Bluestone) – Chimney crash, Quick Draw in chimney.
5:08 - Tillie rocks in chair.
5:14 - WOODWIND CAPERS? (Wheeler) – Quick Draw peers around side of wall, Tillie shoots him.
5:30 - GR-472 HICKSVILLE (Green) – Quick Draw gets his ma, “We’ll see about that.”
5:52 - related to Sportscope (Shaindlin) – Ma races off camera, pulls Tillie by ear, pulls Quick Draw by ear, Quick Draw with soap in mouth.
6:42 - Quick Draw McGraw Sub End Title theme (Curtin).
The ‘50s and early ‘60s were an era of novelty records. There were songs about itsy-bitsy bikinis, purple people eaters, witch doctors and dragon-nets. And there was one about Yogi Bear. Well, kind of.
From out of nowhere in 1960, three frat brothers at Adelphi University on Long Island formed a group called the Ivy Three and banged on the door of Shell Records, a little company owned by a New Jersey dentist. Shell seems to have existed to sell its masters to more well-off record companies. Ivy member Charles Koppelman (aka Charlie Cane) co-wrote a song called “Yogi.” It was recorded by Georgie Young and the Rockin’ Bocs on the Swan label, but the Ivy Three’s version hopped on the charts at Number 80 on August 8th and peaked at Number 8 eight weeks later before the inevitable burnout (the Polka Dot Bikini, “Brontosaurus Stomp” and “Alvin For President” were on the charts at the same time). London Records bought the song and released it overseas.
The Ivy Three cut one more 45 before calling it a career; Shell seems to have died in 1961, too. But before then, the Alpha Kappa frat boys took their “Yogi” song to the Dick Clark show where the three singers gave a cheesy miming demonstration while a guy in a bear suit cavorted around them.
And that brings us to the “kind of” part. Other than the quasi-Daws Butler impersonation (which sounds more like Art Carney’s Ed Norton) in the chorus and the arbitrary shout of “Hey, Boo Boo!” the song has absolutely nothing to do with Yogi Bear or any cartoon characters. The lyrics involve a yogi, as in the transcendental meditation kind. You can read the lyrics here. And below, you can watch that 53-year-old performance on Dick Clark’s show. No doubt tossing in the impression was a great way to trade on the popularity of Jellystone Park’s best-known denizen. And the charts show that people liked it for a few weeks.
Koppelman went on to an interesting career in the music industry. You can read about it in the May 18, 1992 edition of The New Yorker.
Click on the arrow to play a clip of the Georgie Young version. Actually, you get about half of the song. Billboard of August 1, 1960 reveals the vocalist is Bobby McGraw, though the label artist is Georgie Young.
If you prefer the original Yogi Bear song we all know and love, here’s Hoyt Curtin’s jolly closing theme from the half-hour cartoon show, which didn’t exist at the time the Ivy Three had their less-than-monster hit, with the Randy Van Horne Singers and Greg Watson’s (?) sound effects. Note how Curtin works in a snippet of the Kellogg’s jingle in the first two bars.
Produced and Directed by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera.
Credits: Animation – Bob Carr; Layout – Tony Rivera; Backgrounds – Dick Thomas; Written by Warren Foster; Story Direction – Alex Lovy; Titles – Lawrence Goble; Production Supervision – Howard Hanson.
Voice Cast: Jinks, Dixie, Tabby O’Flaherty, Alfred – Daws Butler; Pixie, Charlie, Cicero – Don Messick.
Music: Jack Shaindlin, Bill Loose-John Seely, Geordie Hormel, Spencer Moore.
First Aired: 1961.
Episode: Huckleberry Hound Show K-52.
Plot: Jinks rents Pixie and Dixie to neighbourhood cats.
This cartoon is little more than a re-working of the concept of “Lend Lease Meece.” That’s where Jinks loans Pixie and Dixie to the growly-voice brown cat next door, who isn’t really serious about chasing them but does it for recreation. In this cartoon, Jinks gets the idea of renting the meece to other cats in the neighbourhood.
The gag is the cats are pretending to catch the meece so their owners will think they’re useful and necessary around the house, and their shouts at Pixie and Dixie are really intended for the owners to overhear. We get the same gag three times. Unfortunately, writer Warren Foster doesn’t build on it each time, other than the third cat throws stuff. The best gag is unintentional, the sole result of Hanna-Barbera’s penuriousness. Even casual cartoon viewers know that Jinks chases the meece past the same furniture over and over and over. This time, all three cats do the same thing. And each of them has the same furniture in their homes!
That’s right. The biggest gag in the cartoon is Bill Hanna saving money because Dick Thomas didn’t have to draw as many backgrounds (there are something like six in the whole seven minutes). And you’ll notice animator Bob Carr pretty much gave the same run cycle to all three cats. Check the position of their feet.
Carr’s animation is so sloppy at one point, that drops of water from Jinks’ broom stay in position for eight frames, looking like they’re hanging in mid-air.
Jinks and the meeces are friends in this one and he’s chasing them merely for show at the start of the cartoon. He tells them to take five while he chats with Charlie, the growly-voiced brown cat with the Yogi Bear collar. They talk about how a cat’s “economic-cac-cle status is in jeopardy” if there isn’t a mouse in the house to guarantee him a good home. “It sounds like we mice are very important to you cats,” says Pixie. If this were a Warner’s cartoon, the meeces would blackmail Jinks into giving them stuff and humiliating himself so they won’t leave. But it’s not. Instead, Jinks comes up with a meece rental service for cats to make sure they won’t lose their home. Jinks cons Pixie and Dixie into going along with the idea with this bit of convoluted logic: “When cats lose their home, they start wandering the streets. The more cats that stay home, the safer you guys are.” The profits are split three ways—50% for Jinks, 10% for the meeces, and 40% for Jinks.
The first customer is Tabby O’Flaherty, with one of Daws Butler’s Irish voices. “My set up at home is getting shaky. I’m even afraid to sharpen me claws on the furniture any more.” Tabby asks if the meece are lively and they respond by doing a dance to a banging of drums and cymbals. So Tabby pays $2 for an hour’s rental. Now, you may be wondering if Tabby has an owner, why he would need money to buy anything. Wouldn’t the owner take care of it? And who would pay a cat cash? The answer is simple. This is a cartoon.
The second customer is Cicero, who looks more like Fibber Fox than a cat. Jinks is ecstatic. He’s a “business typhoon.” Cicero has a bit of a snooty voice. The third customer is Alfred, with one of Daws’ New York voices he used on Fractured Fairy Tales. An annoyed Jinks investigates when Alfred doesn’t return the meece on time. Alfred said they left an hour earlier. Jinks becomes worried that the meece are missing but not through any friendship. He’s worried he could lose his home. There could have been a nice bit of hammy acting by Jinks but the scene lasts a mere nine seconds which leaves time for nothing. There’s a cut and Pixie and Dixie are standing there greeting Jinks. The cat rushes toward them (almost flying at them) but skids to a stop. Foster’s pulled a switcheroo. The meeces have decided to cut out the middle man, er, cat, and rent themselves out to cats—at $5 an hour. Jinks needs the meeces, so he forks out the cash. The cartoon ends with Jinks chasing them with a wet broom as we hear a Bilko-like military shout and “At least for an hour, I can hate you meeces to pieces!”
All your old Pixie and Dixie musical favourites are on the soundtrack, including Jack Shaindin’s meece-chasing “Toboggan Run” (my favourite) and “On the Run” (the favourite of the late Earl Kress). There’s also an appearance by a part of Shaindlin’s odd cue with a flute and a muted trumpet that sounds like it’s quacking.
0:00 - Pixie and Dixie Main Title theme (Hanna-Barbera-Curtin-Shows).
0:13 - LFU-118-5 TOBOGGAN RUN (Shaindlin) – Jinks chases meeces, skid to stop.
0:28 - zig-zag strings and bassoon (Shaindlin) – Jinks tells meece to take 5, talks to Charlie, talks to meeces, shakes head.
1:24 - LAF-7-12 FUN ON ICE (Shaindlin) – Jinks decides to rent meece, works out deal.
2:22 - ZR-52 LIGHT QUIET (Hormel) – Jinks hawks meeces, “…a couple of meeces, Bud?”
2:32 - TC-303 ZANY COMEDY (Loose-Seely) – O’Flaherty and Jinks talk about renting.
2:58 - drum kit effect – Meeces dance, “They’re lively alright.”
3:01 - TC-300 ECCENTRIC COMEDY (Loose-Seely) - O’Flaherty agrees to rent meeces, Jinks says he’ll be affluent.
3:37 - comedy flute and quack cue (Shaindlin) – O’Flaherty talks to meeces.
3:51 - ZR-47 LIGHT MOVEMENT (Hormel) – Meece start running, chase.
4:09 - TC-201 PIXIE COMEDY (Loose-Seely) – Jinks-Cicero scene.
4:41 - LFU-118-5 TOBOGGAN RUN (Shaindlin) – Cicero chases mice.
4:49 - TC-202 ECCENTRIC COMEDY (Loose-Seely) – Cicero talks to Jinks, customer waiting.
5:07 - LAF-2-12 ON THE RUN (Shaindlin) – Alfred chases meece.
5:22 - L-78 COMEDY UNDERSCORE (Moore) – Jinks annoyed with Alfred, Pixie and Dixie waiting for Jinks.
5:57 - ZR-48 FAST MOVEMENT (Hormel) – Jinks runs toward meeces, stops.
6:05 - zig-zag strings and bassoon (Shaindlin) – U-Chase Mouse Rental booth, Jinks wets broom, meeces run off camera.
6:40 - LAF-72-2 RODEO DAY (Shaindlin) – Jinks chases meece with broom.
6:58 - Pixie and Dixie End Title theme (Curtin).
Attention Continuity Freaks: Ranger Smith’s first name is Charlie. Well, it is for one Sunday comic 50 years ago this month. Actually, Charlie appears to be a popular name as it appeared for characters on two consecutive weekends in June 1963.
Charlie No. 1 is a ranger who appears in the June 2nd comic. There are fine poses of Yogi and Boo Boo in the final panel. A couple of silhouette drawings in the middle row for variety. I’ll avoid getting into what me thinkum about the native Indian stereotypes. Ranger Smith seems oblivious to the fact Yogi is cooking something with a frying pan. I’ll bet it’s not nuts and berries.
June 9th features “Charlie” Smith. Notice how all the trees are at a bit of an angle? Harvey Eisenberg liked drawing those; they’re more interesting visually than regular straight-up fir trees, though the TV cartoons went in for more stylised trees at times.
Uber-cute kid alert! The kids in the Yogi comics always seem to be wearing rouge on their cheeks. We get one on June 16th. Neither the kid nor blonde Mrs. Smith have names. Nice angles on Yogi in the final panel. Wonder why the toothpaste looks like candy canes? When this comic came out, one of the more heavily-advertised toothpastes on TV was Stripe, which came out of the tube with thick red lines of something in the middle of the white cream. I don’t know if it’s still made.
Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy make an appearance on June 23rd though Yogi (as he did in an earlier Sunday comic) insists on calling Daddy “Augie.” This is the first time I’ve seen Yogi’s cave built on a flat-topped bluff, but it’s required for the gag to work. Harvey Eisenberg’s angled trees appear again. Look at the thought that goes into the layouts. Yogi just isn’t standing next to Daddy in the final panel; he’s crowding into his space to accentuate his annoyance. Masterful work.
So you wondered where Jellystone Park is? Easy. It’s in Monona County. At least it is in the June 30th comic. I love the design of the dilapidated truck in the upper and middle left-hand panels. The layout is really nice in the whole comic; the foreground and background (and in between) are used really well. The panels never look cluttered, even with four or five characters and a vehicle in them. The second-last panel has chattering teeth and shaking. There are a couple of weak Yogi rhymes, but that’s almost to be expected. The mountain with the jagged snow-cap is something else Harvey Eisenberg liked tossing into his backgrounds.
As usual, click on each cartoon to enlarge it.
How did Fred and Wilma Flintstone get their first names? Neither Bill Hanna nor Joe Barbera explain it in in their autobiographies, both of which go into detail about the evolution of “The Flintstones” series before it finally debuted. However, the answer seems to be supplied in a paid obituary that ran in the New York Times on February 22, 2010. It’s for a fellow named Joe Cook. You can read it in full here but the relevant portions state that Cook wrote the first two episodes of “The Flintstones” and that Fred was named for his father-in-law, while Wilma’s name came from his P.T.A. president.
You may be thinking the same thing I thought when I read this: Joe who?
Unfortunately, the original credits for the first season of the show were shorn from the cartoons when they went into syndication in 1966, so the cartoons themselves don’t reveal their writers. But the exhaustive website Webrock Online matches each cartoon with its writer and Cook’s name doesn’t appear. People have been known to make spurious claims about working on cartoons. Could Cook have done the same thing?
The answer would appear to be “no.”
The Knickerbocker News of Albany, New York ran a feature story on “The Flintstones” on June 11, 1960, a good 3½ months before the show debuted on ABC. And the information about the coming series came from Joe Cook. It’s evident in reading the story that Cook had to be in on the early development of the show. Some of the elements seem left over from the original “Flagstones” concept, such as the cartoon being set in “Rockville Vista.” And the publicity drawing supplied to the newspaper features some of the early Ed Benedict designs that were soon modified. Here’s Cook’s concept of the show:
Spoofing the Spoofers
Situation Comedy Animated
By WALTER HAWVER
WHEN YOU HEAR an announcer this fall proclaiming the merits of “The Dinosaur Show,” don’t make the mistake of thinking he slurred his words and meant “Dinah Shore.”
And if he should mention “Rockville Vista,” he will be referring not to the famed Wistful Vista of Fibber McGee and Molly but the cave city of Fred and Wilma Flintstone.
The Flintstones are the brainchildren of Joe Barbera, originator of the “Tom and Jerry” movie cartoons. In case anyone among my readers is unfortunate enough not to be acquainted with Barbara’s other animated creations, let me say right now you should get to know Huckleberry Hound, Quick Draw McGraw, Yogi Bear et al.
HUCK AND McGRAW and Yogi are all characters who can be a joy to the youngster and understood by the adult. I have said more than once that they deserve to be seen in a little later time period than the supper hour, which is their fate in most areas.
The Flintstones (previously “The Flagstones” until the author of the comic strip, “Hi and Lois,” exercised his prior rights) will have a later spot. To be exact, 8:30-9 p. m. on Friday’s TV’s first half hour animated situation comedy series.
It’s a little early for either ABC or Hanna-Barbera Productinos (William Hanna is the business half) to start beating the drums, but the other day I ran into Joe Cook, author of the first episode. To borrow a well-worn phrase, he gave me a Cook’s tour of the program.
* * *
IN JOE’S words, The Flintstones will have something for everybody. “It’s a flat-footed beer drinkers’ show,” he said. “New Yorker readers will probably find more in it than is really there. The kids’ll go for it, simply because it is a cartoon. Nuance-wise—now there’s a word—Barbera is, in effect, spoofing all situation comedy.
“He’s one of the swingingest, most creative people I ever met. He gets up at 5.30 a. m. and when others fog out on him at 11 p. m., he wonders what’s wrong.
“When he got the idea for The Flintstones, he called one of his animators on the phone and dictated the storyboard. They put together a 4-to-5-minute episode and sold the whole show on this basis.”
* * *
THE FLINTSTONES will have four major characters and I’ll let Cook describe them:
“Fred Flintstone: He’s an awfully nice, loveable, albeit charming, oaf. Sort of a cross between Jackie Gleason and Edgar Kennedy. You might call him the William Bendix of 1000 B.C.
“Wilma Flagstone [sic]: She’s an Audrey Meadows type, smart, sarcastic. She knows everything about her husband and doesn’t think he knows anything about anything.
“Barney and Betty Rubble: They’re the Flintstones’ next-door neighbors. Barney is the most charming idiot you can imagine. Betty is so sweet she makes you sick.”
THE SHOW will be loaded with gimmicks, but the basic one is the superimposition of the language and behavior of modern-day suburbia on the settings, costumes and props of prehistoric times.
The Stone Age city of Rockville Vista will have real streets and motor cars with fins (it hasn’t yet been decided if they will have motors). The Flintstones and the Rubbles will watch TV and go to ball games. When Betty lights Barney’s cigaret she’ll use a modern-type lighter, but when she pushes down two little sticks will rise up and rub together to produce a flame.
Cook said there are “no holds barred” for the writer. “You name any situation that can happen in a town and we’ll have it. Teen-age problems, municipal graft and bribery, people with all sorts of foibles. We’ll have a YCMA (Young Cave Men’s Association) and a businessman who owns the firm of ‘Rock & Quarry’.”
* * *
OCCASIONALLY, prehistoric animals will be introduced but Cook said there will be “less of Alley Oop than the Honeymooners.” And when a dinosaur or a tyrosanous [sic] reappears, they will be of the pet variety. “No 1,000,000 B. C. fights,” Cook pledged.
The decision to have the Flintstones as cave people instead of Westchester Countyites was made for Barbera, Cook said. “One of the hardest things for a cartoonist is to animate human beings, particularly the mouth. If you remember Snow White and the Seven dwarfs, you know that the dwarfs were more realistic than Snow White.”
Cook, who will write five more episodes for The Flintstones, has been associated with dozens of network television and radio shows and personalities in his career. Among them: Paul Winchell, Arnold Stang, Bert Parks, the Margaret Truman-Mike Wallace “Weekday” radio show, the Tony Bennett-Jaye P. Morgan summer replacement program for Perry Como and special material for Bob Hope, Will Jordan and other comics.
The story creates another mystery. When did Cook arrive at Hanna-Barbera, when did he leave and why? Why were Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera quick to credit Warren Foster with writing much of the first season of the show but never mention Cook? (Foster wrote “The Swimming Pool,” the episode which had its basis in the short Flintstones pilot.) Perhaps one of our readers may have the answers.
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