Skip

Huck & Yogi Turn 50
October 2, 2008 2:21 AM   Subscribe

The biggest show in town is Huckleberry Hound... and 50 years ago today, The Huckleberry Hound Show debuted. On a budget of $2,800 per half hour, this was the show that truly brought animation to TV... and limited to animation... and Daws Butler to fame as a voice actor.

Each half hour contained three 7-minute cartoons: one featuring Huck, a true Dawg of All Trades (Sheriff, Knight, Fireman, Mountie, Postman, Lion-Tamer, Jungle-Boy, and Sheepherder among others), one with Pixie & Dixie & Mr. Jinks, upping the ante on Hanna-Barbera's theatrical Tom & Jerry toons by adding a second mouse and giving them all voices, and one with Yogi "Smarter Than The Average" Bear, who became more popular than the show's #1 star and spun off to his own show. Yogi has been a successful spokes-toon and seen frequent revivals, from the embarrassing eco-toon "Yogi's Gang" to John K.'s bizarre re-imagining. And today he once again upstages Ol' Huckleberry with the announcement that of a "CG hybrid" Yogi Bear movie in production.

Huck, we understand.
posted by wendell (33 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
I loved Mr. Jinks. Thanks for this. It's good to remember that Hanna Barbera used to make some excellent material, before the 70s and projects like Fucky Phantom and Laff-a-Lympics. Eesh.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:43 AM on October 2, 2008


Er, Funky Phantom, that is. Fucky Phantom only lasted one episode before it was canned, for obvious reasons.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:43 AM on October 2, 2008 [8 favorites]


Thanks, Wendell. It was the old story - the clash of egos, Yogi demanding a bigger share of the royalties, the sudden cancellations when Mr Jinks had to go back into rehab again; the increasing influence of Cindi Bear on Yogi driving a wedge between him and the rest after he started doing projects with her; the acrimonious break-up over 'artistic differences', the abortive attempt at a reunion tour with Jerry standing in after Dixie's fatal overdose...
posted by Phanx at 3:32 AM on October 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


There are certainly things HB did that are worse than the Funky Phantom.

Remember the Super Globetrotters? The Mork & MIndy cartoon? The Laverne Shirley cartoon (in the army)? The Happy Days cartoon (travelling through time with a space girl and Fonz's dog Mr. Cool)? The Dukes of Hazzard cartoon (racing around the world)? The Bionic Stooges? The Little Rascals cartoon? The Pac-Man cartoon? Casper the Friendly Ghost (in outer space)? Josie and the Pussycats (in outer space)?

Need I go on? At least in the old days there was still some wit involved in their output.
posted by JHarris at 3:46 AM on October 2, 2008


Remember the Super Globetrotters? The Mork & MIndy cartoon? The Laverne Shirley cartoon (in the army)? The Happy Days cartoon (travelling through time with a space girl and Fonz's dog Mr. Cool)? The Dukes of Hazzard cartoon (racing around the world)? The Bionic Stooges? The Little Rascals cartoon? The Pac-Man cartoon? Casper the Friendly Ghost (in outer space)? Josie and the Pussycats (in outer space)?

And let's not forget The Wacky Wonderful World of Henry Kissinger and Chairman Mao (in outer space). What were they thinking?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:53 AM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


I always loved that Huckleberry had a dog. like, a real dog who acted like a dog and didn't talk (although he did levitate for dog biscuits). Man, that dog biscuit routine is one of my favorite childhood memories.
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:54 AM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


The Happy Days cartoon (travelling through time with a space girl and Fonz's dog Mr. Cool)?

I'm sorry, I'm not having that. That was an AWESOME cartoon (when i was 8). I remember a friend not being allowed to watch it by his parents (cartoons = bad) and feeling mortified at his luck.

It had an awesome credit squence narrated by Wolfman Jack! It had the a dog called Mr Cool! It had Cupcake, the girl from the future! They decided the best way to make a Fonz cartoon was to stick him in a time machine! IT RULED!*



*It probably didn't.
posted by Hartster at 4:38 AM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Is this the thread where I can hate on Hanna Barbera? Awesome! Here goes: MAN, I HATE ME SOME HANNA BARBERA! EVERYTHING THEY DID POST-SPACEWHIZ-TOM-AND-JERRY SUCKS, AND EVEN THOSE WEREN'T SO HOT.

I feel much better now -- thanks, wendell!


But I do like Daws Butler's voice. Go figure.
posted by not_on_display at 4:45 AM on October 2, 2008


I watched the Harlem Globetrotters cartoon when I was very young, and then, when I was slightly older (but still pretty young) was haunted by the fragmentary memory of a cartoon about magical basketballers which did not seem like it could possibly have existed. That I grew up in Australia before basketball got even moderately big over there probably didn't help. It seriously ate at me.

Nowadays a kid in that position would Google it, or get their older sister to, and have their answer in twenty seconds.
posted by No-sword at 5:11 AM on October 2, 2008


*It probably didn't.

**It didn't.
***Unless you were six when it came out, in which case it was AWESOME. Totally kicked Smurf butt.

posted by Spatch at 5:20 AM on October 2, 2008


Heck, I don't know. I was only 7 at the time ... but in 1979, the Super Globetrotters were pretty damn awesome.
posted by grabbingsand at 5:22 AM on October 2, 2008


I love Huckleberry Hound. He was the best hound in town.

Have to say that Mike Huckabee kinda ruined HH for me though. Until I switched and started thinking of him as Droopy Dawg.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:23 AM on October 2, 2008


Man, Huckleberry Hound and his cohorts were staples of my Saturday mornings growing up in the 60's; thanks for taking me back!
posted by TedW at 5:58 AM on October 2, 2008


Behind the laughter.
posted by horsemuth at 6:10 AM on October 2, 2008


Whoops. Didn't see that last link there, Wendell.
posted by horsemuth at 6:11 AM on October 2, 2008


I also remember Seenor Queeksdraw -- Quickdraw McGraw, another Hanna-Barbera staple of my youth. It wasn't until a few years later that I realized that those guys were slumming... they started off doing the brilliant Tom and Jerry series for MGM in the 1940's. Full animation, great music, and some of the best cartoon violence until Itchy and Scratchy.

Good times.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 6:14 AM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Pixie, Dixie and Jinks were are large part of my early life, kind of like imaginary friends. I spoke to them, had adventures, we really enjoyed each others company. I have an early memory of having a "chat" with my friends about what we were planning to do and realizing that my mother had finished with the baby and was now listening to ME. I think it's my first feeling of that kind of embarrasment because it stays with me today (over 45 years later).

Imagine my suprise when I realize while watching the link above that I have NO memory of Dixie being the country cousin, with a southern accent. I remember them all as having Mr Jink's more urban patois, the only accent I would have had any familiarity with as a kid.

Now I need to know the back story. Pixie and Dixie were obviously not raised together. What happened? What chain of circumstances brought them together later in life? How are they related exactly?

I think they are just roommates with all the ambiguity that entails.
posted by readery at 6:19 AM on October 2, 2008


I think Daws Butler taught Nancy Cartwright how to do "voice acting." So in a way, Daws Butler is also responsible for the Simpsons.
posted by jonp72 at 6:26 AM on October 2, 2008


Snagglepuss was better. Superior, even.

The Bionic Stooges?

Man, there must have been some kind of PTSD memory repression going on in my head. I'd totally forgotten about that. That shit was awful.
posted by middleclasstool at 7:12 AM on October 2, 2008


My dad does a spot-on Yogi Bear impression, and let me tell you - when you're five, everything is funnier when it's followed by "eh, Boo Boo?"
posted by katillathehun at 7:19 AM on October 2, 2008


Huck and Yogi, two types of cartoon characters.

Yogi was the sitcom type. Yogi was always a bear; a talking bear wearing a collar and tie, but a real bear who lived in a cave in Jellystone Park.

Huck was the Route 66 type. Huck could go anywhere or do anything a human might. A country boy who sang/howled 'Clementine' -- and just happened to look like a blue dog.

Nobody ever called him on that.

Man, I thought I was the only one that remembered Yogi flogging Kellogg's OKs, Thanks, Wendell. I have a few skeptical friends to show that clip to.

I always assumed the Yogi anti-cig ad was some kind of public penance for the Flinstone Winston cig ad about (IIRC) 5 years earlier.

HB's animation may have been primitive, but at least none of their characters wore opera gloves.
posted by Herodios at 7:39 AM on October 2, 2008


Make that "the only one WHO remembered. . . "
posted by Herodios at 7:41 AM on October 2, 2008


Let us not forget Jabberjaw (OK, we have a giant talking shark, who lives underwater with a bunch of kids who solve mysteries... and they're in a band). Or Jana of the Jungle. Ahhh, USA Network Cartoon Express... you made many a Sunday morning bearable.
posted by infinitewindow at 7:45 AM on October 2, 2008


My dad took me to downtown San Bernardino one Saturday morning when I was 6 or 7 years old and we stopped on the sidewalk outside a television store to watch the color TV (still a novelty for poor folks like us in the early 60s). As luck would have it, HH was the show we got to watch and I was amazed to discover ol' Huck was BLUE!! In the weird world of kid logic, I had no problem accepting Huck as a talking dog, but a blue dog?? Tha twas just too far out of the realm of possiblities for me to even consider.

One of the kids I grew up with had a serious stuttering problem until he discovered Hanna Barbera cartoons when he was 5 or 6. Despite his stutter, Chuey was a pretty good mimic and not only did he draw lots of laughs when he imitated Jinks the cat, his stutter went away when he was in Jinks Mode. It wasn't long before Chuey went into full-time Jinks Mode and his stutter completely disappeared.

I still run into Chuey a few times a year. It's been nearly fifty years and he still talks like Mr Jinks.
posted by buggzzee23 at 9:21 AM on October 2, 2008


I still run into Chuey a few times a year. It's been nearly fifty years and he still talks like Mr Jinks.

So your friend Chuey grew up to be John C. Reilly?
posted by Strange Interlude at 9:46 AM on October 2, 2008


The creepiest thing was watching 'The Gary Coleman Show' cartoon on Adult Swim/Cartoon Network at 5 in the morning. It was about Gary being a dead kid and coming back as an angel
without wings.
posted by doctorschlock at 9:48 AM on October 2, 2008


..Oh yeah...I had a Yogi Bear doll and I chewed his nose off.
posted by doctorschlock at 9:49 AM on October 2, 2008


Does any one remember the cartoon dog ...whenever he got a dog biscuit, he'd have a dog orgasm, float in the air and rub himself?
posted by doctorschlock at 9:57 AM on October 2, 2008


I always loved that Huckleberry Queeksdraw had a dog. like, a real dog who acted like a dog and didn't talk (although he did levitate for dog biscuits).

FTFM. Yikes, I am truly becoming a senile golden-ager.
posted by FelliniBlank at 10:20 AM on October 2, 2008


doctorschlock and FelliniBlank are talking about the same dog, I think I recall named Snuffles, who did make one appearance with Huckleberry Hound and several more with Quick Draw.

Dammit, we got derailed by memories of Later H-B Crap, which I personally blame on the success of Scooby Doo and the 1970 retirement of toon writer Michael Maltese. Bill and Joe were doing just fine as long as each half-hour show was broken up into 3 theatrical-cartoon-length-segments, the animals talked and any human characters were equally cartoony-looking.

And Phanx, if you're going over the Behind the Whatever stories of the early H-B toons, you have to mention the shock waves when they traded Hokey Wolf, Yacky Doodle and Augie Doggie to Filmation to get Superman and Batman for "Superfriends". Nothing Filmation did with them ever got past pilot, and nobody ever felt secure with their contract again. Then Atom Ant went behind everybody's back to start a second career as an '80s rock star. After that, Quick Draw McGraw's sidekick Baba Louie joined the Howard Stern Show and the studio had to do something like "Harvey Birdman" just to keep the old crew in the fold.

Then there was the so-called Snagglepuss sex scandal... I mean, everybody knew all along he was gay... come on, a pink lion with a lisp who uses theater lingo ("Exit Stage Right")? And the tell-all book by a grown-up Ogee that destroyed the careers of both Magilla Gorilla and Mr. Peebles, followed by the massive plastic surgery Magilla had in order to get recast as Grape Ape. He wasn't the first... Precious Pup got an extreme makeover to become Muttley. And the rumors persist that Huck himself was really Reddy of "Ruff & Reddy" after a disfiguring (and discoloring) accident.

Of course, John K.'s "Boo Boo Goes Wild" was based on an actual behind-the-scenes incident during the filming of "Hey There It's Yogi Bear". The biggest coverup of the whole Watergate scandal was that Snooper & Blabber were caught along with Liddy & Hunt doing the break-in. And the reason Peter Potamus was the oldest H-B character to be a regular on "Harvey Birdman"... Pete's gambling debts were legendary. And the shunning of Scrappy Doo (although that was totally justified).

Sure, many of the stories are shocking, but it just reminds us that these "Classic Cartoon Characters" are only human - or human-esque - just like you and me and stavrosthewonderchicken.
posted by wendell at 10:25 AM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


I was preparing to go into a hate Hanna-Barbera thing until I read all these comments. Clearly, HB cartoons, as much as they signalled the end of the world to many of us, had a great deal of meaning for some people. I may have to rethink my views...
posted by Faze at 2:16 PM on October 2, 2008


The really "Classic" Hanna-Barbera toons still had some of the spirit of the theatricals H&B made, despite the Limited Animation, partly because of the involvement of former Looney Tunes writer Michael Maltese and partly from the voices of Daws Butler and Don Messick (who I did not give credit to earlier). There's a DVD of the first season of Huckleberry Hound available that is probably the best place to learn to appreciate it. (Or check out more of the toons on YouTube; I'm surprised how many the owners at TimeWarner have allowed to stay up)
posted by wendell at 4:05 PM on October 2, 2008


Although I was a big fan of the H-B shows, my first introduction to Daws Butler was a 45 we had around the house of Daws with Stan Freberg. The Lone Psychiatrist on one side and The Honeyearthers on the other. I was delighted to find them on this album a few years back. Lots of Daws there.
posted by MtDewd at 4:50 PM on October 2, 2008


« Older Paintings of Mutated Insects   |   This stinks Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post