The Huckleberry Hound Show

The Huckleberry Hound Show was a syndicated animated series which began airing in 1958 and the second from the Hanna-Barbera studios following The Ruff and Reddy Show, sponsored by Kellogg's. Three segments were included in the program: one featuring Huckleberry Hound, another starring Yogi Bear and his sidekick Boo Boo, and a third with Pixie and Dixie and Mr. Jinks, two mice who in each short found a new way to outwit the cat Mr. Jinks.

The Yogi Bear segment of the show became extremely popular and, as a result, it spawned its own series in 1961.[3] A segment featuring Hokey Wolf and Ding-A-Ling was added, replacing Yogi during the 1960–61 season. The show contributed to making Hanna-Barbera Productions a household name, and is often credited with legitimizing the concept of animation produced specifically for television. In 1960, it became the first animated program to be honored with an Emmy Award.[4]

The Huckleberry Hound Show
Huckleberry Hound Title Card
GenreComedy
Created byWilliam Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Written byJoseph Barbera
Charles Shows
Dan Gordon
Michael Maltese
Warren Foster
Tony Benedict
Directed byWilliam Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Voices ofDaws Butler
Don Messick
Doug Young
Hal Smith
Julie Bennett
Red Coffey
Narrated byDaws Butler
Don Messick
Bea Benaderet
Peter Leeds
Composer(s)Hoyt Curtin[1]
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons4
No. of episodes69 (list of episodes)
Production
Producer(s)William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Running time30 minutes
7 minutes per short
Production company(s)Hanna-Barbera Productions
DistributorScreen Gems (former)
Warner Bros. Television Distribution (current)
Release
Original networkFirst-run syndication
Picture formatColor
(Originally syndicated in Black-and-white)
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseSeptember 30, 1958[2] – December 1, 1961
Chronology
Preceded byThe Ruff & Reddy Show (1957)
Followed byThe Quick Draw McGraw Show (1959)
Related showsYogi Bear
Pixie and Dixie and Mr. Jinks
Hokey Wolf

Background/production

Conception and development

Joseph Barbera went to Chicago to pitch the program to Kellogg's executives through their ad agency, Leo Burnett. "I had never sold a show before because I didn't have to. If we got an idea, we just made it, for over twenty years. All of a sudden, I'm a salesman, and I'm in a room with forty-five people staring at me, and I'm pushing Huckleberry Hound and Yogi Bear and 'the Meeces', and they bought it."[5]

Barbera once recalled about Daws Butler's voice acting versatility:

I can remember distinctly when I first met [Daws], I said, 'I kind of like this voice, but I think I'm gonna make it kind of a Southern voice because Southern voices are warm and friendly.' Daws said, 'Well, now I can do a Southern voice which is like North Carolina, or I can do a Southern voice that would be like Florida, that would be a cracker kind of voice, or if you want to get a little harder, we could get into Texas,' and by gosh, he had about twelve different Southerners.[5]

Format

The series featured three seven-minute cartoons, animated specifically for television. The first always starred Huckleberry, the next two featured other characters.[6]

Distribution

The show was originally intended to part a line-up of kid programmes sponsored by Kellogg and broadcast on ABC-TV, joining Woody Woodpecker, Superman and Wild Bill Hickok in an early evening, weekday line-up.[7] However, Kellogg's agency, Leo Burnett, decided instead to syndicate the show and buy air time on individual stations.[8] The show was originally distributed by Screen Gems, which held a part-ownership of Hanna-Barbera at the time, over 150 stations. In April 1967, Screen Gems announced the show had been released from advertiser control would be made available to stations on a syndicated basis with available bridges to create 92 half-hour shows[9].

The distribution was later passed to Worldvision Enterprises, after it became a sister company to Hanna-Barbera. It was later distributed by Turner Program Services, after Turner's purchase of Hanna-Barbera; current distributor Warner Bros. Television picked up ownership of the show following the 1996 acquisition of Turner by parent company, Time Warner.

Original Airing

The show was not broadcast on the same day of the week, or the same time, in every city; airing depended on the deal for time that the Leo Burnett Agency brokered with individual stations. However, the first time the Huck series appeared on television was on Monday, September 29, 1958; it was seen at 6 p.m. on WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, which also served Battle Creek, home of Kellogg cereals[10]. Another of the stations airing it that day was WLW-I in Indianapolis (at 6:30 p.m.)[11] The show debuted on other days that same week in other cities; Huck originally aired in Los Angeles on Tuesdays[12], Chicago on Wednesdays[13] and New York City on Thursdays[14]. The show first aired in Canada on Thursday, October 2, 1958 at 7 p.m. on CKLW-TV in Windsor, Ontario[15].

Plot and characters

Each of the three segments featured one or two main characters acting as a duo, and numerous one-off or supporting characters.

Huckleberry Hound

Huck's voice was one that Butler had already developed and used in earlier work, such as the dog character in The Ruff and Reddy Show, Smedley the Dog in Chilly Willy cartoons, and earlier characters in the MGM cartoon library. It was said to be based on the neighbor of his wife, Myrtis; Butler would speak with said neighbor when visiting North Carolina.

Yogi Bear

Yogi Bear (voiced by Daws Butler impersonating Ed Norton from the Honeymooners) and his friend Boo Boo Bear (voiced by Don Messick) live in Jellystone Park and occasionally try to steal picnic baskets while evading Ranger Smith (voiced by Don Messick). Yogi also has a relationship with his girlfriend Cindy Bear (voiced by Julie Bennett).

Pixie & Dixie and Mr. Jinks

Pixie (voiced by Don Messick) and Dixie (voiced by Daws Butler) are two mice who every day end up being chased by a cat named Mr. Jinks (voiced by Daws Butler impersonating Marlon Brando).

Hokey Wolf

Hokey Wolf (voiced by Daws Butler impersonating Phil Silvers) is a con-artist wolf who is always trying to cheat his way to the simple life (much like other Hanna-Barbera characters, Top Cat and Yogi Bear). He is accompanied in this by his diminutive, bowler hat-wearing sidekick Ding-A-Ling Wolf (voiced by Doug Young impersonating Buddy Hackett).

Voice cast

  • Daws Butler - Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear, Dixie, Mr. Jinks, Hokey Wolf, Narrator, Various
  • Don Messick - Narrator, Boo Boo Bear, Ranger Smith, Pixie, Various
  • Doug Young - Ding-A-Ling Wolf, Various
  • Bea Benaderet - Narrator, Various

Additional Voices

Credits

  • Producers and Directors: Joseph Barbera and William Hanna
  • Voices: Daws Butler, Don Messick
  • Story Directors: Alex Lovy, Paul Sommer, Arthur Davis, John Freeman, Lew Marshall
  • Story: Warren Foster
  • Story Sketch: Dan Gordon, Charles Shows
  • Titles: Lawrence Goble
  • Musical Director/Composer: Theme Music: Hoyt Curtin
  • Designer: Frank Tipper
  • Production Supervisor: Howard Hanson
  • Animators: Kenneth Muse, Lewis Marshall, Carlo Vinci, Dick Lundy, George Nicholas, Don Patterson, Allen Wilzbach, Ed DeMattia, Manny Perez, Brad Case, Arthur Davis, Ken Southworth, Ken O'Brien, Emil Carle, George Goepper, Don Towsley, Ralph Somerville, C.L. Hartman, John Boersema, Bob Carr, Hicks Lokey, Don Williams, Gerard Baldwin, Ed Parks, Dick Bickenbach, Ed Love, Michael Lah
  • Layout: Dick Bickenbach, Walter Clinton, Tony Rivera, Ed Benedict, Michael Lah, Paul Sommer, Dan Noonan, Lance Nolley, Jim Carmichael, Jerry Eisenberg, Jack Huber, Sam Weiss
  • Background: Montealegre, Robert Gentle, Art Lozzi, Richard H. Thomas, Joseph Montell, Vera Hanson, Sam Clayberger, Neenah Maxwell, Frank Tipper

Reception

In 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany's, Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn) briefly dons a mask of Huckleberry. The name for Rock et Belles Oreilles, a Québécois comedy group popular during the 1980s, was a pun on the name of Huckleberry Hound ("Roquet Belles Oreilles" in French). Australian prison slang vernacular includes "huckleberry hound", a term originated in the 1960s, meaning "a punishment cell, solitary confinement."[16] In January 2009, IGN named The Huckleberry Hound Show as the 63rd best in its "Top 100 Animated TV Shows". [17]

Media information

Home Media releases

On November 15, 2005, Warner Home Video released The Huckleberry Hound Show – Vol. 1 for the Hanna-Barbera Classics Collection, featuring the complete first season of 26 episodes (66 segments) from the series on DVD. It is not known if the rest of the series will be released.

DVD Name Ep # Release Date Additional Information
The Huckleberry Hound Show – Volume 1 (The First Season) 26 episodes
(66 segments)
November 15, 2005
  • A bonus collectible animation cel
  • Featurette on reconstructing the premiere episode
  • Never-before-seen bumpers and bridge
  • Segment tributing Daws Butler, voice actor

Licensing

The characters from The Huckleberry Hound Show spawned various product, publishing, and other licensing deals. Columbia Pictures/Screen Gems' record arm, Colpix, released the first Huckleberry Hound album in October 1958, with stuffed animals and games also hawked in record stores[18].

No later than 1961, the characters began appearing "in person" at events across America. Hanna Barbera commissioned costumed characters of Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear, and Quick Draw McGraw, which appeared at events like the Florida State Fair.[19]

Hanna-Barbera owner Taft Broadcasting started opening theme parks in 1972, beginning with Kings Island. These parks included areas themed to the company's cartoons, and included walk-around characters of Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear, and others. The characters were also featured on rides, including carousels. Licensed Huckleberry products included an Aladdin-brand Thermos.[20]

Books based on the show include:

  • Huckleberry Hound Christmas, P. Scherr, Golden Press, 25 cents.[21]
  • Huckleberry Hound: The Case of the Friendly Monster, Ottenheimer Publishers, 1978, 96 pages.[22]

International broadcast

See also

References

  1. ^ "Musicnotes.com: Huckleberry Hound". musicnotes.com. Madison, WI: Musicnotes, Inc. Retrieved 2008-10-20.
  2. ^ Tipton Tribune, Sept. 29, 1958, pg. 6
  3. ^ Mallory, Michael. Hanna-Barbera Cartoons. New York: Hugh Lauter Levin Associates, 1998. ISBN 0-88363-108-3. p. 44.
  4. ^ "Animation legend William Hanna dies at 90". CNN.com/Entertainment. 2001-03-23. Archived from the original on 2008-05-15. Retrieved 2008-08-06.
  5. ^ a b Tim Lawson; Alisa Persons (December 2004). "Daws Butler". The Magic Behind the Voices: A Who's who of Cartoon Voice Actors (Scan)|format= requires |url= (help). Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi. p. 367. ISBN 1-57806-696-4. Retrieved 2008-10-20.
  6. ^ Edward Stasheff, Rudy Bretz (1962) [1962]. The Television Program (Scan). Hill and Wang. p. 335. Retrieved 2008-10-20.
  7. ^ Weekly Variety, June 26, 1958, pg. 7
  8. ^ Daily Variety, June 26, 1958, pg. 1
  9. ^ Broadcasting magazine, Apr. 10, 1967, pg. 64
  10. ^ Lansing State Journal, Sept. 27, 1958, pg. 20.
  11. ^ Tipton Tribune, Sept. 29, 1958, pg. 6.
  12. ^ Los Angeles Times, Sept. 30, pg. A6
  13. ^ Chicago Tribune, Sep. 27 1958, pg. c16.
  14. ^ New York Herald Tribune, Sep 28, 1958, pg. G-12
  15. ^ Toronto Globe and Mail, Oct. 2, 1958, pg. 39
  16. ^ Green, Jonathon (2005) [2005]. Cassell's Dictionary of Slang (Scan). New York, New York: Sterling Publishing Company. p. 1565. ISBN 0-304-36636-6. Retrieved 2008-10-20.
  17. ^ "Video Games, Wikis, Cheats, Walkthroughs, Reviews, News & Videos - IGN". IGN. Archived from the original on 2009-03-01.
  18. ^ The Billboard, Oct. 20, 1958, pg. 4
  19. ^ "Huckleberry Hound To Be At Gasparilla" (Scan). St. Petersburg Times. St. Petersburg, Florida: The Times Publishing Company. 1961-02-12. Retrieved 2008-10-20.
  20. ^ The United States Patents Quarterly (1962) at Google Book Search
  21. ^ The Publishers Weekly at Google Book Search
  22. ^ Huckleberry Hound: The Case of the Friendly Monster at Google Book Search

External links

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