Saturday, 19 May 2018

Season Two For Huckleberry Hound

Bigger is better. Bigger means more profits. That’s the free enterprise system. H-B Enterprises was a business. Therefore, it got bigger.

The Huckleberry Hound Show started life in 1958 as a huge success. Sponsor Kellogg’s wanted more. Hanna-Barbera was willing to oblige. In 1959, it created a whole new cartoon series called the Quick Draw McGraw Show and shopped it to Kellogg’s by early April, according to Sponsor magazine. Huck carried on with a second season, but H-B cut the number of cartoons produced for it from 66 to 39. Evidently, Kellogg’s was content with re-airing cartoons from the first 66; after all, didn’t kids keep tuning in the same Bugs Bunny cartoons over and over and over again? Either that, or the studio didn’t have the staff or equipment in 1959 to make more than that. Ruff and Reddy was still in production, and Screen Gems’ John Mitchell was pushing Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera to take the next logical television step—into prime time.

All of this meant H-B Enterprises (the company changed its name to Hanna-Barbera Productions in August 1959) had to add staff beyond its three animators (a fourth, Mike Lah, had pitched in on occasion). Variety noted on August 19, 1959:
To cope with the largescale output, the H-B plant at Amco Studios here is now on a 24-hour-a-day schedule, its 175-man staff of animators, story editors, camera operators, inkers and others split into three eight-hour shifts.
Hanna-Barbera brought in some solid people. La Verne Harding and Don Patterson came from Walter Lantz (along with story director Alex Lovy, an old colleague of Barbera’s from the Van Beuren studio in New York). Ed Love and Dick Lundy had been at the commercial houses; both had worked at MGM and Disney before that.

Perhaps my favourite out of the group was George Nicholas, who had been animating at Disney and, at age 48, was laid off after completion of Sleeping Beauty. Hanna-Barbera hired him in mid-April 1959. Nicholas was handed the first cartoon put into production for the second season of the Huck Show, the Yogi Bear adventure “Lullabye-Bye Bear.” He gave Yogi wild and insane expressions. He toned it down after that. Whether it was at the behest of management, I don’t know, but I would have loved to have seen more cartoons animated that way.

Love’s name was on the closing credits, but he told interviewer Harvey Deneroff he was never on staff, he worked freelance at H-B. The studio evidently hired others on a freelance basis. Manny Perez and Don Williams both animated a solitary cartoon on the Huck show (Williams did a bit of other work at the studio). Gerard Baldwin animated for Hanna-Barbera as well before jumping at the chance to work in Mexico under a Jay Ward contract later in the year.

Documents from the Leo Burnett files obtained by the late Earl Kress reveal the studio also animated five new opening billboards for the show that year, along with seven closing ones, and something called “opening units” (five) and “closing units” (four). This was not the main or closing title animation and because I’m not in the industry, I have no idea what’s being referred to.

Oddly, the document refers to only one piece of closing animation, with the same production number as the one in the 1958-59 season. But we know part of the animation was re-done. Instead of Huck driving through a hoop, Yogi Bear is now treated somewhat on an equal footing with the blue dog, as the two carry a banner with the Kellogg’s slogan of the day.

Besides animators, additional background and directorial staff were brought in. The biggest impact may have been the decision to hire Mike Maltese from Warner Bros. in November 1958 to write for the studio. He was joined in mid-April by Warren Foster, who had left Warners in 1957 for John Sutherland Productions. Maltese was assigned to handle Quick Draw, Foster (with one exception) wrote the Huck show in 1959. Under Foster, the cartoons seemed to get a lot chattier. Foster also got rid of the idea of solo Yogi Bear adventures and spot-gag cartoons, making Boo Boo a permanent sidekick and creating a permanent adversary out of a bunch of generic rangers used by Joe Barbera and Charlie Shows the previous season. (Interestingly, there is a Ranger-less/Boo Boo-less cartoon this season. It is the last one to feature Yowp, who was then put in the cartoon retirement kennel).

The cartoons continued to feature the Capitol Hi-Q and Langlois Filmusic libraries for mood music. Some different cues were added this season to freshen the sound a bit. As well, Joe Barbera went hunting for additional voice actors. Hal Smith and Jean Vander Pyl were among those hired who join Don Messick and Daws Butler on the Huck series.

Was this bigger Hanna-Barbera better? In 1959, perhaps it was. There were a lot of entertaining cartoons produced that year. But I still think expansion hurt the studio in the long-run; at least I smiled a lot less at Peter Potamus than I did at Yogi getting mixed up with seven dwarfs. I even turned off the TV set while Magilla Gorilla was on.

Here are the cartoons for the second season in order of production. The “K” designation is for the first show the cartoon appeared in. My thanks again to Denise Kress for sending me this documentation.

E-67 Lullabye-Bye Bear (K-028) Yogi/Nicholas
E-68 Grim Pilgrim (K-028) Huck/Muse
E-69 Sour Puss (K-029) PD/Love
E-70 Papa Yogi (K-030) Yogi/Nicholas
E-71 Tin Pin Alley (K-027) Huck/Love
E-72 Rapid Robot (K-028) PD/Vinci
E-73 Bare Face Bear (K-029) Yogi/Baldwin
E-74 Show Biz Bear (K-027) Yogi/Patterson
E-75 Jolly Roger and Out (K-029) Huck/Muse
E-76 King Size Poodle (K-30) PD/Vinci
E-77 Nottingham and Eggs (K-032) Huck/Love
E-78 Rah Rah Bear (K-032) Yogi/Vinci
E-79 Hi-Fido (K-027) PD/Perez
E-80 Stranger Ranger (K-031) Yogi/Muse
E-81 Somebody’s Lion (K-030) Huck/Lundy
E-82 Batty Bat (K-033) PD/Williams
E-83 Cop and Saucer (K-034) Huck/Love
E-84 Mighty Mite (K-031) PD/Marshall
E-85 Bear For Punishment (K-033) Yogi/Baldwin
E-86 Pony Boy Huck (K-035) Huck/Harding
E-87 A Bully Dog (K-031) Huck/Muse
E-88 Nowhere Bear (K-034) Yogi/Love
E-89 Bird Brained Cat (K-032) PD/Patterson
E-90 Huck the Giant Killer (K-033) Huck/Lundy
E-91 Wound-Up Bear (K-035) Yogi/Patterson
E-92 Lend Lease Meece (K-034) PD/Nicholas
E-93 A Good Good Fairy (K-035) PD/Marshall
E-94 Bewitched Bear (K-036) Yogi/Patterson
E-95 Pet Vet (K-036) Huck/Vinci
From this point, all cartoons are copyrighted “Hanna-Barbera Productions” instead of “H-B Enterprises, Inc.”
E-96 Heavens to Jinksy (K-036) PD/Muse
E-97 Hoodwinked Bear (K-037) Yogi/Nicholas
E-98 Picadilly Dilly (K-037) Huck/Patterson
E-99 Goldfish Fever (K-037) PD/Lundy
E-100 Snow White Bear (K-038) Yogi/Nicholas
E-101 Wiki Waki Huck (K-038) Huck/Marshall
E-102 Pushy Cat (K-038) PD/Vinci
E-103 Space Bear (K-039) Yogi/Patterson
E-104 Puss in Boats (K-039) PD/Lundy
E-105 Huck’s Hack (K-039) Huck/Patterson

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Jinks Short-Cuts

Time for a Mr Jinks quiz.

Here are two frames from Jinks’ Mice Device (1958). Can you guess the animator?

This is kind of a trick question, as two different animators are at work. This first drawing is by Ken Muse. The little half-row of teeth, the small tongue and half a lip overlapping the other half gives it away. The second one, the disheveled Jinks who thinks he’s cracking up, is the work another veteran—Mike Lah.

Lah animated two cartoons on his own in the 1958-59 and laid out others, including this one. But he was also given footage, generally 90 seconds worth of gags, inserted into the middle of the cartoon.

Muse was the studio’s footage king, but Lah should have been able to churn it out film, too, thanks to a bunch of shortcuts. Lah would hold a character in place and draw the mouth in odd geometric shapes, face-forward, during dialogue. In this cartoon, he also saves work by simply having drawings turned around and then inked and painted on the other side, with the tiniest adjustments.

Here are a couple of examples, first of Jinks on the floor after being run over by a lawnmower, and then an in-between drawing as he gets up. The pushed-together eyes should remind you of Lah’s later work at MGM.

And here are some frames of Jinks exiting, stage right. Oh, that was another character, wasn’t it? These are animated on twos.

Lah carried on with his work in advertising animation while freelancing for H-B; he later took over the operation of Quartet Films. A bunch of new animators came in for the 1959-60; Lah’s distinctive style was missed as the studio’s animation became more refined and tamer.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Producing the Huckleberry Hound Show

So what was the first cartoon made for the Huckleberry Hound Show? The correct answer is “Pie-Pirates,” the Yogi Bear cartoon that actually appeared on the third Huck show.

We know this thanks to the late Earl Kress and all the work he did putting together the Huck Show DVD. Earl was sent a copy of a mimeographed document from the files of the Leo Burnett ad agency dated Aug 3, 1961, with an addendum dated January 22, 1962, listing what it calls “Composition of Units.” It’s something for a real H-B geek, listing production codes for opening/closing titles, sponsor IDs, opening/closing billboards, bridges, the episodes themselves and the individual cartoons.

The latter lists the cartoons made for the show in chronological order. Unfortunately, because this is an agency document and not a studio one, it doesn’t show when production was begun (let alone finished) on each cartoon, which is information I’d be interested in seeing.

I don’t know if the production order has been published anywhere so I’m going to put it up here. The animator credits below are my own.

As always, these kinds of documents lead to questions which, at this late date, can’t be answered. You’ll notice the first 29 cartoons put into production starred Yogi Bear and Pixie and Dixie. The first Huck began with production number 30. Why so late? I’ll avoid speculation. And were more episodes ordered by Kellogg’s after production began? The cartoons that made up shows 22 through 26 were all made pretty much in the order they appeared.

26 episodes allowed two airplays to make up 52 weeks. Eight of the cartoons were reused in episodes, and not near the end of the series.

And you’ll notice Mike Lah appears on most of the earliest cartoons in production. Lah worked on a freelance basis for the studio; evidently he hoped he would be cut in when Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera formed the studio with the financial backing of Columbia Pictures and director George Sidney. It never happened, so he continued his work elsewhere. Animator Mike Kazaleh pointed out some time ago that Lah would be handed a specific chunk of footage in the cartoons, usually somewhere in the middle. I can’t help but wonder if the first cartoons were originally planned to be shorter, then extra gag footage was needed to bring them to about seven minutes (all the cartoons are exactly the same length). I don’t know whether I’ve spotted all the Lah footage; I’m almost certain he did work on a few of the cartoons below where I don’t have him listed (I’ve just finished looking at one that if it isn’t Lah, Ken Muse imitates Lah’s eye and mouth movements instead of his own found elsewhere in the cartoon).

E-1 Pie-Pirates (K-003/017) Yogi/Lah
E-2 High Fly Guy (K-008) Yogi/Marshall-Lah
E-3 Tally Ho-Ho-Ho (K-007) Yogi/Vinci-Lah
E-4 Pistol Packin’ Pirate (K-005) PD/Muse-Lah
E-5 Judo Jack (K-002/15) PD/Muse-Lah
E-6 Little Bird Mouse (K-007) PD/Marshall-Lah
E-7 Yogi Bear’s Big Break (K-001/011) Yogi/Muse-Lah
E-8 Big Bad Bully (K-020) Yogi/Vinci-Lah
E-9 Slumber Party Smarty (K-002/014) Yogi/Marshall-Lah
E-10 Kit Kat Kit (K-003/018) PD/Muse
E-11 Big Brave Bear (K-006) Yogi/Vinci
E-12 Scaredy Cat Dog (K-006) PD/Marshall
E-13 Baffled Bear (K-009) Yogi/Muse-Lah
E-14 Cousin Tex (K-001/012) PD/Vinci-Lah
E-15 Foxy Hound-Dog (K-005) Yogi/Marshall-Lah
E-16 Jinks’ Mice Device (K-004/021) PD/Muse-Lah
E-17 The Ghost With the Most (K-009) PD/Muse-Lah
E-18 The Buzzin’ Bear (K-013) Yogi-Vinci
E-19 Jiggers..It’s Jinks! (K-008) PD/Marshall
E-20 Brave Little Brave (K-010) Yogi/Muse-Lah
E-21 The Stout Trout (K-021) Yogi/Vinci-Lah
E-22 The Ace of Space (K-010) PD/Muse-Lah
E-23 Jinks Junior (K-011) PD/Marshall-Lah
E-24 Be My Guest, Pest (K-016) Yogi/Vinci
E-25 Duck in Luck (K-018) Yogi/Vinci
E-26 Puppet Pals (K-016) PD/Marshall
E-27 Jinks the Butler (K-013) PD/Muse
E-28 Bear on a Picnic (K-019) Yogi/Vinci
E-29 Runaway Bear (K-015) Yogi/Muse
E-30 Mark of the Mouse (K-017) PD/Vinci
E-31 Sheriff Huckleberry (K-005) Huck/Muse
E-32 Sir Huckleberry Hound (K-004/019) Huck/Marshall
E-33 Lion-Hearted Huck (K-002/013) Huck/Muse
E-34 Rustler Hustler Huck (K-006) Huck/Marshall
E-35 Huckleberry Hound Meets Wee Willie (K-001/010) Huck/Muse
E-36 Hookey Days (K-014) Huck/Vinci
E-37 Tricky Trapper (K-003/K016) Huck/Muse
E-38 Cock-a-Doodle Huck (K-008) Huck/Vinci
E-39 Two Corny Crows (K-009) Huck/Muse
E-40 Freeway Patrol (K-007) Huck/Muse
E-41 Dragon Slayer Huck (K-012) Huck/Muse
E-42 Fireman Huck (K-009) Huck/Muse
E-43 Sheep-Shape Sheepherder (K-017) Huck/Vinci
E-44 Skeeter Trouble (K-015) Huck/Vinci
E-45 Hokum Smokum (K-020) Huck/Vinci
E-46 Hypnotize Surprise (K-020) PD/Marshall
E-47 Bird House Blues (K-021) Huck/Vinci
E-48 Jinks’ Flying Carpet (K-014) PD/Muse
E-49 Prize Fight Fright (K-021) Yogi/Muse
E-50 Dinky Jinks (K-019) PD/Vinci
E-51 Barbecue Hound (K-018) Huck/Muse
E-52 Brainy Bear (K-022) Yogi/Muse
E-53 Nice Mice (K-022) PD/Muse
E-54 Postman Panic (K-022) Huck/Vinci
E-55 Robin Hood Yogi (K-023) Yogi/Muse
E-56 King Size Surprise (K-023) PD/Marshall
E-57 Lion Tamer Huck (K-024) Huck/Lah
E-58 Daffy Daddy (K-024) Yogi/Vinci
E-59 Cat-Nap Cat (K-024) PD/Muse
E-60 Ski Champ Chump (K-023) Huck/Marshall
E-61 Scooter Looter (K-025) Yogi/Vinci
E-62 Mouse Nappers (K-025) PD/Muse
E-63 Little Red Riding Huck (K-025) Huck/Marshall
E-64 Hide and Go Peek (K-026) Yogi/Muse
E-65 Boxing Buddy (K-026) PD/Muse
E-66 Tough Little Termite (K-026) Huck/Muse

There was only one main title and one end title for the Huck show in the 1958-59 season. That means only the regular artists and voice actors were listed (sorry Frank Tipper and June Foray). There were all kinds of mini-cartoons. There were 11 opening and closing billboards, two sponsor IDs, 11 Huck bridges, 11 Pixie and Dixie bridges, 11 Yogi Bear bridges and 11 “opening units” (along with four “closing units”).

Leo Burnett also, at one time, had two 35mm prints of the shows, with another 54 16mm prints in storage (in 1961). It’s a shame the either didn’t exist or weren’t available when the Huck DVD was made so there would have been better quality than some VHS dubs of the programming elements.

The Burnett files have production numbers for all the cartoons in the Huck series (including the Hokey Wolfs). Earl also had a similar document for the Yogi Bear show. If he had one for Quick Draw McGraw, it’s still in his filing cabinet.

My thanks to Denise Kress for going to the time and expense of mailing these to me.

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Pixie and Dixie — Tiny Trappers

This post is merely an excuse to display these great poses of Mr. Jinks on a sheet put together by Dick Bickenbach in 1960.

But let’s give you a bonus as well. Here’s a four-pager from a May 1962 Dell comic. I always enjoy silhouette panels and there are a few of them here.

Ol’ Jinksie is one of my favourite characters in the Hanna-Barbera stable. He was saddled with fairly indistinct co-stars and some cartoons where the dialogue could have been sharper (Warren Foster toward the end of the run). But I love the way he fancies himself to be a hip, clever cat. At times he is. At times he outsmarts himself. This story line in this comic is a good example.

Monday, 7 May 2018


The animated commercials in the Hanna-Barbera cartoon shows for Kellogg’s could be as amusing as the cartoons themselves. My favourite is the one where Jinksie and the meeces do a Beatles spoof song for Raisin Bran.

Here’s a nice one, too, starring Snagglepuss, who was the spokes-puss for Cocoa Krispies for a time. The writer at Leo Burnett, Kellogg’s agency, came up with a clever premise, where Snagglepuss explains how he got the job on the cereal package balancing a bowl on his finger.

His act started in the circus. He dropped the bowl, then himself.

Then he tried films, kind of a combination of the MGM lion in the Warners shield with the 20th Century Fox fanfare. Did Ed Benedict lay out this commercial? The security guard reminds me of a Benedict drawing.

Finally, Kelloggs hires him and powder-puffs him for his commercial. He keeps dropping the bowl. Not very, cocoa-lossal, Snagglepuss.

You’ll notice the voice credit to Daws Butler. This apparently was the result of Bert Lahr’s prickliness (need I explain that Snagglepuss’ voice is a take-off on Lahr’s?). Lahr got upset that commercials for Lestoil, a cleaning product, starred a cartoon duck that sounded like him. He sued Adell Chemical, the makers of the cleaner, and Robert Lawrence Associates, the New York company that made the commercials. The New York Times of May 29, 1962, tagged its story on the lawsuit with “Mr. Lahr...may also sue the Kellogg Company, manufacturer of cereals. The company is the sponsor of the ‘Yogi Bear’ program, a children’s entertainment. Mr. Lahr contends that a character in the cartoon program, Snagglepuss, also is using an impersonation of his voice without permission.”

Whether Lahr went ahead with a suit against Kellogg and/or Hanna-Barbera is unknown but, as you can see above, he did threaten one. If the credit to Daws was, in fact, because of Lahr’s threat in 1962, then this commercial wouldn’t have been seen on the Yogi show when it debuted the previous year.

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

On the Road With Huck and Yogi

For years, radio and film stars went on personal appearance tours. Even local TV show kid show hosts would show up at a shopping centre and shake hands or pat youngsters on the noggin.

It would seem difficult for cartoon characters to do the same thing. After all, they’re not physical beings, they’re drawn. But they did.

Hanna-Barbera’s distributor, Columbia Pictures’ Screen Gems, worked out a simple solution—have people dress up in a costume. After all, didn’t Uncle Walt have Mickey Mouse and Pluto traipsing around the same way in Disneyland? The idea was put in the hands of Screen Gems’ promotional wizard Ed Justin and his staff. They came up with something that satisfied kids and made money, too.

Whenever the travelling H-B road show was booked, Justin’s people would send out a press kit to whomever was hosting the event with some basic puffery that could be used in a newspaper “story” to promote it. Here’s a good example in the Chautauqua News of Thursday, July 13, 1961.

Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear Top Children's Day at Fair
A terrific Children's Day show will inaugurate the 1961 Chautauqua County Fair on Monday, July 24, with thousands of youngsters flocking to the fairgrounds to see their television favorites. Huckleberry Hound and Yogi Bear.
The well-known pair, who will give performances at the Fair at 2 and 8 p.m. on July 24 have managed to accept 73 invitations since last August and still show up weekly on the "Huckleberry Hound" and "Yogi Bear" television series.
"In the past eight months, we've booked Huck and Yogi into department stores, shopping centers, football and baseball games, concerts, parades, factories, and exhibitions," reports their agent.
In West Seneca, an organization known as Machemer's Chestnut Lodge, Yogi Bear Appreciation Society was founded.
Seven scientists at the White Sands Proving Grounds in New Mexico requested an El Paso, Tex. television station to show "Huckleberry Hound" at a later hour since they were too busy working on missile projects during its air time.
The scholarly Yale Alumni bulletin made a survey of undergraduate viewing tastes and revealed that "Huckleberry Hound" was among the four top programs with Yale men.
Joe Barbera and Bill Hanna, creators of the cartoon characters, have a bustling studio an Hollywood which makes not only "Huckleberry Hound", "Yogi Bear", "Quick Draw McGraw", and "Ruff and Reddy" but also the adult animated comedy which has become so popular this season, "The Flintstones".
As Barbera frequently reminds Hanna, "We've just got to give Huck and Yogi a raise."
Their show here is guaranteed to be the funniest of Fair Week in Dunkirk.
All Fair directors have tickets for the Ted Mack Amateur Show on Tuesday, July 25. The tickets reportedly are going fast for this show, too.
It wasn’t all about entertaining kids. It was also about, as Fred Flintstone would say, “do-re-mi-money.” We mentioned in this post that the appearances were part of a 40-million-dollar merchandising campaign in 1960 alone. Let’s learn more from this story in Variety of August 24, 1960.
TV Kiddie Shows Making Headliners And Hay in Theatre & Outdoor Field
Television's kiddie shows have become an important source of headliners particularly in the theatre and outdoor field. The manufacture of topliners is now an important byproduct of exploitation of the kidvid layouts and is rapidly becoming a main cog for publicity. The only difference in this respect is that the personal appearance field has become extremely profitable.
Latest to realize that there's a lot of coin in making headliners is the "Huckleberry Hound" show. Screen Gems, which distributes the program, used to get a lot of requests for personal, appearances of actors to depict the characters in the show.
When the Brockton (Mass.) Fair wanted something on that order for the kids, SG got together a more complete act and charged them $1,000 daily. Since then, the characters created by Hanna-Barbera Productions, have been getting that sum from a variety of other dates. The field is becoming so wide open that a new show from the same team depicting a family in caveman suburbia is having an act built for presentation around the circuits, which will also sell for $1,000 daily.
Cite Other Acts
Another example of attractions built through the kid viewers is The Three Stooges. They became so popular that they rebuilt their act a little more than a year ago, and have since been doing well in theatres, outdoor shows and fairs. The world of juves also brought a measure of prosperity to the Martin Stone office which produced "Howdy Doody." At one time there were several acts with that name and that of the clown Clarabelle around.
This newest exploitation stunt is extremely profitable. There is no such thing as having the personality of the individual actor portraying the characters built up. They are given lines and situations, and a stipulated salary. The personnel is easily replacable so that there is no battling with artistic temperament. An actor couldn't take over the property and go into business for himself.
Budgetary Factors
Ed Justin, the merchandising manager of Screen Gems, stitched the "Huckleberry Hound" act together. The most expensive items are the costuming, and of course, the salaries for the actors.
For a while the kid shows produced most headliners. There was also William "Hopalong Cassidy" Boyd who suddenly found himself a hot property after many years of virtual retirement. His individual glory, however, was shortlived inasmuch as he had no durable act.
Slightly ahead of the strictly kid shows are the western players on video, who command terrific coin on the outdoor circuits. Among them are James Arness, Hugh O'Brian, Gene Barry and others. O'Brian and Barry, among others, are trying their hand in other fields such as legit while they are hot. But when they want heavy coin, they play the outdoor events.
In 1961, a Quick Draw McGraw tour was added. Variety reported on April 26, 1961 that 35 dates had already been set that year for Huck and Yogi to show up at stores, fairs and the like.

Personally, I don’t get the appeal of people dressed up as Yogi or Mr. Jinks. Maybe I was a little jaded as a kid, but I wouldn’t accept someone in a costume as being Huck Hound. I suppose if it were in a theme park, it would be different because you’re kind of in a cartoon world. But it just seems like a guy in a fuzzy Yogi Bear outfit doesn’t belong in the local Safeway store. Except maybe in the cereal section.