Saturday, October 2, 2010

Wrong-ipedia

Imagine my surprise to see several comments on Facebook wishing a happy birthday to Huckleberry Hound today. Because it’s not Huck’s birthday.

And you can thank the anonymous folks at Wikipedia for, once again, spreading misinformation the world over.

I haven’t taken the time to find out what station aired Huck first, but I can tell you he aired before the etched-in-internet date of October 2, 1958. All you have to do is read a bunch of newspapers from a couple of days earlier to learn that.

The Los Angeles Times had a little squib about it in Cecil Smith’s ‘TV Scene’ for Tuesday, September 30, 1958. The reference to “Alan” is from earlier in the column about a two-year-old boy who missed Captain Kangaroo the previous Sunday because he couldn’t grasp the concept of Daylight Saving Time.


For Alan’s sake I might mention that there is a new weekly show in which he might be interested beginning tonight at 6:30 on Channel 2. It’s called Huckleberry Hound and tonight’s edition features a wonderful character named Yogi Bear who resides in Jellystone National Park.

How about that? Before the show even aired, Smith picked who would be the bigger star.

The same day, Pat Nogler of the Long Beach Independent scribed in the ‘Writing on Air’ column:


KNXT premieres a fresh new cartoon series, this evening at 6:30 on Channel 2, entitled “Huckleberry Hound,” created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbara. The cartoon character, Huckleberry Hound, from which the show takes its name, is the lead personality in one series of the films. Two other series of films in the group will carry the titles of Yogi Bear and Pixie and Dixie.

If a show is on a network, it’s given a dedicated spot on the schedule (until the network changes its mind). In syndication, a show takes the best slot that’s available. The Huckleberry Hound Show was in syndication, so it didn’t air on the same time or day on every station. In Chicago, Huck originally appeared on Wednesdays. That means he didn’t debut until October 1, 1958. You can read Larry Wolters’ preview in the Chicago Tribune in this post.

I sheepishly admit that old post originally stated Huck first aired October 2, showing even I got burned by being lazy in my research.

However, I’ll make up for it by posting this great publicity drawing that reader Mark Greisinger found in Mediascene Magazine. You’ve got to love the shaggy eyebrows on Jinks. I don’t think this is Bick Bickenbach’s work and would be happy if anyone could identify it.


And since we’re trying to solve Huck mysteries, writer Mark Evanier has one. And if he doesn’t know the answer...

He has a soundtrack for a half-hour Huck show; it features ‘Huck’s Hack’ so it may be from the second season. Here’s the mystery. The show opens with a one-minute, 14-second opening theme song. That’s a lot longer than any versions you can find on line or on the Huck DVD. There’s a whole extra instrumental chorus with cartoon sound effects. The show closing is different, too. You don’t hear the “boingg” sound at the point where Tony, Jr. would have smacked his head against the tent. Instead, the theme carries on in the instrumental chorus mentioned above and fades out. Art Gilmore gives a plug for Kellogg’s over the open and close. Unfortunately, Mark doesn’t have a picture, just the sound, so he doesn’t know what animation was used over the audio. There’s obviously more than what we’ve been used to seeing for years. My wild guess was that it was used for Canadian markets, where there is/was less commercial time than in the U.S., but I really don’t know.

I haven’t posted the audio because I don’t have Mark’s permission to do so.

If this sounds familiar to anyone out there, please post a comment. Just don’t post anything it says on Wikipedia.

14 comments:

  1. Does this mean that we have to take the January 30, 1961 premiere date of "The Yogi Bear Show" with a grain of salt? For highly personal reasons, I champion that date.

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  2. Not the first time i seen Wikipedia baffled and it don't surprise me since we don't know which sources the peoples used for find their informations.

    Needless to say, it's much easy nowadays to talk about reality TV crap which peoples was get out the last episode than find a much toughful history pan like the Cold War or the October Crisis which they have 40 years this month.

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  3. Phase two of flashbacks.com is going to be "Collections", which is a collaborate encyclopedia of pop culture. But unlike Wikipedia, we will give users much more leeway in posting and formatting. Videos, links to other websites, trivia and just a lot more fun relative information.

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  4. If you are using Wpedia as your sole source of information, yes, salt is desirable. Expand your diet by expending your research, says Dr. Yowp, cartoon nutritionist.

    I don't have listings for every station where Kellogg's bought air time so I don't have exact dates, but the listings I do have indicate the show began on the week of January 30, 1961.

    I thought I had posted a Jan. 1961 wire story on the show's debut because I know I transcribed it, but it must be banked for use next year as the Yogi Show is next on the 50-year-anniversary list.

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  5. Dave, the earliest I can find the Yogi Show is on Monday, Jan. 30, 1961 at 6:30 on KTVU Channel 2. Oddly, it appears to be the only new show on the channel. It ran movies, sitcom reruns (Topper) and some local news.

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  6. I found the issue of Mediascene but it doesn't give any credit to the artist only that it comes from the Hanna-Barbera Studios.

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  7. When I saw the Huckleberry Hound Show in my native Spain in the 60's, it had a different opening sequence than the one found in the DVD. It showed Huck at a circus, but without the Kellogg's rooster; instead, he appeared with Yogi, Pixie, Dixie and Mr. Jinks (who are not featured in the original opening titles). The opening sequence had the HH theme song with Spanish lyrics; the closing sequence had the same theme, but as an instrumental (i.e. without lyrics). The closing sequence was the same one than the opening sequence, but with credits superimposed over it. My guess is that these alternative sequences sans the Kellogg's mascots were made for especially made for the foreign markets, since Kellogg's cereals were then very little known outside the U.S.; in fact, I always wondered myself who on Earth was that rooster who appeared at the beggining of the show and knocked a door from which Huck emerged! (Kellogg's cereals were not introduced in my country until the late 70's).
    I must say that, the day I got my my Huck DVD, ordered from Amazon, I was shocked to see that the HH opening sequence aired originally in the U.S. was different from the one I had grown with! I'd give anyhting to see again that alternative opening!

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  8. Dave, I KNOW why YOU'D take it personally...I've READ your birthday...and I'm guilty of Charlie Brown's SIXTIETH.[Unless we're all wrong about THAT, too.GOod Grief if Good Ol'Charlie Brown debuted outside 10/02/50/.

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  9. Hanna-Barbera did have to do a little reanimation on the titles for the 1959-60 season, due to both the growing popularity of Yogi Bear (Yogi gets a walk-on with Huck to start the Season 2 end titles) and the fact that Kellogg's modified their slogan in early 1959 adding "The Best To You Each Morning," tag that was based off the 1930s song "Good Morning". So after the hugely-successful Season 1 H-B may have animated a full second chorus to the opening to use in Season 2 at the same time as they were making the sponsor-mandated changes to the opening, that was then never used due to time constraints (in the same way the extended opening to "The Mickey Mouse Club" was rarely if ever seen in syndication once the show left ABC, because local stations could use the time better to stick in another 30-second ad).

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  10. thanks for all of this...a great post. I still weep for the lost interstitials.

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  11. Tom, I don't even want to think about that. I gather Mike Lah and then Ed Love did a bunch.

    I've never really expounded on them but I think they helped bring the characters closer to the viewer, watching them interact. It was almost like you were seeing them away from the "role" they played in cartoons but, at the same time, they maintained the same personalities as in the cartoons they starred in.

    The show in Mark's sound file he sent me has interstital audio. They are:

    1. Huck hosts "This is a Life", with Yogi as the subject. The dialogue's great and Daws is very funny.
    2. Yogi and Huck in a canoe (21 seconds).
    3. Jack-in-the-Box for Jinks (20 seconds).
    4. Huck runs a pirate ship. Yogi overboard!

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  12. JL, in the piece Mark sent me, Art Gilmore starts with "Kellogg's Corn Flakes! The Get Going Cereal! Presents..." and ends with "Kellogg's, your best choice in cereals, has brought you 'Huckleberry Hound'!"
    In the opening, the sounds made by the bulb-horns that Cornelius squeezes are different than what you hear on the DVD set and the different CDs of the opening theme. Even the rooster crow is slightly different.

    And it even includes the soundtrack of the commercials.

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  13. Yowp:

    If that's the VO, then you're right, it may have been done for the non-U.S. market, since AFAIK, "The Get Going Cereal" was never used domestically as a company slogan in that period, but it could have been the slogan the Canadian division was using (the Season 1 to Season 2 slogan changes on Huck were mirrored on another show with opening animation, "What's My Line?" Here's the Kellogg's opening from 1958, and here's the opening from 1959).

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  14. Meanwhile, I have a copy of the Hanna-Barbera studio calendar from 1982 (as commemorated the studio's 25th Anniversary) as gives Huck's "birthday" to be January 17th! (Its giving the "birthdays" and special holidays relating to some of its characters was common on the annual studio calendar, given to employees, retirees and selected fans, well into the 1980's).

    From the same calendar, it may be interesting to know where the scene for March shows Huck saying "hi" to Sheriff Pudge Trollsom, his daughter Pixlee and her romantic interest Blitz Lumpkin, all from Trollkins, a Smurfs wannabe which 3400 Cahuenga produced for CBS in the 1981-2 season. (March 17th, incidentally, is, along with St. Patrick's Day, given as the day of the "Trollkins Trot." Whatever THAT is.)

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