Saturday, January 28, 2012

Yogi Bear — Wound-Up Bear

Produced and Directed by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera
Animation – Don Patterson; Layout – Tony Rivera; Backgrounds – Joe Montell; Story – Warren Foster; Titles – Art Goble; Production Supervision – Howard Hanson (no credits).
Voice Cast: Yogi, Bill, Cabin Woman 2 (Vera), Souvenier Shop Guy, Lodge Man 1 – Daws Butler; Boo Boo, Ranger Smith, Wife, Cabin Woman 1, Lodge Man 2 – Don Messick.
Music: Jack Shaindlin; Bill Loose/John Seely; Spencer Moore; Raoul Kraushaar?.
First Aired: week of December 28, 1959 (rerun, July 4, 1960)
Plot: Yogi disguises Boo Boo, them himself, as wind-up toys to get goodies.

I don’t really want to bash Tony Rivera, but has Ranger Smith ever looked uglier than he does in cartoon? Check this drawing from a walk cycle.



And at the start of the cartoon, Mr. Ranger looks like a neckless triangle. In fairness, the rest of the character designs aren’t bad at all. Tony even created some cute toy bears in the window of a souvenir store which spark the plot of the story. Tony’s career started at Disney in 1934 and after the strike there in 1941, he bounced to and fro on his own volition (everywhere except Warners, it appears), spent time in commercial work in the ‘50s and then landed at Hanna-Barbera. His son has a web site and you can check out some of Tony’s sketches HERE.

Tony was ending his career at Hanna-Barbera when Scott Shaw! was there. Scott passes on this remembrance:


"Tony Rivera was a very talented cartoonist/layout man and a very kind man...and he could draw FUNNY...even on scenes that didn't have a scintilla of humor in the script or storyboard. Tony went out of his way to teach me many trickier points of layout when we worked together in Hanna-Barbera's layout department during the late 1970s and early 1980s. But being the gentleman that he was, Tony never acted like an instructor; he's pretend that he was asking me a layout question while showing me the best way to do, say, a bicycle pan. I owe him a lot, for both his knowledge and his friendship."

Back to our cartoon...

Ranger Smith’s character is still new. He was developed by Warren Foster after Barbera and Charlie Shows used generic rangers in Yogi’s first season on the Huck show. Smith started out as a grumpy, weary-of-Jellystone guy before he was turned into a friendly adversary. He’s grumpy in this cartoon and pretty enjoyable. Foster comes up with a great line for him in the middle of the cartoon. Fed up with endless phone calls about thieving toy bears, he slams down the phones and says (as Rivera moves in for a closer shot) “Mabel and her charge accounts. We could have had that chicken ranch by now.”

Don Patterson’s the animator here and he’s much like Ed Love; he’s trying to get a bit more animation into his scenes. At the start of the cartoon, he’s animating dialogue of Yogi Bear in a medium close shot. The lower body doesn’t move, but Patterson changes the angle of the head horizontally and vertically during the talking. Eye pupils change position. We even get Yogi (on twos) wagging his head like a bell tolling when he says the word “pic-a-nic baskets.” It would have been easier just to animate the mouth and having maybe two head positions (like Lew Marshall) but Patterson goes for a few extra drawings to try to wring something out of limited animation. You can tell his stuff by looking at his closed eyes; they’re almost like triangle cut in half.

The cartoon features the basic Ranger-vs-Yogi plot. The Ranger nails up a sign that prohibits the feeding of bears (that appears in almost nine seconds of a static shot). Yogi is hungry. He tries to con the Ranger into telling him the “new red tape” doesn’t apply to him. The Ranger responds with a threat to send him to the St. Louis Zoo. Yogi shrugs off that “it’s back to the nuts and berries” when he sees the wind-up toy bears and gets an idea.



“Whatever it is, the ranger won’t like it, Yogi,” opines Boo Boo, as he watches Yogi pound a large turn-key into a toilet plunger suction cup. The idea is to attach it to Boo Boo so he can act like a toy bear and “having a lot of yummy fun” at the picnic grounds. Boo Boo figures he’s not going to like it either. So Yogi turns Boo Boo into a common thief, as the little bear puts on a mechanical walk (two drawings on twos, with smears to show motion). He’s a success at the beginning, ripping off a cake from a bored couple. “Beats me how they get a toy to do that,” drones Bill to his wife (the preponderance of incidental characters named ‘Bill’ in cartoons produced by Bill Hanna can hardly be a coincidence).



Not only is Yogi pimping Boo Boo to get food, he’s also a pig. And a noisy one. We cut to a scene where he’s licking his fingers. Très gauche. “Very good, Boob. Next time, you get a piece,” promises Yogi. Yeah, he slobbered down the whole cake. But that’s not good enough. He’s thinking bigger. So he shoves the mechanical Boo Boo towards a tourist cabin, where the reluctant accomplice opens an oven and grabs Vera’s apple pie (Vera Ohman was a background artist at Hanna-Barbera and married to Howard Hanson, the production supervisor). Mercifully, Boo Boo didn’t burn himself opening the oven. Yogi silently chortles about the blatant theft, which he calls “a little fun, son.” Ah, for the later, creative days when Yogi warned children against such behaviour, while piloting a spruce goose or an arc or a yo or some such thing. Oh. No one watched those cartoons, did they?

The cartoon has reached the scene where Ranger Smith laments about Mabel, and off he goes to investigate. “Last year, the flying saucer, the year before, the serpent in the lake and, now, toy bears,” he says to himself sceptically before he stops at the gift shop to investigate. He has the store operator give him a demonstration of the wind-up toy. The store owner’s as Jellystone-weary as the ranger is.


Smith: Is that all these things do?
Shop Owner: You’re expecting maybe a floor show?
Smith: You wouldn’t have one that steals picnic baskets, would you?
Shop Owner: No, but I’m workin’ on one that washes cars and whistles “Yankee Doodle” at the same time.

Notice the thin 5 O’Clock shadow on the ranger and the shop owner. Rivera seems to have liked that on his characters. And Smith has a really bad overbite, which is one of Patterson’s traits.

In later cartoons, Ranger Smith would instantly suspect Yogi as the culprit. Perhaps he’s reasonably newly-invented by Foster, he hasn’t caught on to the nefarious bear’s ways. Better make that lying nefarious bear. The ranger tells Yogi he has a problem. “Tempo of the times. International tensions. Et-cetera, et-cetera,” suggests Yogi. The ranger shakes his head while Yogi’s angularly moves his from side to side. No, it’s a toy bear, Smith sadly declares. Yogi blows his chance at honest. “I never did trust those toy bears,” says Yogi, ironically holding his hands in prayer and looking skyward, as if to ask his Creator (and we don’t mean Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera) to bless his B.S. So we now have a sacrilegious, lying, nefarious bear. Foster gets out his old “you’re one of the good ones” lines and we see the hiding Boo Boo gulp as the ranger promises to take apart the thief “spring by spring.”



Boo Boo quits to open the next scene. Yogi, instead of being understanding, basically called his best friend a wuss. “Never send a little bear to do the work of a big bear,” says Yogi as he plucks the wind-up key from Boo Boo’s back and puts it on his. Then, it’s off to the Lodge where he steals a refrigerator (but not before a Gleason-eque “And away I go” which, no doubt, pleased those Gleason-loving Hanna and Barbera). Here are Patterson’s two drawings of Yogi as a wind-up toy, slowed down.

Wound Up Yogi

Meanwhile, Ranger Smith has all the toy bears in his office and has counted them all. “This should wind-up the wind-up toy bear bit,” he says. Reader J. Lee would point out that Smith’s eyes look toward the camera, signalling he’s about to pull a groaner on us.

The Lodge calls to report the refrigerator theft. Smith finally clues in that it’s Yogi and lets out with a crazy laugh. Ah, but he hasn’t gone nuts. He sets a trap for the thieving bear—a loaded picnic table. Yogi sees it and his hat does a spinning take (by contrast, Yogi’s body remains rigid and the background drawing slides behind him). “With food on the table, I’m willing and able,” rhymes Yogi, who then turns to the camera to make sure we got it. Yogi gets in the whole role here by enunciating like a mechanical toy. As he grabs a cake, the ranger pops out from behind a tree. Yogi still won’t give up the fraud. “I am not a Yo-gi, sir. I am a mech-an-i-cal bear,” he stiffly states. “Good,” says Smith, who then comes out from behind the tree, showing his own wind-up key in the back. “Because I’m a wind-up ranger. And I’m winding up your park career.” Yogi and the ranger are nose-to-nose. Yogi drops the cake and zips out the frame. The ranger’s nose bounces up and down, another little bit that Patterson added that you wouldn’t see in an H-B cartoon (except in a take) within a year or so.



The Ranger chases Yogi down the road and into the distance, but not before Foster fits in a reference to the song title “Meet Me in St. Louis, Louis.” No one’s named ‘Louis’ here; Foster seems to think just referring to it is funny. But, obviously, the pilfering bear’s comeuppance isn’t being shipped to the zoo, any more than Ranger Smith’s wife is named ‘Mabel’ anywhere but in this cartoon. Yogi’s back in Jellystone for another adventure next week.

This is one of a few Yogi cartoons in the second season that doesn’t open with a narrator.

Lots of Jack Shaindlin music in this cartoon and there’s that short reverbed trumpet which I haven’t located.


0:00 = Yogi Bear Sub Main Title Theme (Curtin-Hanna-Barbera)
0:13 - C-3 DOMESTIC CHILDREN (Loose-Seely) – Ranger nails sign, Yogi looks in window, Yogi hammers wind-up key.
1:32 - LAF-4-6 PIXIE PRANKS (Shaindlin) – Yogi and Boo Boo walk out of cave, Boo Boo walks away with cake, makes off with pie.
2:53 - creepy muted horn music (Kraushaar?) – Ranger in office.
3:18 - LAF-10-7 GROTESQUE No 2 (Shaindlin) – Ranger in souvenir shop, talks with Yogi, Boo Boo quits.
4:57 - LAF-1-1 FISHY STORY (Shaindlin) – Ranger counts toy bears.
5:08 - L-75 COMEDY UNDERSCORE (Moore) – Yogi goes to lodge, takes fridge.
5:36 - LAF-25-3 bassoon and zig zag strings (Shaindlin) – Ranger in office.
6:05 - TC-437 SHOPPING DAY (Loose-Seely) – Ranger leaves cake for Yogi, Yogi grabs cake, wind-up ranger, Yogi runs away.
6:45 - LICKETY SPLIT (Shaindlin) – Ranger chases Yogi into horizon.
6:58 - Yogi Bear Sub End Title Theme (Curtin).

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Ruff and Reddy Story Drawings

I’m not a big fan of Ruff and Reddy, but I am a fan of old storyboards. And some story panels from a couple of Ruff and Reddy episodes have showed up on line. I suspect they’re the work of Dan Gordon, who did story sketches for Hanna-Barbera for the first two years (and then some) of the studio’s life. They’re pretty attractive.






I didn’t make notes, but I think these came from the Van Eaton Gallery, which sells all kinds of animation art.

Here’s a layout drawing of Olaf, the little Viking boy who appeared in the second season.



Joe Barbera must have been hot for scripts with little blond boys that year. The cave kid Ubble Ubble was also introduced that season.



As I mentioned, I’m not a big fan of the series so I can’t tell you which cartoon in the Pinky adventure this is from. I can tell you it was used in newspaper publicity art. And that Reddy is fatter than he should be.

One of the reasons Ruff and Reddy never appealed much to me as a kid is that it wasn’t funny like Huck or Quick Draw. I couldn’t get into the characters. And it really seems aimed at younger kids; when you’re exposed to Warners and Fleischer cartoons and adult sitcoms as a child, who wants dull kid stuff? Here’s a dialogue sheet, apparently one used by Don Messick. All the lines that are changed are Messick’s.



Someone had the sense to cross out material that made the narration seem like it was talking down to kids even more. Wisely, Barbera, Gordon and writer Charlie Shows decided the studio’s next venture, The Huckleberry Hound Show, may have been in what was a kids’ timeslot in the network radio days, but went for a general audience instead. Barbera’s stories and Shows’ dialogue were more hit than miss, and it was Huck, not Ruff and Reddy, that gave the studio its initial fame.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Flintstones Sunday Comics, January 1962

I’ve now managed to find all the colour Flintstones for this month 50 years ago. They’re from different papers and some are not in the best shape but I’ll post them anyway.

The most interesting comic is the one for January 21. There’s a little girl with a bone in her hair. Yes, we all know that describes Pebbles Flintstones, but she didn’t appear for the first time until February 22, 1963. The connection between the comic and the not-even-foetal Pebbles is Gene Hazleton. He was in charge of the Sunday comics for Hanna-Barbera and Ed Benedict explained that Hazleton designed Pebbles.

With that, let’s look at the comics.


January 7, 1962


January 14, 1962


January 21, 1962


January 28, 1962

You can click on any of them to make them bigger.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Snooper and Blabber — Desperate Diamond Dimwits

Produced and Directed by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera.
Credits: Animation – Ken Muse; Layout – Walt Clinton; Backgrounds – Fernando Montealegre; Story – Mike Maltese; Story Sketches – Dan Gordon; Titles – Art Goble; Production Supervision – Howard Hanson.
Voice Cast: Snooper, Light Fingers François – Daws Butler; Narrator, Blabber, Dog Catcher – Elliot Field.
Music: Phil Green, Jack Shaindlin, Harry Bluestone/Emil Cadkin.
First aired: week of November 2, 1959 (rerun, week of May 2, 1959).
Episode: Quick Draw McGraw Show M-006, Production J-7.
Plot: Snooper and Blabber try to retrieve the King Size Diamond that Light Fingers François, disguised as a dog, has hidden in a fake bone.

Childhood was filled with immeasurable pastimes, and one of the more enjoyable ones was counting how many times a character ran past the same thing in the background of a Hanna-Barbera cartoon. Pixie and Dixie adventures seemed specially made for such a joyous activity, but there were other cartoons, too. Like this one.

The bad guy, Light Fingers François, steals the King Size Diamond and runs with it down the street. See that building with the gibberish sign? Light Fingers runs past it three times. Cut back to Snooper and Blabber. Cut back to François, who runs past it another 14 times. François loses the diamond (which is concealed in a dog bone) and it flies past the store another three times. And that’s just in this one scene.



The gibberish building appears in the first scene of this cartoon as a narrator does a Dragnet put-on, intoning “This is a true case. Only the characters are ridiculous.” It doesn’t return until the second half of the cartoon. The first half is set inside Sparkle Jewelry, where Snooper and Blabber are guarding the diamond. Blab engages in some overwrought hero worship, something he did in later cartoons. “Leave us face it,” Snoop says to us, “This kid’ll go far.”

The camera pans over to the window where the narrator introduces the bad guy, Light Fingers François. Daws Butler gives him the same Blacque Jacques Shellacque-ish voice that he used for Powerful Pierre in the Huck cartoons. François’ scam: disguise himself as a cute, lovable dog to ingratiate himself with the detectives and get close to the diamond. And it works. The fake pooch treats his bone like a rifle and walks, sentry-like, past the diamond, with some Phil Green marching music in the background. Snooper and Blabber go for a snack-type lunch.” François hides the diamond in the bone but Blab has been looking back at his new pet the whole time and sees it. The detectives start chasing him. “Here’s mud in your private eye,” cries François, lifting up his head temporarily to reveal his identity. Then Mike Maltese shamelessly puts this pun in the mouth of Snooper: “Yeah. There’s skul-doggery afoot.”



We get to see a lot of the gibberish store as the chase moves to the street. François loses the bone because he’s so busy looking back at Snooper and Blabber he runs into a light pole. The bone goes flying and smashes into a garbage can-diving bulldog in the butt. The dog thinks it has a delicious meal but François grabs the bone and darts off.



Now the bulldog joins the chase. Maltese decides to treat him as a real bulldog and not give him any lines, unlike the dog with the diamond ring on its tail chased by Snooper and Blabber later in the season in ‘Doggone Dog, Gone.’ Possession of the bone keeps changing throughout the cartoon. Snoop gets it back, but then the bulldog grabs it when Snoop hides in the garbage can seen earlier. You can tell Ken Muse worked on the cartoon; the bulldog has a resemblance to Spike in the last few Tom and Jerry shorts at MGM (as does François as a dog in a few poses). Snoop lets out with his catchphrase: “Stop in the name of the Ajax Private Eye School.”

I like the cause-and-effect gag next. François skids to a stop, pulls out a stick from somewhere and tells the bulldog to fetch it. Snooper skids up to François, who pulls out another stick. It’s only logical in Snoop’s mind that he fetches it. That’s what one does with sticks. François takes off. The dog, then Snoop, skid back into the scene with sticks in their mouths. “Leave us to admit it Bow wow. We goofed,” he says to the bulldog. Au revoir, goofers,” François says as a cap to the gag.

Blab now grabs the bone from François by hiding in a mailbox (“Fooey to you-ey, Louie,” says Blab to François, reminiscent of Bugs Bunny saying to Yosemite Sam “So long, screwy, see ya in St. Louie” in Hare Trigger, also written by Maltese). . François gets the bone back by taking a baseball bat to the mailbox. Blab vibrates out the door in back, which conveniently opens. But the vibrating bone causes François to vibrate (a gag I’m trying to place from somewhere). “Just call me ‘Shakey,’” says the smiling François to the audience.



“‘Snakey’ is better, you jewel thief,” says Snoop, whose arm reaches into the scene and grabs the bone. The chase is on again. François uses Snoop’s catchphrase: “Stop in zee name of zee International Jewel Thief Association!” Snoop skids to a stop when he sees the bulldog in front of him. He pulls out a stick and tells the bulldog to fetch it. The bulldog isn’t having any of it. “You fetch it,” he growls as he tosses Snooper out of the scene. François grabs the bone, runs and stops. He’s pleased with himself until a net suddenly slams onto of him. “How do you ya like dat? No dog license, no nuttin’,” says a dog catcher, who hauls off François. I’ll avoid comment on “some day, you’ll go to the dogs pun,” Maltese uses here.

The final scene has Snooper pleading with the bulldog to tell him where the bone is. The camera pans to reveal a hill with a bunch of holes in it and Blabber digging with a shovel trying to find it. “Pretty please with sugar on it? Strawberries in season?” grovels Snooper in a line you’d expect out of Maltese. The cartoon’s over and while François apparently never escapes from the dog pound, the gibberish building returns in a few other cartoons later in the season. It was rare for H-B to reuse backgrounds but they did it with this one (there are seven buildings of various sizes on the street).



This cartoon marks the fourth and final one for the different-sounding Blab. He was voiced by KFWB afternoon drive show host Elliot Field. Daws Butler took over the role in the next cartoon then continued to do it until the day he died.

The bulk of the music is by Phil Green and Jack Shaindlin in this cartoon, all to good effect. Green’s ‘And They All Lived Happily Ever After’ sounds like ‘The Toyland Parade’ for a good reason. Both are from his ‘Kiddie Comedy Suite’; the latter is the overture and the former is the ending. The sound cutter uses the second half of the cue.


0:00 - Snooper and Blabber Main Title theme (Curtin, Hanna, Barbera).
0:25 - PG-181F MECHANICAL BRIDGE (Green) – Pan of city street, shot of diamond.
0:40 - GR-90 THE CHEEKY CHAPPIE (Green) – Snooper and Blabber in front of diamond, pan to window.
1:17 - CRAZY GOOF (Shaindlin) – François at window, dresses as dog, gets hired, rushes out of scene.
2:18 - GR-259 AND THEY ALL LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER (Green) – François/Dog marches in front of display case, grabs diamond, “Light Fingers strikes again.”
2:45 - GR-453 THE ARTFUL DODGER (Green) – Snoop and Blab return, François/Dog runs away.
3:10 - LFU-117-2 MAD RUSH No 2 (Shaindlin) – Snoop and Blab run after François, François runs into light pole.
3:43 - PG-160G LIGHT MOVEMENT (Green) – Bone flies through air, hits bulldog, bulldog runs out of garbage can.
3:54 - SIX DAY BICYCLE RACE (Shaindlin) – Bulldog runs after François, Snoop grabs bone, jumps in garbage can.
4:12 - LFU-117-3 MAD RUSH No 3 (Shaindlin) – Bulldog reaches into garbage can, François grabs bone, skids to stop.
4:33 - GR-99 THE DIDDLECOMB HUNT (Green) – François plays fetch with bulldog and Snooper, Blabber grabs bone, François bashes mailbox, Blab shakes, François shakes, “Snakey is better, you jewel thief”
5:40 - GR-77 CUSTARD PIE CAPERS (Green) – Snoop runs with bone, bulldog growls.
5:53 - CB-85A STEALTHY MOUSE (Bluestone-Cadkin) – Snoop tries to play fetch with bulldog, François netted by dog catcher.
6:39 - ASININE (Shaindlin) – Snoop pleads with bulldog.
7:09 - Snooper and Blabber End Title theme (Curtin)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Meet the Flintstones (Collector)

I’ve never been quite sure how a sheep feels so, therefore, I’m not quite sure what feeling sheepish is like. But perhaps I feel it now.

I’ve posted pictures of Hanna-Barbera merchandise from the distant past sent to me by various readers who have found it on the internet. I’m not a collector myself, other than of DVDs of the funny old cartoons (and, I suppose, the music on the original H-B cartoons). But one of our readers is. And Dave Nimitz and his Flintstones collection has been profiled on an internet web site in a post that, frankly, is far more in depth than anything I’ve ever been motivated to write here.
So please direct your attention to BEYOND THE MARQUIS, as Dave shows off what he’s found over the years and proudly displays in his apartment.

I probably should have talked to Dave and posted something here but, to be honest, my batting average getting people to agree to be interviewed here is pretty low. And this blog is a little something to do in my spare time and I really don’t have a lot of it. By the way, one thing the post doesn’t mention is Dave’s friendship with some of the great voice actors of cartoons past, like June Foray.

Now’s a good time to segue into more pictures of old H-B merchandise found on the internet by reader Billie Towzer.



Thanks to the folks at Standard Toykraft Products of Brooklyn, New York, you could make your own plaster versions of Huckleberry Hound, Quick Draw McGraw and Yogi Bear. This was sold in 1960.



You think of Ideal Toys when you think of Pebbles Dolls, but (as Dave Nimitz can attest), Knickerbocker made them, too. They’re 3½ inches tall. The company made Fred and Barney, too.



Knickerbocker also made plastic banks. Here’s one of Quick Draw from 1960. There were a couple of different ones, and a Baba Looey bank as well.



Billie didn’t identify these two plastic Hucks. I’ll bet Greg down the I-5 can tell us what they are. (Late note: See the comment section).



And we wouldn’t have had Huck, Quick Draw and Yogi if it hadn’t been for the folks at ♫♪♫♪ K-E-Double L-O-Double Good... well, you know the song. Oh, horrors! Cereal with, with... SUGAR! And a gun! Hey, you can’t let kids eat that. They’ll grow up to be obese murderers.

My thanks to Billie for peering around the ‘net and passing on these pictures.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Huckleberry Hound — Pony Boy Huck

Produced and Directed by Joe Barbera and Bill Hanna.
Credits: Animation – La Verne Harding; Layout – Tony Rivera; Backgrounds – Bob Gentle; Story – Warren Foster; Story Sketches – Dan Gordon; Titles – Art Goble; Production Supervision – Howard Hanson.
Voice Cast: Narrator, Chief Crazy Coyote, Vulture, 2nd Pony Express Manager – Don Messick; Huckleberry Hound, Pony Express Manager, Horse – Daws Butler.
Music: Spencer Moore; Jack Shaindlin; Raoul Kraushaar?
First aired: week of Dec. 28, 1959 (rerun, week of July 4, 1960).
Episode: Huckleberry Hound Show No K-035.
Plot: Pony Express rider Huck has to get the mail past Chief Crazy Coyote.

Chief Crazy Coyote and the Joe Besser horse are back in La Verne Harding’s first attempt at animating Huck (her last one was in the fourth season). Harding’s animation is pretty undistinguished here, and Tony Rivera’s design of the horse is much more streamlined than Walt Clinton’s in the first Huck/Crazy Coyote match-up. Warren Foster’s story has some cute bits in it.

Foster used a narration device in a bunch of cartoons, with Don Messick as a narrator intoning “This picture is dedicated to...” This was the first one where he tried it. (Pet Vet and Huck’s Hack were the others in Huck’s second season). In this case, it’s “dedicated to the memory of the Pony Express riders” and opens with Huck and his horse in long shot. Foster tries a running gag when Huck enters the Pony Express office. Huck’s told he’s being assigned the duty of delivering a package because “you, above all others, live up to our proud motto.” Huck doesn’t know what he’s talking about. After it’s explained (“the mail must go through”), Huck promises he will live up to the “proud mott-to.” As he walks to the horse stable, he repeats the sentence over and over, emphasising a different word each time. “I gots to ree-member to learn that proud mott-to.”

The next gag’s fun. Huck’s horse is reluctant to take him on the delivery. He peeks out of the stable and up and puts his hoof out. “Oh, come on! It’s not rainin’!” Huck shouts at him.

Okay, the narration sets up some spot gags of Huck getting on the horse. He slides along the side of the galloping horse to mount him. “Performed at full speed, it was a beautiful thing to watch,” says our solemn narrator. Huck crashes into a fence post. Hanna’s timing is perfect. “As we were saying...” intones Messick. This time, the horse mounts Huck. “Now what did I do wrong?” Huck says to the audience.



We fade into the next scene and Huck is riding the horse. Huck hits the horse with a switch to get him to go faster. The horse stops, turns and tells him he doesn’t like it and won’t say it. Foster resists the temptation to add “Or I’ll give you such a pinch. You cra-zy!”

If you’ve lost track, Crazy Coyote is supposed to be the antagonist. We’re a third of the way through the cartoon and he hasn’t shown up yet. Foster has to toss in a “Neither rain, nor snow” narration gag. Messick describes torrential rains, snow-choked passes (all we see is a hat moving on top of the snow) and the deepest rivers. The horse stops short of the river but all Huck does it fly across to the other side with a wimpy sound effect landing. The gag is apparently the way Daws Butler bends his vowels when he says “starch” and “cuffs.”

Huck’s now in ‘Injun Country’, where you “cain’t be too careful...Ol’ Crazy Coyote shows up where you least expect him.” While Huck’s saying all this, the top-hatted chief is sitting right behind him on the horse, baying like (presumably) a coyote, and Huck’s telling us a coyote’s out there and not far away. Huck doesn’t notice for a good 20 seconds of screen time until Craze says he wants off at Big Rock. And even then, he’s pretty casual about it, telling him it’s against the rules to take on riders. “Oh, bro-ther!” says the Besser horse. And he doesn’t even know it’s Crazy Coyote until the chief tells him in the next scene. Harding wastes a chance at a take. All that happens is the camera cuts from a two-shot of Huck with his eyes half closed and the Chief to a shot of Huck with his eyes fully-opened. Lame.



Foster pulls a gag out of nowhere. Crazy Coyote grabs the letter Huck’s delivering so Huck pulls out his gun. The chief responds by holding up the letter wherever Huck moves the barrel of his gun because if the letter gets damaged by bullets, Huck will be fired. So Huck simply shoots into the air and a buzzard falls from the sky and lands on top of Crazy Coyote. “Sorry I had to use you, Mr. Vulture.” The vulture responds with his best impression of Señor Wences: “S’all right.”

Anyone recognise the next gag? The chief does a war dance. Cut to a shot of a chart that teaches him the steps. The only thing that screws up the bit is he explains what he’s doing and then reads what’s on the chart. Not only can we see it for ourselves, the gag’s over by the time he’s finished talking. Oh, and Craze does his “hee-haw” laugh to stretch out the scene even more.



You should recognise the next gag. Crazy Coyote rolls a boulder down the steep slope of the Great Divide to bowl down Huck and his horse. But “Shucks. Me miss-um.” The boulder rolls past the pair up the other side of a cliff and into the air. Yeah, suddenly Crazy Coyote is emulating another cartoon coyote. The boulder lands on top of him as he looks at the audience, gets into a Jackie Gleason-esque pose and says “And away-um we go.” The scene ends with Crazy (Coyote, not Guggenheim) under the rock giving a weird muffled laugh that sounds like Gloop or Gleep from The Herculoids (also voiced by Don Messick).

Short gag. Narrator: “But as the brave rider presses on”—we see more cycle footage of Huck riding the horse—“a relentless redskin draws a bead and fires!” Crazy Coyote turns as he aims his rifle and points it against a rock. The bullet, of course, can’t get out the front end, so it explodes inside the rifle. Muffled laugh by Craze again.



Huck finally arrives at the Pony Express station. But the horse keeps riding right through it, up a flight of stairs (as we can tell by the camera pan up and to the left) and out an upstairs window. Foster just gives Huck a few “whoa”s but avoids turning him into Yosemite Sam going “Aw, come on, horsey, pretty please” and so on (Foster, of course, wrote a majority of the Bugs-Sam cartoons at Warners).

So Huck “brought the mail through, just like our motto says,” the Pony Express guy behind the desk tells him. “Well, I’m right humble, and grateful, and proud, and grateful and humble...” “Never mind all that,” the Express guy interrupts. He hands Huck the letter and him told he has to deliver it in person—to Chief Crazy Coyote. The final scene has a close-up of Huck, with galloping sounds in the background, telling us he has to keep his eyes peeled for Crazy Coyote because he’s liable to show up any place. Cut to a medium shot that reveals Huck is riding atop Crazy Coyote’s hat. We hear the hee-haw laugh and the cartoon fades out to end.

Crazy Coyote made one more appearance, in the third season’s Huck Hound’s Tale, which is similar in plot to the first season cartoon written by Charlie Shows.

The music is a bit of a nightmare here. Someone decided to give Huck a chase cue every time he rode his horse, and Crazy Coyote a couple of the standard Indian cues in the Hi-Q library when he appeared. But there are cases when a cue is heard for a few seconds, then the sound cutter cuts into the middle of one of the familiar pieces of stock music generally used on Huck cartoons. It doesn’t flow. You can hear the interruption. If you have a staff composer, (s)he can blend it together, but it doesn’t work with a stock library of different composers, arrangements and tempos.

You’ll see I haven’t identified most of the music. I have some chase themes on a few reels of the Hi-Q ‘D’ series which sound similar to what’s used when Huck’s on horseback but not that one. That’s if it is only one; I honestly can’t tell. My guess is the chase theme and the Indian music were written by whoever ghost-wrote for Geordie Hormel or Spencer Moore. The Indian music may be in the Hi-Q ‘X’ series but I haven’t been able to locate it. The chase cue was only used in this one cartoon.


0:00 - Huckleberry Hound Sub Main Title theme (Curtin)
0:25 - medium dramatic chase (?) – long shot of Huck and horse on plains, Huck walks into Pony Express Station
0:38 - creepy reverb trumpet music (Kraushaar?) – Huck in Pony Express office.
1:09 - L-70 COMEDY UNDERSCORE (Moore) – Huck mumbles to himself, horse looks for rain, horse takes off.
1:38 - medium dramatic chase (?) – Huck tries to get on horse, horse skids to stop.
2:14 - TC-201 PIXIE COMEDY (Loose-Seely) – Horse complains to Huck.
2:35 - medium dramatic chase (?) – Huck on horse, weather gags.
3:03 - four beat tom-tom/flute cue (?) – shot of Injun Territory map, Crazy Coyote howls like coyote.
3:19 - medium dramatic chase (?) – Huck on horseback, “Whoa!”
3:49 - TC-303 ZANY COMEDY (Loose-Seely) – Huck talks to Crazy Coyote, Vulture drops on Crazy Coyote.
4:35 - medium dramatic chase (?) – Huck on horse.
4:39 - four beat tom-tom/flute cue (?) – Chief does war dance, shot of foot chart.
4:57 - two drum-beat cue (?) – Crazy Coyote laughs.
4:59 - medium dramatic chase (?) – Huck and horse up Great Divide, slide down.
5:14 - four beat tom-tom/flute cue (?) – Crazy Coyote on mountain, pushes rock.
5:20 - medium dramatic chase (?) – Huck and horse slide down, rock goes past them, lands on Crazy Coyote,
5:31 - four beat tom-tom/flute cue (?) – Crazy Coyote looks down hill.
5:35 - medium dramatic chase (?) – Rock rolls down mountain, crashes on Crazy Coyote, Huck rides, Crazy Coyote’s rifle goes off, horse rides into Pony Express office.
6:23 - no music. Pan up side of building, Huck and horse crash through window, thud.
6:32 - PIXIE PRANKS (Shaindlin) – Huck in office.
6:55 - LAF-72-2 RODEO DAY (Shaindlin) – Huck on Crazy Coyote.
7:10 - Huckleberry Hound Sub End Title theme (Curtin)