Most people think of “Ruff and Reddy” in purely historical terms. The show comes up when the origins of the Hanna-Barbera studio are reviewed. Few people really consider it to have entertainment value. I don’t even remember watching it as a kid in the early ‘60s and I saw just about any cartoon that was on TV. Bugs and Daffy were funny. Huck and Quick Draw were funny. Ruff and Reddy weren’t. I don’t even find them likeable, especially Reddy. But they launched the H-B empire, and that’s their claim to fame.
NBC worked out a five-year deal in 1957 to air the Ruff and Reddy cartoons, which were originally part of a Saturday morning, half-hour package that also contained old theatrical shorts from the Screen Gems (Columbia) studio, woven together by a live action host and his puppets. It lasted three years. Then NBC brought back the Ruff and Reddy cartoons on September 29, 1962 for another two seasons. The format was changed. “Lo the Poor Buffal” and other lame Columbia shorts were retired and Ruff and Reddy’s adventures were tuned in on a screen by a host named Captain Bob, who interacted with puppets between the cartoons. It aired out of New York City. You can read more on Ron Kurer’s fine site HERE.
Someone on-line has posted a dub of a black-and-white print of the Captain Bob version of the show that was broadcast May 4, 1963. The best part may be the animated commercials for Fruit Stripe gum which will bring back memories to those of us of a certain age. The production values are ultra-low by network standards. It sounds like someone borrowed the Wurlitzer organ used on “Concentration” (which also aired out of NBC New York) and the cat drawing that’s moved across the set on a bobbing stick is so cheesy it’s funny. You can even hear what sounds like someone leaning back in a metal chair while the announcer is opening the show.
The Ruff and Reddy adventure that’s shown comes from the first season (1957-58) and is from Series ‘C’, “Westward Ho Ho Ho.” I think the animation is by Carlo Vinci. It features music from the Capitol Hi-Q ‘D’ series and some of it never appeared in any other Hanna-Barbera series. And you can catch a personal favourite, TC-205 LIGHT MOVEMENT, when the sheep appear in the first cartoon.