Saturday, August 9, 2014

He's 91

A happy birthday wish to this man.



Okay, you may know him better as:



Or as:



If you haven’t guessed it’s John Stephenson, you must be new to Hanna-Barbera cartoons.

You can read more about his long career by clicking on this old post. He appeared on camera in a pile of shows, with a regular role on “The People’s Choice,” guest appearances on many others (including “The Beverly Hillbillies;” the picture above is from a 1963 episode), and a hosting job on a documentary show called “Bold Venture” on ABC. Mr. Stephenson told the Milwaukee Journal years ago that he auditioned for both Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble when “The Flintstones” was being cast. Evidently, Joe Barbera heard something in his voice that resulted in a long career as co-starring or incidental voices in Hanna-Barbera cartoons, including Fancy Fancy on “Top Cat” and “Mr Slate” on “The Flintstones.” In a way, his connection with Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera’s animation came earlier when he landed a job with the Philip Morris Co. announcing “I Love Lucy” in 1951 You can hear his voice over the animation that originally opened the show, animation made by the Hanna-Barbera unit at MGM.

We understand Mr. Stephenson enjoyed his birthday with his family and at least one piece of his favourite banana cream pie. We wish him the best of the day and hope he enjoys good health for birthdays to come.

13 comments:

  1. Congratulations,Fancy-Fancy,Mr.Slate,et.al Oh and you too,John.May you have many more birthdays!

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  2. Mr. Stephenson! We Love You! We admire you! We praise your acting performances. And may you be with us for many more years. P.S. And may get royals from all the actors who imitate you.

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  3. They imitate you out of love and respect towards you.

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  4. Glad to see he's NOT dead as reported some years ago. Happy birthday..Mr.Slate..! SteveC.

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  5. John became a favorite in the late 1950s for roles with George Burns' McCadden Productions (which included The People's Choice and The Burns and Allen Show -- here's a scene of John getting George throw in jail for Christmas from a 1956 episode)

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  6. A belated many happy returns, John, and many more of them to come :D

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  7. May he continue having as much laughs and joy as the ones he has given to us. I'm sorry, hope this isn't a delicate thing to ask, but is he retired. We don't hear enough of him lately.

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  8. A belated Happy Birthday!!! I love his performances on Scooby Doo, Dynomutt, and of course as Mr. Slate on The Flintstones. His impressions of Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Jimmy Durante (!!), and Joe Flynn are wonderful to hear. I'd love to have seen him on-camera performing any one of those vocalizations.

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  9. Less we forget he was the voice of Dr. Benton Quest for six episodes of Johnny Quest. Thanks John for you mountain of work,

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  10. Most of us grew up on this fine artist.I have always loved his voice work, as well as appearances on " Hogan's Heroes ", Gomer Pyle USMC " and countless other television shows.. Happy Birthday, many happy returns of the day.

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  11. Anon, yes, Mr. Stephenson retired a few years ago.

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  12. Thank you, John for your years of outstanding work. As you continue to enjoy your retirement, we still think about Mr. Slate, Doggie Daddy, Dr. Benton Quest, Col. Wilcox, Sheriff Bagley, The autobots Windcharger and Huffer, G.I. Joe's Col. Flagg and that list goes on and on. Very few can match John Stephenson's narrative style, but the one man that currently comes close to it would have to be Tom Kane, narrator of Cartoon Network's long-running Star Wars: The Clone Wars. As Mr. Slate would tell Fred Flintstone when he attempts to come up with another one of his frivolous get rich quick schemes, "Flintstone, you knock off all of this tomfoolery and stick to your regular job!!!" For once, Fred will listen to his boss and get back to work at Slate Rock & Gravel, because he doesn't have a choice, because he knows all of these schemes only get him into more trouble than it's worth.

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