Did you ever dress up as your favourite cartoon character and go out on that Great October 31st Candy Grab known as Hallowe’en? It seems a lot of kids did. Some of them as Hanna-Barbera characters; the studio licensed Huck, Yogi, and others in costume form by 1960. That year, the AP’s Sid Moody reported maufacturer Ben Cooper Co. had Huck, while another company offered Alvin Chipmunk, who wasn’t even on TV yet (Charley Weaver was big in 1960, too). You can get a gander of an ad for a store in Buffalo, N.Y. that year to the right.
One could get more than a candy-triggered toothache out of the deal. For example, seventh grader JoAnn Segbers won a grand prize for dressing as Yogi Bear in the 1961 Shortsville, New York Halloween Parade. Since you want to know this, JoAnn was later president and salutatorian of Red Jacket Central School and went on to Albany State University College and pledged Chi Sigma Theta. She later became a teacher and married Sgt. David M. Lane who was stationed in Weisbaden, West Germany. See how dressing like Yogi Bear can help you along life’s road?
Artist Dave DeCaro has a blog. He’s a Disneyphile, but I won’t hold that against him because he posted an amazingly bright colour photo from 1962 of his brother wearing a brand-new Huckleberry Hound Hallowe’en costume, the one you see in the ad above. Poor Dave got his brother’s hand-me-downs. I suspect his parents, like mine, grew up in the Depression. Dig the ‘60s table lamp.
Some parents liked the home-made look. Ghost heads out of dying pillow cases were popular. But one mom or dad made Huckleberry Hound and Quick Draw McGraw heads for their kids in 1963. The children are unidentified.
To switch gears, Hanna-Barbera had costumed characters all year around. Screen Gems’ promotional arm through Honest Ed Justin sent people dressed in H-B costumes to fairs, supermarket openings and so on. There was even a special stage show featuring emcee Eddie Alberian, a former Clarabelle the Clown on TV. But there were unauthorised and decidedly cheap-looking versions of the characters, too. I think I’ve posted this before but, in case I haven’t, try to appreciate that whoever came up with these eyesores had the best of intentions. The year is 1961.
There were theme park costumes, too. Kerry Cisneroz passed on these from his large collection. The first picture below is from 1965. Freddie’s looking like he tried climbing through the window of his home and was mauled by Baby Puss (which would explain why he never tried doing it in his series’ closing animation).
Next is an Associated Press photo dated May 30, 1990. It reminds me of a combination of the Yogi cartoon Space Bear, where an alien dresses as him, thinking he’s human, and Ten Little Flintstones, where aliens manufacture ten Fred robots and send them to Earth. Nobody cheaped out on these costumes. Yogi looks great.
this post. For someone who supposedly “studied” the character, he sure needs a few lessons. Yogi Bear is not a kleptomaniac. He likes food and, though certainly not in every cartoon, filches picnic baskets. The only other time he deliberately stole anything else was in that cartoon where he and Bruno fought for the affections of Cindy Bear by giving her what she wanted—material goods. And I don’t know how he can describe the Yogi series as having “often racially insensitive episodes.” Other than Yogi’s Pest Guest with the Japanese stereotype Yo-Yo Bear, that leaves 60-plus other Yogi cartoons that don’t touch on anything to do with ethnicity.
Yes, I’m sure there will be adults going to Hallowe’en parties as “sexy Wilma” or “gangsta Top Cat” or some such thing, but it’s nice to see the old characters, in their original state, still have an appeal for kids some 65-plus years after they were created by a few old hands in the animation business. Now if we could just get all the Huck and Yogi and Quick Draw and Jinks cartoons restored and on home video. Insert your own trick-or-treat line here.