Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Ruff and Reddy Go to a Party

Ruff and Reddy made their TV debut 59 years ago this month but even though their show was named after them, they weren’t altogether the stars. There was a live-action host, Jimmy Blaine, introducing the various elements of the programme, which also included old theatrical cartoons made by the Screen Gems studio in the 1940s.

The show aired on Saturday mornings and was strictly kids fare. Writer Charlie Shows came up with child-appealing rhyming titles, character names and, occasionally, dialogue. Still, it launched Hanna-Barbera Enterprises on its way, and the company took a huge leap the following year with its Kellogg’s-sponsored Huckleberry Hound Show, which appealed as much to adults and college students (and critics) as well as kids.

Huck and his co-stars were quickly merchandised. To a small extent, Ruff and Reddy were, too. One of the first bits of merchandise, maybe the first, was the book Ruff and Reddy Go to a Party, published in 1958 by Whitman. It seems to have been aimed at the Grade One crowd. The TV show was an action/adventure series. There’s no action or adventure in the book. There’s a little girl and a little elephant (who appeared on the first R&R TV storyline).

Harvey Eisenberg is responsible for some of the artwork here. Harvey was Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera’s layout man for several years at MGM and later drew some of the Yogi Bear and Flintstones comics that appeared in weekend newspapers. Donald Parmele tells me Neil Boyle was probably the artist that did the painting on Harvey Eisenberg's drawings, and says that’s usually the way the credits worked at Whitman/Western publishing.

You can click on the pages to make them bigger.


4 comments:

  1. I don't remember Ruff and Reddy very well. When I was pretty young (this would have been late '60s-early '70s), a local kiddie show ran one Ruff and Reddy cartoon daily as a regular feature of the program. Aside from the opening theme, though, I remember very little about the characters or the cartoons. They don't seem to have enjoyed the afterlife that their successors at H-B have had.

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  2. Ruff and Reddy are due for a comeback next year as part of DC's Hanna-Barbera Beyond line as a backup feature (they will be nightclub owners in a rags to riches type story).

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    1. :)<Johnathan.. Yowp, nice article..

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  3. Neat..PS Debbie Reynolds, who HB used in CHarlotte's web,just passed Yowp..better get the Tralfaz blog ready (hit and miss in awya like all later fare but it was pretty good when it was..that nasty, hilairous rat, Paul Lynde--who himself died in ';82 much too early, was a real chracter as well.

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