Saturday, 10 November 2018

The Collegiate Hound

“I never went to no school,” admits Huckleberry Hound in “Hookey Daze” (1958) before the teacher grabs him and shoves him in a classroom seat.

Well, that was in the cartoon series. The fact is Huck was in a number of schools. When the Huckleberry Hound Show began appearing on TV sets in September 1958, it soon became a craze at colleges. Here’s a short tale from the Detroit Free Press of February 10, 1960. Though they aren’t mentioned by name, Daws Butler and Don Messick get justifiable praise for their work.


Adults Steal Kids' TV Show Fraternities Start 'Hound' Fan Clubs
BY JAMES S. POOLER

Free Press Columnist
We are sort of proud we steered you adults on to the TV antics of Huckleberry Hound and friends, supposedly just fare for small fry.
We have received a lot of "whispering" letters from adults telling us we are not alone. In fact, Mrs. Elwood Kureth, of Taylor, tips us off that the creators of Huckleberry Hound, have another good one going—with the same wonderful voices—in "Quick Draw McGraw" on Channel 9 at 6:30 on Tuesday. (Also on Channel 13 Monday at 6:30 and Channel 6 on Friday at 6.)
But the most fascinating report on this comes from Bob Reeves, of the Trigon Fraternity House at Ann Arbor.
"You're right that 'Huckleberry Hound' is interesting to a more mature audience than the toddler set of grandchildren," Bob tells us.
"It seems that in most fraternities at the University of Michigan studies are laid aside at 7 p.m. each Thursday to lock the doors, shutter the windows and sneak into the TV room for a half-hour of Yogi Bear and friends.
"This has been a weekly ritual for over a year now.
"We feel the program has been purposely geared for adults—the often sly satire. Rumor has it that other Big Ten schools have Yogi Bear Fan Clubs and Yogi Bear dolls are being sold at the novelty and gift shops in college towns.
"I only wish the sponsors would gear their commercials to the intellectual heights they have in their cartoons."
So now breathe easier when you slip in to watch "them meeces" and other things. We can't wait to try out "Quick Draw McGraw" who, we understand, is the slowest gun in the West. He sounds like our kind of hero.
We’ve posted other stories on the blog about the Huck Fad That Gripped America in the late ’50s. Here’s one that we haven’t passed along before, from the Akron Beacon Journal of September 2, 1959. The Huck show was about to embark on its second season within a couple of weeks. We learn of more institutes of higher learning where TV’s newest star became the Big Man on Campus. I must admit I’ve never heard Mr. Jinks compared to Dick Shawn before but I can understand why he might be.
This Dog Man's Best
Huck Hound Friend To All Ages

By DICK SHIPPY
Beacon Journal Radio-TV Writer
Once in a while the viewing public pets together on things. The Dick Clark fans and the Lawrence Welk fans, the Wagon Train partisans and the Omnibus partisans strike a common denominator.
It takes a pretty delightful television personality to kindle enthusiasm in both camps. I think you'll agree good ol' Huckleberry Hound fulfills this qualification.
HE SOUNDS suspiciously like Andy Griffith. He has a couple of colorful sidekicks, one of whom sounds a little like Ed Norton, the Va-Va-Voom Man. The other bears a striking resemblance to a Dick Shawn vocal impression of black leather jackets and motorcycle boots.
Students at a western university tried to promote an honorary degree for Huck... 11,000 students at the University of Washington joined his fan club and he was initiated into Alpha Tau Omega fraternity at UCLA.
It has already been noted that Huck will be honored at Ohio State's Homecoming game against Purdue. Similar recognition is forthcoming on campuses at Southern Methodist and Texas Christian.
YOU MAY NOT consider this college-boy adoration as cementing the case for Huck since this automatically puts him in the same category as panty-raids and phone-booth packing.
Consider this then: A bill was introduced in a western state legislature to re name a 50-acre expanse of woodland "Huckleberry Hound State Park." Ahhh, those first-term legislators, you say, they'll do anything to get their name on a bill.
ALL RIGHT. But how about this: A bar and grill in Seattle is named after him... and in Gardenia, Cal., a poker parlor broke up its pot-limit game for Huck's TV capers. Greater love hath no man.
Huckleberry Hound is a member of the same family as "Tom and Jerry." All of them are the creation of animators Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera.
What's the formula for Huck's success. One professor attempted to analyze it: "Huck represents something that appeals to the basic needs of most people. He's like a good tonic..." Are we in agreement?
We mentioned Huck’s school cartoon “Hookey Daze.” It’s got the best Huck fear take ever put on film, a great sloping walk by our truant officer hero (it owes something to the slow, slide-step Huckleberry Hound-ish sounding wolf in Tex Avery’s “Billy Boy,” released by MGM in 1954), and not a bad story by Charlie Shows, Joe Barbera and Dan Gordon. It also has another one of those cycles where juvenile delinquents Mickey and Icky Vanderblip run past the same window over and over (well, it’s a mansion, so it’s supposed to be big). Carlo Vinci’s the animator, so we get four drawings of the twins, animated one per frame, and the cycle lasts 24 frames (one second). The version below is a little slower than what’s in the actual cartoon. You won’t be surprised to learn the music behind this is Jack Shaindlin’s “Toboggan Run.”

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Yogi Bear Weekend Comics, November 1970

A native American, a Chinese guy, a kid, Ranger Smith, a wise talking owl and the return of Boo Boo are amongst the highlights of the Yogi Bear newspaper comics from 48 years ago this month.

Gene Hazelton and his people have lots of scenic stuff in the backgrounds of these five Yogi comics, far more than what they were doing on the simultaneously-seen Flintstones comics.

You’ll notice for three comics in a row, the “Yogi” sign is nailed to a post made from a tree. In another comic, it’s hanging from a branch and in the other, it’s nailed to a tree.


November 1, 1970: Here’s one where the top row omitted by many newspapers has nothing to do with the other two rows. Yogi is a little rhyme crazy here.


November 8, 1970: Sardonic Smith in the last panel. The first row is only tenuously related to the rest of the comic.


November 15, 1970: Injun no talk-um like this in 1970. But that’s what the people expect-um to hear after years of B Westerns, so that’s what we get in one sentence. The last sentence could easily be read in a Yiddish accent.



November 22, 1970: Jellystone has its own Protestant church. I like the overhead view in the last panel.



November 29, 1970: I like the rendering of the Chinese restaurant in the final panel. Is there anything Jellystone doesn’t have? This comic has the only silhouette panel of the month.

The colour comics are again courtesy of Richard Holliss. Click on any of them to enlarge them.

Saturday, 3 November 2018

Daws Talks About Talking

What about the Yogi Bear-Art Carney connection?

Who better to tell you than Daws Butler, the man who voiced Yogi?

Cartoon voice actors who weren’t named Mel Blanc didn’t get a lot of press ink for about the first 35-or-so years of sound cartoons (and it was fairly rare for Blanc, except when he starred on his own radio show, until he almost died in a car crash in 1961). That makes it all the more pleasing to stumble across stories about Daws Butler from the early Hanna-Barbera days.

Here’s one from February 1, 1961 which, coincidentally, wasn’t too many days after Blanc’s horrendous accident. Hanna-Barbera had added to his workload; the article coincides with the start of the Yogi Bear Show on which Daws starred in two of the three segments.

Not only does he talk about Yogi, he mentions the origin of the Huck voice, too. Unfortunately, the columnist ends the story without Daws going into details about his kids and cartoons.


Fans Hound Yogi; He Becomes Star
By FORREST POWERS

Minneapolis Star Staff Writer
Yogi Bear, as most any adult can tell you, is one of the favorite characters on "Huckleberry Hound," a children's television series.
Unfortunately for Huck, Yogi's fan mail grew to such proportions that the creators of the animated cartoon program decided to star Yogi in a series of his own.
Patterned after the Hound format, Yogi's 30-minute series consists of three 10-minute stories. It debuts at 5 p.m. Thursday on channel four. Huckleberry Hound will continue as a Tuesday afternoon feature of the station.
Yogi and Huck were created by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera, a couple of animation artists who will gross over 40 million dollars this year. Their company also produces "Quick Draw McGraw" and "The Flintstones" for television.
The voices of Yogi, Huck and Quick Draw are done by a short (5 feet, 4 inches), dark-haired, frustrated cartoonist named Daws Butler. He began his entertainment career as a member of "The Three Short Waves," a trio which specialized in impersonations.
"We stayed together for three years until the war divorced me from show business," Butler said in a phone interview. "When I got out of the navy, I went to California because everything seemed to be centered there.
"I intended to go to an art school on the GI bill, but the schools were loaded. I went to radio school instead." After appearing in character parts on several radio programs, he auditioned for Hanna and Barbera, who were working for MGM at the time. He was hired to do the voices of Spike and Tyke in the movie cartoons. Later he teamed with Stan Freberg on "Time for Beany," a children's program, and on the record, "St. George and the Dragonet."
"When the Huckleberry Hound" television series was in the talking stage, they asked me to come up with a voice for Huck," Butler said. "They wanted an easy-going, sincere, Tennessee Ernie-type character to host the show. "I picked up Huck's dialect from my wife, who came from North Carolina, and Huck became the leading character.
The voice of Yogi Bear, on the other hand, bears a strong resemblance to that of Art Carney. "We wanted to come up with a voice that the public recognized," Butler said. "During our experiments, I did a take-off on Carney, and the producers went for it. The Carney quality is still basic to the voice, but as it developed, I added articulation, spread the vowels and gave it strong exaggeration."
Although Yogi will continue to appear on the next few episodes of "Huckleberry Hound," he will gradually drift out of the picture. His place will be taken by two new characters, a smart-aleck wolf named Hokey and a little fall-guy wolf named Ding-a-ling. Butler will do these voices as well as those of Huck, Mr. Jinks and Dixie. Don Messick, another voice specialist, does the talking for Pixie and Boo Boo Bear.
Butler will do Yogi and Snagglepuss, a mountain lion, on the new Yogi Bear program.
Born in Toledo, Ohio, Butler grew up in the Chicago area. He now lives in Los Angeles with his wife and four sons, David, 16, Donald, 14, Paul, 10, and Charles, 7.
"The older boys already have gotten their feet wet in the cartoon voice business," the father said proudly in a voice all his own.