Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Yakky Doodle Still Going Strong

It’s nice to see someone associated with the old Hanna-Barbera cartoons is alive and doing well. And helping others do well at the same time.

Jimmy Weldon played my least-favourite Hanna Barbera character, Yakky Doodle. Mr. Weldon is not at fault; he did a fine job. It’s just that I always rooted for Fibber Fox to finally rid the world of any noisy, alternately hyper-and-self-pitying ducks. However, Mr. Weldon is still with us at age 85 and making public appearances. Observe a portion of a story from the Inland Daily Bulletin, dated last Monday, the 24th:

Pomona Lions program to feature cartoon voice artist Jimmy Weldon
POMONA - The Pomona Host Lions meeting has invited the public to attend a special program Sept. 3 featuring motivational speaker and TV "voice" Jimmy Weldon.

Weldon, best known for his cartoon character voices, most notably Yakky Doodle in Hanna-Barbera's "Yogi Bear" and "Webster Webfoot," has a reputation of being entertaining and inspirational.

Weldon is the last living character voice of the original "Yogi Bear" cartoon program. He has also acted in numerous television shows, such as "The Waltons," "Dallas," "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," "Diff'rent Strokes" and "Dragnet."

His book, "Go Get `Em Tiger," has sold more than 30,000 copies.

What surprises me more than Mr. Weldon’s spunk and good cheer is the statement he is the last surviving voice from the Yogi Bear Show. That strikes me as uncertain. Yes, there’s Doug Young, who is quite alive and well in Washington State, but his work was on Huckleberry Hound (as Ding-a-ling on the Hokey Wolf segment) and Quick Draw McGraw (as Doggy Daddy). But I don’t know whether the story’s scribe, Mr. Weldon or the Pomona Lions Club is assuming or knows for certain that the voice of Cindy Bear, Julie Bennett, is no longer with us.

I’ve not been able to find anything on-line about her passing away, though I’ve discovered an incorrect date of birth. So if anyone knows one way or another about Miss Bennett (whose ursine character, unfortunately, is probably my second least-favourite), your friendly Yowp would like to know.

And I’m sure Mr. Weldon will forgive me for not asking for permission to link to his web site. It’s the least I can do for wanting Fibber Fox to make a meal of one of his most famous characters.


  1. Not every Yakky episode is irritating. On occasion he faces Alfy Gator, who's a good plotter. "All's Well That Eats Well" is a fine example as the witty Alfy comes to notice that Yakky can be resourceful -- even Yakky's early self-pity is redeemed by the well-delivered line, "Everybody wants to eat me." Good work by story man Tony Benedict, animator Carlo Vinci (who lets Alfy slobber at one point), background artist Robert Gentle, and the uncredited voice artists.

  2. I didn't say the episodes were irritating. I said Yakky was. "Nobody loves me. I don't have a mamma." Duck, get over yourself. It's even worse when he uses pity to get his way. I just don't like good-guy characters who are users; that's for the bad guys. "Ain't that cute?" No, it's not, Chopper, you one-note dog.
    It's by far the weakest element of the Yogi show. I'd rather watch Snagglepuss ham it up or see how Yogi will outsmart the ranger.
    Because Yakky and Chopper were such limited characters, Foster had to put all the comedy on the villains, like he did in the Sylvester/Tweety cartoons. My favourite Alfie bit is where he stops for a phoney commercial break. He does it because that's what Hitchcock did and he's supposed to be Hitchcock, even though it makes no sense to do it in a cartoon.

  3. Yakky may have been one of the first HB TV characters to give the studio a bad name for cuteness, though I liked the appearances with Augie and Doggie like in "Yuk Yuk Duck" [which has a bit of music by Sam Fox com poser HECKY KRASNOW when the duck first shows, with composer JOE DARION, "The Whistler's Walk", if I'm not mistaken.:)], with M.Maltese's dialogue making it better. But too much Yakky, well, even a little bit tend to be not very enteretaining..

    -Steve C.,aka "Pokey"..

  4. You mean Krasnow's Whistling Walk? It certainly isn't in that cartoon. Whistling Walk has a saxophone, muted trumpet, a flute and sounds like something Walter Greene would have written for a Woody cartoon.

  5. MY friend and I are trying to identify a cartoon where the dog, in a reaction to something we think made him very happy, would jump into the air,then float,done to the roof of his dog house. We thought we remebered he was partnered with a little bird of some type and I think this might be Yakke and Chopper. I'm sure its the dog from Quick draw that also floated up,because the dog we remember was mostly white. ANy help would be appreciated in this task thatfor saome reason has become very important to us!


  6. The dog from Quick Draw McGraw never appeared in a Yakky cartoon from what I remember. He appeared in a Snagglepuss cartoon, but Snuffles wasn't white in that one nor did he land on a dog house.

    I can't think of what cartoon it would be. Snuffles, in the Quick Draw cartoons, floated down onto the ground in all the ones I remember.

  7. I think I might be mixing the 2 cartoons because I'm the first aspects we were talking abotu was the floating, butwe may have then mixed that up with the memory of the dog and duck. When I looked at the cartoon from quick draw where the dog goes up in the air after a treat, it didn't seem to be the what I was remebering,becuase I thought it was a white dog, over his dog house.
    I'm sure one aspect of the memory is chopper and Yakky, and if I didn't see a comment or 2 on other sites that they also thought and were trying to remember a floating white cartoon dog, I would call this a case closed.

    I think the meaning of this little adventure is how much we loved the cartoons from this era and how creative many were.
    My wife was on her computer at the same time I was in looking into this, also trying to locate the correct dog. There's something about executing an internet seachc this is fun and she was getting caught up in this quest. At one point she watched a yankee carton, and was laughing and loving it,so these things still hold up in a very large way.


  8. This was the first cartoon I remember and one of the first things I remember in my life. I was about three years old. I remember liking this show a lot.