Saturday, 6 February 2010

The Case of the Missing Word at Hanna-Barbera

John Kricfalusi has put together a rant an essay on the indescribably bad Hanna-Barbera cartoons of the 1980s here. And, coincidentally, reader Adel Khan wrote me on Facebook to ask me my opinion of a Loopy de Loop cartoon.

Some of the problems with both are the same. And it may have stemmed from the personalities of Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera themselves.

It could be said that Joe and Bill abhorred one word—originality.

Yes, that’s even though they were responsible for some of the most loved—and infamous—characters in television animation.

It really started when their theatrical career took off because of two characters. The idea of ‘mouse vs. cat’ wasn’t original. Paul Terry had used it for years. And once Joe and Bill had their two characters—whose names came right out a 1930s Van Beuren B-Grade studio series—they repeated the same basic premise over and over and over and over again for 17 years. Seven Oscars showed there was no need for change. Some really inspired direction, layout drawings and animation and a few plot variations managed to keep the Tom and Jerry series fresh, funny and occasionally charming. But it was evident by the 1950s things were getting shop-worn and needed something. But why come up with something original? Instead, they merely ripped off themselves and inserted an annoying duck in several shorts. Or an annoying baby mouse. In their big non-Tom and Jerry cartoon, they purloined the concept from 1939-era Hugh Harman, even down to the Bible verse used for the title (“Peace on Earth” “Good Will to Men”).

Then came the television cartoons. Those already had one strike against them—there’s no way the animation could compare to what Hanna and Barbera had accomplished at MGM. Fortunately, talented designers, likeable characters and good writing managed to overcome that. Still, a small sense of unoriginality hovered over the cartoons. It surely wasn’t a coincidence one of the star characters had a name that sounded like a New York Yankees catcher with a voice reminiscent of Ed Norton. Or that another reminded everyone of a nightclub comic who had made it big in the movie No Time for Sergeants, no matter what Daws Butler later (and, I suspect, truthfully) insisted. Or that a dog spoke like Jimmy Durante. Or a cat like Ed Gardner. Or a burro like Desi Arnaz. Or a bunch of characters like Phil Silvers. Fortunately again, Daws was such a marvellous talent, he only invoked the memory of the radio and TV stars by changing the voices a bit and using his own funny particular inflections. He made the characters different. But Bill and Joe used the familiarity of something—not originality—as the starting point for their best TV cartoons.

The half-hour shows were no different. All the publicity about the new concept of a half-hour prime-time cartoon didn’t stop opinions at the time (which continue today) that all Joe and Bill did was steal from The Honeymooners (with a chunk of I Love Lucy’s birth-of-Little Ricky shows tossed in), Blondie and Bilko. But again, in the best of the episodes, there was enough interesting design and great voice work that made the cartoons not only entertaining, but much different than their inspirations.

Unfortunately, all the elements that added up to fun cartoons in the Huck days started disappearing in the shorts. Loopy de Loop is a prime example. Loopy doesn’t do anything funny, say anything funny or even sound funny. Mike Maltese started running out of ideas and started not only borrowing gags from his Warners cartoons but from earlier Hanna-Barbera cartoons. Even the designs looked like they had come out of earlier cartoons. The Hanna-Barbera shorts started losing whatever originality they had. And, as you can see, originality wasn’t really a strong suit by the guys ultimately in charge.

And the shorts started sounding the same. In the Quick Draw series, all three segments used completely different parts of the Capitol Hi-Q library (with occasional exceptions). Now, Hoyt Curtin’s tracking library appeared everywhere and music you’d associate with The Flintstones or Magilla Gorilla would shake your eardrums by unexpectedly leaping out at you in Touché Turtle or Squiddly Diddley.

We roll into the later part of the ‘60s and, suddenly, Hanna-Barbera went on a fantasy-adventure binge. So we got a bunch of similar looking and sounding cartoons like The Herculoids, Space Ghost and Birdman. Space Ghost borrowed (are you surprised?) a concept from Jonny Quest that appeared endlessly and unoriginally again and again in Hanna-Barbera series—a little animal(-like) comedy relief sidekick who could both get into trouble and save the day. They loved the concept so much that they even shoe-horned a modified version into The Flintstones when they created the Great Gazoo. In Jonny Quest, Bandit was a good element to take a break from the drama and suspense. In The Flintstones, Gazoo was annoying and unnecessary. Why detract from (and, in the script, insult) likeable, funny main characters?

And things got worse.

With Filmation’s practically instant success with blandly-designed, constantly-reused-animation shows, Hanna-Barbera decided to hew to the unoriginality route and rip off Archie. Thus we got another comic book property—Josie and the Pussycats, complete with the singing teenaged band concept that was ripped off again and again.

And things got worse.

Hanna-Barbera snatched some elements of the radio show I Love a Mystery, a line from a Sinatra song, more teenagers and Astro’s voice and came up with Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? At first, the series counter-balanced ugly character designs and all that unoriginality because it kept the one thing that made the radio show a success. It was a mystery show with some comic relief tossed in. Viewers could play detective and try to solve the case. But then—at least it seemed to this young viewer at the time—the producers made the same mistake as the creators of the ‘60s Batman series with Adam West. They played up the comedy and played down the dramatic part. Soon, you could solve a Scooby plot in your sleep, which is what the cartoons started inducing. Then, to try to waken viewers, they started adding appearances by people like an animated Phyllis Diller. Phyllis Diller?! Even kids could see out-of-character stars had no real business being there and the series was dead. The show lost me. Between that and the ugly, stiff, laughtrack-bathed Filmation shows with Dal McKennon screeching at me, I stopped watching most Saturday morning cartoons. Oh, Bugs and Daffy were still on and worthy of my attention. But forget that new stuff. If I’m going to watch something I’ve seen before, I’m going to watch something really funny.

And then things got worse.

Hanna-Barbera, bereft of ideas, ripped off itself (Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm, Yogi’s Gang, Tom and Jerry with a bow-tie, endless Scooby shows, Roman Holidays) and after playing that card, ripped off live action (Jeannie, These Are the Days, The Addams Family). And it’s perhaps telling that Hanna-Barbera’s biggest property of the ‘80s wasn’t even created by the studio—they licensed The Smurfs.

Not a stick of originality in the lot. But, really, the studio had never been too high on originality to begin with. Though, to be fair, networks love familiarity. And producers love squeezing whatever cash they can out of a property. If they can take something they’ve exhausted and find a different way of doing it, they can revive their animated cash machine.

Perhaps this was all inevitable. Success begats money which begats growth which begats a corporate structure which begats conservatism which begats less risk-taking and originality. Yes, Joe and Bill sold out to Taft fairly early in the studio’s life so there were stockholders to worry about. And, yes, there were pressure groups and network censors who watered down cartoons so much that Quick Draw couldn’t be shown quick drawing because of paranoia that seeing a gun would turn children into mass murderers (a good thing cartoons were emasculated way back then because that made mass-murdering extinct today). But, for whatever reason, and with rare exception, the Hanna-Barbera cartoons stopped being fun or entertaining.

Fortunately, for a while, Joe, Bill, Carlo Vinci, Mike Lah, Ed Benedict, Daws Butler, Mike Maltese, Warren Foster, Art Lozzi and a bunch of others created some enjoyable cartoons and that’s what this blog is here to celebrate.

And, in the end, perhaps you can’t really blame Joe and Bill in the area of (un)originality. After all, didn’t they start in animation at a time when almost everyone felt the only way to make a great cartoon was to rip off Walt Disney? How original is that?


  1. And that's maybe why in Canada, some of the Hanna-Barbera cartoons libraries is still in air today. Because they are cheap for air and re-aired again. Teletoon Canada being a expert on this for years.

    I think the Hanna-Barbera cartoons was fun only for a while. At the era of Huck, Quick Draw, Flintstones and Top Cat. And sometimes, i watch one of the late boring cartoons for no apparent reasons. I know i'm pretty curious.

  2. Bpoy,m Yowp,m I wake up and see one of the truly best posts you've made...and I actually SUGGESTED part of it myself by mentioning how the studio went downhill.and he Archies was part of it [Scooby may have boprrowed from some very different older series, Johnny Quest, and even concepts the early funny animal stuff, some of the Huckleberry epsiodes, Ruff and Reddy, who kid-based adventures that they were, look like a Monet compared to Scooby, and from Quick Draw's Snuffles, the ":cmic cases: of Snoop and Blab's investigations, only with boring teenagers and dog rather than reasonably sophistcated cat and mouse, and Astro's "doggie accent"-well, what else WOULDCHA call it..!]

    And it got worse..

    BTW, especially since you started the piece by bringing up John K., Yowp..he himself called Astro a superior prototype of Scooby [likewise, Judy Jetson,. whose voice Janet Waldo was the last subject of an entry], would be a superior version of Josie, and Yogi would be a superioir verison of later shows, also including Leonardo TV [the Underdog folks] "Tennessee uxedo", and finally the Flinstones also influneced certain other HB families..]

  3. I watched it all happen and became the world's youngest curmudgeon. Then I actually ended up working on the stuff and now I'm an old curmudgeon.

    Thanks so much for this blog that brings back happy times!

  4. Looking at the H-B timeline, I think there was an X limit the studio could produce and still maintain a certain level of quality, which they passed the first time in 1961-62, when they two prime-time shows (Flintstones, Top Cat), with one (Jetsons) in development, one theatrical series (Loopy), three series in syndication producing new episodes (Huck, Quick Draw and Yogi) and another series with completely new characters (Wally Gator, Touche Turtle, Lippy & Hardy) being shopped to stations across the country. If you count those three cartoons plus Loopy as being on the low end of the H-B totem poll in terms of importance at that time, you can understand why those characters' cartoons were both dull in general and quickly forgotten.

    H-B actually took a bit of a step up after that, with Jonny Quest and (at least the first 10-20 or so episodes of) the Magilla Gorilla Show and the (to a lesser extent) Peter Potamus Show, and by '64 other than the Flintstones, there wasn't anything else out there to diffuse the talent as their had been two years earlier. But once you get to 1965-66, when Hanna-Barbera jumped head first into the Saturday morning cartoon market, that's when the rot set in because not only did they again stretch themselves too thin, but they had to deal with network executives like Fred Silverman. Kellogg's or Ideal Toys might not want something in the shows for their own corporate reasons, but they didn't fancy themselves as "creative people" who could suggest show ideas to Bill & Joe that were below insipid, but had to be followed because it was their network (Maltese and Avery's story in Joe Adamson's book about the ordeal Melvin Millar went through after the CBS exec came up with the idea for Moby Dick, the crime-fighting whale, is basically John K's tale, only 20 years earlier).

    As for the awful, lifeless designs, I think part of that also was due to a push-back against the UPA stylings that had been present for the previous 15 years. UPA was angular and many of their characters were only generally representative of what people or animals looked like, and that was the style that dominated in the early years of TV cartoons. But people liked the Hollywood theatricals better, where humans and animals were less stylized. The Iwo Takamoto look made the characters kind of appear to be closer to the old pre-UPA style on the surface, but they were designs coated in shellac and plaster with no allowance for any sort of movement or cartoony look, the way the characters of the 30s, 40s and early 50s were designed.

  5. You know, I would be perfectly happy if your next review entry was about "Horse Shoo". After reading that post, I feel kind of bad for ACTUALLY ENJOYING it...

  6. Zartok, this sums it up:

    There was a fun Augie cartoon called Nag-Nag-Nag with a horse named Cyclone. They took Cyclone's design and Don Patterson animated it with less expression than the original. They took Doggie Daddy's voice and gave it to the horse. Mike Maltese changed Cyclone's name to 'Twister' (could he have been any more derivative?). He tossed in a couple of Roadrunner gags (What? The rocks won't come down?). We even got a horse-sneezing gag from Nag-Nag-Nag. And Maltese came up with a climax gag that you could see coming as easily (and at the same distance) as spotting the Rockies from Regina. If you couldn't, the last scene gave it away before the camera pulled all the way back.

    There's none of the fun word-play like in a Snooper or Quick Draw cartoon.

    Loopy's so unfunny, Maltese kept him out of the short for minutes at a time and worked the comedy byplay around the horse and his owner.

    The cartoon is warmed-over Hanna-Barbera. However, this warming is environmentally-friendly because it's the product of recycling old stuff.

    It's too bad Loopy wasn't actually loopy, but those kinds of characters had their heydey in the '40s.

  7. Thanks for putting things into prespective for me. The problem is that I saw `Horse shoo` before watching `Nag-nag-nag`. But don`t shoot down Patt! He`s my favorite animator! It`s a shame he didn`t put any of his special funny drawings in there, let alone any of his traits at all. I`m still going to leave the option of a`Horse Shoo` post open for you, though. You`re as good at trashing things as you are at commending them.

  8. Yowp, take in consideration after reading the John K's Blog about the 'Tude treats that even the early HB characters are 'tude in some parts! Yogi Bear is a rapper and Huck is the cool and relax wiseguy but at least having appealing personalities. The contrary to today's mainstream cartoons and animated features.

  9. Yogi occasionally speaks in rhyme. That doesn't make him a rapper.

  10. H-B did not have a monopoly on characters being voiced to imitate actors and comedians. UPA's made-for-TV 1960-61 DICK TRACY cartoons freely indulged in this practice as well. Having talented mimics Benny Rubin, Johnny Koonce and Jerry Hausner-along with workhorses Mel Blanc and Paul Frees- on staff helped. Hemlock Holmes=Cary Grant. Heap O'Callory=Andy Devine. Flattop=Peter Lorre. BB Eyes=Edward G. Robinson. The Brow=Jimmy Cagney. And so on-

  11. LOL..Howard, Johnny's name was "Coons"..:) Good point. Where Loopy is concerned, at least Monsuer{sp?] DeLoop didn't have a teenaged rock band to perform with. BTW Ever notice how in addition to that gimmick the same shows continued to have the adventure and Scooby-Dooby format: Butch Cassidy [NOT the 1969 classic film] and even the family-based Partridge in Outer Space did not have many laughs, nor much use of the laugh track..yech..

  12. I didn't realize Jabberjaw's voice, even his whole shtick, was copied and pasted from Curly from "The Three Stooges" and when I actually saw a "Three Stooges" short, I was like "Oh my God, he sounds like Jabberjaw!" Was it Daws Butler who actually did the voice of Jabberjaw or was he even still working at Hanna and Barbera at that point?

  13. Hi, Amanda. Daws would still have been doing his old characters in the endless 70s and 80s regurgitations on Saturday mornings.

    I confess I have never seen Jabberjaw until just now. I watched a minute on YouTube. Yikes. A mash of Scooby Doo, Josie and the Pussycats, with the Three Stooges tossed in, topped with an attempt to ride the topicality of Jaws. Oh, and the intro had a character design right out of Space Ghost. There was a laugh-track after the first line by the shark. And it wasn't even a joke.

    The title character is played by Frank Welker.

  14. Timeline wise. As a child, I remember the early days of H-B productions on television, ie, Huck, Yogi, Jinx, and all their ilk. Then the Flintstone era, ie, Top Cat, The Jetsons, Jonny Quest, etc.. I remember the mid 60s assembly line of cartoons where they dusted off the scripts, penciled in new names and almost verbatim ran the same story, same thing in the early 1970's, ala Scooby, The Chan Clan, Funky Phantom and on and on. I lost track after high school and starting my career. But with the creation of " Cartoon Network " in the 90's and " Bomerang " later on, I disovered some of the ones I missed as a younger" Jabber Jaw..." YIKES!!!!!I see I didn't miss anything. I believe Frank Welker STILL does " Freddy's " voice. I'm glad that after 41 years, he still seems to be in demand. I also rememeber Frank in a few live action Disney films, " The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes " was one. Over at Universal, He played Don Knotts dim -witted buddy in " How To Frame a Gig ".

  15. I have to say, I am constantly chagrined when I read people bad-mouth the HB product. I think the time you were born has a lot to do with what period of the Studio's product you enjoy. If you're an older person -- say, 50+ you seem to revere anything pre-Flintstones and quickly dismiss anything after. But I have talked to so many fans of the studio and I can't tell you how many times I have heard younger people say, "OH! I LOVED the Trolkins!" or "I used to LOVE watching "Shirt Tales."

    The fact of the matter is, HB kept an entire industry working. I will put their worst show up aganst anything that Filmation, and Dic were producing and it would look like Disney feature in comparison. Were all of HB's series top notch? Of course not. But more often than not, a Network programmer had more than a heavy hand in creating a show. HB's option was to go along with the idiot at the Network, or risk the chance of not selling enough shows to keep their studio going and their employees working. If Scooby was the newest hit, the Networks wanted to copycat them. Same with the Smurfs starting the troll/little person carze. The same thing happens today in prime time. "Friends" spawned a ton of friend comedies. "Lost" has spawned a whole slew of the same.

    Let's not blame HB for the downfall of the western civilization. They kept generations of kids entertained, it's as simple as that.

  16. Yowp, really?
    Then again, I haven't seen most of the old Hanna Barbera cartoons (Ricochet Rabbit, Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, etc.) until I got "Boomerang" so I was like "Huh, so this is about they're about."

  17. For the reason of why Hanna Barbera cartoons got really stiff & bland & Very Unwatchable ,I Blame this whole thing on Filmation. Filmation, along with ruby spears, DiC (save for inspector gadget, That show was awesome.) and Nelvana are just about the most dreaded animation studios in existence. The executives who are running these horrid factories don't seem to realize that the more realistic you design your cartoons, the harder it is to move them and the more badly drawn it will look.

  18. and also,to me,Cartoons aren't supposed to be Realistic and hard to animate and bland and stupid looking at all. They are supposed to be Cartoony and easy to animate, that's why it's called a cartoon, it's supposed to be Exaggerated and Loony and funny, and have Good Drawings and variety and extreme simplicity. Not Ugly Bland Imataions of real life People. God what the hell is wrong with these people they should get their head straight and smarten up.

  19. Also, Yogi for me started even in 1961 to jump shark [uh, to coin a term] when Ring-a-ding Picnic Basket appeared--a great dioea, a booby trapped alarm basket by the ranger, and Yogi sending it in the sky by virtue of balloons, but that's around th 2:00 mark, then the remaining five and a half minutes deal around Yogi thinking that he's about to shipped of to some zoo, and then a cougar comes to a cave and so,on.In short, Ring-a-Ding Picnic Basket loses its storyline around the first several minutes.Just an example of how even Yogi, in his canonical series, started losing steam. The friggin' title has after 2 to 2-1/2 minutes NOTHING to do with the short - it goes from a picnic basket alarm to a totally different story..[not limited to that example, one of the many wrecgthed Daffy/Speedy shorts is titled Astroduck but only to payoff gag has any about laziness of writing,.

  20. Anon, I don't base whether I enjoy watching something because of the size of its workforce. I don't see a relationship. I'm sure reality show producers keep lots of people employed. And I know people who love Jersey Shore. That doesn't mean any dissenting opinion about it should be muzzled or is irrelevant.

    I've explained, somewhat in detail, why the H-B product stopped appealing to me. There's no pre-name-the-year bias on my part; you can see peering through the pages here there are things I find inferior in some of the first shorts. There may be some childhood-nostalgia-only reason on the part of those who think My Little Pony gives them warm memories of when they were four. Because that can be the only possible reason something like that could be fond to anyone.

    I haven't seen Scooby since it was in first run in the Fred Silverman days, so my perspective is that of a young teenager. I explained why I turned off the show. I thought it was a good cartoon that lost what made it appealing. Evidently I'm in the minority as the dog continues to be popular. So be it. That doesn't make it immune from critical commentary.

    It's funny you should mention generational issues. One of the people I work with, a full generation younger than I am, yesterday bemoaned the lack of good cartoons on Saturday morning TV. What did she mention? The Bugs Bunny Show. Somehow, Shirt Tales didn't come up in the conversation.

    I agree with your point about "Lost." There isn't a lot of originality on TV. And if something perceived to be 'new' is a success, it gets copied endlessly until it is run into the ground. I suppose it's always happened in show business.

    Steve, to be honest, I don't get worked up about cartoon titles. Nothing But the Tooth refers only to the payoff gag but I don't think the writing is "lazy" because of it. I enjoy clever titles (and groan at puns) but I don't get worked up about them.

    Other Anon, I don't limit the idea of cartoons not being able to be "realistic." There's nothing wrong with a well-designed action-adventure cartoon. Sure, the characters aren't going to erupt into Avery takes any more than they would in a Sunday colour page of Terry and the Pirates, but they can provide solid entertainment through story, layout and design, just like action-adventure comics have for a few generations.

    And, as you can see in my examples, things started going downhill long before DIC or Nelvana came onto the scene. And Ruby-Spears, for reasons that are obvious and understandable to anyone who knows the background of the founders, wasn't much more than imitation Hanna-Barbera.

  21. Recycling of Curtin and Nicholas music score seldom bothered me, except if a post-1962 cartoon used too much 1960-61 score. (This afflicted many Peter Potamus, Squiddley Diddley, and later Loopy deLoop cartoons, making them sound 'old'.) 'JETSONS' score fits well in virtually every series, particularly the Secret Squirrel shorts.

    H-B cartoons certainly did rely on formula, but that would be part of their charm- at least early on. For example, most cartoons of the QUICK DRAW McGRAW trilogy had its own trademark ending. "I like that Queekstraw; he's [punny, back-handed compliment]."; "Leave us face it, folks:-"; "After all, how many fathers can say they have a son who-?" Mike Maltese always managed to leave us with a last laugh.

    Like many, I feel the quality of writing and draftsmanship of the shorts declined after 1962, bottoming out with the superhero series. The 1967 crop was not only very heavy-handed, but the animation and backgrounds were extremely murky as if the artists were trying too hard to create a comic-book ambience.

    But there seemed to be a rebound in 1968. The comedic series, with continuing help from Maltese, had a nice spark to them despite the heavy formulization (particularly noticeable in PENELOPE PITSTOP). Viewing THE NEW ADVENTURES OF GULLIVER for the first time in many years, I'm often impressed with the intensity of the storylines despite the whimsical setting and characters- who for the most part avoid overwhelming cuteness.

    And the budgets seemed bigger in the 1968-71 cartoons, in large part due to the addition of veteran Disney background artist Walt Peregoy. Likewise the animation seemed to improve, even with the continued presence of many of the same crew from over a decade of earlier. An Autocat & Motormouse short seems much lusher and more energetic than anything from 1962-66.

    The definitive shark jump seemed to occur after 1971 with an increasingly reliance on Meddling Kids, sitcom adaptations and classic character 'reunions'. The year 1974 provided some slight innovative relief with HONG KONG PHOOEY and WHEELIE AND THE CHOPPER BUNCH.

    These are all my personal opinions. Feel free to disagree- NICELY.

  22. Yowp, "I don't get too worked up about the title"..LOL, you're right, but just that if you saw the cartoon mentioned, the story gets
    underway, which, as the title says, is about a ringing picnic basket, then changed half way. Doesn't have anything to do with the quality, obviously, and this blog IS to analyze other downfalls and joys of these shorts.

    Howard Fein, you're correct about the jump;ing point. Regarding the early Curtin/Nichols score [the 1967 "Abbott" theme being his best theme IMO] it would be weird, if a la John K.'s "Boo Boo and the Man", Capital [and Shaindlin and Kraushaar] AND the in-house guys music was, imagine, the Roman Holidays [1972], one of the last doing tuis, had started with "Grotesque" [Shaindlin, heard on Huck/Yogi], a Flintstone tuba [Curtin], Qucick Draw [Green or David Rose credited to Loose-Seely, "TC-205" as seen in December's immense Hi-Q article, then various new "Abbott and Costello" walkers [Nichols, Marty Paitch], followed with a Roger Roger, Sam Fox, then Curtin...bizzarre, to say the least. But as we all know, it wasn't quite TAHT complicated as HB had already long stopped using that production music, despite John Kricfalusi aka John K.'s Spumco's aforementioned webtoon with Boo Boo mixing it.

    And right on about the Meddling Kids thing, that got mixed up with Pebbles and Bamm Bamm [teenage Judy Jetson wasn't, while aspects of the "Meddling Kids" bubblegum/hippe formats got grafted & implanted to nonteenage animals-The Hair Bears, C'Nooga Cats,etc., who didn't have all of the aspects of the Kids.

    By this time, not even older music [not even if the pre-Curtin canned Capitol music was used] could save these, sadly, nor the best voicing..they say, you can't polish a [fill in word for dumping in the toilet, though it's subjective here--the one person's met is another person's trash adage neatly fitting here like a glove.]

    The laughtrack present disappeared for a while in 1971 and 1974 with, respectively, the Meddling Kids odd Aussie variant The Funky Phantom and the Wheelie/Chopper Bunch, not counting dramatic or adventure "cartoons" [read animated shows] where a laugh track is out of the question...nor counting pre-70 cartoons which was still before the takeover of laughtracks [around 1971].


  23. Yowp said......
    "A mash of Scooby Doo, Josie and the Pussycats, with the Three Stooges tossed in, topped with an attempt to ride the topicality of Jaws."
    Plus the title shark sounds like Rodney Dangerfield by saying "No respect".

  24. As would say Freddie Jones in Scooby-Doo: "Folks, we have many mysteries on our hands!"

  25. Rodney, if Freddie Jones from Scooby-Doo is free, maybe he can solve who did the stock music used in the early shows. Yowp, I don't gwet worked up over cartoon titles, either, exeept Ring-a-ding Picnic basket started out about a booby trapped bakset, worked with this for about 3 1/2 minutes, then changted plot entirely. That's all.. for that.. Also, Yowp, as bad as Loopy DeLoop and Yakky Doodle might've been, Joe Bevilacqua on actually liked those, yet was also a true blue fan of HB..[the Scooby cartoons though would represent the ultimate toning down of cartoons though..]