Thursday, 12 August 2010

Check Your Local Listings

I’ve yowped on the blog about on-line databases and Make-it-up-pedias where anyone can post whatever they want on them—guesses, joke entries, or unimpeachable fact backed up by time-consuming research. It’s difficult to accept them as authoritative sources in some cases.

Let me be blunt. Whoever put together the Wikipedia episode guide for the second and third seasons of The Huckleberry Hound Show is talking through the wrong part of their anatomy. Someone seems to have assumed all the second-season shows were aired in consecutive weeks in the order you can find them on a downloadable torrent on the internet. Newspaper listings of 40 years ago tell a completely different story.

Yes, Huckleberry Hound was syndicated and therefore didn’t air the same day on every station. But a comparison of TV listings in newspapers in several different cities reveals a show aired sometime during that same week, presumably because the cartoons were shipped that way by the distributor. That’s not necessarily proof they aired the same way everywhere, but they did in Chicago and Los Angeles, judging by what was printed in the papers (Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune by name), and some smaller spots. So the following are the second season episodes for the Huck show. A Monday date is used to represent the week. New cartoons are in bold, the others are repeats.

Sep. 14, 1959Show Biz BearHi FidoTen Pin Alley
Sep. 21/59Lullabye-Bye BearRapid RobotGrim Pilgrim
Sep. 28/59Bear Face BearSour PussJolly Roger and Out
Oct. 5/591st season rerun
Oct. 12/59Hide and Go PeekBoxing BuddyTough Little Termite
Oct. 19/59Yogi Bear’s Big BreakCousin TexHH Meets Wee Willie
Oct. 26/59Papa YogiKing Size PoodleSomebody’s Lion
Nov. 2/59Stranger RangerMighty MiteA Bully Dog
Nov. 9/59Slumber Party SmartyJudo JackLion-Hearted Huck
Nov. 16/59Pie PiratesKit Kat KitTricky Trapper
Nov. 23/59Rah Rah BearBird Brained CatNottingham and Yeggs
Nov. 30/59Bear For PunishmentBatty BatHuck the Giant Killer
Dec. 7/59Big Bad BullyJinks’ Mice DeviceSir Huckleberry Hound
Dec. 14/59Foxy Hound-DogPistol Packing PirateSheriff Huckleberry Hound
Dec. 21/59Nowhere BearLend-Lease MeeceCop and Saucer
Dec. 28/59Wound-Up BearA Good Good FairyPony Boy Huck
Jan. 4/60Big Brave BearScaredy Cat DogRustler Hustler Huck
Jan. 11/601st season rerun
Jan. 18/60Bewitched BearHeavens to JinksyPet Vet
Jan. 25/60Hoodwinked BearGoldfish FeverPiccadilly Dilly
Feb. 1/601st season rerun
Feb. 8/60Baffled BearThe Ghost With the MostTwo Corny Crows
Feb. 15/60Snow White BearPushy CatWiki Waki Huck
Feb. 22/60Space BearPuss in BoatsHuck’s Hack
Feb. 29/60Brave Little BraveThe Ace of SpaceHH Meets Wee Willie
Mar. 7/60Yogi Bear’s Big BreakJinks JuniorFireman Huck
Mar. 14/60The Stout TroutCousin TexDragon-Slayer Huck
Mar. 21/60The Buzzin’ BearJinks the ButlerLion-Hearted Huck
Mar. 28/60Slumber Party SmartyJinks’ Flying CarpetHookey Days
Apr. 4/60The Runaway BearJudo JackSkeeter Trouble
Apr. 11/59Be My Guest, PestPuppet PalsTricky Trapper
Apr. 18/60Pie PiratesMark of the MouseSheepshape Sheepherder
Apr. 25/60Duck in LuckKit Kat KitBarbecue Hound
May 2/60Bear on a PicnicDinky JinksSir Huckleberry Hound
May 9/60see Sept. 14, 1959
May 16/60see Sept. 21, 1959
May 23/60see Sept. 28, 1959
May 30/60see Oct. 26, 1959
June 6/60see Nov. 2, 1959
June 13/60see Nov. 23, 1959
June 20/60see Nov. 30, 1959
June 27/60see Dec. 21, 1959
July 4/60see Dec. 28, 1959
July 11/60see Jan. 18, 1960
July 18/60see Jan. 25, 1960
July 25/60see Feb. 15, 1960
Aug. 1/60see Feb. 22, 1960

Starting on the week of August 8th, first season shows were rerun again until the third season began in September.

Oinks and Boinks with Yogi Bear did not air in the second season, despite what some places on the web insist. It was on the third season of the Huck show. And on-line sources are wrong if they say Hokey Wolf replaced Yogi in September, 1960. Yogi didn’t leave until he got his own show the following January.

You’ll notice an awful lot of reruns. Only 13 new shows in the series were made that season and the last aired the week of February 20, 1960 so seven months went by before a new cartoon. This was not lost on viewers. A letter to the entertainment section of the Tri-City Herald (Washington State) of July 20, 1960 read:

What’s insulting to the public is the ancient movies, the depressing soap operas and the annoyance of repeating such good programmes as Huckleberry Hound so many times.
—Irma Perkins, Richland

Thanks to reader Billie Towzer for the newspaper clippings


  1. Wow! Thanks for all of the informations about the later seasons of the Huckleberry Hound Show. It's also good to see which week the episode was showed. I agree with the statement that Wikipedia informations become useless. History books and newspapers is your best source.

    Since they often air in Canada the Huckleberry episodes in chronological order, it wasn't too hard to me that each shorts follow the evolution of this character, but never thinkin how he was the leader of a H-B segments cartoons in the same vein as theatrical cartoons was.

  2. I would assume that the stress on the fledgling company of having to now do two weekly shows with the addition of Quick Draw McGraw, along with putting The Flintstones into development, is why Season 2 of Huck is so 'sparse' when it comes to new episodes. In hindsight, though, I'd rather have had H-B do it this way than what would happen by 1961, the first time the company began taking on so many different projects that you could really see a drop in the quality of the stories and the attempts to at least be a little bit inventive with the limited animation.

  3. The ads feature Quick Draw instead of Pixie and Dixie. Now I'm confused.

    And the animators' credits on Wikipedia, especially for "The Flintstones", are not accurate. The names are just taken off the end credits, without regard for who actually animated the episode.

  4. David, the ad is apparently from 1961. I've seen similar ones which plug Huck on a Monday, Quick Draw on a Tuesday and Yogi on a Friday, all in the same time slot.
    And I skipped the whole matter of credits. I have copies of cartoons with no credits. BCDB has credits for some. I am loathe to accept what they say, which is why I ask for readers here to cue me in who did backgrounds, layout and so on for a specific cartoon, and explain how they know.
    JL, you pretty well wrote what was the original last paragraph of the post but I deleted it. I don't know whether preparatory work was being done on The Flagstones when these and the other shorts were being made. Or when they first started doing commercials.
    Martin, I didn't want to get into a convoluted explanation but the main exception to what I mentioned about the listings was Canada. The Ottawa Citizen has only a couple of editions which mention a specific show that season. They're different shows. You may recall there was a time when American shows were required to air before they did in the U.S. or at the same time to protect Canadian TV stations, but I believe that applied only to American network shows.

  5. I saw the episode featuring Jinx the cat on You Tube. It went longer than 7 minutes, and just ended, rather than having a real story ending. --This is where the mice are visited by their larger Texas cousin, who Jink just can't beat at all. So Jinx gets the idea to invite HIS texas cat cousin over. The show ends at the doorstep when the cousin merely says, "oh I am not a well cat at all..." and then bang, THE END.

    I feel like, what about the ending? My ending suggestion. Neither cat can beat the Texas mouse, so Jinx packs up and leaves. The Texas mouse then gets bored because "the cats here are not as fun as in Texas. I am leavin' cuz!"
    Once Jinx, who is hiding in the back yard, sees the mouse go back home, he resumes being top cat around the house.

    I guess the HB Enterprises staff ran out of recording tape out there at Cahuenga Blvd. West, and just ended the show arbitrarily. Oh well.

  6. Ah, yes, Bill. 'Cousin Tex.' Read about it on the blog here.

    I imagine the "visiting Texan" idea was lifted by Joe Barbera from his 1955 Tom and Jerry cartoon Pecos Pest but it goes off in a different direction. Writer Charlie Shows added to it along the way and some of the story endings during his time at HB Enterprises aren't exactly very strong.

  7. Yowp --

    I would imagine that for original network programming, back in the days when the schedules for the next season were pretty much set by the spring and locked in for the full year (i.e. they ordered a lot more episodes from the start then than they do now) H-B had to have something solid to present to ABC pretty early along the line -- moreso than even the other Fall 1960 ABC animated half-hour, "The Bugs Bunny Show", where the network only had to see the linking segments, and was still in the middle of a five-year deal with Warner Brothers (it also shows why Bill and Joe really, really needed Michael Maltese to migrate over from Warners in the footsteps of Warren Foster -- the studio needed a ton of storylines in a hurry, both for the six-minute shorts and the 30-minute prime-time show).

  8. The production schedules of the syndicated H-B series, like "THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN" for Kellogg's in the '50s, were determined by money. The first two seasons of "SUPERMAN" (1952-'54), in black and white, consisted of 26 episodes apiece. When the series began filming in color after season two [and those episodes wouldn't be seen IN color until 1966, same as H-B's initially syndicated shows], the production budget had to be adjusted for color filming, and the number of episodes were cut from 26 to 13 every season. This also meant "SUPERMAN"'s new seasons after season two began in January, instead of September, which finally ended in March 1958.

    In H-B's case, after an initial 26 episode season of both Huck and Quick Draw, they produced 13 new episodes each season (sprinkled with repeats from earlier seasons), through the 1961-'62 season. Then all episodes were syndicated through 1966, when Kellogg's sponsorship ended, and all of those series were "repackaged" in the fall of '66 with new opening/closing titles {minus the Kellogg's references} and released in full color.