Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Hanna-Barbera Odds and Ends

It’s time again to dig through the snapshots sent to me by reader Billie Towzer, who has scoured the internet for interesting items relating to the early days at the Hanna-Barbera studio.

We’ve posted comic book pages before, but here’s the first issue of Gold Key’s ‘Hanna-Barbera Band-Wagon, with a cover date of October 1962.

You got 84 pages for 25 cents, with stories drawn by Jack Carey, Lynn Karp, Kay Wright, Pete Alvarado and Phil DeLara. The major characters are noticeable by their absence on the cover; it seems the studio was trying to promote its newest cartoons with Wally Gator, Touché Turtle and Lippy the Lion on the cover. There’s even an Officer Dibble story inside. And Boo Boo gets his own story. Read more about it HERE.

What’s better than a Yogi Bear record AND a discount on fruit? Why aren’t there offers like that any more? Kellogg’s had all kinds of offers and contests and neat things that are being sold for a fortune on e-Bay today. Two box tops—and not any Kellogg’s box tops, but ones with a red star on them—got you a 25-cent certificate toward buying fruit. One per family only. And you think George Lucas invented those ‘The Making of ...” movies? Pft. Hanna-Barbera did. For one box top and 25 cents, you could get a record of Daws Butler as Yogi explaining The Making of ‘Hey There, Yogi Bear.’ I’d love to hear that.

Oh, you don’t just get Daws. You get Don Messick. And music by Marty Paich. AND a narrative written by Warren Foster. And it’s not one of those cardboard cut-out records like you got eating Post cereals. This looks like an honest-to-goodness record.

The Leo Burnett ad agency spent a lot of Kellogg’s money not only on television, but newspaper space as well. I just finished cleaning up a black-and-white photocopy of the ad you see to the right but Billie has sent a colour version. This is from 1962. Kids didn’t have to send away for anything. They just had to chow down on eight different boxes of the cereal, then rip the back off for a pin-up. I thought 3-D was dead in 1962.

What’s interesting to me, besides Yogi with the bandaged thumb from nailing the pin-ups (too “imitative” to be allowed on cereal boxes today, I suspect), is which characters don’t have cards. H-B was pushing Top Cat, so that means Boo Boo, Yakky Doodle, Snooper and Blabber and Hokey Wolf get pushed out of the pin-up business. It’s a little odd to see Top Cat connected with the Yogi-Huck-Quick Draw world but T.C. did appear in some of the Yogi Sunday strips. And he was sponsored (in part, anyway) by Kellogg’s.

And, finally, before there was a Walter Mondale, before there was a Hubert Humphrey, there was Yogi Bear. Yes, the three of them have gone down in the annals of history as launching failed bids for the presidency of the United States. Yogi duked it out with Clifton DeBerry (the first black presidential candidate), Dr. Earle Munn, Sr. and a couple of guys named Goldwater and LBJ in the 1964 election. Actually, he took on someone else, too. And we’ll have that story for you on the blog next week.

My thanks again to Billie for the courtesy of sending me these pictures. More will be posted in the weeks ahead.


  1. The artwork on that Yogi button is the same as was used in all the advertising for the Jellystone Park Campgrounds, so it's possible it may be a relic of the 1972 election year rather than Yogi's original bid for the office in 1964. Perhaps Mr. "Smarter Than the Average Politician" ran both times?

  2. To be honest, Tim, I've never checked to see if there was a '72 campaign. I've got a Yogi '64 button and the layout is the same (down to the calligraphy) but Yogi's design isn't identical.

  3. Keep in mind that "TOP CAT" was primarily sponsored by Kellogg's in its only prime-time season (1961-'62; Bristol-Myers, the makers of Bufferin, was the alternate sponsor), and they constantly promoted the tie-ins between their cereals and the characters that "pushed" them during those shows. And even if new episodes weren't produced in 1964, Kellogg's and Hanna-Barbera continued to cross-promote each other, as in the "Hey There, It's Yogi Bear!" movie. A friend of mine once played me that record, and it features commentary by Yogi and Boo Boo about the film, with excerpts from the soundtrack (including several of the musical numbers).

    As for the "Band-Wagon" comic book, remember that "THE NEW HANNA-BARBERA CARTOON SHOW" (the unofficial title for the syndicated half-hour series featuring Wally, Touche and Lippy) had just started appearing on local stations at the time the comic was published. So which characters do YOU think H-B and Gold Key were trying to capitalize on?

  4. Yes, I'm just wondering if the Jellystone chain might have reissued the "Yogi for Prez" buttons, using what would be their standard Yogi art/head shot.

    As for the "Hey There" record, I might point out that all the voices are the same as in the movie EXCEPT the female ones (Cindy and a lady at the square dance), which for this recording were done by my old friend Nancy Wible.She never knew why she was asked to re-record those parts.

  5. Great post Yowp. Love the memorabilia!! Had a friend that owned a few " Gold-Key " H-B Comics. Boy, I remember the cut-out, warped paper records from Post cereals....watching the tone arm slide, or "skate" half way across the record before it finished..Then..listening to my parents yell for " ruining their " needle".Ha!! The life of a kid growing up in the 60's. I did some voice-overs for Leo Burnett Agency waaaaaay back. They did seem to put a little more money into their projects. On a completely different subject.. Tim, I think I may have worked for two organizations on the " Huntsville Re-Wound " Page.

  6. I own all of the issues of Hanna-Barbera Bandwagon as well as all the Huckleberry Hound comic books ever printed by everyone in the USA. I also have the Yogi Bear record from Kelloggs as well. This was a great trip down memory lane, Yowp.

  7. This issue of BANDWAGON, which I bought at a local candy store back in the day, was the first time I had ever heard of Loopy De Loop!

    I’d had always assumed Loopy to be another “made up for the comics” character as were the Cave Kids, or as Uncle Scrooge and Gyro Gearloose were for the Disney comics.

    Then, to my utter amazement, I saw Loopy cartoons on the USA (cable) Network in the ‘80s! There’s another “lost series” to join Ruff and Reddy, who were also in that issue of BANDWAGON.

    Also, not enough readers jumped onto this particular “Bandwagon”, and the series ended with issue # 3 – a non-giant-sized issue that introduced the J. Evil Scientist Family to comics. Though, as I recall, they were flesh-color in that first story, becoming their (un) healthy green in later appearances.

    At that time, there were no comics better than Gold Key comics!

  8. This would be the mid-era of HB, just after the time the Capitol music gave way to Curtin's, but five years before later Ted Nichols, "Josie,","Pebbles and Bamm Bamm","Cattanooga Cats',"Scooby" and the other Filmation-type shows started appearing. We won't dwell on those.

    Tim, as for Nancy Wible rerecording the voice,s it was just common, after all, you've written a lot on Disney completely doing that stuff for Disneyland records in your and Greg Ehrbahr's book, "Mouse Tracks", and there are MANY old labels doing that kind of stuff with TV shows, as well as radio doing second cast adapations of movies.

    [I personally wouldnt' have called it so much an honor to do these post-1963 HB projects, as this would be the start of the big Shark Jump, even before hideous stuff like Jabberjaw, by this time, but we've discussed the fall of HB elsewhere].