Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Huck and Yogi and Breakfast

There was a time when breakfast was fun, before it became politically-correct and do-gooders tried to force people to eat better (after several decades, we can see how effective that’s been). Kellogg’s had fun commercials for its cereals featuring the great early Hanna-Barbera characters. There were games and giveaways on the packages. And even the company’s attempt at making kids get the necessary vitamins, etc. in their morning meal was fun.

Our roving correspondent Billie Towzer has again journeyed around the internet to bring us old Hanna-Barbera stuff, and today our first stop involves an attempt by Kellogg’s to get schools to promote healthy eating habits. Involving a certain cereal brand, of course.

I wish I could see the instructions on how this game worked (note, see comment section). It was sent to schools about 1961 or 1962. But we can see the neat drawings of Mr Jinks, Yogi, Huck and the football-headed version of Tony the Tiger on the first card; Mark Christiansen speculates Bick Bickenbach might be responsible. The second picture is of a scorecard where, cleverly showing how effective its TV ads are, kids are challenged to match a Kellogg’s spokescharacter with his cereal. And, for good measure, it plugs the Variety Pak, Snack-Pak, Request Pak and Handi-Pak, as well as a whole roster of cereals (including the obscure “Concentrate”) and Corn Flake Crumbs (with fried chicken on the box).

And the good folks in Battle Creek, Michigan gave you a chance to pretend to be your favourite cartoons character. Of course, you had to get mom to buy a box of cereal before you could do it. Here are a couple of cut-out masks you could make from the back of Corn Flakes boxes. Besides Sir Huckleberry Hound, there was the policeman version of Huck (also from the 1958-59 season of cartoons), aviator Buzz Huckleberry, Yogi and Boo Boo. I presume there was a Dixie as well so poor Pixie wouldn’t be left on his own. I’d hope there’d be a Mr. Jinks, who is way cooler than, like, you know, them miserable meeces, like.

Just as a side note, Audrey Hepburn wore a non-Kellogg’s Huckleberry Hound mask in the 1961 movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s, which also featured Hanna-Barberians Alan Reed and Mel Blanc (uncredited).

And we can’t conclude this post without another edition of Way Off Model Character Designs. Billie found this tin pail featuring Huck, Yogi and Tom and Jerry. Kind of. Why is Yogi wearing a bow tie?

My thanks to Billie, who sent along some other shots in an effort to squeeze a future post out of the blog.



  2. Here's what I can make out of the game rules:

    Divide your class into 4 teams - "Yogi Bear", Huck Hound", "Mr. Jinks", and "Tony the Tiger". Each day, the team with the most members who've eaten good breakfasts climbs one space closer to "ringing" the bell. Make a book with a pencil or crayon on the game chart to _____ each team's daily progress. In case of ties, both teams advance one space. The first team to reach the bell wins. The game continues until all teams "ring the bell". If there is a tie for first place, tying teams play the game again to determine the winner. Each member of the winning team gets a blue ribbon to _____ on his game _____.

  3. Oops... should say "make a mark" not "make a book".

  4. Yes, Yowp, those were the days! I loved the whole Kellogg's cartoon culture thing, and strong-armed my mother into buying every cereal box that had an H-B or other classic cartoon character on it back in the 1950s. (Wish I'd saved more of the boxes!) Imagine a time when you could buy a General Mills, Kellogg's or Post cereal, pour it into a bowl and serenely crunch down on it without worrying about whether the corn in Kellogg's Corn Flakes was GMO (Frankenfoods) or not, and how much high fructose corn syrup was used in Kellogg's Frosted Flakes or Post's Sugar Rice Krinkles (my favorite cereal). Kellogg's proudly declared recently that they don't CARE whether the corn they used is genetically modified or not, so they don't care much anymore about the health of us kids who grew up loving their cereal and culture. So eat ORGANIC, everybody! Mark Kausler

    1. At least you cared to have had that kind of life Mark. I'm sure my folks did too.

  5. He had the hat and the voice, now with the addition of his vest, Yogi has completed his transformation into Ed Norton. Va-va-va-voom!

  6. As a 5th grader in 1961-62 I had to do one of those Kellogg's breakfast contests, with a tally card for Mom to fill out showing all the items I had for breakfast over a two week period.

    Our family was not into the kind of breakfasts the contest called for (toast, juice, cereal, etc.). My Mother gamely did it for about a week, then decided it was too much trouble and started to omitting many of the items. But Mom did fudge the tally card so at least I wouldn't look bad.

  7. NYC schools were still participating in this program in the late 1960's. We would have to stand up if we had a good breakfast, and you got prizes for it, so of course everyone stood up whether or not they did.

    Well I do remember one exception: one day one girl stayed seated. The teacher was so struck by her honesty that she walked over silently and gave her a prize anyway.

    Me, after witnessing this, the next day I stood up and then sat down in a sad, pathetic attempt of mock honesty and got bupkis for it. :P

  8. I'm thinking the off-model cat and mouse are actually supposed to be Jinks and Dixie (which would make more sense combined with Huck and Yogi). Notice that the mouse has a vest like Dixie--and there's another mouse, sans vest, on the ladder behind Yogi. The cat, of course, looks nothing like Jinks--his color is more like Tom's--but that doesn't mean much given the way Huck and Yogi are drawn.

  9. Mike, makes sense to me. Awful, isn't it?