Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Ads and Alfy

Time to empty some of the mailbox and see what readers have sent. And we’ll have an extra treat at the end.

Billie Towzer has made another journey around the internet and passes on some ads for Hanna-Barbera’s best shows. Kellogg’s bought 5:30-6:00 p.m. on a station in Springfield, Missouri. H-B must have had all kinds of art available for advertising use based on its cartoons. Huck appeared in desert garb in “Legion Bound Hound” while Quick Draw took on a (white) bull in “Bull-Leave Me.”

These ads are from TV Guide for the 1966 Alice special. There were a bunch of things I didn’t like about it at the time (and I haven’t seen it in its entirety since its original airing) which I’ve mentioned here before, but Janet Waldo, Howie Morris, Harvey Korman and some of the other voice actors do a nice job.

Mike Clark has what, no doubt, is a satisfying little avocation. He runs a historical website about WTVT, Channel 13, in Tampa, Florida and has sent me a photo and some background.

Sometime around '61 or '62 (you'd probably know the date better than I would) Channel 13 bought the H-B package of programs. As a promotional gimmick Screen Gems sent H-B character costumes to Tampa (I don't know if the people inside were from Hollywood or if WTVT hired locals) and they were photographed "arriving" at Tampa Airport. Meeting them was WTVT's general manager, Gene Dodson (the man on the right). The other fellow in the shot strongly resembles the station's promotion director at the time, Ned Jay, but I can't absolutely confirm that. He is shaking Mr. Dodson's hand which suggests he may be from outside the employment of WTVT....perhaps he is from Screen Gems. This is my 'best guess.'

The children in the photo are probably those of WTVT staffers. You'll note that some of them are barefoot, which in the south was farely common (as a youngster I used to be barefoot at the store, believe it or not). In fact, Mr. Dodson is rather casually dressed as well.

WTVT also produced a special telecast that aired twice. The program was videotaped with their mobile unit and showed the H-B characters walking along the streets of Tampa in search of WTVT. No video or stills exist of this program....but I remember seeing it at the time.
The photo is courtesy of Mike would like you to know you can see stories about the local kids show hosts where the HB cartoons were shown at the BIG13 web site. Looking at old photos from TV’s past is always worthwhile.

Brent Pearson saw the posting about Jerry Hathcock and passed on a shot of a drawing that Jerry did for him of Dino. Jerry had worked at Disney and arrived at H-B to work on “The Flintstones.” He also animated on “Jonny Quest.”

Occasionally, I get notes from people asking how much cartoon art is worth or where to sell it. I’m a cartoon dog, not an appraiser, so I honestly don’t know how much anything is worth. There are several places that sell animation art; an on-line search will net a few names. Of course, people also sell through on-line sites.

Tim Hollis sent me this sad clipping and attached a note:

I found this Associated Press photo in a May 2, 1962 newspaper. It certainly shows that H-B toys could be good for more than just being future collectibles and museum pieces! This certainly has to be one of their grimmest media appearances, though. Sort of makes one wonder whatever became of that little girl, who would be 61 years old now.
By the way, Tim passes on word he’s working on the records chapter of TOONS IN TOYLAND and about to plunge into the Hanna-Barbera Records story. When isn’t he writing a book?

Finally, someone asked me about Alfy Gator, who appeared in four “Yakky Doodle” cartoons. Fibber Fox is my favourite Yakky character and Alfy’s second. Tony Benedict gets the story credit on the Alfy cartoons so I asked him how the character was invented.

Alphy Gator was mine from the start. I was a big time Hitchcock fan. His characters often got away with serious crimes in the body of the show. Only after the last commercial in the epilogue Hitch would inform the audience that the bad guy was eventually caught and sent to jail. That little twist always amused me.
Tony sent me a great drawing of the H-B characters combined with old and new pictures of him and layout artist Jerry Eisenberg (and Joe and Bill from their early MGM days) at an internet cafe. If he wants me to take it down, I will, but the characters look so good in this, I thought I’d pass it on. The drawings even have shadows. Tony is working on a project involving his time in animation, including Hanna-Barbera, and I hope it comes about soon.

Thanks to everyone who has helped with this post.


  1. Saw Cartoon Cafe image on Tony Benedict's Hanna-Barbera Before the Suits website. I'm anxiously awaiting for that long rumoured documentary he's working on about Hanna-Barbera.

  2. Wayne, all I know from our last chat a few weeks ago is Tony's still doing something and he's working with some people.

  3. "Yowp-Yowp" Dodsworth and HB-fanatics from the whole world,

    On the first CBS ad which involves the three Hanna-Barbera's classical trilogies (The Yogi Bear Show, The Huckelberry Hound Show, The Quick Draw McGraw Show), there's a reference from Quick Draw, who appears wearing a vest, on the episode Choo-Choo Chumps (which brings the first appearance from the Twin Meanies).

  4. I have thousands of original H-B cels and COILS of backgrounds. I lived about 2mi away from them on Cahuenga when they were in a single-story bldg, circa 1962. We'd go through their dumpsters on the weekend, and once I had my mom drive her 1963 Chevy Impala Convertible down there and filled up her trunk with tens of thousands of cels and hundreds of feet of hand-painted background! some of my best were ruined when I was in the Navy, stationed as a pilot instructor at NAS Pensacola FL. Hurricane Ivan destroyed a Fred Flintstone cel where he was holding an elephant's trunk and using it as a firehose! it was about 20cels stapled together, one of Fred, the rest of various water streams emanating from the trunk....totally destroyed by salt-water wash. It was unfortunately a real find....still have a hell of a lot left, if anyone has a strong fetish for any particular character. most of mine are from Huckleberry Hound, Flintstone, Tom and Jerry, Wally Gator and Top Cat cartoons. very little Jetsons, maybe their show came after my dumpster-diving!