Saturday, 19 July 2014

Memories of Hanna-Barbera

Have you got an hour to hear about Hanna-Barbera? Good. Then settle back and watch this video taken at this year’s Wonder Con in Anaheim, California. Former layout artist Jerry Eisenberg, writer Tony Benedict and voice director Wally Burr talk about their creations and co-workers at the studio.

Having chatted with Jerry and Tony (and you can read Jerry’s chat here on the blog), I can’t express enough what friendly and genuine people they are, though you’ll pick that up from the video. Both had many contributions to the comedy cartoons the studio made in the 1960. Mr. Burr was employed at the studio in a later period and had the distinction of being hired by Bill Hanna and fired by Joe Barbera. He tells a funny tale of voice directing Daws Butler in “Laff-a-Lympics,” though I’m at a loss to understand why Mr. Burr just didn’t level with Daws about who was giving the order.

The highlight may be Tony’s video featuring candid footage from the ‘60s of the people he worked with. You may notice it has music by Hoyt Curtin for “Top Cat” and other shows from that period which has never been released on DVD.

The session is coaxed along by another extremely friendly and genuine person, Mark Evanier. I can’t help but think that cartoon writer Earl Kress would have been there, too, if Earl were still with us.

My thanks to Mr. Benj. Edge for pointing out this video. I hope it hasn’t been taken down by the time you read this.


  1. Great stuff! especially Tony's HB mockumentary in the middle.

  2. Jerry Eisenberg, Tony Benedict and Wally Burr and mark Evanier are terrific, terrific, terrific people. Jerry is such a joy, I'd listen to him all day. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to Tony for giving us the privilege of watching the making of Hanna-Barbera from an insider's point of view. Wally Burr is a great wit, very interesting. Mark Evanier is the king of panel moderation. (also hear that he writes pretty good, too) Thank you very much for this video.

    P.S. Shouldn't be saying this, but it appears that Mr. Burr and Mr. Evanier don't get along.

  3. Really Great Stuff.

  4. Always great to see surviving members of the original H-B studio staff reminiscing about their experiences and relationships with other staff members during their time there.

    Off the subject, though, I have to say that if there's one thing I don't like about these videos of the panel discussion sessions at ComicCon is that there's always this one guy sitting near the camera who often laughs in such an annoyingly blustery way, like the dog in the Tex Avery short "Bad Luck Blackie", that it just throws me off of any interest in watching the rest of the video because his laughter occasionally overwhelms the voices of the panelists. Whoever is responsible for running the camera should consider finding a less crowded vantage point to record from, if that's at all possible.