Saturday, 12 January 2019

Huck the Canuck

Huckleberry Hound, Pixie and Dixie and Yogi Bear didn’t come to Canada until 1959, but their new series got some praise in the Canadian media the year before. The Vancouver Sun lauded the cartoon series in its TV column of November 27, 1958, less than two months after the Huckleberry Hound Show debuted in the U.S.

The reason is simple. Vancouver is not too far from the U.S. border and kids could tune in Huck on Channel 5 in Seattle. Kids (and others) in the Vancouver and Victoria areas were actually pretty lucky. Not only could they watch Huck on Thursdays on KING-TV, they could tune him in on CBUT and CHEK-TV on Wednesdays starting January 7, 1959. By 1961, KVOS-TV in Bellingham, about 20 miles across the border in Washington State, aired Huck as well, meaning you could see Huck three times every week!

(As a side note, Quick Draw McGraw got the three-times-a-week treatment as well, and the prime-time Bugs Bunny Show aired twice a week, once on the CBC, once on ABC. Add to that the various morning/afternoon cartoon shows on local TV. We didn’t need a “Cartoon Network” back then).

Anyway, here’s Jim Gilmore’s column. It appears no one told him about Daws Butler. The publicity shot of Huck the paper ran isn’t available.

You can have your Pogos, your Charlie Browns and your Mr. Magoos. I'll take Huckleberry Hound every time. And just who is Huckleberry Hound, you ask? Man, If you haven't heehawed at Huck, you're working too hard.
Huckleberry H. just happens to be television's first adult cartoon, and the first half hour program to be entirely animated. Never touched by human hands, so to speak.
Huckleberry, as you can see by his picture, is a hound dog. He comes from the deep south, and you will recognize his cornpone voice as soon as you hear it. It's sort of hard to describe here.
One of Huck's henchmen is a big, bumbling bear, name of Yogi. Yogi Bear. Now, his voice is a real corker. Sounds exactly like Art Carney's "Helloo there Ralphy, boy!" Ed Norton characterization from The Honeymooners.
There are other little people, er animals, too, including Pixie and Dixie, a couple of "meece."
Huckleberry Hound is the inspired creation of two men William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. You've probably laughed at another of their cartoons—Tom and Jerry.
* * *
Hanna and Barbara, who also do most of the voice characterizations for Huckleberry, have turned out over 200 films detailing the adventures of Jerry, the mischievous rodent, Tom, the bungling feline, and, of course, Spike, the ferocious bulldog. Since Huckleberry Hound befriended Channel 5 last month, he has cultivated an extremely loyal, and ever-growing following.
Huck returns tonight at 6, with three more adventures "Two Corny Crows," "Baffled Bears," and "Ghost with the Most." Watch for him.
About the closest Huck came to being a Canadian was when he played a Mountie in Tricky Trapper (1958) with his North Carolina accent intact. HERE is our review of the cartoon from almost ten years ago. Below is the great opening background that’s panned left to right. Click on it to see a bigger version. It’s the work of veteran Bob Gentle.


  1. The same situation existed in other places in Canada, like Windsor or Toronto, where the signals from Detroit, Buffalo and Rochester were available across the border (though Toronto's signals from the U.S. could be hit-and-miss, depending on the Lake Ontario weather conditions).

    1. Likewise with Montreal and the Eastern Townships region of Quebec by way of WCAX Burlington, VT and WMTW Poland Springs/Mt. Washington (the latter also known to reach into Quebec City at times).

  2. Er, Bill and Joe did Huck? Obviously they didn';t hear of Daws Butler & Don Messick! Nice pst,btw!

  3. I mean, Bill and Joe did the voices for Huck? :-)

  4. From Yowp, right before the quote:
    "It appears that Jim never heard of Daws Butler!"
    (tying in with my above posts)

    Correct.. and the reviewer quoted clearly never heard of Don Messick,either.