Saturday 15 June 2019

The Best To You...

Kellogg’s bankrolled the first three half-hour Hanna-Barbera series in syndication. Not only did the shows plug Kellogg cereals in the commercial breaks, the sponsor was worked into the opening and closing animated credits.

Actually, for the first series, The Huckleberry Hound Show, there was a little more of a connection than that. The new Kellogg’s Corn Flakes mascot, Cornelius the rooster, appeared after the opening animation to knock on a door through which Huck would enter and begin the show.

Cornelius showed up in the opening as well, crowing, leading an elephant clarinet and then finally rising above the ground in a hot air balloon.

The sponsor’s name (with Art Gilmore doing the first-season voice over) opened the closing animation in a paper hoop that Huck, and then a jalopy driven by Cornelius, burst through, as the two picked up all the other Kellogg’s spokes-cartoon animals. When the cartoons were syndicated later by Screen Gems, the animation was re-done to substitute characters on the show.

The third series, The Yogi Bear Show, had a creative opening where Yogi drove the ranger’s jeep into a billboard and snatched the Kellogg’s lettering as he motored into the distance and then emerged from a second billboard, holding out the letters.

The closing saw Yogi in the ranger’s helicopter flying under the Kellogg’s letters, pulling a banner with the company’s slogan “The best to you each morning.” The banner disappeared in the next scene.

Naturally, my favourite is from the second series, The Quick Draw McGraw Show. Quick Draw is driving a stage. He cracks the whip to make his horses go faster (let’s not get into the horse vs horse debate) and it forms the Kellogg’s letters. His expression changes when the letters fall around his snout. He cracks the whip again and it gets wrapped around his head before re-forming the Kellogg’s letters. The eyes are great. My guess is Dick Lundy animated this.

The Kellogg’s name shows up again superimposed over the cloud of dust caused when Quick Draw skids the stage to a stop.

The sponsor returns in the closing as the bumpy road reveals the Kellogg’s slogan on boards at the back of the stage. The bouncing caused by the bumps then jars Baba Looey and a chest off the stage. Running behind, he and Quick Draw engage in a Senor Wences routine where Baba opens the chest, pops up and says “S’all-right!” before closing on himself. When I was a kid, I had never seen Senor Wences and when I finally saw him do his routine on Ed Sullivan’s show, I thought he had stolen it from Quick Draw.

The animation had to be deleted when Kellogg’s no longer sponsored the half-hour. I noticed the change as a young viewer and was very disappointed. Screen Gems began shopping around the cartoons in 1966, coincidentally about the time Hanna-Barbera was negotiating with Taft to buy it.

The way the sponsor was worked in was fairly creative and added to each of the series.


  1. When Warners came out with their 60's Saturday Morning Cartoons Vol. 1, it was disappointing to see the edited version of the Quick Draw open/close used (even though that was correct, because when the show had its brief Saturday morning run, Kellogg's was no longer the sponsor). But apparently Warner Home Video was able to work a deal with the cereal maker for Vol. 2, since the full 1959 Kellogg's open/close was there in all its glory.

    1. It was interesting they went to the trouble to correct that for the second volume.

  2. I remember for a short time in the mid 1960s, our ABC affiliate's kid's afternoon cartoon host ran some of those shows in their original form. The rooster, driving through the billboard, Screen Gems logo,the whole thing.

  3. thanks for posting I loved these