Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The MegaCollector's Huckleberry Hound

© Hanna-Barbera. Click the thumbnails for full images.

The title character of Hanna-Barbera's second syndicated TV cartoon show (and first hit) was a blue dog whose most distinct characteristic was singing "My Darling Clementine" off-key.

According to Ted Sennett's The World of Hanna-Barbera, Hanna and Barbera originally intended for Yogi Bear to be named Huckleberry Bear -- which is a clue to the character's (intentionally?) generic nature.

In various cartoons, Huckleberry Hound appeared as everything from a cowboy to a farmer to a medieval knight, all voiced by Daws Butler in the identical Southern drawl. Most of M. C.'s collection of Huck art is of the Hound in the center of a group of his "buddies," pointing to his intended status as the H-B equivalent of Mickey Mouse -- at least as much of a corporate symbol as a distinct cartoon personality. Two years after Huck's debut, a certain Flintstone named Fred arrived, and soon took Huck's place as the de facto symbol of H-B's growing empire.

Below, "Huckleberry Hound Meets Wee Willie," the pilot episode of the first season, originally broadcast October 2, 1958.


Jeff Harris said...

I . . . love Huckleberry Hound. I always liked the character, his "chameleonesque" persona, and, of course, his "aw shucks" attitude. Alas, as you mentioned, Hanna-Barbera moved on towards The Flintstones, Jonny Quest, Scooby-Doo, and everything else, and Huck was degraded to a sometimes sidekick of Yogi Bear, whose own star was fading at the time. I'd think that if Cartoon Network Studios or Warner Brothers were smart, they'd try to create a real shorts system and allow many creators to put their spin on the character. Create a new show out of it. It'd be fun.

Site Meter