Yogi Bear

Yogi Bear –  “I’m smarter than the average bear”,

I always liked Yogi Bear and would watch it when I got a chance…if only for the way he said pic-a-nic baskets.

Yogi first started out as a sidekick in a Hanna-Barbera show called The Huckleberry Hound Show in 1958. He was the first Hanna-Barbera character to break out.

In 1961 he was given his own show called The Yogi Bear Show. His show included other segments like Yakky Doodle and Snagglepuss.  The show also featured episodes with Yogi Bear breaking away from the unadventurous life of other bears in Yellowstone Park.

The plot was basically Yogi raiding picnic baskets, dodging hibernation, being chased by Ranger Smith,  and making money together with his more honest sidekick Boo-Boo Bear. The show also featured episodes of Ranger Smith trying to tame Yogi and Boo-Boo Bear.

Around this time the great baseball player Yogi Berra sued Hanna-Barbera for defamation. But Hanna-Barbera claimed that the similarity of the names was just purely coincidental. Eventually, Yogi Berra withdrew his suit. When Yogi Berra died the AP’s wire service mistakenly announced the death of Yogi Bear instead…that is sad.

Yogi starred in a feature film, Hey There, It’s Yogi Bear, in 1964.

Yogi’s personality was based on Art Carney’s character from The Honeymooners.

The Yogi Bear Show lasted only 2 season but other shows featuring Yogi continued on. Yogi Bear and Friends, Yogi’s Gang, Yogi’s Space Race, Galaxy Goof-Ups, Yogi’s Treasure Hunt, The New Yogi Bear Show, and Yo Yogi! Yogi was on the air from 1958 to the 1990s.

Daws Butler originated the voice of Yogi and did it from 1958 to 1988 when he passed away. He was replaced by Greg Burson who was personally taught by Butler on how to do Yogi’s voice and other characters.

Scooby Doo Where Are You!

On Saturday morning, September 13, 1969, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! premiered. This is probably one of the most popular cartoons ever that even spawned a few live-action movies and tons of merchandise. The show went through many stages before it was ready for the public.

In 1968 Fred Silverman envisioned the show as a cross between the popular I Love a Mystery radio serials of the 1940s and the popular early 1960s TV show The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.

Joe Ruby and Ken Spears, and artist/character designer Iwao Takamoto worked on Silverman’s idea. Their original concept of the show had the title Mysteries Five, and featured five teens (Geoff, Mike, Kelly, Linda, and Linda’s brother “W.W.”) and their dog, Too Much, who were all in a band called “The Mysteries Five” (even the dog; he played the bongos). When “The Mysteries Five” weren’t performing at gigs, they were out solving spooky mysteries involving ghosts, zombies, and other supernatural creatures. Ruby and Spears then had to decide what to make their dog. The dog was going to be a sheepdog but that would conflict with the Archies (who had a sheepdog, Hot Dog, in their band) but then settled on a Great Dane.

The executives felt that the presentation artwork was too frightening for young viewers, and, thought the show would be the same, decided to pass on it.

Ruby and Spears reworked the show to make it more comedic and less frightening. They dropped the rock band element and began to focus more attention on Shaggy and Too Much. According to Ruby and Spears, Silverman was inspired by the ad-lib “doo-be-doo-be-doo” he heard at the end of Frank Sinatra’s interpretation of Bert Kaempfert’s song “Strangers in the Night” on the way out to one of their meetings, and decided to rename the dog “Scooby-Doo” and re-rechristened the show Scooby-Doo, Where are You?… The rest as they say…is history!

Matthew Sweet did a version of the theme that I really like


The original theme song




Speed Buggy

Ever notice that a few teenage characters in cartoons in the early seventies tended to look a lot like Shaggy from Scooby Doo?

Speed Buggy took its name from the main character–a talking orange dune buggy named “Speedy.” It also featured a trio of human characters who travel the world with Speedy to participate in races and win trophies… Mark,  Debbie, and Tinker, the mechanic/driver…and Shaggy clone. The show was a huge success… it ended up airing on all three major networks.

Only sixteen 30-minute episodes of Speed Buggy were produced in 1973. It aired first run on CBS until 1975. Reruns aired on ABC in January 1976, replacing Uncle Croc’s Block, then on NBC, replacing the canceled McDuff, The Talking Dog, from November 27, 1976, until September 3, 1977 (thus completing the cycle of being on all three networks). Then was picked up by the USA Network for its Cartoon Express shows from 1982 to about 1990.

Not only is “Tinker” pretty much a copy of Shaggy… there are some similar character traits between Mark and Fred Jones (the blonde guy from Scooby Doo) and Debbie appears to be very similar to Daphne Blake in multiple ways.

Here is a picture of Speed Buggy cast and their doppelgangers from Scooby Doo

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The voice talent comprised Mel Blanc as Speed Buggy, Michael Bell as Mark, Arlene Golonka as Debbie and Phil Luther Jr. as Tinker.

I’ve read where they based Speed Buggy off of Herbie The Love Bug

Scooby Doo meets Speed Buggy

Wacky Races

I would watch this on those magical Saturday mornings when the cartoons last until around noon. Then out the door, I would go but from 7am – noon it was a kids world.

Wacky Races is about a series of car competitions where eleven racers race in different location all over North America. The story revolves around Dick Dastardly and his dog Muttley who is determined to cheat just to win the game but they always lose every time. Wacky Races was produced by Hanna-Barbera and aired from 1968 to 1970.

Inspired by the 1965 film The Great Race the cartoon features eleven teams of racers competing to win the title of “World’s Wackiest Racer.” The roster of competitors included: Dick Dastardly and Muttley, The Slag Brothers, The Gruesome Twosome, Professor Pat Pending, The Red Max, Penelope Pitstop, Sergeant Blast and Private Meekly, The Ant Hill Mob, Lazy Luke, and Blubber Bear, Peter Perfect, and Rufus Ruffcut and Sawtooth.

Image result for wacky races


The Jetsons

I always liked the Jetsons and the push-button future…which some of that did come true except the flying cars and such…but we have some of the push-button technology. It was always a fun watch. Hard to believe it only ran for 3 seasons…the 1st in the sixties and the last two…two decades later in the 80s.

The Jetsons was a cartoon produced by Hanna-Barbera. It aired from September 23, 1962, to March 17, 1963, then it later ran in syndication with new episodes from 1985 to 1987. When it came on it only lasted that one season. One of the reasons it was said because only three percent of American households had a color television set and the show looked flat in black and white.

The next two seasons were between 1985 and 1987. The artwork looked a little different and the plots were a little weaker. They did make a cross over movie between the Flintstones and the Jetsons called The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones in 1987.


Speed Racer 1967

   “Here he comes, here he comes; Speed Racer. He’s a demon on wheels…” that will always stick with me. 

I first saw this in the 70s at some point and it was different. I had said that Jonny Quest was different and it was but this one…was completely different than anything I had seen. It was my first viewing of Japanese Anime.  Speed Racer was one of the first Japanese anime cartoons to make it stateside back in the 1960s. The show originally called Mach Go Go Go reached millions of kids around the world while in syndication. My first thought while watching it while I was older…this was NOT Hanna-Barbera. 

I discovered Speed Racer and Jonny Quest at the same time. I would watch it at my cousin’s house and was blown away by the different animation.

Speed Racer (Go Mifune) is the young driver of the Mach 5, an incredible supercar designed by his father “Pops” Racer (Daisuke Mifune). Speed would race dangerous routes against dangerous people and come out on top with his “girlfriend” Trixie (Michi Shimura) trailing him in a helicopter and his little brother Spritle (Kurio) and his pet chimp Chim-Chim (Sanpei) frequently stowing away in the trunk.

Through the years there have been remakes of the show in the 90s and a movie in 2008 which was not received well. It was a groundbreaking show in the US and opened the door for Japanese Anime afterward.

I still catch the show when I can.





Jonny Quest

Jonny Quest was different than many cartoons I watched…the artwork and stories were above the normal ones at the time.

Jonny Quest the series was about the globe-trotting adventures of an eleven-year-old boy (Jonny), his scientist father (Dr. Benton Quest), his adopted brother Hadji (from Calcutta, India), his government bodyguard (Race Bannon) and his bulldog (Bandit). A young future Animal House actor Tim Matheson voiced Jonny Quest.

When I was a kid I loved Jonny’s father Dr. Benton Quest’s hands-off approach in raising Jonny and Hadji. They would be scuba diving with sharks and off in the jungle with their dog Bandit without any parent around…The character Race would help them out and protect them when needed. It was exciting to see kids have the freedom to explore new places.

The series that premiered on September 18th, 1964 that is one of the most celebrated and influential animated series to come from Hanna-Barbera. The series premiered on September 18th, 1964 and is one of the best and most influential animated series to come from Hanna-Barbera. Jonny Quest only ran for one season with 26 episodes but the influence of that series is still being felt and it spawned a comic book, a remake in the 1980s, 1990s, and a couple of tv movies.

Doug Wildey was the artist and the show was going to be based on an old radio show called Jack Armstrong but Hanna-Barbera thought the rights were too expensive so they just made their own show. Wildey drew some influence from the James Bond movie Doctor No.

The artwork and the stories made Jonny Quest special.