Friday, April 5, 2013

Rein-Toon-Ation: The Flinstone Comedy Hour/Show (1972)

CBS invested in not one, but two hour-long cartoons from Hanna-Barbera in 1972. We've scoped out The New Scooby-Doo Movies a few times, but now let's take a look at a forgotten entry.

The Flintstone Comedy Hour (later trimmed to 30 minutes and had Show replace Hour in the title) was the result of CBS execs finding that viewers might just be interested in new Flintstones cartoons, six years after the original series had ended, to go along with the returning Pebbles & Bamm-Bamm, with the latter feature in shorter doses. However, this didn't work out quite as well as hoped, and the series was subsequently cancelled. Hope wasn't lost, though, as the Flintstone Comedy Show would return a few years later on NBC.

There were a couple of cast changes. Sally Struthers, who had originated the role of teenage Pebbles, had left the series due to commitments to All in The Family, among other things, and a newcomer, Mickey Stevens, was cast to take her place. Also Gay Autterson (nee Hartwig) was the third actress to essay the role of Betty Rubble, though she actually debuted the previous year. Gerry Johnson, who had succeeded Bea Benaderet toward the end of the original Flintstones, wasn't brought back. Unfortunately, there are no complete episodes available on YouTube, and all we have is this intro, under the Flintstone Comedy Show title, uploaded by hewey1972:

You'll note that the last line of the theme song was changed to reflect a change in the definition of the word "gay" in popular culture. Somehow, "groovy" didn't work, and when the series was revived a few years later, the word was changed to "great", which fit a lot better.

No rating. Didn't see this version due to commitments of my own back then.


magicdog said...

Boy do I remember this!

It confused me quite a bit because Fred & Barney didn't seem any older despite having teenaged children, and Bamm Bamm suddenly lost his super strength - no mention of it at all!

Plus, why didn't the kids refer to each other's parents as "Aunt Wilma" or "Uncle Barney" or "Uncle Fred"? The adults certainly referred to themselves as such when the kids were little, but Bamm Bamm would call Fred, "Mr. Flintstone" despite being so close to the family!

The term, "Shleprock" also survived as a moniker of sorts... sometimes being used to describe a guy surrounded by unlucky circumstances - alot!

The show itself was rather painful - reruns of The Flintstones were far more entertaining and better written.

hobbyfan said...

I don't know who was in charge of the writing, but it was certainly a case of poor continuity. After all, it'd been just 5 years after the original Flintstones had ended that Pebbles & Bamm Bamm had been granted their own series and jumped in time to adolescence. As we've discussed, Columbia made the same exact mistake with Tabitha, accelerating her age 5 years after Bewitched had ended.

Makes ya wonder, doesn't it?