Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: The Great Grape Ape (1975)

When Hanna-Barbera added Tom & Jerry to their talent roster in 1975, ABC asked the studio to create a new feature that would share a 1 hour block with the legendary cat & mouse team.

The end result was The Great Grape Ape, a 40 ft. tall purple ape whose huckster sidekick, Beagle Beagle (Marty Ingels, ex-Motormouse & Autocat) often got Grape in a pickle with his get-rich-quick schemes. It was either that, or the naivete of both got them into the most unlikely of scenarios, as you'll soon see.

In season 2, ABC & H-B shoehorned their Columbo parody, Mumbly, into the mix for an unwieldy hour long block, but Grape was spun off the following year, and moved to Sundays for reruns, while the giant ape would otherwise be a part of Scooby's All-Star Laff-a-Lympics, which, oh by the way, bumped Grape, Mumbly, Tom, & Jerry off the schedule (Mumbly also took part in the Laff-a-Lympics, rebooted as a villain for no other reason than to fill a vacancy created when H-B lost the rights to Mumbly's lookalike relative, Muttley, & Dick Dastardly, in a dispute with Heatter-Quigley, which co-produced Wacky Races. The dispute was settled 8 years later.).

Anyway, here's "That Was No Idol, That Was My Ape", in which Beagle & Grape head to Hawaii.....



Bob Holt made his H-B debut as the voice of Grape, but spent most of his career working for DePatie Freleng. Ingels, of course, would return to H-B to voice Pac-Man for a year.

Rating: B.

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