Yogi Bear (1958)

Genres - Children's/Family  |   Run Time - 30 min.  |   Countries - United States   |  
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Yogi Bear, the "smarter than aver-age" bruin who had been introduced on Hanna-Barbera's syndicated cartoon weekly The Huckleberry Hound Show in 1958, was by virtue of his phenomenal popularity (which quickly surpassed that of Huck Hound himself!) awarded his own half-hour starring series, which debuted in most U.S. television markets on January 30, 1961. Actually, The Yogi Bear Show had been slated to begin in the fall of that year, but the series' sponsor, Kellogg's Cereals, needed a new series in a hurry to replace UPA's Mister Magoo, whose producers had decided to enter syndication without a national sponsorship. Yogi's series slavishly followed the format established by Huckleberry Hound; three short cartoons per thirty-minute episode, bookended by an intro and outro spotlighting the titular star. The first component was, of course, "Yogi Bear," wherein Yogi and his pal Boo-Boo cooked up innumerable schemes to pilfer "pic-a-nic baskets" from unwitting tourists at Jellystone Park, and to hoodwink their long-suffering nemesis, Ranger Smith. Component number two was "Snagglepuss," spotlighting a Shakespearean lion ("Heavens to Murgatroyd!") who, like Yogi, had been introduced to the Hanna-Barbera canon as a supporting character. The final component was "Yakky Doodle," the saga of a cute baby duck, his doggie pal and protector Chopper, and a sarcastic fox who never tired of trying to gobble up Yakky without incurring Chopper's terrible wrath. Daws Butler provided the voices of Yogi and Snagglepuss, Don Messick was heard as Boo-Boo and Ranger Smith, Vance Colvig did a mean Wallace Beery imitation as Chopper, and Jimmy Weldon supplied the Donald Duck-like squawks of little Yakky. In active production for two seasons, The Yogi Bear Show remained in syndication throughout the '60s and '70s, spawning innumerable network, syndicated, and cable spin-offs featuring Yogi Bear and virtually the entire Hanna-Barbera stable.