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The Flintstones ran from September 1960 until September 1966 on ABC.
Produced by William Hannah and Joseph Barbara, The Flintstones was the first prime-time cartoon series made especially for television; remarkably, it enjoyed a six year run.
Set in the Stone Age, The Flintstones was little more than an animated version of The Honeymooners. The voices of the characters were similar to The Honeymooners and the Flintstone's cave even resembled The Kramden's apartment. Set in the town of Bedrock in 1,000,072 B.C. the series centered around Fred Flintstone ( voiced by Alan Reed), who worked as operater of a dinosaur-powered crane at The Rock Head And Quarry Cave Construction Co...( Slogan, " Own your own cave and be secure"). Fred and his wife Wilma ( Jean Vander Pyl), played the ancestors of Ralph and Alice Kramden, echoing that pairs famous husband and wife confrontations everytime the short tempered Fred returned from his job at Mr. Slate's quarry to face Wilma, a housewife.
Their neighbors on Cabblestone Lane were Barney and Betty Rubble ( Mel Blanc and Bea Benaderet ( Gerry Johnson replaced Benaderet in 1964)), with Barney acting as the goofy and cowardly Ed Norton to Fred's loudmouthed Kramden. Betty and Wilma on the other hand were more likeminded with Wilma being a tad more stern than Betty. Fred and Barney were lodge brothers in The Royal Order of Water Buffalos. Loud mouthed Fred's hearty " Yabba Dabba Doo" became a national catchphrase.
The most humorous aspect of the show were it's clever anachronisms. Bedrock was essentially straight out of 1960's suburbia, but rocks as the essential resource, dinosaurs as the favored pets ( including yapping purple Flintstone dinosaur Dino ( voiced by Mel Blanc), and the Rubbles green jurassic kangaroo Hoppy), and technology was crude at best.
At first the Flintstones only had Dino, their pet Dinosaur around the cave to play with. Then one day in 1963 they were blessed with a baby daughter whom they named Pebbles ( voiced by Jean Vander Pyl). Not to be outdone their neighbors The Rubbles adoted an orphan boy named Bamm Bamm ( voiced by Don Messick), who had super strength. ( credit for the Flintstone and Rubble children should be given to Sheila Barbara, wife of co-creator Joe Barbara, who suggested the idea to her husband ).
A wide range of caricatures passed through the stories: Lollobrockida, a pretty cook; Ann Margrock whose voice was supplied by Ann Margaret; Attorney Perry Masonry ( he never lost a case); Ed Sullystone, a tv host; Eddie Brianstone, a tenage impresario; Stoney Curtis; Samantha the witch ( voiced by Elizabeth Montgomery of Bewitched) and weirdly and Creepolla Gruesome, the strange couple who with their son Goblin moved into acave nearby ( this was a parody on The Addams Family and The Munsters, then popular). The Gruesomes thought they were normal and everybody else in Bedrock was odd. Also turning up occasionally was Mr. Slate ( John Stephenson), Fred's boss; and The Big Gazoo ( Harvey Korman), an Alien attached to Fred and Barney.
In addition to the prime-time run The Flintstones aired on Saturday mornings in different forms for many years and even had a live-action movie made about their exploits in the 1990's.
An Article from Time Magazine
Rocks on the Rocks
Monday, Oct. 10, 1960 Article
One new situation-comedy series that arrived on television last week parodies all the others (see below). Called The Flintstones, the program uses first-rate animated cartoons in place of second-rate actors, and its approach to satire of 20th century life is by way of the Stone Age. Fred and Wilma Flintstone live in a split-level cave. His shaver is a clamshell with a bee in it. Everybody wears skins. When the neighbors collect for an evening of song, Fred picks out the tunes on the Stoneway.
In prime evening time, the half-hour ABC show is aimed at adults, but how can children be asked to sleep while Runtasaurus (a sort of paleolithic Pekingese) is on the screen? Or while the Sunday News ,a 90-lb. slab of carved stone comes aflying through the front door and kayos daddy? Although last week's opening episode was a little too rocky, the series has the sort of talent behind it that seldom fails.
Nine Movements. The Flintstones is the latest product of Hanna-Barbera Productions, a three-year-old Hollywood animation firm that has already established itself as the best cartoonmaker since Walt Disney and U.P.A. The stars of Hanna-Barbera are sprinkled all across the animal kingdom from Quick Draw McGraw, the only horse who is the hero of a western, to Yogi Bear, who lives in Jellystone Park. Hanna-Barbera's Huckleberry Hound, whose flop-eared hero is one of the alltime favorites of American children, last spring won TV's Emmy Award for children's programing.
Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera, who formed their partnership in 1957 on a $5,000 investment and last year did $3,500,000 worth of business, have succeeded with a rare combination of organization and talent. Not only do they know how to make good, well-timed, funny films, but to meet the demands of TV they have vastly accelerated the complicated animation process itself. One half-hour with The Flintstones requires 43,000 individually exposed frames of film, but Hanna and Barbera are turning out more footage in two weeks than the cartoon departments of the major studios used to complete in a year. They do it by concentrating on simple closeups, avoiding elaborate backgrounds, and following such short cuts as reducing all speech to nine basic mouth movements.
The technical subtleties of the field call for long experience, and the partners have it. Both Hanna, 50, who was born in New Mexico and raised in Los Angeles, and Barbera, 47, who was born and raised in Brooklyn, had drifted among the big-time animation mills Terry Toons, Looney Toons, Merry Melodies before they came together at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1937. There they created the most exciting mano a mano in the history of film cartoons matchless Tom and Jerry. For 18 years they manipulated the big cat and the little mouse for MGM's critical and financial profit, year after year sat mousily at home uninvited while some fat cat stepped forward to accept Tom and Jerry Academy Awards (seven in all).
Storyboards & Puns. When Hanna and Barbera first thought of quickie cartoons for TV, they tried to give the idea to MGM. The studio was not interested. And during one of Hollywood's periodic panic waves it decided to stop all new production on Tom and Jerry. Hanna and Barbera were ordered to lay off their staff, and they soon voluntarily followed their co-workers out of the studio, rounded them up again to launch their own business; 70% of their present employees were with them at MGM.
The Hanna-Barbera shop is efficient but unconventional. Hanna and Barbera work harder and longer than anyone else. Hanna is the timer, who computes the mathematical intricacies of matching dialogue to action and budgeting the exact number of frames necessary to build each joke and each dissolve. Barbera, who can draw almost as fast as he can talk, does the planning-stage sketch work, can create a fully plotted storyboard (a sort of cartoon outline with dialogue) in five hours.
Now, with the half-hour weekly Flintstones to keep going, the whole company is going off its rocker trying to think up Stone Age puns. Sooner or later they may have to introduce a new character called Spelunk-head, the village idiot. Mrs. Flintstone could ask her husband to please pass the basalt and pepper, and in redoing the kitchen, she could be for marble table tops, while he is for mica. In the next few weeks the Flintstones and their neighbors will be in and out of a jazz palace called Rockland and a movie set where The Monster from the Tar Pits is being made with Gary Granite and Rock Pile. They even get a mysterious visit from Perry Gunnite, private eye a petrified, would-be mason who covers up his insecurities by asking toughly for "rocks on the rocks."
Here is Mel Blanc's Obituary from The New York Times
Mel Blanc, Who Provided Voices For 3,000 Cartoons, Is Dead at 81
By PETER B. FLINT
Published: July 11, 1989
Mel Blanc, the versatile, multi-voiced actor who breathed life into such cartoon characters as Bugs Bunny, Woody Woodpecker, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety Pie, Sylvester and the Road Runner, died of heart disease and emphysema yesterday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 81 years old.
He had been admitted to the hospital on May 19.
In a career spanning six decades, Mr. Blanc helped develop nearly 400 characters and provided a rich mix of voices for some 3,000 animated cartoons. In the 1940's and 50's he supplied the voices for 90 percent of the Warner Brothers cartoon menagerie, and in the 60's he was a co-producer of ''The Bugs Bunny Show,'' an ABC-TV Saturday morning series that featured Looney Tunes characters in new adventures written for television.
In the 1960's he also contributed to ''The Flintstones,'' the first animated situation comedy created for television and the first cartoon broadcast in prime time. For that series he supplied the voices for both Barney Rubble, the dull-witted neighbor of Fred and Wilma Flintstone, and Dino, the Flintstones' pet dinosaur.
Mr. Blanc was still active as he approached 80, when he made new recordings of five of his classic characters for the innovative 1988 live-animation film ''Who Framed Roger Rabbit,'' rejuvenating Bugs, Daffy, Porky, Tweety Pie and Sylvester the cat. Played Three Instruments
Melvin Jerome Blanc was born on May 30, 1908, in San Francisco, to Frederick and Eva Katz Blanc, managers of a women's clothing business. He attended elementary and high schools in Portland, Ore., and studied music, becoming proficient on the bass, violin and sousaphone.
He married Estelle Rosenbaum in 1933 and, soon after, they won contracts to appear on a daily radio program. The sponsors could not afford to hire additional actors, so Mr. Blanc used his voice to create a repertory company.
The couple then went to Los Angeles, where Mr. Blanc joined Leon Schlesinger Productions, an innovative cartoon workshop that eventually developed Warner Brothers' Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies.
Mr. Blanc's first major character was Porky Pig, the shy stammerer. The second was Happy Rabbit, which he saved from oblivion by providing a new name, Bugs, from the nickname of the character's illustrator, Ben Hardaway. Mr. Blanc then developed a distinctively brash voice for the character and came up with Bugs's catchy cue: ''What's up, doc?'' Events Changed Bugs's Character
Bugs's creators were very careful in shaping his personality. Events and other characters tormented him, bringing about a change in his naturally timid rabbit nature and pushing him to take the offensive. He became mischievous, but never mean.
In an interview Mr. Blanc explained Bugs Bunny's charm this way: ''He's a little stinker. That's why people love him. He does what most people would like to do but don't have the guts to do.''
The Blanc repertory company grew to include Tweety Pie, the devious canary known for the song ''I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat''; the canary's enemy, Sylvester, whose favorite oath was ''Sssssufferin' sssssuccotash!''; the scheming Daffy Duck; the speedy ''beep-beeping'' desert bird Road Runner; the amorous French skunk Pepe le Pew; the shifty-eyed Wile E. Coyote, and the hot-tempered Yosemite Sam.
Mr. Blanc also created a dizzying range of sound effects. In the Jack Benny radio show he was Carmichael, the irascible polar bear who guarded the comedian's underground vault. He was also Mr. Benny's outspoken parrot; his violin teacher, Monsieur Le Blanc; his Mexican gardener, Sy, and even his troublesome Maxwell car.
Other roles created by Mr. Blanc were the wistful postman on ''The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show'' and a range of characters on programs starring Abbott and Costello, Dagwood and Blondie, and Judy Canova and Al Pierce. Produced Commercials
In the 1960's Mr. Blanc formed his own company to produce and market commercials and fillers for radio and television. These included an unconventional announcement for the American Cancer Society in which a man was tortured to death by being forced to smoke one cigarette after another.
In 1976, the State of California hired Mr. Blanc to enlist his cartoon associates in producing 10 radio announcements to warn residents how to prepare for a major earthquake, how to survive one and what to do afterward.
In one announcement Bugs asks, ''What do I do when the shaking stops?'' Daffy replies, ''Stay away from damaged structures and power lines and remember to stay calm.'' Had Two Hit Records
Mr. Blanc maintained a lifelong interest in music, and composed a handful of songs. Two of them, ''I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat'' and ''The Woody Woodpecker Song,'' each sold more than two million records.
Mr. Blanc and his wife lived for many years in Pacific Palisades, Calif., where Mr. Blanc was the honorary mayor.
He had an insatiable curiosity about all kinds of sounds. ''When I was a kid,'' he said, ''I used to look at animals and wonder, how would that kitten sound if it could talk. I'd tighten up my throat and make a very small voice, not realizing I was rehearsing.''
In 1985, he described his creative efforts thus: ''What we tried to do was amuse ourselves. We didn't make pictures for children. We didn't make pictures for adults. We made them for ourselves.''
Mr. Blanc is survived by his wife and their son, Noel.
Here is Jean Vander Pyl's Obituary from The New York Times
Jean Vander Pyl, 79, the Voice Of Wilma on 'The Flintstones'
Published: April 15, 1999
DANA POINT, Calif., April 14 Jean Vander Pyl, the voice of Wilma Flintstone, whose trademark yell, ''Fre-e-e-ed,'' was heard in homes around the world as she shouted at her husband in the popular Hanna-Barbera television cartoon series, died on Saturday at her home here. She was 79.
The cause was lung cancer, said her son Michael O'Meara.
Ms. Vander Pyl, who played a host of characters in various radio shows and animated television series, was also the voice of Pebbles, the Flintstone's daughter, and did extra duty as Mrs. Slate, the wife of Fred Flintstone's boss.
After graduating from Beverly Hills High School, Ms. Vander Pyl got her start as a radio actress in the radio series ''Calling All Cops,'' the precursor to television's ''Dragnet,'' mostly playing damsels in distress. She went on to play the mother on radio's ''Father Knows Best'' and Andy's many girlfriends on ''Amos 'n'Andy.''
In addition to ''The Flintstones'' she was featured on that show's space-age counterpart, ''The Jetsons,'' in which she performed the voices of seven characters, including George Jetson's mother-in-law, George's secretary, Rosie the robot maid and Mrs. Spacely, the boss's wife.
But she was known around the world as the voice of Wilma Flintstone. The show ran for six years, from 1960 to 1966, and was seen in more than 80 countries in syndication. Even today it is estimated that not a minute goes by in which ''The Flintstones'' is not being watched somewhere in the world.
''She was an anonymous celebrity,'' Mr. O'Meara said. ''You could go out with her and nobody would recognize her.
But while people everywhere were listening to Ms. Vander Pyl's voice, she was not hearing the ring of the cash register. She told an interviewer in 1995 that she received $250 an episode for making the show and that when the series ended, she rushed to accept $15,000 in lieu of residual payments from syndication.
At that time she lived in nearby San Clemente and ruefully observed: ''If I got residuals I wouldn't live in San Clemente. I'd own San Clemente.''
In addition to her son Michael, of Dana Point, she is survived by two other sons, Timothy O'Meara of Northridge, Calif., and Roger DeWitt of New York; two stepsons, Anthony DeWitt of New York and Peter DeWitt of June Lake, Calif., and three grandchildren.
To read some articles about The Flintstones go to http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=CBErAAAAIBAJ&sjid=GpwFAAAAIBAJ&dq=the%20flintstones&pg=4123%2C2941253 and http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=UUhQAAAAIBAJ&sjid=I1cDAAAAIBAJ&dq=the%20flintstones&pg=7179%2C408523 and http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=E2hJAAAAIBAJ&sjid=cAoNAAAAIBAJ&dq=the%20flintstones&pg=697%2C2449799
To watch some clips from The Flintstones go to http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=flintstones&aq=f
To go to Tim's TV Playhouse go to https://web.archive.org/web/20090710005225/http://www.timstvshowcase.com/flints.html
For a website dedicated to The Flintstones go to https://web.archive.org/web/20090227090827/http://www.topthat.net//webrock//
For a webite dedicated to The Flintstones go to https://web.archive.org/web/20090717074607/http://bedrock.deadsquid.com:80/
For a page dedicated to The Flintstones go to https://web.archive.org/web/20090817181228/http://www.wingnuttoons.com:80/Flintstones.html
For some Flintstone-related interview videos at the Archive of American Television go to https://interviews.televisionacademy.com/shows/flintstones-the
For two reviews of The Flintstones go to https://web.archive.org/web/20090725092301/http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/F/htmlF/flintstones/flintstones.htm and https://web.archive.org/web/20090709073341/http://www.televisionheaven.co.uk/flintstones.htm
To watch the opening and closing credits go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uq7noaMwLfg
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Keywords: Flintstones (Links Updated 5/18/2017)