Thursday, September 30, 2010

Happy 50 Years of The Flintstones

Before The Simpsons, before Family Guy, there was The Flintstones!
On roll with the success of their two syndicated animated shows Huckleberry Hound (and it's spin-off Yogi Bear) and Quick Draw McGraw, Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera, seeing that these shows played in primetime in many markets, decided to make a show that would play on one of the major networks.
Settling on a stone age theme, Hanna and Barbera came up with "the Gladstones", the story of two family's that would have modern homes, cars, appliances, etc. made out of stone, wood and (especially funny) pre-historic creatures.
They made a pilot and sold it to ABC, picked up sponsors and the show was ready to air. But a problem arose, the name "Gladstones" was the last name of the comic strip characters "Hi and Lois". Wanting to avoid any legal ramifications, the name was changed to "Flagstones" but that name didn't seem to work. Finally "The Flintstones was chosen and on September 30, 1960, history was made as the first animated series made it's debut.
We were introduced to Fred and Wilma Flintstone and their friends and neighbors Barney and Betty Rubble and each week audiences followed the misadventures of Fred and Barney in a modern stone age era.
The show was very successful and lasted for six seasons on ABC. In a 1967, the reruns played on Saturday Morning TV and shortly after that, week day syndication. "The Flintstones", even though no longer on primetime television, never really left the air.
Above is a sketch I did of Fred and Barney, done especially for the show's 50th Anniversary. Fred and Barney are the first two cartoon characters I remember learning how to draw while watching the reruns every afternoon.

So let's all have a YABBA-DABBA-DOO time and celebrate with the Flintstones!

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