The Huckleberry Hound Show
Huckleberry Hound is a fictional cartoon
character created by Hanna-Barbera, and the star of the late 1950s animated series The Huckleberry Hound Show,
Hanna-Barbera's second series made for television after The Ruff & Reddy Show. The Huckleberry Hound Show was
probably the series that truly made Hanna-Barbera a household name, thanks to Huckleberry (or "Huck" as he was
sometimes nicknamed, referencing the novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn) and the two supporting segments of the
show: Yogi Bear and his sidekick Boo Boo, and Pixie and Dixie, two mice who in each short found a new way to outwit
the cat Mr. Jinks. After Yogi Bear was given his own show in 1961, his segment was replaced with one featuring
Hokey Wolf and his sidekick Ding-a-Ling.
Voiced by Daws Butler, Huckleberry was a blue dog that spoke with
a southern drawl, with a relaxed, sweet, and well-intentioned personality. The term "Huckleberry" can be a slang
synonym for a rube or an amateur, and that seems to fit Huck's personality. Most of his shorts consisted of Huck
trying to find employment in different fields, ranging from policeman to (ironically enough) dogcatcher, with
backfiring results, yet usually coming out on top, either through slow persistence or sheer luck. One regular
villain in the series was "Powerful Pierre", a tall and muscular unshaven character with a French accent. Another
trademark of Huck was his tone deaf (as well as inaccurate) rendition of " Oh My Darling, Clementine," often used
as a running gag.
Various Hanna-Barbera characters were known for frequently turning
to the viewing audience to make little comments and asides (following the tradition of the Warner Bros. cartoon
characters of the 1940s, which in turn copied Groucho Marx). Huck took this to somewhat of an
extreme, as a significant part of a typical cartoon was his running narrative to the audience about whatever he was
trying to accomplish.
Although the voice Butler gave to Huckleberry Hound resembles that
of Andy Griffith (who had recently become famous in movies, though not yet on TV), Butler had already developed and
used the voice in earlier work (such as the dog character in The Ruff & Reddy Show, and earlier characters in
the MGM cartoon library). It was said to be based on the neighbor of his wife, Myrtis; Butler would speak with said
neighbor when visiting North Carolina. Because some of Hanna-Barbera's early shows (The Flintstones, Top Cat) are
acknowledged to be take-offs on celebrities and shows of the day, it is possible that the studio was partly
capitalizing on Griffith's popularity in making use of the voice, but this was not its origin.
After his original series ran its course, Huck continued to make
appearances in other Hanna-Barbera series, mainly as a supporting character for his former costar, Yogi. Huck
appeared in such series as Yogi's Gang, Yogi's Space Race, Laff-A-Lympics and even as a teenager in the series Yo,
Yogi!. Huck was also the star of the 1980s made-for-television movie, The Good, the Bad, and Huckleberry