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Yogi Bear

1960s television - Yogi Bear

Yogi Bear" was the most popular television cartoon creation of TV's early years. Created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, the "Yogi Bear" cartoons first appeared as a component segment of "The Huckleberry Hound Show" in 1958. An inhabitant of Jellystone National Park, with his little bear buddy. Boo Boo, Yogi was for the most part a sarcastic, rule-breaking bear with a great yearning for picnic baskets who credited himself as being "smarter than the average bear."

After three seasons of cartoons on "The Huckleberry Hound Show," Yogi appeared in his first spin-off series in January 1961. "The Yogi Bear Show" was the third Hanna-Barbera series to be syndicated (January 30, 1961) nationally on local stations, sponsored by Kellogg's Cereals. "Top Cat," the fourth Hanna-Barbera series to have Kellogg's as its sponsor, made its prime-time ABC-TV network debut later in the same year.

Featured along with Boo Boo and Yogi's friendly nemesis, Ranger Smith, several of the newer cartoons introduced such bright new characters as Cindy Bear, Yogi's love interest, and Park Ranger Tom Anderson. Ranger Smith's new assistant. Other animated segments included "Snagglepuss," the happy-go-lucky Shakespearian mountain lion, and "Yakky Doodle," about a little duck and his bulldog buddy, Chopper. Yakky was continually pursued by Fibber Fox, but always saved in the nick of time by Chopper. While Snagglepuss resembled comedian Bert Lahr's cowardly lion from The Wizard of Oz, Yakky sounded as if he might have been related to Walt Disney's Donald Duck. Vocals for the series were provided by Daws Butler, Don Messick, Doug Young, Janet Waldo, and ventriloquist Jimmy Weldon, as Yakky Doodle

During the early 1960s both Yogi and his pal Huckleberry Hound became national pitchmen for their sponsor, Kellogg's Corn Flakes. Their appeal to both children and adults created a merchandise phenomenon for the Hanna-Barbera Studios which has grossed over $100 million. Yogi's success also led to a 1961 comic strip that was syndicated in more than 100 newspapers nationwide, and in 1964 he became the first of the Hanna-Barbera characters to appear in a full-length theatrical production entitled "Hey There, It's Yogi Bear!"



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