Saturday, April 2, 2011

Family Toons: The Roman Holidays (1972)

NBC thought highly enough of their 1972 Saturday morning lineup that it was dubbed, "The Terrific Ten". Reruns of Underdog and Pink Panther were joined by 8 new shows, none of whom would return the following season.

Hanna-Barbera had two of those new shows. The Roman Holidays was an attempt to mine the domestic comedy vein tapped more than a decade earlier with The Flintstones, this time with Ancient Rome as the setting. Filling Fred Flintstone's role as the family patriarch was Gus Holiday (Dave Willock, ex-Wacky Races), who, much like Fred, had to deal with a recurring antagonist, in this case, his landlord at the Venus de Milo Arms Apartments, Mr. Evictus (Dom DeLuise).

If you thought having a dinosaur for a pet might've been strange in the 60's, how about a lion? The Holidays had Brutus (Daws Butler). Like The Jetsons, the Holidays had two kids, Hap (Stanley Livingston, ex-My Three Sons) & Precocia (Pamelyn Ferdin, Curiosity Shop & The Paul Lynde Show). Unfortunately, the series, as I noted, was cancelled after just the one season, and languishes in Boomerang's vaults.

Here's the opening to The Roman Holidays:

Well, at least the Holidays haven't been tainted by [adult swim], that we know of....

Rating: B-.


magicdog said...

I never could enjoy this toon, it constantly reeked of retread.

It was said that when the original concept for HB's first prime time animated series was being discussed there were three different settings considered for their sitcom: the first was a prehistoric setting, the second a Pilgrims at Plymouth setting, the third was an ancient Roman setting. We all know which setting got the go ahead back in 1960.

HB seemed to be grasping at straws and decided to resurrect their Roman setting for The Roman Holidays and the jokes seemed to have been recycled as well. The laught track didn't help either.

hobbyfan said...

Consider also that it tried to be an amalgam of both the Jetsons & the Flintstones, but the fact that it failed to catch on suggests that the concept was dying on the vine.