Sunday, January 8, 2012

Toon Sports: Where's Huddles (1970)

The first of Hanna-Barbera's 1970 freshman class was also their last primetime entry for a few years.

Where's Huddles was a summer replacement for The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour from July-September 1970, and then resurfaced a year later as filler following NFL football. It was in the latter case where I first discovered the show.

The series was a more modern-day reworking of The Flintstones, but this time instead of working in construction, Ed Huddles (Cliff Norton) and Bubba McCoy (Mel Blanc) were football players. A neighbor, Claude Pertwee (Paul Lynde, Hollywood Squares, Bewitched) wasn't much of a football fan, as he'll readily admit in the open, uploaded by cartoonsintros:

Only 10 episodes were produced, and after its Sunday run, the series was never seen again until picked up by Boomerang a few years ago. In this writer's opinion, Huddles could be redone for a modern audience, with more of an emphasis on family rather than career. Problem is, it was not too successful the first time around, so I doubt that Warners might be willing to take a flier on it more than 40 years later.

Rating: B.


magicdog said...

I'd never seen this show until ti turned up on Boomerang a while back.

I wanted to like it but so much of this show was just tired. As you mentioned, this was a bit of a reworking of "The Flintstones", with two guys who are neighbors and best buds that happened to be football players on the same team. Having Jean Vander Pyl voice Huddle's wife was bad enough, but Huddles also had a baby girl (just like Pebbles!) Bubba had Mel Blanc doing a variation on Barney Rubble, and Huddles himself was involved in some get rich schemes like Fred used to do. Alan Reed got second billing (or perhaps third billing) as the team's coach.

Plus, why did Huddles have to look like Walter Matthau??? He never did resemble an athlete actively playing pro ball.

At least they had Dick Enberg.

I like the idea if a reboot was considered; although I can totally see plenty of eps dedicated to "Freight Train" as the new kid on the team, and real life NFL players making guest appearances.

hobbyfan said...

My thinking was to reboot Huddles as a generational family dramedy. Have Ed Huddles be retired, and seeing his grandson go into football, same as he did. Not sure about Huddles looking like Walter Matthau, but maybe like the actor who put words in his mouth, Cliff Norton. Who knows?

Reed, IIRC, got billed in the middle somewhere.