Monday, May 19, 2014

Rare Treats: Hanna-Barbera's All-Star Comedy Ice Revue (1978)

With The Flintstones 2 years away from its 30th anniversary, and a few months away from a Saturday morning relaunch----on NBC----, Fred (Henry Corden) is feted in a birthday roast in Hanna-Barbera's All-Star Comedy Ice Revue, which would be the last time Fred and his best bud, Barney Rubble (Mel Blanc) would appear on CBS before the relaunch.

Bonnie Franklin (One Day at a Time) & Roy Clark (Hee-Haw) are co-roastmasters for this special, built more as a promotional tool for the Ice Capades, a winter skating tour that, sadly, isn't around anymore. The musical guests are the Sylvers, with the dais loaded with familiar faces to cartoon fans, including Jabberjaw (identified as Mr. Jabber for some reason), Yogi Bear, Hong Kong Phooey, the Banana Splits, the Hair Bear Bunch, and, in what would be one of their last appearances, the Skatebirds, whose Saturday morning series was on life support. As noted over in Twin Factor, Don Messick subbed for Frank Welker as Jabberjaw, and it was a rare instance of a poor fit. We've noted previously how Messick once subbed for Howard Morris as Jughead in an Archies cartoon nearly 10 years earlier, and came off better there than here.

As the party begins, Fred & Barney are still in Bedrock, where Barney has to awaken Fred, who then realizes he's running late. Well, haven't we seen that before?

Anyway, this roast, Hanna-Barbera's 1st, isn't meant to parody Dean Martin's weekly celebrity soirees over on NBC, but it's a coincidence that this aired on a Friday night, two hours before Martin's show. In previous years, there'd been specials to promote the rival Shipstead & Johnston Ice Follies, featuring Snoopy from the Peanuts gang. As you'll see, the Skatebirds don't appear with the rest of the cast, but rather, in skits recorded for their show and reworked for the occasion. Bad form.

Edit: 9/25/15: The original video was deleted, so all we have now is this sample clip:

Of course you know, H-B's next---and last---roast was the 2nd part of the Legends of the Superheroes miniseries that aired a year later on NBC. Apparently, they needed better writers...........!

Rating: C.


magicdog said...

Better writers, better costumes, and better roast jokes.

Damn that was painful! - I didn't even watch the whole thing! The first 5 minutes were enough.

I remember the Ice Capades! Usually they were headed by a former Olympic figure skating champion! The ice dancers (or something similar) was also used on the Donny & Marie variety show.

Too bad Joe and Bill are gone - I would have loved it had there been a roast for them from their cartoon stars - in animated form of course!

hobbyfan said...

I have a vision of that myself. Too bad the two roasts the studio produced scared them off from giving Bill & Joe the roast treatment they certainly were worthy of. They'd be rolling in their graves if they knew about the mistreatment of their characters by the nimrods at Cartoon Network.