Friday, October 31, 2014

Toon Sports: The Ramblin' Wreck (Where's Huddles?, 1970)

Author's note, 5/4/17: Have to rewrite the text since the original poster who provided the video lost his account, and the video has since been replaced.

For the 2nd consecutive episode, Where's Huddles? addresses the issue of Ed Huddles' plus-sized sidekick/teammate/neighbor, Bubba McCoy (Mel Blanc). In "The Rambling Wreck", after being warned to steer clear of a prized car belonging to neighbor Claude Pertwee (Paul Lynde), Bubba accidentally wrecks the car, prompting Ed (Cliff Norton) to try to repair the damage before Claude returns from vacation.

I'd later learn that Hanna-Barbera had used this same plot for their pilot pitch to the networks, but using different actresses, particularly Nancy Kulp (The Beverly Hillbillies) as the players' wives.

Rating: B.


magicdog said...

I've posted previously about this series that "Where's Huddles" felt like a Flintstone retread in every way. From recycled VAs to storylines, it really didn't cover any new ground. In fact, it seems the jokes got a lot dumber in the years after the Flintstones. Although Freight Train's joke about his mother owning the other rare car was pretty good!

I definitely think the show could be brought back - even in primetime. Of course, a lot would have to be updated like the huge salaries NFL players get these days. Huddles and Bubba would be living in a multimillion dollar gated community for starters. This episode mentioned diet pills rather casually (this being before the nasty rep they would acquire later); an update would make mention of steroid use. Freight Train would still be there - probably as the newbie on the team that Huddles and Bubba take under their wings. I can see him as a number one draft pick right out of HS or perhaps dropping out of college to go pro.

A redesign is in order - neither Huddles nor Bubba looked like football players! Even if they were in the tail end of their gridiron careers, they'd have to look more athletic.

Marge and Penny I wouldn't change much - although I would like to see Penny perhaps being a Rhino cheerleader (which could be how she met Bubba) and since fraternization is a no-no in the biz, they'd either have to keep it on the down low or have her quit (and the arguments either choice would lead to). Marge I think would be called "Maggie" - since no one names their daughters Marge these days (The Simpsons excepted of course!). I can see her as Huddle's wife before he became a pro, maybe HS or college sweethearts. Perhaps Pop Pom will be a bit older, about age 7 or so.

Pertwee can still be their fussy neighbor, who thinks footballers are savages, but he's not a hateful or mean person per se.

There could be storylines with potentially career ending injuries, excessive spending, temptations of being on the road, dealing with paparazzi/celebrity status, the pressure of getting to the Superbowl, etc.

hobbyfan said...

I think Marge wouldn't need to undergo a needless name change just to avoid confusion with The Simpsons.

My vision is for a generational family drama. Ed & Bubba are retired, and their kids are now playing. Moving the original series forward in time, we'd reset the original Rhinos to the 90's. With Dick Enberg near the end of his career, having just finished his 3rd---I think---season as the voice of the Padres, a more contemporary announcer would take his place, like, for example, Joe Buck or Jim Nantz.

Casting would be easy:

Ed: Ed O'Neill.
Marge: Katey Sagal (Married With Children reunion!).
Bubba: Jason Alexander.
Penny: Amy Poehler.
Claude Pertwee: Neil Patrick Harris.