Sunday, November 15, 2015

Tooniversary: Hokey Wolf (1960)

The success of Phil Silvers' Sgt. Bilko character led to Hanna-Barbera creating more than one character that was flush with some of Bilko's character traits.

First, there was Yogi Bear, who graduated to his own series after being a back-up feature on The Huckleberry Hound Show, and ultimately achieved icon status himself. Taking his place on Huck's show was Hokey Wolf, who could talk his way into getting what he wanted, and much easier than Yogi ever did, although there would be some karmic justice along the way.

Both Yogi & Hokey were voiced by Daws Butler, who modeled Hokey's voice after Silvers, although it wasn't a direct mimic. Butler also used the same voice for various shifty human characters on other series, such as The Flintstones, until another lead character sprang to life in the form of Hair Bear (Help! It's the Hair Bear Bunch!) in 1971. A Wikipedia bio on Hokey mistakenly gave Butler credit for Top Cat (Arnold Stang voiced TC), which shows that whomever compiled the information didn't do due diligence.

When The Huckleberry Hound Show was given new life in syndication in the 70's, I finally got a chance to see Hokey. I think you'll find, in the following cartoon, that there's a reason he's been left in the vaults........! Here's "Bean Pod'ners", a parody of a certain oft-satirized tale......

Boomerang/Cartoon Network has had a practice of muting the theme music for some of the shorts from this period, and editing the opening credits. No rhyme or reason to it. They just do it to piss people off.

Rating: B.

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