Saturday, March 4, 2017

Rare Treats: A Where's Huddles pilot (1970)

Mark Christiansen has blessed us with this rarest of rare treats.

As we know, Where's Huddles? was a summer replacement series that Hanna-Barbera produced for CBS in 1970. Here, we have a pilot using storyboard sketches by Jerry Eisenberg, Willie Ito, & Iwao Takamoto. There are some cast changes in contrast to the final product that bowed in July 1970. For example, while the male leads remain the same, with Cliff Norton as Ed Huddles and Mel Blanc as his next door neighbor/teammate, Bubba McCoy, their wives, Marge & Penny, are played by other actresses, most notably Nancy Kulp (The Beverly Hillbillies) as Penny McCoy. When Huddles went to series, Kulp, entering the final season of Hillbillies, was replaced by Marie Wilson, with Jean VanderPyl (ex-The Flintstones) taking over as Marge Huddles. Paul Lynde (Hollywood Squares, Bewitched) is, of course, Claude Pertwee.

Trouble ensues when Claude leaves for a few days, expecting his neighbors to honor his request to keep his new car spotless. Unfortunately, Bubba decides to do his impression of a dog fetching a stick.......

With the change in actresses for Penny came a change in character design, as Penny became a blonde, reflecting the switch from Kulp to Wilson. This way, it was easier to tell the women apart. Allan Melvin (Banana Splits, Brady Bunch) is heard as well.

Rating: B-.

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