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Flintstones Comedy Show, The

USA



Original Air Date:
1980
Channel:
NBC
Prod. Co.:
Hanna Barbera
Genre:
Series
 

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Characters & Voices
Fred Flintstone - Henry Corden
Wilma Flintstone - Jean VanderPyl
Barney Rubble - Mel Blanc
Betty Rubble - Gay Autterson
Mr. Slate - John Stephenson
 
Pebbles and Bamm Bamm got a little older, Wilma and Betty got new jobs, Fred and Barney got a new partner, Dino got himself a new arch-nemesis and Bedrock got a little creepier in The Flintstones Comedy Show. As the “modern Stone Age family” entered its third decade on the airwaves, Hanna-Barbera awarded them a new 90 minute romp on NBC’s Saturday morning lineup. Fred and the gang filled out the lengthy block with several comedy segments, along with tips on safety, health and even cartoon artistry.

Of the six regular cartoon segments, Fred and Barney actually appeared in only three. “The Flintstone Family Adventures” carried on the traditional antics of Fred, Wilma, Betty, Barney and the kids, though the “kids” were now groovy teens (a return to the look of the 1970’s Pebbles and Bamm Bamm series). The Flintstones’ daughter and the Rubbles’ son also had a segment of their own, “Pebbles, Dino and Bamm Bamm,” wherein the teens and family pet Dino traveled around Bedrock solving mysteries with the help of pals Moonrock, Wiggy, Penny and Schleprock.

In “Bedrock Cops,” Fred and Barney found themselves once again partnered with the Shmoo, the blobby Al Capp creation who had co-starred with them in Fred and Barney Meet the Shmoo. As police deputies, Fred and Barney fought crime under the direction of hard-nosed Sergeant Boulder, while the Shmoo offered his shape-shifting services as a fellow deputy.

Not to be outdone, Wilma and Betty got new jobs as well in the “Captain Caveman” segments, working as reporters for the Bedrock Daily News. Editor Lou Granite sent the ladies out to cover all the criminal goings-on in Bedrock, little knowing that Daily News copyboy Chester was actually Bedrock’s greatest crimefighter, Captain Caveman. The hairy captain was a carry-over from his own Hanna-Barbera series, Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels, and he brought his multi-purpose club and array of superpowers with him.

With so much airtime to fill, even Dino got his own starring role. “Dino and the Cavemouse” pitted the yapping purple dinosaur against a pesky mouse in a series of Tom and Jerry-inspired mayhem.

The sixth segment on The Flintstones Comedy Show was also the biggest departure from the usual Flintstones shenanigans. Taking a page from The Munsters and The Addams Family, “The Frankenstones” starred a family of prehistoric creepies—dad Frank (complete with bolts in neck), mom Hidea (sporting a Bride of Frankenstein shock hairdo), son Freaky (voiced by Paul “Pee Wee Herman” Reubens), daughter Atrocia and hairy family pet Rockjaw. Unfortunately for Fred and company, the Frankenstones bought the place next door to the Flintstones’ pad, building a spooky, rocky mansion and generally making life miserable for poor Fred.

In between the six segments, the characters appeared in a variety of blackout gags and educational spots. In some, Fred played games with the kids at home, helping them unscramble famous faces from the past. In others, kids were taught how to make simple toys, how to draw Fred and other characters, how to exercise and eat properly, and how to perform the “Dance of the Week.”

With so much going on every week, The Flintstones Comedy Show offered a sort of “Bedrock sampler,” giving the kids at home a taste of everything. Unfortunately for Hanna-Barbera, the variety show was on the way out as the 1980’s came in. It was still The Flintstones, so viewers still tuned in enough to keep the show running for a few seasons, but Saturday morning was about to be taken over by a new, blue force: The Smurfs.
 
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