Where’s Huddles? is a Hanna-Barbera animated television program which premiered on CBS on July 1, 1970 and ran for ten episodes as a prime-time summer replacement show for The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour until September 2, 1970. Repeats were shown on the network’s Sunday afternoon schedule in the summer of 1971. It was the first prime time animated series to debut since The Flintstones went off the air in 1966.
The show’s premise involved a professional football quarterback named Ed Huddles (voiced by Cliff Norton) and his neighbor, the team’s center Bubba McCoy (voiced by Mel Blanc). They played for a team called The Rhinos. Other characters included Ed’s wife Marge Huddles (voiced by Jean Vander Pyl, also the voice of Wilma Flintstone), their rather jovial if acerbic neighbor Claude Pertwee (voiced by Paul Lynde) who tended to refer to Ed and Bubba as “savages” (Pertwee’s only friend is a spoiled cat named “Beverley”); their teammate Freight Train (voiced by Herb Jeffries), and their daughter Pom-Pom. Bubba’s wife Penny McCoy was played by comedic actress Marie Wilson in her final role before her death from cancer in 1972.
It was similar in style to the studio’s considerably more successful The Flintstones, and it used several of the same essential plots and voice actors. Also, like The Flintstones, and unlike many other animated series, Where’s Huddles? had a laugh track, and had somewhat adult themes. All ten episodes were produced and directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera.
According to Joe Barbera, Where’s Huddles? wasn’t like other cartoons: “The difference is that backgrounds are suggested instead of filled out in detail. And the voices of our characters aren’t gimmicky or cartoon-types”. Furthermore, he explained that “we have visual fun with the show as well as funny situations. Because we’ll be on at 7:30 we’ve tried to combine sophisticated humor for adults, along with visual gags for children. Going into a loose type of art work is more acceptable to older, nighttime audiences–and even to our ever more sophisticated kids”.
The Rhinos’ football announcer was voiced by actual sportscaster Dick Enberg, who at the time was the voice of the Los Angeles Rams. Alan Reed had a recurring role as Mad Dog Maloney, the Rhinos’ coach. The Huddles had a dog named Fumbles, voiced by Don Messick, who also provided the voices for cartoon dogs Scooby-Doo, Astro, and Muttley.
- The Old Swimming Hole (prod. #52-1, 7/1/1970)
- A Weighty Problem (prod. #52-2, 7/8/1970)
- The Ramblin’ Wreck (prod. #52-3, 7/15/1970)
- The Offensives (prod. #52-6, 7/22/1970)
- Hot Dog Hannah (prod. #52-5, 7/29/1970)
- To Catch A Thief (prod. #52-4, 8/5/1970)
- Get That Letter Back (prod. #52-7, 8/12/1970)
- The Odd Trio (prod. #52-8, 8/19/1970)
- A Sticky Affair (prod. #52-9, 8/26/1970)
- One Man’s Family (prod. #52-10, 9/2/1970)
In addition to the television series, there was also a comic book (with art by Roger Armstrong) which ran for three issues from Gold Key / Whitman Comics in 1971. One more comic book story appeared in the ninth issue of Fun-in, an anthology title.
Although Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids were the first Black animated characters to appear in a prime-time special in a 1969, Freight Train was the first positive Black animated male character, the first positive Black animated character and the first positive Black athlete character to appear in a prime-time cartoon series.
The Where’s Huddles Original Production Drawings shown below are archived in the Museum Of UnCut Funk Collection.
Sources: Wikipedia, Television Obscurities
Where’s Huddles © 2013 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.