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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Flintstones..We'll have a SCARY time?

Like any series...The Flintstones had happy moment,s especially as  sitcom. But especially as the type
it is, and coming with fantasy and monster shows (not to mention
outlaws and hillbillies and motor-bikers and spies!) many disturbing adventures and exploits.

I've decided to come up with a list of what would be the most disturbing or harrowing Flintstone episodes, especially with car chases and such.
This, of course, is only limited to, to paraphrase its model "The Honeymooners"'s famed vernacular, the "Classic 166", and the quotes would be
really neccesary when getting to the last few seasons.

"The Flintstone Flyer". This might be called scary, since toward the end, Fred and Barney run the risk of being caught by both Betty and Wilma,
and once Barney (with Mel Blanc doing a hilarious change of voice from nasal, and still to be "deepened" to a foriegn accent janitor in disguise)
,who's been disguised and working with Fred to lay low amongst the girls, gets caught still with the diguise back home...the girls in unison:
"IT WAS THEM"LOL Then they get on their eggbeater, the "Flintstone Flyer" nee "Barney Copter", gettin' tired as the wives notice..and make snide
commentary to each other.

"The Impractical Joker". Since Fred pulls practical jokes on Barney, Barney, once he wins "The Sudsy Wudsy Contest", wins money that he uses
to play Fred a practical joke, a "intstant money" maker that legally scares Fred, with a "bad guy" giving a surprise ending (the others can fill
it in)..Betty goes along to set it up, feigns freaking out...with early Hoyt S.Curtin music to help set things up....
"The Mailman Cometh": Fred's unintentionally denied a raise and his hair raising attempts (with Barney) after writing a nasty anti-Mr.Slate
letter to Mr.Slate (now in his official deisgn and voice by John Stephenson) then hearing the happy truth from Wilma to retrieve it winds up
with a cop straight out of that season's one-season "Top Cat", a shorter version of Officer Dibble (voiced by Herb Vigran rather than the real thing's
Al Jenkins), who himself eventually has to plead after the local Bedrock Seargeant (John Stephenson), then things are tense betwween Fred and Wilma and barney as
things go from bed to worse to bad with Fred faking illness in bed, till Wilma savesthe day. VERY disturbing in some cases...
"Alvin Brickrock Presents": ANYTHING with Alfred "The Master of Suspence" Hitchcock is gonna send shivers, in case WIlma being a possible murderer.
Fred and Barney even read a book description of a neighbor who talks like Hitchcock and who is similiar to their Hitchock like near neighbor.

"Ladies's Day Out"-It's Baseball seaosn and our rockheadd friends will do anyhting, even go in drag to see the game, but when the wives show up, and when
Barney and Fred have to chase each other past some cops at the baseball stadium, the cops starting peeking around and once the men confess to the wives,
the big problem is how to work around the cops.

"Groom Gloom" It's what we've waited for: teenage Pebbles..(voiced by Janet Waldo and THANK GOD NOT that &R%$#! FREAKIN' Sally STRUTHERS!) eloping with
Arnold the newsboy while Fred and oyther adults are now lderly to the...little CHURCH? Yes, and all the chapels bells rung as the song from 1959 A.D. went.
Don't worry, this is the first dream that Fred has that I've mentioned, he's shown going to sleep on his hammock after a busy morning which involved
kid Arnold's "crush on" Pebbles and Fred nagging him about it. As the dream ends Fred suggests to Pebbly Poo NEVER EVER to grow up! Betty is
hardly in this episode. The Jetsons started and ended its production already but Judy Jetson, though with a mixed record of exposure plus the debut
Jet Scramer focus, definitely went over enough to showcase Janet Waldo's disvtint teenage girl voice for Joe Barbera and Bill Hanna, fortauntely for them and for fans.
Don Messick plays Arnold as a kid and teen just innocently being nice to mean old Fred to the hilt!
One of the true classics. Fred's nightmare can be disturbing, but check on the debut of Season 6. Written by veteran TV sitcom scribe (though whether or not he'd written for
series blueprint "The Honeymooners" is forgotten to me) Herb Finn

"A Haunted House is Not a Home"-Hal Smith's Uncle Giggles is bothering Fred and Baney who, benefiting from an uncle's inheritnace, have to live in his haunted house,
and this is an Uncle Giggles, a typical rich eccentirc uncle, and it is HIS haunted house. Fred hears nightmarish gargling but fortunately it is only Barney (Mel Blanc doing gargling
that makes it seem that though Looney Tunes gargles were his too) and he is found by Fred who socks him on the head!(Causing Barney to swallow his mouthwash.). Axes come out of the wall
and we even get the usual bunch of weirdos with weird instruments (probaly inspired by those weird singing creeps in UPA's 1962 "Mr.Magoo's Xmas Carol"), the famed Uncle Giggles portrait giggles, and
the eye-rolling picture bit. That can be disturbing..
"Shinrock a Go-Go" Fred's bang his foot, causing him (a la Warner's Cool Cat in 1969's "Bugged by a Bee") to (very oddly) serendipitously wind up on "Shindig"(just like at that time, also on
ABC like our heroes), hosted (like in real life) by Jimmy O'Neill(Stone), and with that (once agsain REAL LIFE) Beau Brummel(stones)(ironically NOT on studio labels Colpix or HBR but on Warner Bros.-though
that company would buy HB much later) doing (ONCE AGAIN mirroring real life) their 1965 hit "Laugh Laugh". That song's petty Brit-rock payback is small compared to what Fred wishes on the
cast for exploiting his painful "Yabba Dabba Die (what he might wish on the cast on Shindig)" Ay yi yi" He even has a dream, not a nightmare though about teaching the dance. But this is pretty much
Hanna-Barbaer's prototype for its imitaor, late 60s Warner Bros.(Seven Arts)'s Cool Cat short mentioned above, as Fred goes thorugh (and we can only sympathise with him_) pain, cracking down at the before the commercials
then running out and flopping with his wig on, so the teenagers have a new reason to dance to Fred, and come the coda ANOTHER painful dance just for his family. Barney even jokes. This episode is almost the epitomite
of what people, even fans, call a Flintstones episode, especially in this time, that is so unsympathetic to poor Fred (not to mention now dated with the TV ref, despite the significance these dance shows have)., and shows Bsarney Rubble
of what a stupid best friend he is (Bill Hanna and Joseph Barbersa even allow Barney to do a "3-D" style close up to the screen to tell Wilma and Betty about Fred's new dance. Thanks a lot, Barney.(angry)

"Dr.Sinister". Spies are now coming on [just like today with Daniel Craig, ironically through MGM and Columbia Pictures, respectively through Tom and Jerry and HB Hanna and Barbera's respective employers back then!]

 Possibly the most nightmarish ending. Fred and Barney wind up being
1) adbucted
2)confronted by a Madame She type out of the 007 flicks who is "too important to be captured"
3) presented before the evil master himself, Dr.Sinister
and the brute himself is one of the scariest chafracters ever..this is the kind of things nightmares are made of. All kinds of things while Betty and Wilma and pebbles DON'T EVEN KNOW!
Fred and Barney are even thrown into a volcano on an Island. Don't ask. No Laugh track in this or a few others. Don't even ask how they get out. But they do get back and just in case WILMA questions, someone
too important to be captured appears. Hoyt Curtin's famous danger sting (what you'd hear, if he was so inclined to use these early Hanna Barbera stingers, on Johnny Quest) already familiar at the time, closes
the episode.

"No Bix Like Show Biz". Okay, here's what you've been waiting for. Not! Joanna Lee's story has Fred and Barney watching a plethora of modern day music shows including one that plugs an early incarnation o what would be
1968-1976 supergroup 3 Dog Night, Danny Hutton's The Enemies, with their HBR "Roses and Rainbows" record, and a show with Stuart Hamblen's catchy 1954 "Open Up Your Heart, and Let the Sunshine In"[obviously not to be
confused with the 1980s Madonna or the 1969 Fifth Dimension song], then finds Pebbly-Poo and Bamm Bamm singing it. This is the famed and hated story that shows the destruction of both Fred and Barney's lives, but ironically no one else's,
and the franchise only in its first season, and we even haven't GOTTEN to GAZOO yet. Oh. It's just a dream. Yeah, right. I actually like some parts, and the nightm,arish chase @night @the climax is a kick ass one, but I gotta go with a
few others on the downfalls of this premise, and the song, while very catchy, doesn't seem fair to the FATHER!(just like this episode, unusual for the time).

 At least we could wait in peace till September 11,1971 when the kids became teens only Fred and Barney wouldn't have to be with them every step. Bernard Fox (sister company Screen Gems Productions's "Betwitched")
plays Beatle manager (till 1967)  Brian Epstein, here renamed "Eppy Brianstone."
"Stonefinger Caper". Having been introduced to (ahem, wreck) the show, (though Harvey Korman's voice is first rate and half the character's adventures such as this work a lot better and I don't rate him as half bad),

The Great Gazoo is, besides being banished from Planet Xetox, also banished by Fred and Barney for being even worse than his own leader gave him credit, or demerit for. Barney is such a dead ringer for the never appearing
Bedrock spy Agent Stonefinger that an ace evil secret agent hires his goons to capture him (Like Gazoo, the evil agent and one of his henchen are both voiced by Harvey Korman and Mel Blanc voices the other goon).

Fred and Barney have a very scary spy problem (Barney:"But I don't even have" what the top agent wants). The identity crisis+ Gazoo's heading the boys's explusion of him=what is obviously on hella dead ennd, even with the boys yelling (to the confounded state
of the villians, of course) when who should up but..(Fred and Barney in unison as one.) "GAZOO". Of course he puts the evil guys in the states where they will not be a problem, likewise the sabertooth cat chasing them.

I think this episode that is another case of Betty Rubble snubbing Fred, a la putting her words in Wilma's mouth in SEASON 1's "Rooms for Rent", and it is another example of Betty hating Fred, answering Fred's question by calling him Barney.."Our kind of fun Barney" to FRED? Snubbing of Fred (or Barney?) by proxy. (May be a good topic. Internet Movie Database: THE FLINSTONES: MESSAGE BOARDS:FLINTSTONES [1960] is where I posted [as gcarras] on this, once somebody started a thread on Betty vs Fred. I also posted these Flinstone examples, without these modifications, on that board, Toonzone and after this, on Sitcoms online. [On those, I'm Steve Carras if you want to peruse..]

The evil top spy who mistakes Barney for Stonefinger (ala Goldfinge,r the top
007 villian), has the best line after Banrey tries a formula which he's FORCED by the baddies to impart which he does not know!-The spy:"THAT is a BABY formula"(Barney thinking of Bamm Bamm....very similiar to the 1947 Bugs short "Hotcross Bunny").

"The Story of Rocky's Raiders" A wartime story of Fred's ancestors, like Casablanca and such, that turns into a viloent slaptick chase continuing into the present, with the Flintstones and Rubbles being chased.

"My Fair Freddy". The tale of the Stonyside Country Club from Tony Benedict shows a lot of fun part with the Gazoo, even having him help Fred, who, through a misunderstanding involving Dino having to please
the country club folks, do so in a silly ballerina outfit with Joe Rockhead getting the boys at the Water Buffalo Lodge. The nightmarish part for me as a child was when Fred and his "lodge friends" saw each other literally
eye to eye in Fred's garage and they make him a laughingstock and he shrinks to the size of a mouse..which to a child or an adult would be relieved only by it being a nightmare (a la the season opener) but Tony Benedict
here (and producer-directors Joe Barbera and William Denby Hanna, RIP to both) do not let one off the hook, but there's fortunately (after scenes that inlcude Fred making a silly paraphrase on Phil Harris's old song "Ain't Nobody Here but Us Chickens", replacing the last with "Bushes" as he has indeed, out of shame, hidden behind a bush), a happy ending as the snobs get rocking. Gazoo can take off but he was so fun, and Barney didn't even say goodbye!
I'll also add any episode with the Addams characters or the Hatrocks (with Howie "Ernest T.Bass" Morris reprising his lisping. whistling hillbilly from CBS's "The Andy Griffith show". Yee-Haa!)

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