Thursday, December 2, 2010

Jokebook

I'm going to have to confess that I'm not a big fan of the Hanna-Barbera output as a whole and never really cared for them. The only one that I really liked is probably Top Cat, and even then it's because of the voice acting (especially from Arnold Stang). That said, I can't resist putting this up.



I'll admit to knowing alot of HB shows, even the stupidest ones, but this one stumped me. Looking around, it turns out that Jokebook was Hanna-Barbera's attempt at prime-time animation in 1982. After the Flintstones was canceled HB tried to do more prime-time cartoons. In 1970 they did Where's Huddles, which aired as a summer replacement show for only 10 episodes. In the wake of the success of All in the Family HB did an adult-oriented series for syndication called Wait 'Till Your Father Gets Home (1972-1974) which managed to last two whole seasons for a total of 48 episodes. After that, nothing until this came along.

Jokebook was actually a compilation show where it showcased independent and student animation, bridged together by HB-produced sequences featuring Eve & Adam, The Lovebirds, The Nerd, and so forth. These characters were designed by Marty Murphy (who also designed the characters in Wait 'Till...), although The Nerd looks like Howard Beckerman's work (can't say if he was involved or not).

In what is not surprising to some, the show bombed in ratings. Indeed, only four episodes were actually broadcast on NBC; the remaining three never aired. It's very unlikely that the show will see the light again; in addition to just being too obscure there's the issue of clearing the rights for the indie shorts seen in the program.

Prime-time cartoons did not achieve success again until the introduction of The Simpsons.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, That Was actually Pretty good!, and Shockingly, It Was also well animated and designed too. and the Theme was also catchy as well. Cool!

Plan on Uploading More Paramount Cartoons in the Meantime, Still Waiting for More Swifty and Shorty, Especially Ones Recoreded off your Camera and Also There is One More Swifty and Shorty cartoon you have not Posted Yet, Inferior Decorator.

Cheers
Asim.

Pokey said...

I noticed that after almost ten years Hanna and Barbera returned to directing with this series, which I saw as well..