With Seth McFarlane set to reboot The Flintstones, perhaps he should take a second look at voiceover legend June Foray (best known as the voice behind Rocket J. Squirrel and Natasha Nogoodnik of Rocky and Bullwinkle fame). Foray voiced Betty Rubble for the 1960 series’ pilot presentation, but then was unceremoniously dumped! Here’s a clip from June’s Archive interview where she talks about Hanna-Barbera’s rejection of her for the original Flintstones cartoon series:
Here’s TV Squad’s take on the projected 2012 Flintstones series.
Fifty years ago today, The Flintstones debuted— the first made-for-TV primetime animated series in the US. A twist on modern society, the series followed two working-class couples who lived in the Stone Age (a premise not more than a stone’s throw from The Honeymooners). Featuring the voices of Alan Reed (Fred Flintstone), Jean Vander Pyl (Wilma Flintstone), Mel Blanc (Barney Rubble), and Bea Benaderet (Betty Rubble [1960-64]), the series was panned by Variety when it first aired (“routine,” “one-dimensional,” and “disappointing” were among the words used to describe the premiere). Nonetheless, The Flintstones was nominated for an Emmy Award in its first season for “Outstanding Program Achievement in the Field of Humor,” alongside The Jack Benny Show (the winner), The Andy Griffith Show, The Bob Hope Buick Show, and Candid Camera. The series has endured as a pop culture phenomenon, even if its critical reception has been checkered— The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons describes The Flintstones as “probably the most heralded situation-comedy cartoon series” whereas David Bianculli opines “Personally, I never thought that much of the animation or the writing” in his Dictionary of Teleliteracy.”
The Flintstones was a product of Hanna-Barbera and an example of the company’s cost-cutting “limited animation” that concentrated more on story than elaborate backgrounds. As a result, the show is remembered more for it’s pun-laden humor and guest stars (such as Ann-Margret as “Ann Margrock,” and Tony Curtis as “Stony Curtis”).
The Archive of American Television interviewed Joseph Barbera and excerpts of his Archive interview, and others, can be found at the Archive’s The Flintstones show page.
Harvey Korman, known for his work as a regular on The Carol Burnett Show and in the films of Mel Brooks, has died at the age of 81. The Archive interviewed Korman together with his frequent comedy partner Tim Conway in 2004.
Harvey Korman was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame in 2002.
Interview Description: Harvey Korman was interviewed for three hours in Beverly Hills, CA, consisting of two parts: one-and-a-half hours with comedy partner Tim Conway, and one-and-a-half hours alone. Korman spoke about studying under actress Uta Hagen and talked about some of his earliest television roles. He spoke thoughtfully about working with several legendary comics including Danny Kaye, Lucille Ball, and Jack Benny. He and Tim Conway spoke in great detail about their years on The Carol Burnett Show, including descriptions of famous characters and sketches. They also talked about their work in recent years touring the country with their two-man stage show. Korman talked about headlining several short-lived series and his thoughts on being better suited as a second banana. Additionally he spoke about his work as a voice actor, playing “The Great Gazoo” on The Flintstones, and his feature film collaborations with Mel Brooks and Blake Edwards.