The Huckleberry Hound Show is a syndicated animated series and the second from Hanna-Barbera Productions following The Ruff and Reddy Show, sponsored by Kellogg’s. Three seven minute segments were included in the programme: one featuring Huckleberry Hound, another starring Yogi Bear and his sidekick Boo Boo, and a third with Pixie and Dixie and Mr. Jinks, two mice who in each short found a new way to outwit the cat Mr. Jinks.
The Yogi Bear segment of the show proved more popular than Huckleberry’s; it spawned its own series in 1961. A segment featuring Hokey Wolf and Ding-A-Ling was added, replacing Yogi during the 1960–61 season. The show contributed to making Hanna-Barbera Productions a household name, and is often credited with legitimizing the concept of animation produced specifically for television. In 1960, it became the first animated program to be honored with an Emmy Award.
Daws Butler voiced Huckleberry Hound and Yogi Bear, Dixie and Mr Jinks, and Hokey Wolf. Don Messick provided the voice for Pixie.
Huckleberry “Huck” Hound is a fictional cartoon character, a blue anthropomorphic dog that speaks with a Southern drawl and has a relaxed, sweet, and well-intentioned personality. He first appeared in the series The Huckleberry Hound Show. The cartoon was one of six TV shows to win an Emmy Award in 1960 as an “Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Children’s Programming”; the first animated series to receive such an award.
Most of his short films consisted of Huck trying to perform jobs in different fields, ranging from policeman to dogcatcher, with results that backfired, yet usually coming out on top, either through slow persistence or sheer luck. Huck did not seem to exist in a specific time period as he has also been a Roman gladiator, a medieval knight, and a rocket scientist. He never appeared in futuristic cartoons, only those set in the present or the past.
One regular antagonist in the series was “Powerful Pierre”, a tall and muscular unshaven character with a French accent. Another regular villain was “Dinky Dalton”, a rough and tough western outlaw that Huck usually has to capture, and Crazy Coyote, an Indian who Huck often had to defeat who was his match. There were also two crows with Mafia accents who often annoyed Farmer Huck. Another trademark of Huck was his tone deaf and inaccurate rendition of “Oh My Darling, Clementine”, often used as a running gag.
In 1953, Tex Avery created a character named Southern Wolf for his MGM cartoons The Three Little Pups and Billy Boy. Introduced as an antagonist to Droopy, the wolf had a southern drawl and laid back mannerisms provided by Daws Butler. The most memorable trait of the character was that whenever something painful or unpleasant happened to him he never lost his cool, instead he calmly talked to the audience or kept whistling the song ‘Year of Jubilo’. After Avery left MGM, Hanna Barbera produced two more shorts with the character. In two of his cartoons the wolf plays a role that was exactly like a usual Huckleberry Hound short. While Sheep Wrecked was the wolf’s final appearance, Huckleberry can be considered his reincarnation.
Huckleberry’s name is a reference to classic American novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, written by Mark Twain. Hanna and Barbera almost named Yogi Bear “Huckleberry Bear”.
“Stupid Cupid” is a song written by Howard Greenfield and Neil Sedaka which became a hit for Connie Francis in 1958. Sedaka recorded his own version in 1959.
After almost three years of failure, Francis finally had a hit in the spring of 1958 with a rock ballad version of the standard “Who’s Sorry Now?” Unfortunately, her next pair of singles were less successful. Eventually Howard Greenfield and Neil Sedaka visited her home to pitch their songs. Francis asked if they had something faster and more bouncy, so Sedaka played “Stupid Cupid”, an uptempo number intended for the Shepherd Sisters. After hearing only a few lines Francis recalls: “I started jumping up and down and I said, ‘That’s it! You guys got my next record!'”
A version of “Carolina Moon” became a double A-side with “Stupid Cupid” when released in the UK where, from chart date October 2, 1958, it was No 1 for six weeks.