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”.
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20th Century Highlights
- The Huckleberry Hound Show (1958-1961), star (four seasons, 69 episodes)
- Yogi’s Gang (1973), co-star (15 episodes, and one TV movie)
- The Good, the Bad, and Huckleberry Hound (1988 TV movie), star
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