Anonus Watches Yo Yogi!

edited 2014-09-20 02:00:28 in Liveblogs
It has been a year and a half since I subjected myself to the crass, chintzy, all-around offensive Shasta McNasty, and now I'm back with more infamously bad TV. Yo Yogi! was produced during a rough time for Hanna-Barbera - Daws Butler had died in 1988 and couldn't be back to reprise his old roles for this (though that might have been a good thing for him), the studio's owner of the time, Great American Broadcasting, had been offering the studio for sale for over a year with no takers (though Turner Broadcasting would strike a deal to buy it not long after this show premiered), and the studio had hit one of its many creative low points. It features aged-down versions of Hanna-Barbera's famous characters Yogi Bear, Boo Boo, Huckleberry Hound, Snagglepuss, Dick Dastardly and Muttley, who hang out at Jellystone Mall. I have for a long time wanted to bring myself to watch this show, and now I will.

The episode I have chosen to watch is "Mellow Fellow," whose writing is credited to Sindy McKay. Here we go!

Comments

  • I've learned to tolerate drama...except on the boat
    We open on a tree-filled shot of what is presumably Jellystone Mall. There are some lifeless-looking background characters walking on the ground. The synthesized music in this shot isn't exactly the Capitol Hi-Q or Hoyt Curtin music in terms of quality.
  • I've learned to tolerate drama...except on the boat
    Fade to a bunch of phones ringing so hard they hop off of their holders. Huckleberry Hound is busy having to answer all of them - he's working at a Lost and Found. The guy voicing Huck here does a reasonable simulation of Daws's voice, though it doesn't sound very aged-down. And neither does Snagglepuss, who sounds even less like Snagglepuss than he should. He, along with Yogi, Cindy Bear and Boo Boo, is watching Lifestyles of the Filthy Rich, whose name admittedly almost made me chuckle. Snag's mouth and nose disappear for a frame.
  • I've learned to tolerate drama...except on the boat
    "Sorry Snag, but I sure could use a hand juggling these telephones," a line that begins with Huck bobbing his head around in a pathetic attempt at simulating classic H-B animation and ends with him literally juggling them, accompanied by a cacophony of the same classic H-B sound effect repeated over and over again.

    Wow, the guy voicing Huck here really isn't into it at all. Just because Huck sounds lethargic doesn't mean he's disconnected. All parties involved missed that key ingredient to making the voice work.
  • underwater moonlight
    I wonder if this is better or worse than Loonatics Unleashed
  • I've learned to tolerate drama...except on the boat
    "Don't be so modest Huck, you're handling it just fine! Besides, it's lunchtime," says Yogi, who rubs his belly. I don't like his voice here either. This show feels really cheap and chintzy in terms of production quality.
  • I've learned to tolerate drama...except on the boat

    I wonder if this is better or worse than Loonatics Unleashed

    See for yourself
  • I've learned to tolerate drama...except on the boat
    "All righty, heavens to murgatroyd, time flies when you're veggin' out!"

    This show is ultra-depressing. I'm pretty sure I could write fan fiction that's better than this.
  • I've learned to tolerate drama...except on the boat
    Yogi asks Huck to cover for the rest of the gang, and he obliges, even though he's literally tied up in phone cords. He falls out of his chair trying to get himself untangled. The sad thing is that this is perfectly in-character for him.
  • underwater moonlight
    I almost fell asleep watching that
  • I've learned to tolerate drama...except on the boat
    Cindy declares that Huck is mellower than sassafrass tea on a dog day afternoon and that he needs to stand up for himself and get mad once in a while. (I have a vague memory of Cindy being a southern belle who "declares" things)

    Even with the shit dialogue, McKay actually seems to get Huck's character. Which makes it all the sadder that these characters are stuck in this '80s bilge-level show.
  • edited 2014-09-20 02:20:04
    I've learned to tolerate drama...except on the boat
    I'm pretty sure Cindy Bear is voiced by Kath Soucie; her voice almost lapses into the Lil DeVille/Cadpig voice at one point.
  • I've learned to tolerate drama...except on the boat
    Cindy demands that Huck not only ask for help sometimes, but demand it. Huck asks Cindy to help him get untangled from the phone cords, but she says she's late for lunch and abandons him.
  • This case is closed.
    The person who voiced Yogi sounds like the only one who made a serious effort to "age down", but yet, he somehow sounds worse for doing so.
  • I've learned to tolerate drama...except on the boat
    A gorilla couple comes into the room, the female crying like mad. Huck asks what the problem is, and she says that her baby is lost in the mall. Parts of her face change color for a couple of frames as she blubbers to Huck. Huck says he'd love to help her out, but he's kind of tied up right now. The male gorilla picks him up, screams in his face, and pulls the phones off of him and throws them off-screen like they were nothing. He then slams Huck onto the chair, which causes it to break and leaves him sitting only on its cushion. "Uh, thanks," he says.

    The female says they're offering a big reward if only Huck can bring back their Wee Willie safe and sound (for the uninitiated, Wee Willie is a character that Huck, as an adult, ran into in better days). Willie's mother shows Huck a picture, to which he remarks to the viewer "something tells me this here little fella won't be too hard to find!"
  • I've learned to tolerate drama...except on the boat
    We get a brief scene of Huck wailing "oh my darling, oh my darling, oh my darling clementine" for old times' sake, except the whole scene is pulled off miserably. There's a synth guitar in the background that doesn't really fit, his mouth disappears a couple of times, and he ambles along like he's about to collapse.

    Good god, no wonder Ted Turner almost shut H-B down when he got his hands on it. If not for him relenting and the appointment of Fred Seibert as its president they would have had to be mercy-killed.
  • edited 2014-09-20 02:33:43
    This case is closed.
    The only good thing I can say about this show is at least the other character designs/backgrounds actually accompany the main character designs pretty well.
  • I've learned to tolerate drama...except on the boat
    Huck encounters something that looks like a broken bicycle, then turns to "Dickie" Dastardly harassing some other child, saying that he can't hang out at this mall with an official Dickie Dastardly Mall Pass. I question the choice of giving him the aviator's helmet as opposed to the Wacky Races hat.
  • I've learned to tolerate drama...except on the boat
    He says the Mall Pass is "only $29.95" and the other kid give him his lollipop and walks off. As Dick struggles to shake it off, younger Muttley does a knockoff of his famous wheezy laugh.

    Huck approaches Dickie and asks him if he's seen Wee Willie. He's not interested in helping Huck until he hears of the "big ol' ree-ward". Huck sees a woman run by shrieking, then turns his attention to big hole in a baby bonnet store. Huck runs into the hole and tries to grab Willie, but Willie picks him up and walks off with him, enunciating an off-sounding "eek eek!" as he does.
  • I've learned to tolerate drama...except on the boat
    Huck being Huck, he calls Wee Willie "right cooperative", but with the problem that he's going the wrong direction.

    We cut to the food court, the establishing shot of which shows it to be called "The Picnic Basket" and is accompanied by a synthesized piece of music that makes me want to vomit.

    Boo Boo: Gee Yogi, you've really topped yourself this time!
    Yogi: Yah-hi-hi Boo Boo, a growin' bear's gotta eat y'know, and I'm growin' by leaps and bounds!
    Snagglepuss: Make that ounces and pounds already!
    Yogi: Ah chill out Snag, don't be a bore, 'cause there's always room for more!

    how the fuck did Bill and Joe's souls not collapse

    though it seems like it would have happened in like the '70s if it ever did happen
  • underwater moonlight
    it was at that point I stopped watching
  • I've learned to tolerate drama...except on the boat
    Cindy asks Yogi if he thinks Huck's mad about them leaving him all by his lonesome, but Yogi says "no way! Nothin' ever bothers Huck!" Cut back to Huck being carried by Wee Willie, to whom he says "Alright, fun's fun, but I'm gonna have to ask you to put me down now." Jesus, the episode's not even halfway over yet and I feel like I've been watching it for ages.
  • I've learned to tolerate drama...except on the boat
    Wee Willie throws Huck to the ground. He comments on this with "I told yew he was a right cooperative little monkey." (I've been inconsistent in rendering Huck's dialect but will render it from here on out)

    We wipe to Dickie, at a motorcycle based on his Wacky Races car, the Mean Machine. He declares to Muttley that if there'll be any reward-collecting around here, it'll be done by him, as he hops into it and presses a button, which releases a rope that ensnares Wee Willie. The rope's travel across the background before it catches Wee Willie isn't very natural-looking to me. Wee Willie walks ahead, dragging Dickie with him. He pleads the big ape to stop, as Willie steps all over Huck and the motorcycle runs him over. The music here is really bad. There was pretty much no attention paid to the whole philosophy of scoring, which is to make music that complements a scene.
  • I've learned to tolerate drama...except on the boat
    Huck comments "man, there's an awful lotta traffic around here today." We get another keyboard demo for background music as the scene wipes to "Svelte Pelt Fitness Center". It says something that this sort of thing almost made me laugh and little else here did. Willie joins the women in the gym in tightening their tummies. But it's not long before the instructor notices that he's present and has a freakout about him, which the patrons imitate. More almost-humor here.

    Huck walks near the exterior the gym, commenting that Willie leaves an impression everywhere he goes. He gets trampled over by the instructor and the non-Willie patrons, who leave shoeprints in his shirt. He continues to dutifully bob his head up and down as he verbally observes this.

    At what is presumably another gym, Willie is lifting some weights with little apparent struggle, letting out another "eek eek" as he does so. Huck tries to pull him away, then Dickie enters the scene imploring Willie not to listen to "that dimwit", grabs Willie's other arm, and pulls on it. Huck and Dickie argue over who's really going to be taking Willie, and there are points when they speak without moving their mouths. Willie walks away from the weights, leaving Dickie and Huck to pull on them, realize this too late, and be yanked into the wall.
  • I've learned to tolerate drama...except on the boat
    Dickie yells for Muttley, who runs into the scene wheezing and yanks Dickie out of the wall. Willie claps his hands at this sight, and exits the gym. Dickie angrily asks Huck if anything bugs him, to which he replies "shucks no, Willie's just a tad high-spirited, that's all," pulling his hand out of the wall as he speaks. He falls to the floor right afterward.

    Dickie and Muttley help him up, and Dickie convinces Huck to team up with him and split the reward. "Hmm, sounds reasonably reasonable, it's a deal," Huck responds, in what sounds like an attempt to emulate the rhythm of the classic H-B shorts. But of course, Dickie aims to swindle Huck into not getting a penny of the reward.

    Fade out, then in on Huck in a banana costume. When asking Dickie if he's sure this plan's gonna work, he responds that it's got real appeal and that there's no chance of a slip-up. Groan.

    Willie walks up to a TV set showing a character who appears to be Magilla Gorilla; when the set appears in a zoomed-out frame, Magilla's body has changed color from brown to white. Huck runs by in the costume, and is followed by Willie, whose tongue is now hanging out of his mouth. Dickie tells Huck to speed up, or he'll be banana cream pie; in this scene, Huck's eyelids keep turning black. He turns to the viewer and says "personally, I prefer peach cobbler." It's very easy to be exasperated by Huck's density when he's not going it alone, as he SHOULD be doing.
  • I've learned to tolerate drama...except on the boat
    Dickie lures Huck, then Willie, into a big cage, but Huck runs out just as Dickie shuts the cage's door. "Nice work Dickie! It's downright awesome whatchoo can do when yew work together," responds the gullible Huck. In response, Dickie releases a boot from his motorcycle, which kicks Huck across the mall as "circus" music plays in the background. Dickie and Muttley laugh, but then they're trampled by Wee Willie, who has escaped his cage and is holding onto the door.

    Huck sees Willie and tries to get out of the banana costume, but its zipper is stuck. We cut to another scene, into which Willie appears (after being missing for a bit) and climbs up towards Huck, who decides to "make like a banana, and split!"

    My cold makes me not want to watch any more of this crap.
  • I've learned to tolerate drama...except on the boat
    Back at the food court, Cindy and Boo Boo implore Yogi to hurry up and finish his fuckton of food so they won't make Huck feel abandoned. I think that's still Don Messick as Boo Boo; his presence is something of a comfort, if that is him.

    Yogi goes on about how Huck can handle anything, as he hops across the ski lift seats in the background (not sure why a mall would have these but whatever) and Willie swings after him. Huck thinks that Willie's off his trail, but then Willie grabs him, squeezing him so hard that he causes his mouth to disappear for a frame, once again. Willie drops to the ground, and tries to bite into Huck; however, he squeezes him so hard that he pops out of the costume and flies into another floor. He remarks "that's the last time I try to be top banana," as mall-goers see his head protruding from the floor and run away from him.
  • THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS
    Hmm, I wonder who the music was credited to.
  • I've learned to tolerate drama...except on the boat
    Willie throws the costume away, and it hits Dickie and Muttley, causing their motorcycle to crash. Dickie angrily presses a button, releasing a net that somehow increases in size (perspective fuckery is something of a theme here) and catches Willie. He approaches him and takes the banana bunch that he has obtained from him. Huck is making his way down on an escalator, and sees Dickie declare that Willie won't be getting any more bananas until he gets his reward, which makes him cry. Now that gets Huck riled.

    Huck summons a martial arts headband out of thin air and ties it around his forehead, as "martial arts" music plays in the background. Huck says that his "Huck Fu" is kinda tip-top secret, so he approaches Dickie, pulls down a window shade, and beats him up in a nod to H-B's classic stuff having violence happen off screen so as not to blow their small budgets. Huck pulls up the shade to reveal that Dickie now resembles a pretzel, causing Muttley to laugh.

    Back at the Lost and Found, Huck returns Willie to his parents and collects his reward. But he has learned a lesson: not to lose his cool. I'm sorry, but "Huck Fu" doesn't come off as impulsive as all.

    In conclusion, this wasn't COMPLETELY awful, but it still wasn't very good. The production quality is pretty chintzy and the voice actors don't really sound like they're into their roles, except for Don Messick as Boo Boo. It's too bad that Warner Bros., the current owners of the Hanna-Barbera characters, doesn't seem to be interested in any new H-B projects that aren't Scooby-Doo-related - the Hanna-Barbera Gang deserves a better "last hurrah" than this.
  • Reality has never been an obstacle for me before!!
    This almost sounds like a parody of bad 1980s cartoons
  • I've learned to tolerate drama...except on the boat
    It's kind of sad when the reminders that human beings made this thing shine through...this could have been a fun show. Tom Ruegger, a studio alumnus who helmed A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, was allowed to leave the studio to work at Warner Bros., and this show could have been more fun in his hands.
  • THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS
    I really do wonder if anyone else noticed that before I did whilst on a CN binge sometime in the mid-1990s.
  • edited 2014-12-19 05:49:17
    THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS
    I'm watching this now, and if anything, it's not Totally Radical enough. I mean, I think Denver, the Last Dinosaur and the 1985 episodes of The Jetsons could out-rad this. It's just dull, like it was made for much younger kids.
  • THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS
    I will give it some credit, though; it's not trying too hard like The Flintstone Kids did, and it's not Fear and Loathing in Hollywood, U.S.A. like the Tom and Jerry Comedy Show is. 
  • I've learned to tolerate drama...except on the boat
    I think the reason it gets so much flak is because people like to beat up on Hanna-Barbera. It's abundantly clear that I don't like it much myself, but it had to be the best thing on NBC's 1991-92 Saturday morning lineup.
  • underwater moonlight
    Hanna-Barbera SUCKS
  • edited 2014-12-19 05:58:51
    THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS
    Yeah; it's like most 1980s H-B. It's not great, but it's not terrible, either. And when you consider that most of what was on that schedule was Heyward-era DiC....
  • I've learned to tolerate drama...except on the boat
    At least ABC had Hammerman and not NBC...
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