Dec. 15 – Yogi Bear’s All-Star Comedy Christmas Caper

YOGI BEAR’S ALL-STAR COMEDY CHRISTMAS CAPER
Original Air Date: December 21, 1982

List of force cameos? Check. Child being neglected because her dad is to busy with business? Check. Add child abduction, and this special has something for the whole family!

BACKSTORY

After working for MGM on Tom & Jerry cartoons for a number of years, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera had no idea what they were going to do after MGM decided to close their animation studio. The two had pitched an idea called “The Ruff and Ready Show”, but MGM shot the idea down. However, director George Sidney, friend of the two, was able to convince Screen Gems to pick up the show, and helped create the famed H-B production.

Hum the jingle if you know it! 

Following their run with “The Ruff and Ready Show”, the duo began to work on The Huckleberry Hound show. Now this is important for two reasons. Firstly, it is on this show that Yogi Bear originated and ultimately pulled a Steve Urkel on, by becoming the most popular segment on the show, thus earning his own TV show in 1961. The second and most important reason is that Daws Butler got to reign in his voice acting genius.

D’awwwwwwwwwws

If voice acting is an art, then Daws Butler is Vincent van Gogh. In The Huckleberry Hound Show alone, you hear Butler do a wide arrange of characters, from Huckleberry Hound to Yogi Bear to Hokey Wolf, as well as two of the three characters on Pixie & Dixie and Mr. Jinks. Even if you don’t have a love for these characters, Butler helped train such great VA’s like Nancy Cartwright, Greg Burson, and Cory Burton.

BREAKDOWN

Catch Phrase! This special begins with a number of H-B’s most famous characters going to visit Yogi Bear for Christmas. The group includes Huckleberry Hound, Quick Draw McGraw, Auggie Doggy and Doggy Daddy – no brainer choices, right? Although strangely, they decided to include Snooper, Blabber and Hokey Wolf. Hokey Wolf makes a little sense (however without Ding-A-Ling, what’s the point?), but Snooper and Blabber? I’m a huge fan of the HBverse and a huge fan of detctives, and even I have little to no memories of these characters.

Were Lippy Lion and Hardy Har Har unavailable?

But to everyone’s surprise, Yogi went to the city to visit them! D’OH (Insert comedy whistle!) Ranger Smith, who makes the only smart move in this whole special, calls animal control, because hey, there is a wild fucking bear in the city.

Smarter than average, maybe. But he’s still A WILD BEAR

Of course, this is a Hanna Barbera cartoon, so the Animal Control units are as thick as you would think they would be. Of course, any dolt could do the gig if they had weapons like this…

 Practical marketing

Meanwhile, there is an adorable little girl, Judy, on her way to the mall with her father. You see, he’s a business man, who is way too busy with businessy stuff. So, like anyone with money, he leaves his daughter at the mall unattended.  You know, because it’s the 80’s, and the worst thing that could happen is she becomes Punkey Brewster.

Its ok, the Gooch will be with her. She’ll be fine

Yogi finally gets away from the Animal Control team by being the least obvious thing in the world: A mall Santa.

Master of Disguise

Judy runs into Yogi and Boo-Boo and asks for their help. Apparently, instead of being able to buy anything, she just wants to spend time with someone for Christmas. Weird… So Yogi and Boo-Boo just decide to leave with her. But wait, Judy’s father realizes that it is a tad insane, or at least criminally negligent, to just leave his daughter there alone and attempts to get her back.

Is Mall Security a step up from Animal Control? Nope

After Yogi and Boo-Boo successfully abduct her from the Mall (I have no idea what else you would call it), they successfully get something to eat after conning someone out of his pic-a-nic basket. (I hate that I had to spell it like that)  

What idiot dreams of having a picnic in December?

Realizing they have SOMEONE ELSE’S kid, they decided to find Judy’s parents. The rest of the Hanna Barbera gang joins up, and they all idiotically split up to find them.

Worst search party ever

Ok, this is where it gets monumentally stupid. I understand that you have to put cameos, but come on. Firstly, Snagglepuss runs into Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble. This means one of two things. One, Bedrock is the most prehistoric city in the 1980’s, or two, they’re the most blue collar time travelers the world has ever known. But what good would our money be for them? Their currency was clams. CLAMS, GET IT? DOLLARS AREN’T CLAMS!!!!

Your money’s no good here, Fred. (Seriously, call the police)

How do they get the money? They beat the shit out of Snagglepuss. Our heroes, ladies and gentlemen!

Nothing says “Christmas” like beating a lion to death

 Next on the revolving door of cameos is Mr. Jinx, Dixie and Pixie.

“You know, maybe these Meeses ain’t so bad”

Well…

“Nope. I still hate these Meeses to pieces!”

And to end the cameo run, here is Magilla Gorilla, Yakky Doodle, and Wally Gator just for the shits and giggles. Mostly shits.

This would probably be more interesting if these were the Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law versions of the characters

While everyone is looking for Judy’s home, Judy notices that Auggie Doggy and Doggy Daddy love each other very much.

We just love each other so much! Why can’t everyone be like us?

Judy then realizes that she just wants her dad for Christmas…

Feelings make us sad. 🙁

As Yogi and the gang get back, they are stopped by the cops, and Yogi is arrested for kidnapping Judy. Yogi tries to tell her father that Judy didn’t want to be with him because he was so busy. Bad Dad claims he gives her everything that he can! Yogi then explains all she ever really wanted was his time.

But I’m a business man, who does lots of businessing!

Because of Yogi’s sentiment, Judy’s father drops the charges and everyone spends Christmas in the park, and they all live happily ever after.

Yogi wishes you a Merry Christmas. I wish he would’ve stayed hibernated

Who again?

There are a lot of mall Santas, and Yogi dresses a Santa throughout most of the special. However, the real deal never makes an appearance.

If you want to see a Daws Butler voice acting reel with a Christmas theme, then you’ll enjoy this. The story is bland, the characters are virtually unlikeable, and anyone who isn’t a Hanna Barbera character looks stupid. Furthermore, even the requisite cameos – arguably, this special’s saving grace – are so random and mind-numbingly dumb it borders on insulting. Sort of like if I just put a random photo of Hong Kong Phooey here for no reason.

He is the #1 super guy.

PRODUCT INFORMATION (Shop Amazon through us – it helps!)

Yogi Bear’s All-Star Comedy Christmas Caper is available on reasonably priced, standalone DVD. For the insatiable Yogi fan, we also recommend picking up the The Yogi Bear Show – The Complete Series set, and if you’re feeling masochistic, why not try the 2010 movie?!

Travis Foster writes for the gaming website PTFGN.com and you can follow him at @_TravFoster.

Yesterday’s Christmas Special
FUTURAMA “XMAS STORY”

 

2010’s Dec. 15 Christmas Special
EMMET OTTER’S JUG-BAND CHRISTMAS

 

2009’s Dec. 15 Christmas Special
SANTA CLAUS IS COMIN’ TO TOWN 

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