Snagglepuss

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Snagglepuss
The Yogi Bear Show character
Snagglepuss.png
First appearanceThe Quick Draw McGraw Show (1959)
Created byWilliam Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Voiced byDaws Butler (1959–1988)[1]
Greg Burson (1989–2002)
Jeff Bergman (commercials, The Funtastic Four)
Billy West (commercials)
Stephen Stanton (MetLife commercial)
Victor Yerrid (Robot Chicken)
Chris Edgerly (Drawn Together)
Tom Kenny (Evil Con Carne, Wacky Races)
Information
AliasSnaggletooth
SpeciesMountain lion
GenderMale

Snagglepuss is a Hanna-Barbera cartoon character debuted in prototype form in 1959 and established as a studio regular by 1962.[2][3] A pink anthropomorphic cougar sporting an upturned collar, shirt cuffs, and string tie, Snagglepuss enjoys the fine things in life and shows particular affinity for the theatre. His stories routinely break the fourth wall as the character addresses the audience in self-narration, soliloquy, and asides. As originally voiced by Daws Butler,[1] Snagglepuss seeks quasi-Shakespearean turns of phrase. Some of his campy verbal mannerisms became catchphrases: "Heavens to Murgatroyd!",[1] "Exit, stage left!", and a fondness for closing sentences with the emphatic "even".

History[edit]

An orange mountain lion known as "Snaggletooth", featuring the eventual character's general manner and Bert Lahr-inspired voice but without collar or cuffs, first appeared on television in "The Quick Draw McGraw Show" in 1959.[2][3] The character subsequently appeared in a supporting role in Augie Doggie & Doggie Daddy and Snooper and Blabber.[3] Under the revised name Snagglepuss the character appeared in his own series of shorts in 1961 as a regular segment on The Yogi Bear Show, featuring in 32 episodes. He later appeared in other Hanna-Barbera shows, including Yogi's Gang (1973), as a co-host in Laff-A-Lympics (1977–78), Yogi's Treasure Hunt (1985), and as a teenager in Yo Yogi! (1991).

Snagglepuss's appearance in a 1960s run of Kellogg's cereal television commercials prompted legal action by actor Bert Lahr, who said the similarity of the character's voice to his own could lead viewers to the false conclusion that Lahr himself had endorsed the product. As part of the settlement the disclaimer "Snagglepuss voice by Daws Butler" was required to appear on each commercial. This made Butler one of the few voice artists to receive screen credits in a TV commercial.[4]

Butler reused his Snagglepuss voice for two other Hanna-Barbera characters: Jonathan Wellington "Mudsy" Muddlemore from The Funky Phantom and Brutus the lion from The Roman Holidays.

In 2017 a comic book series depicted Snagglepuss as a gay playwright in 1950s America whose career featured parallels to that of Tennessee Williams. The eight-page story in Suicide Squad/Banana Splits Annual #1 was by Mark Russell.[5] A six-issue miniseries the following year, Exit, Stage Left!: The Snagglepuss Chronicles, revealed the 2017 series to be a prequel to the original shorts, establishing the character's backstory as "Hanna-Barbera canon."[6]

Character[edit]

Snagglepuss lives in a cavern, which he constantly tries to make more habitable for himself. No matter what he does, however, he always winds up back where he started or worse off than he was before. In some episodes, Snagglepuss is chased by Major Minor (voiced by Don Messick), a tiny-sized hunter.

Butler's voicing of the character recalls the work of actor Bert Lahr, especially the more mellow moods of Lahr's Cowardly Lion in the 1939 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film The Wizard of Oz. (Coincidentally, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera directed the Tom and Jerry cartoons for the MGM cartoon studio before opening Hanna-Barbera Productions in 1957.)[1]

Snagglepuss has three signature catchphrases. His most famous is his perpetual exclamation "Heavens to Murgatroyd!" – a line first uttered by Bert Lahr in the film Meet the People (1944).[1] Before dashing offscreen to make an escape or run an errand, Snagglepuss announces the move in the form of a theatrical stage direction, saying "Exit, stage left!" (or "right," as the case may be, or "up" or "down" even). Finally, Snagglepuss tends to add the word "even" for emphasis at the ends of sentences:

  • After emphasizing a previous statement ("Somebody hurt! In dire pain, even!").
  • After stating a synonymous phrase ("On account of I must be a little rusty. Stale, even").
  • In a grammatically correct way, though out of order in the sentence ("I wonder if he knows my telephone number, even").
  • Simply added as an exclamation ("Heavens to Murgatroyd! A veritabububble frankenmouse monster, even!").[7]

Snagglepuss's pink color, lilting voice and theatrical manner led to the character being interpreted by many viewers over the years as gay.[8] This conjecture was officially explored in Exit, Stage Left!: The Snagglepuss Chronicles, a 2018 comic miniseries from DC Comics and Hanna-Barbera.[9] Written by Mark Russell, Snagglepuss is established as a playwright along the lines of Tennessee Williams, living a closeted gay lifestyle in the 1950s while being targeted by the US House Committee on Un-American Activities.[5][10] The comic later won a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Comic Book.[11]

Titles[edit]

  1. Major Operation / 1961-01-30
  2. Feud for Thought / 1961-02-06
  3. Live and Lion / 1961-02-13
  4. Fraidy Cat Lion / 1961-02-20
  5. Royal Ruckus / 1961-02-27
  6. The Roaring Lion / 1961-03-06
  7. Paws for Applause / 1961-03-13
  8. Knights and Daze / 1961-03-20
  9. The Gangsters All Here / 1961-03-27
  10. Having a Bowl / 1961-04-03
  11. Diaper Desperado / 1961-04-10
  12. Arrow Error / 1961-04-17
  13. Twice Shy / 1961-04-24
  14. Cloak and Stagger / 1961-05-01
  15. Remember Your Lions / 1961-05-08
  16. Remember the Daze / 1961-05-15
  17. Express Trained Lion / 1961-09-16
  18. Jangled Jungle / 1961-09-23
  19. Lion Tracks / 1961-09-30
  20. Fight Fright / 1961-10-07
  21. Lions Share Sheriff / 1961-10-14
  22. Cagey Lion / 1961-10-21
  23. Charge That Lion / 1961-10-28
  24. Be My Ghost / 1961-11-04
  25. Spring Hits a Snag / 1961-11-11
  26. Legal Eagle Lion / 1961-11-18
  27. Don't Know It Poet / 1961-11-25
  28. Tail Wag Snag / 1961-12-02
  29. Rent and Rave / 1961-12-09
  30. Footlight Fright / 1961-12-16
  31. One Two Many / 1961-12-23
  32. Royal Rodent / 1961-12-30

Other appearances[edit]

Hanna-Barbera[edit]

Non Hanna-Barbera[edit]

  • In The Simpsons episode "Sweet Seymour Skinner's Baadasssss Song" (April 28, 1994), Miss Hoover reminds Ralph Wiggum that he once reported seeing Snagglepuss outside in the hallway. Ralph responds, "he was going to the bathroom".
  • In The Simpsons episode "Lady Bouvier's Lover" (May 12, 1994), Comic Book Guy shows Bart a cel of Snagglepuss as an example of a cel that is actually worth something, as opposed to the cel of Scratchy's arm that Bart was trying to sell to him.
  • In the adult animated sitcom Drawn Together, Snagglepuss is featured in the episode "Gay Bash", but his face is blurred, referencing how strangers are blurred on reality programs. He is voiced by Chris Edgerly.
  • Snagglepuss made two cameos in a MetLife commercial in 2012, titled "Everyone". In a behind the scenes video, Snagglepuss (voiced by Stephen Stanton) acts and rehearses in front of the director of the ad, only for the director to tell him he does not have any speaking roles in the ad, and in response, Snagglepuss storms out of the trailer.
  • On a Season 34: Episode 8 "Weekend Update" segment on Saturday Night Live (November 15, 2008), Bobby Moynihan appears in costume as Snagglepuss to comment on California's ban on gay marriage. During the segment, Snagglepuss is outed by anchor Seth Meyers and then confesses that his domestic partner is fellow Hanna-Barbera cartoon character The Great Gazoo, who also makes a cameo.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Martin, Gary (1996–2009). "Heavens to Murgatroyd". Retrieved 2009-08-22.
  2. ^ a b Markstein, Donald D. "Snagglepuss". Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on June 12, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c "Snagglepuss". Cartoon Scrapbook. Archived from the original on 2012-07-08.
  4. ^ "Today's Video Link". News From ME (Mark Evanier's blog). April 15, 2010.
  5. ^ a b "DC's 'Gay, Southern Gothic' Snagglepuss Comic Introduces Augie Doggie".
  6. ^ "DC's Gay Snagglepuss Is Now Officially Hanna-Barbera Canon".
  7. ^ Liberman, Mark (October 6, 2013). "Snagglepuss: early avatar of emphatic even". Language Log.
  8. ^ Hughes, William (31 January 2017). "New comic series reimagines Snagglepuss as a gay 1950s playwright". AV Club. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  9. ^ Abad-Santos, Alex (17 December 2017). "The Snagglepuss Chronicles is the first great comic book of 2018".
  10. ^ "THIS: Look at those cavemen go – HiLobrow". Retrieved 8 February 2017.
  11. ^ Puc, Samantha (29 March 2019). "Syndicated Comics". Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  12. ^ "EXIT STAGE LEFT: THE SNAGGLEPUSS CHRONICLES #1". DC. 16 October 2017. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  13. ^ https://deadline.com/2019/10/hbo-max-looney-tunes-jellystone-the-fungies-tig-n-seek-kids-family-series-1202771895/

External links[edit]