Hello everyone, we have an exciting and fun video for you. We are presenting behind-the-scenes facts on the quintessential cartoon, The Flintstones. This animated sitcom has made a huge impact on television, comedy, and pop culture since the ‘60s. We are here to uncover 15 facts about this all-time-favorite. This is Facts Verse Presents: 15 Incredible Facts About The Flintstones. Don’t forget to like this video and subscribe to our channel for more. Click that notification bell icon to make sure you are updated when we release a new video.
The Flintstones is arguably the most popular cartoon of all-time. First aired in the fall of 1960, The Flintstones has become a key part of pop culture. With characters like Fred, Wilma, Betty, and Barney, this animated sitcom based in the Stone Ages features their daily activities and day-to-day problems. This light-hearted, funny, and endearing sitcom still holds value today, even after 60 years. Let’s dive into 15 incredible facts about The Flintstones…
NUMBER ONE: Different Families
The Flintstones was created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, the founders of Hanna-Barbera production studio. Hanna-Barbera produced the series and went through many ideas and considerations before settling on the show’s details. In fact, they considered a Native American family, a pilgrim family, a hillbilly family, and a Roman family before settling on the Flintstones. During 1972, Hanna-Barbera produced another animated sitcom called “The Roman Holidays,” based on a family living in 63 CE. The idea originated from their initial concept of a Roman family.
NUMBER TWO: Flagstones
Before they were “Flintstones,” they were “Flagstones.” Yes, that right, the show used to be called ‘The Flagstones.’ However, popular comic strip, ‘Hi and Lois,’ starred a family called the “Flagstons.” After a copyright claim, The Flagstones became The Flintstones. The titles were too similar and could easily be confused. The pilot episode prior to the name change was never aired on television, instead later discovered in a New York Warehouse by Cartoon Network in 1993. In fact, the pilot featured Fred attempting to spear fish in the pool. This episode was almost identical to season 3’s “The Swimming Pool.”
NUMBER THREE: Barbera’s Plea
Joseph Barbera, part of the creative production duo, Hanna-Barbera, pitched the show’s concept for a full 2 months before it sold. Barbera stayed in New York for eight weeks, living in a hotel, while pitching the show’s idea to various networks and sponsors. He was turned down by many networks and executives. By the eighth week, no one was interested. During the last day of his trip, ABC Network agreed to the show, and production started shortly thereafter.
NUMBER FOUR: Pebbles
Fred and Wilma are the parents of the famous animated child, Pebbles Flintstone. Pebbles is one of the most beloved animated characters of all-time, known for her red hair and cute appearance. However, a concept sketch for the show prior to airing featured a baby boy as the child of Fred and Wilma. In fact, the child was supposed to be released in season 1, not season 3. Prior to the show’s release, the idea was scrapped and producers instead focused on husband and wife. By the third season, producers were ready to introduce a child. Initially, they decided to introduce a boy. It wasn’t until a popular toy company informed them a girl doll would be much easier to sell, as the market was larger and more profitable. The producers took their advice and created Pebbles Flintstone.
NUMBER FIVE: Brylcreem
Alan Reed is the voice of Fred Flintstone. He spoke his mind when presented with the idea of “Yahoo!” as Fred’s famous catchphrase. After pondering, Reed came up with a better idea. He suggested “Yabba-dabba-doo!,” inspired by Brylcreem’s advertisement campaign. Brylcreem is a hair styling product of the ‘50s, with advertisements using the “A little dab’ll do ya” slogan. The producers agreed and Fred’s catchphrase became etched in pop culture.
NUMBER SIX: Barney’s Voice
Fred’s neighbor Barney Rubble was voiced by voice actor Mel Blanc for most of the series. However, during a tragic car accident, Blanc’s skull became fractured and he went into a coma. During his recovery, Daws Butler played the voice of Barney for five episodes. As he continued to recover, producers of the show set up the necessary recording equipment in Blanc’s hospital room so he could record. After Blanc was discharged from the hospital, he recorded from his home, as he was still bedridden. In fact, he recorded while in a full-boy cast which required him to lay flat on his back. Castmates Bea Benaderet (Betty) and Vader Pyl (Wilma) recorded with him from his bedside. He slowly recovered with a wheelchair and crutches.
NUMBER SEVEN: Beethoven’s Inspiration
The theme song for the series was inspired by Beethoven’s Piano Sonata #17, Op. 31. The opening and closing song was “Meet the Flintstones.” This song was recorded with a 22-piece band accompanied by Randy Van Horne singers from his musical group.
NUMBER EIGHT: ‘Bugs Bunny’s’ Inspiration
Even though the theme song for season 3 was based on Beethoven, season 1 & 2 were based on another sitcom. Prior to season 3, the theme song was called “Rise and Shine.” This theme song was inspired by The Bugs Bunny Show. However, in the third season, producers decided to change it, perhaps due to the fact ‘Bugs Bunny’ also aired on ABC. In fact, in 1960, ABC released a closed-circuit presentation for ABC affiliates. The clip showcased Hal Peary, along with two other actors, debating the decision to keep ‘Bugs Bunny’ or ‘Flintstones’ on air. The actors were fighting over the network’s decision. They introduced both shows with a bit of comedy and dialogue in between.
NUMBER NINE: That Would Never Happen Today!
In the ‘60s, it was common to see characters on a show endorsing cigarette products from sponsors, however, not today. For example, during an episode, Fred and Barney are shown lighting cigarettes and having a smoke together. What’s worse? They smoked Winston cigarettes, as Winston was the sitcom’s sponsor. Years after airing, producers received backlash for allowing cigarettes on a show with animation for children.
NUMBER TEN: Suing… Yes or No?
Actor Jack Gleason debated suing Hanna-Barbera. Gleason starred on ‘The Honeymooners,’ a show with countless similarities to The Flintstones. During an interview, Gleason said he considering pursuing legal action against the production company, but eventually decided against it. Gleason stated he did not want to be the person who took the beloved character, Fred Flintstone, off the air. Hanna-Barbera commented on the situation and said they took the comparison as a major compliment.
NUMBER ELEVEN: ‘Honeymooner’s’ Writers
The Honeymooners writers were also hired by production duo, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. They thought they were hiring skilled and talented writers. The writers were previously successful with live-action series. Sydney Zelinka and Herbert Finn were previous writers for The Honeymooners. However, after receiving the script, Joseph Barbera called them “terrible.” He said their work was a waste of money. In fact, Hanna-Barbera paid the writers $3,000 and they were totally unsatisfied with the end product. The scripts were unsuitable for animation and contained too many words for the quick-moving comedy. Barbera said the scripts needed more action, oddly enough, the writers were experienced in live-action.
NUMBER TWELVE: Breaking Boundaries
The Flintstones was the first and only animated series at the time to feature spouses sleeping in the same bed. To be technical, 1947’s Mary Kay and Johnny slept in the same bed also, however, The Flintstones was the first animated series to normalize this.
NUMBER THIRTEEN: Emmy Award Nomination
The Flintstones became the first-ever animation to receive an Emmy nomination for “Outstanding Comedy Series.” However, the title went to The Jack Benny Show in 1961. Interestingly enough, The Flintstones was nominated for the award in their first season. The first season received a 100% approval rating based on nine industry critics. However, not everyone agrees with this. While the series is often called a “classic,” many critics note that “times have changed” and the series is not as popular as it used to be.
NUMBER FOURTEEN: Betty’s Voice
The voice of Betty Rubble was spoken by Bea Benaderet, however, June Foray was the first voice. Prior to the season’s debut, Foray played Betty Rubble. Here’s where it gets interesting. Benaderet was the voice of Looney Tunes’ Granny. When she left the series, she was replaced by none other than Foray. Benaderet is an acclaimed actress, as she was the original selection for Ethel in the iconic show, I Love Lucy. Once Benaderet left The Flintstones, Gerry Johnston replaced her for season 5 and 6. Bea Benaderert was ill since 1963 after her doctor found a tumor on her lungs. She passed away in 1968 of lung cancer and pneumonia.
NUMBER FIFTEEN: Bewitched?
During the sixth season, Samantha and Darrin Stephens appeared in the sitcom. Frank, Barney, and Darrin go camping alone, saying women cannot participate as it is “too rough.” The women won’t back down, as Samantha takes Wilma, Betty, and their children camping using her magical twitch nose. The episode follows the women as they attempt to show out the boys. In fact, this is not the first time ‘Bewitched’ and ‘The Flintstones’ have worked together, as Bewitched’s opening animation was produced by Hanna-Barbera.
Thank you for tuning in! We hope you enjoyed these 15 behind-the-scenes facts about The Flintstones. We know this classic was the cornerstone of childhoods for kids growing up in the ‘60s, ‘70s, and beyond. Due to its popularity, The Flintstones lives on today through books, movies, toys, and of course, reruns. Make sure to give this video a ‘thumbs up’ if you enjoyed and subscribe to our channel. We want to hear from you! Let us known down in the comment box which episode of The Flintstones is your favorite and which fact shocked you most! Thanks again and we’ll see you in the next one.