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Exit Stage Left!: The Snagglepuss Chronicles is a six-issue miniseries starring the classic Hanna-Barbera character Snagglepuss. It was written by Mark Russell and is part of the Hanna-Barbera Beyond series.

In 1953, as America looks for ways to outmaneuver the Soviet Union, the House Un-American Activities Committee seeks to rid the entertainment industry of those whose work they deem disruptive to public morals. Among their targets is Snagglepuss, creator of popular but controversial plays like The Heart is a Kennel of Thieves. When the HUAC's new head finds evidence that Snagglepuss is gay, he must figure out how to outwit them before he ends up on the blacklist.


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This series contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Sexuality: In the original cartoons, Snagglepuss and Huckleberry were both straight, albeit with Snagglepuss being Camp Straight. In this series, they are both gay.
  • Animated Actors: Snagglepuss, Quick Draw, and Huckleberry Jr. end up joining a television studio to star in cartoons after their lives get upended by the HUAC.
  • All for Nothing: Quickdraw's attempts to draw attention away from himself fail when he gets caught and busted for a tryst.
  • Armored Closet Gay:
    • Quickdraw McGraw has managed to build a reputation for himself as a homophobic cop to cover up his off-duty visits at the Stonewall.
    • Gigi Allen's vicious pursuit of suspected homosexuals is her way of misdirecting people from her own life, in which she is living with another woman.
  • Artistic License – History: The trade paperback notes several cases of it that were taken for sake of the story (such as the Stonewall Inn being a mafia-run gay club around 1953; the real Stonewall Inn was still a normal restaurant during the early 1950's).
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  • The Atoner: Quickdraw McGraw sets up an animation studio for Snagglepuss and Huck's son to enable good careers, in return for having ruined lives by persecuting gays.
  • The Beard: In order to protect his public image, Snagglepuss hires actress Lila Lion to pose as his wife.
  • Becoming the Mask: Discussed, as Snagglepuss realizes that Living Is More Than Surviving and that this trope was a serious threat if he retreated into a mask.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Snagglepuss does his best to keep all his loved ones out of harm's way, but so much still goes wrong and his life as a playwright is over. Things are looking up at the end though: the HUAC is dissolved, and Snag finds a promising new career (see Animated Actors), reconciles with Quickdraw, gets closure through meeting Huckleberry Jr, and his Cuban lover initiates a reunion.
  • Bluff Worked Too Well: Gigi Allen threatens to out the married Huckleberry Hound and ruin his career and his family unless Snagglepuss names some other homosexuals and/or Communists to throw under the bus. This plan goes horribly awry when Huckleberry kills himself, and an enraged Snagglepuss chooses to get blacklisted rather than help the people who ruined his best friend, which also effectively ends Allen's career, as her investigation hinged on Snagglepuss' cooperation.
  • Boomerang Bigot: Gigi Allen, head of the House Un-American Activities Committee and outwardly militant anti-homosexual, is a lesbian.
  • Call-Back: In the first chapter, one of Snagglepuss' friends notes that she can't get any more work in the entertainment industry after refusing to name names before HUAC, and that all of the rejection letters have the same typo - "I AM SOPRRY" - in them, indicating it's a form letter that every studio has been given to use. In the last chapter, when Snagglepuss reveals that he hasn't been able to get work in entertainment for five years, one shot is his desk with several letters that have the same "I AM SOPRRY" typo.
  • Cassandra Truth: In a brief extra prior to the miniseries' events, Snagglepuss has a brief chat with Augie Doggie about how once the theater he was acting at began burning. He tried alerting the director, Peter Potamus... who promptly beat feet. Desperate, he ran into stage and screamed at the audience that there was a fire. Everyone laughed at him. He barely managed to escape and many people died in the fire. He uses the story as An Aesop to Augie as to why he's willingly confronting the HUAC - if there's danger, you have to warn people, even if they are going to try to escape it or ignore it altogether.
  • Continuity Nod: In order to get a job on Quickdraw's show, Snagglepuss changes his name to Snaggletooth and dyes his fur orange. This is a reference to his early appearances in the cartoons, in which he was orange and called Snaggletooth.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Huckleberry's son stars in cartoons under his father's name as a way of honoring him.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Snagglepuss, in spades. The very first scene has him snarking away at the HUAC.
    Interrogator: Mr. Puss, what do you have to say to critics who call your work "a three-martini subversion of American values" and "pornography for PHD's"?
    Snagglepuss: I try not to speak to critics. It only encourages them.
  • Driven to Suicide: Poor Huckleberry Hound kills himself after getting caught up in a raid and publicly outed as gay.
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Pretty much every anthropomorphic character (including all of the mains) completely forego pants, and this is never commented upon.
  • Hauled Before A Senate Subcommittee: Well, HUAC, which is in the House not the Senate, but the trope still applies.
  • Heteronormative Crusader: Snagglepuss' troubles begin when the HUAC's new head, Gigi Allen, starts directing the committee's efforts towards rooting out suspected homosexuals in the entertainment industry.
  • Hunter of His Own Kind: Quickdraw McGraw and Gigi Allen, as mentioned in Armored Closet Gay.
  • Living Is More Than Surviving: During his hearings, Gigi tries to persuade Snagglepuss by claiming sacrificing careers of few people and censoring their works is a small price for stopping the threat of Soviets destroying America with nukes. He is having none of it.
    Snagglepuss: You are offering people their lives like a vegetarian sells ham!
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • While it only lasts for a moment, Gigi is clearly deeply unsettled when she learns that her actions have caused Huckleberry Hound to kill himself.
    • Quickdraw is horrified and disgusted with himself when he helps raid the Stonewall, leading to Huckleberry's public outing and downfall, just to keep his own reputation and job.
  • My Greatest Second Chance: Peter Potamus, near the end of the series, describes his current directing job on Snagglepuss' latest play as one, after the previously mentioned fire incident caused him to effectively be blacklisted by any rational theater owner.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed:
  • Pantsless Males, Fully-Dressed Females: The male animal characters don't wear pants, but female animal characters wear dresses.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: The last conversation Gigi Allen has with Snagglepuss is after his second HUAC hearing, in which he revealed on television that the indecency charges against Huckleberry Hound will not result in conviction, because Huck killed himself. She tries to apologize over what happened with Huck, but Snagglepuss is having none of it.
    Snagglepuss: You don't get to sell your soul and then say the Devil made you do it.
  • Spanner in the Works: Huckleberry Hound is this to Gigi Allen. She was trying to catch Snagglepuss but got him instead. She tries to use him as leverage against Snag, but Huck kills himself.
  • Transparent Closet: Huckleberry Hound is very, very bad at trying to keeping himself in the closet. Snagglepuss isn't much better at acting straight, but he's smart enough to hire a beard. Discussed when Arthur Miller enlists Snagglepuss' aid in helping hide his affair with Marylin Monroe from her then-husband, Joe DiMaggio. It's noted (and turns out to be correct) that DiMaggio wouldn't assume Snagglepuss was conducting an affair with Monroe, because Joe knows Snagglepuss is a "sugarfoot" (slang for a closeted gay man) - it's apparently a pretty open secret.

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