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Western Animation / CB Bears

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The 1970s have a lot to answer for. (Left to right: Hustle, Bump, Boogie.)
The popularity of citizens band radio in the 1970s inspired this hourlong Animated Anthology from Hanna-Barbera, which ran on NBC in 1977/78.

The series' headliners were crime-solving bears named Hustle, Bump and Boogie (voiced by Daws Butler, Henry Corden and Chuck McCann, respectively). They traveled in a garbage truck and received orders via citizen band radio from their female boss, "Charlie" (voiced seductively by Susan Davis).

Supporting segments in the CB Bears show were:

  • Blastoff Buzzard, a cartoon similar to Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner, and the only H-B cartoon whose soundtrack had no human voices at all;
  • Heyyyy, It's the King, an all-animal parody of Happy Days;
  • Posse Impossible, a Spin-Off of the series finale of Hong Kong Phooey;
  • Shake, Rattle and Roll, in which a trio of ghosts inhabited an abandoned hotel, and
  • Undercover Elephant, about a secret-agent pachyderm and his mouse partner.

At mid-season, the show was absorbed into a two-hour block on NBC titled Go Go Globetrotters which included repeats of 1970's The Harlem Globetrotters, 1967's The Herculoids, and 1969's Motormouse & Autocat.


CB Bears provides examples of:

  • All Psychology Is Freudian: In Marvel's Hanna-Barbera TV Stars series, a story has Undercover Elephant after a criminal called Pretty Boy Freud, a bodybuilder that doubles as a psychiatrist to lull his victims out of their synch. He fools Undercover Elephant into thinking he needs psychiatric help so he can make a getaway.
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Clyde is an orange gorilla. Boogie has blue fur.
  • Animated Anthology: Six cartoons in one package.
  • Aroused by Their Voice: Boogie is aroused by Charlie's seductive voice.
  • Beary Funny: The CB Bears are friendly and hilarious.
  • Clark Kenting: Undercover Elephant wore disguises that primarily relied on a single prop (a chef's hat, a pink tutu, etc.) and a thin ribbon-mask. They nonetheless worked, at least until his sidekick Loudmouse "blew his cover"... despite being, well, an elephant.
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  • Comic-Book Adaptation: The bears, Undercover Elephant and Shake, Rattle and Roll appeared in issues of Marvel's Hanna-Barbera's TV Stars. The C.B. Bears appeared in two stories.
  • Does Not Like Spam: In a comic book story, Bump Bear hates cole slaw. This is taken from story writer Mark Evanier's hatred of cole slaw.
  • Freudian Couch: Undercover Elephant is after a bodybuilder/psychiatrist villain named Pretty Boy Freud in an issue of Marvel's Hanna-Barbera's TV Stars. He tricks Undercover into thinking he needs psychiatric help, using a park bench as a makeshift couch.
    Undercover: And mom used to spank me with a tennis racquet...the kids all used to call me "ol' Waffle Britches"!
  • Hair-Trigger Avalanche: This happens in one of the Heyyy, It's the King! shorts. The avalanche is caused by the sound of Big H eating potato chips.
  • Haunted House: Shake, Rattle and Roll are three ghosts who run a hotel for spooks, ghouls and monsters. Sidney Merciless is the hapless ghostbuster.
  • Hell Hotel: Shake, Rattle and Roll run a hotel for ghouls.
  • Hollywood CB: Stars three ursine detectives who operated from a garbage truck and received assignments from "Charlie" via C.B. radio.
  • Private Detective: Undercover Elephant was a segment. A detective pachyderm who was usually hindered by his own fallibility or his rodent sidekick Loudmouse.
  • Reckless Sidekick: Loudmouse is this to Undercover Elephant, usually blowing the hero's disguises or covers in front of the villain.
  • Roadrunner Vs Coyote: Blas-off Buzzard had the title bird in pursuit of Crazy Legs Snake. And unlike H-B shows in general, this segment was completely dialogue-less.
  • Shout-Out: The C.B. Bears fight crime and receive orders from a voice, Charlie. Sound familiar?
  • Silence Is Golden: Blastoff Buzzard uses no dialogue and allows the visuals to speak for themselves.
  • Stock Animal Diet: In his segments, Undercover Elephant's love of peanuts caused him to blow his cover.
  • Theme Naming: The bears are named for dance styles; the ghosts of Shake, Rattle & Roll are named for a rock song from the 1950s.
  • The Voice: Charlie is only heard.
  • The Voiceless: Blast-Off Buzzard and Crazy Legs Snake were both mute.
  • This Page Will Self-Destruct: While playing tennis, Undercover Elephant gets a message written on a tennis ball on how to find the required Mission Briefing tape recorder. Written on the back is a message that the ball will self-destruct in four seconds, so he throws it away—naturally another tennis player tries to hit the ball and gets shocked by his 'explosive' serve. Then after playing the tape recorder, the message says this tape will not explode in four'll explode in one second!