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Western Animation / The Huckleberry Hound Show
aka: Huckleberry Hound

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No noise, no tinkling of glasses' during the screening of THE HUCKLEBERRY HOUND SHOW.
Sign in a San Francisco bar in the late 1950s

The Huckleberry Hound Show debuted in 1958 as Hanna-Barbera's second post-MGM original series (The Ruff & Reddy Show was the first). It was the first American all-cartoon show developed specifically for television as well as the first half-hour animated show and, in 1959, became the first animated TV show to win an Emmy. Voiced by Daws Butler, the easygoing Huck was shown in a variety of settings, from Arthurian England to (then) modern times.

Unlike Hanna-Barbera's other stars, Huck didn't have a regular supporting cast in his shorts, although he did have a handful of recurring antagonists, including Powerful Pierre. But his show did have two supporting segments: Yogi Bear and Pixie, Dixie and Mr. Jinks. When Yogi got his own series, his slot on The Huckleberry Hound Show was taken by Hokey Wolf.

In 1988, he got his own TV movie called The Good, the Bad, and Huckleberry Hound.

This series provides examples of:

  • Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: Huck always wears a bowtie, and on occasion sports a straw boater hat.
  • The Alcatraz: A weird example. Huckleberry is the warden of a prison in the middle of nowhere, from which nobody escapes... because the amusement parks and various entertainments inside make the place so darn fun. In fact, Huckleberry's problem in that cartoon isn't a criminal trying to break out, it is one who'd served his sentence trying to break back in.
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Huck is colored a rather vibrant shade of blue. While there are of course some blue-colored domestic dog breeds (he's most likely based on the Bluetick Coonhound), they most certainly don't come in Huck's color.
  • Animation Bump: The opening, closing, and wraparound sequences are more fluidly animated than the cartoons themselves.
  • Back to School: "Hookey Daze" had Huck try to return truant students to school, only for him to be forced back to school for not finishing his own education.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Huck is being televised prior to his hunt for screwball lion Leroy (episode "Somebody's Lion"). He is obviously reading from a teleprompter and does it in rather stilted and blasé fashion.
  • Bankruptcy Barrel: An interstitial segment featured Yogi wearing a barrel after Huck catches his swimming trunks while fishing (even though Yogi normally doesn't wear pants).
    Yogi: If you'll kindly return my trunks, I'll barrel outta here and go see my cartoon.
    Huck: And there's a barrel of laughs in a Yogi Bear cartoon.
  • Black Comedy: Huck is implied to have died when he is crushed by the weight of a lion after he attempts to make it do a tightrope act.
    Lion: (after picking up Huck's hat from underneath him) Heh, it's just as well. This kid wasn't gonna make it anyhow!
  • Bowling for Ratings: The cartoon "Ten Pin Alley" has Huck in a championship tournament against the popular (albeit villainous) Powerful Pierre. Huck wins after Pierre gets hoist on his own petard.
  • Butt Biter: Huck is bitten on the butt by a non-anthro dog during his stint as a mailman.
  • Canada, Eh?: Powerful Pierre is one of Huck's recurring enemies, and very much a stereotypical French Canadian.
  • Cartoon Juggling: In a bumper, Huck juggles three jugglers pins, tosses them in the air and tries to catch them one at a time. After a delay, he gets bonked on the head by the third pin.
  • The Cat Came Back: An early cartoon had Huck flummoxing a western outlaw by persistently escaping his death traps. Huck lets on to the outlaw that he used his five look-alike brothers in the act.
  • Character Signature Song: Huck is often seen singing the song "My Darling Clementine." Usually badly.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: Huck is often portrayed as a hard-luck fellow, but whenever he is pitted in competition with his cheating nemesis Powerful Pierre, the pooch usually comes out on top.
    • Huck manages to legitimately win a ski race in "Ski Champ Chump." Pierre's dirty tricks only hinder him.
    • In "Ten Pin Alley", the narrator labels Pierre a good sportsman despite his obvious cheating. He almost unfairly wins the bowling match until his last dirty trick backfires on him and Huck is named the new champion.
  • Circus Episode: The opening, closing and first season host segments of this show take place at a circus.
  • Cry Laughing:
    • Huck does this a few times at the end of a cartoon.
    • In "Huck's Hack", when the majority of his reward money for capturing the robber goes toward the consequence of leaving his taxi meter running all night.
    • Happens at the end of "Cop and Saucer" when Huck gets abducted by the alien he was trying to arrest. He then hears a news broadcast about invading men from outer space, which the announcer says is the most ridiculous thing he's ever heard.
  • Deep South: Huck is implied to be from this US region, judging from his North Carolina style Southern accent.
  • Escaped Animal Rampage: In the very first episode of the series ("Huckleberry Hound Meets Wee Willie"), Huck is a police officer tasked with capturing an escaped gorilla named Wee Willie.
  • Flanderization: Huck's Mellow Fellow persona was exaggerated in later cartoons into outright laziness, such as in Yogi's Space Race where he spends each race lounging in a pool chair atop the ship while his copilot Quack-Up pilots the ship.
  • Fractured Fairy Tale: “Little Red Riding Huck” is a parody version of the fairy tale “Little Red Riding Hood.”
  • Funny Animal: Huckleberry Hound definitely qualifies. Most of the supporting shorts, like Yogi Bear and Pixie and Dixie, have Civilized Animal leads, but Huck is humanized to the point of being antagonized by normal dogs and having an actual career.
  • Furry Confusion: Huck sometimes interacts with more normal dogs despite him being anthropomorphic.
  • Furry Reminder:
    • In "Little Red Riding Huck", Huck calls himself a dog.
    • In "Nottingham and Yeggs", he steals a bone from the other dogs.
    • In "Somebody's Lion", he howls his name.
    • In "Tricky Trapper", when Huck and his sled dog eat their food—from the same bowl mind you—the dog growls as if refusing to share. Huck simply growls back to remind him who's boss.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: Huck's howling off-key rendition of "Oh my darling Clemen-TAAAAYYYNE!" is painful for other characters to hear, but because Huck is tone-deaf, he usually fails to notice.
  • Invisible Holes: The short "Lion Tamer Huck" has water leak out of Huck via non-existent holes in his body.
  • Jekyll & Hyde: Played for Laughs. In the episode "Picadilly Dilly", Huckleberry Hound is tasked with capturing the deranged criminal Picadilly Dilly, a pastiche of Mr. Hyde. The person behind the latter is Dr. Jikkle, who has become addicted to the serum that transforms him into Picadilly Dilly. Huckleberry, as laid back as he is, cannot recognize Picadilly even when the latter is running around him while giggling evilly.
  • Joke of the Butt: In an interstitial segment taking place on a dude ranch, Jinks tries to brand the meeces by tossing a hot iron with his name on it. However, it bounces off a cactus and back toward him, leaving him with "JINKS" on his rear.
    Jinks: Like, uh, I always wanted a monogramed coat anyhow, y'know.
  • Mailman vs. Dog: The premise of the episode "Postman Panic" sees mailman Huck being repeatedly accosted by an angry pooch. It's ironic since Huck is a dog himself.
  • Meaningful Name: Huck is blue, much like the color of an actual huckleberry.
  • Mellow Fellow: Huck's perpetually nonchalant and deadpan reactions while suffering slapstick abuse from the universe around him is his main defining shtick.
  • Mistaken for an Imposter: "Little Red Riding Huck" features the dog trying to rescue Little Red Riding Hood's Grandma. When a student shows up to collect donations, the wolf thinks it's another of Huck's plans.
  • Mosquito Miscreants: The episode "Skeeter Trouble" pits Huck against a very persistent mosquito (and later a whole swarm) that ruins his peaceful camping trip.
  • Multiple Demographic Appeal: One of the earliest examples in western TV animation. Kids liked the slapstick and colorful characters, while older viewers liked the witty writing and satirical humor. It got to the point where Huckleberry Hound fan clubs were held by college students.
  • Narrator: A narrator is often heard at the start of an episode and sometimes remains throughout.
  • Negative Continuity: Huck's adventures could occur in any time or setting.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In "Little Red Riding Huck," our hero is dead set on making sure the Little Red Riding Hood story doesn't end like it usually does. But Red calls the cops on Huck while the Wolf, Red and Granny agree to take it from the top.
  • No Fourth Wall: Huck and his villains address the camera so often that it qualifies as this trope.
  • Non-Giving-Up School Guy: Huck spends most of the episode "Hookey Daze" trying to catch a pair of twin truants. In the end, his efforts pay off and the principal comments that it should have been no problem for someone who went to school. Huck replies that he's never been to school and is forced to attend.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: The few times Huck's Mellow Fellow attitude breaks are always a sign things are about to go downhill fast for somebody.
  • Prison Episode: Huck is a prison warden in the cartoon "Bars and Stripes." His prison establishes the "honor system"; none of the prisoners want to escape because it features amusement rides, a baseball field, a movie theater, etc. But when one prisoner is set to be paroled and released, Huck has to go through white heat to get him out.
  • Punch-Clock Hero: "Two Corny Crows" depicts Huck squaring off against a pair of crows named Iggy and Ziggy. The dog tries to protect his cornfield from the birds, with the characters starting their day off with a morning whistle and ending hostilities with an evening one.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: "Two Corny Crows" features a pair of crows named Iggy and Ziggy. They try to steal Huck's corn, starting their day off with a morning whistle and ending hostilities with an evening one.
  • Quaking with Fear: In one episode, Huckleberry Hound takes the role of a lion tamer. The narrator states that once the lion notices any sign of fear in the lion tamer, it starts to make its pursuit. Consequentially, the camera pans to Huck's knees knocking together.
  • Rain of Something Unusual: In "Spud Dud", Huck disposes of a giant potato by sending it into orbit on a rocket. At the end, the rocket explodes and it rains potato chips.
  • Red Riding Hood Replica: One episode had Huck act out the fairy tale.
  • Ring Around the Collar: Like most Hanna-Barbera characters from this time, Huck wears an accessory around his neck (a bowtie in this case) to facilitate animation shortcuts.
  • Rogues Gallery: Huck often runs afoul of nefarious villains such as Powerful Pierre, Leroy Lion, Crazy Coyote, or the Dalton Brothers.
  • Snowball Fight: In "Tricky Trapper", Huckleberry Hound throws a snow-covered rock at Powerful Pierre, who returned it with a tennis racket.
  • Species Surname: Huck's surname is actually a classification type within his species. He's apparently some breed of hound.
  • Standard Hero Reward: Inverted in "Dragon Slayer Huck" when Huck is ordered by the king to slay a dragon. The princess is so ugly that marrying her is considered punishment for failure. The dragon takes pity on Huck and offers him shelter at his cave which Huck gladly accepts.
  • "Test Your Strength" Game: On the opening titles, the Kellogg's Corn Flakes rooster (later Huck himself) hits the button on this machine and launches himself into the air so he can ring the bell with a hammer.
  • Thanksgiving Episode: "Grim Pilgrim" involved Huck's pursuit of a turkey, hindered by an Indian.
  • The Tooth Hurts: In "Pet Vet", Huck attempts to cure a lion's toothache. Despite many clever attempts to do so, it doesn't go well.
  • Three Shorts: The Huckleberry Hound Show was the first Hanna-Barbera entry to use this format, and is thus the Trope Maker and Trope Codifier. In the original lineup, Huck's segment came last. In the revised lineup, he went first.
  • Today, X. Tomorrow, the World!: In "Spud Dud", the sapient potato's first utterance is, "Today the potato field, tomorrow the world!"
  • Watch Out for That Tree!: Huck does this in "Spud Dud" when a giant monster potato throws him through the air.
    Huck: [just swoops over a chimney] I didn't miss that by much... [runs into another chimney] I didn't miss that one at all!
  • Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: Huck had so many different occupations during these shorts that you'd need a spreadsheet to keep track.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: Huck spends the episode "Postman Panic" as a mailman trying to deliver a letter despite a pesky dog getting in the way. In the end, he learns the letter is addressed to the house next door.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Huckleberry Hound


Huckleberry Hound

Huck laughs, then cries in "Huck's Hack," when the majority of his reward money for capturing the robber goes toward the consequence of leaving his taxi meter running all night.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / CryLaughing

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