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Western Animation / Wally Gator

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One of the series created by Hanna-Barbera after the success of Yogi Bear and The Huckleberry Hound Show, and one of the first to directly lift its premise from an existing show. Created in 1962 as part of The New Hanna-Barbera Cartoon Series, a syndicated package which also contained Touché Turtle and Lippy the Lion and Hardy Har Har. Wally Gator (Daws Butler) was an alligator who craved going outside the confines of his zoo's walls, and as such tried to escape in almost every episode. Stopping him was his zookeeper, Mr. Twiddle (Don Messick), whose success varied greatly between episodes. Having any other character appear in more than one episode was itself a rarity.


This series provides examples of:

  • Angry Guard Dog: Subverted with Snowzer; he's always lethargic. He's still very good at his job, much to Wally's annoyance.
  • Birthday Episode:
    • "Birthday Grievings". One of the earliest. It showed Wally at various stages of his life in the zoo (marked by the number of candles on the cake) and illustrated the fact that Wally had made life hell for Mr. Twiddle ever since he was a baby. Mr. Twiddle becomes so bitter over the flashbacks that he ends up throwing the birthday cake in Wally's face.
    • There's also a birthday comic in Gold Key's Hanna-Barbera Bandwagon #2. Wally thinks it's his mother's birthday and tries to get her something, but it turns out that it was his own. A similar plot would be used on an episode of Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines.
  • The Bully: The bear in "Bear With Me", Ella in "Bachelor Buttons" and Beauregard at the end of "Swamp Fever". Although Wally did try to fight back against the former two, Beauregard had put Wally through so much hell in the Everglades before capture that Wally doesn't even attempt to say anything against him.
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  • Butt-Monkey: Wally rarely got the upper hand in any situation. Even if he did, it usually turned on him by the end of the episode.
  • Catchphrase: "Oh Fuddle De Doo!". "(insert sentence here), [don't] y'know!". "Like I always say sometimes...". He's also fond of singing out short bursts of scat once in a while, some of which ends up sounding startlingly like another Hanna-Barbera icon's catchphrase.
  • Crossover: Wally was one of the more used non-main characters chosen for the various Yogi crossovers, with the likes of Laff-A-Lympics, Yogi's Ark Lark and Fender Bender 500 to his name.
  • Cute, but Cacophonic: In "False Alarm", Mr. Twiddle buys a bird which is deliberately cacophonic to act as an alarm for any time Wally tries to escape the zoo. At one point, Wally gets so fed up with the bird that he tries to cook it alive.
  • Deep South: Whenever Wally goes to the Everglades, a stereotype or two from this are bound to show up.
  • Do-It-Yourself Plumbing Project: "Big Drip". When Mr Twiddle offers to call a plumber for a drip that's annoying Wally, Wally insists on doing the job himself with just a monkey wrench. By the time the episode ends, Mr Twiddle is firing a flare gun for help from the special forces in rescuing them from a completely submerged zoo.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: The fate of the mouse in "Bachelor Buttons". Wally finds it hilarious.
  • Escape Artist: Wally is seen as this by the other zoo animals. It's the reason for the plot in "Ape Scrape".
  • Everybody Smokes: Smoking a discarded cigar causes Wally to be mistaken for a dragon in "Droopy Dragon", he smokes a cigar when his attempt at easy fame works in "Gladiator Gator"', and it's used for a gag in "Bachelor Buttons". This was pretty normal for 1962/63, even though the crackdown was just on the horizon.
  • Expy: Often considered one of Yogi Bear due to the general premise of an animal trying to escape from their captivity, with the voice and verbal quirks of Harum (a very minor ghost character who appeared in Snooper and Blabber's Gone Real Ghosts and Snagglepuss' Be My Ghost).
    • In fairness Wally always wanted to ESCAPE the zoo and was a recurring part of his gimmick. In contrast Yogi only had that in his earliest days. Such as the very first episode 'Yogi's Big Break' and others featuring Yogi sometimes out of the park. This soon was abandoned in favor of the gimmick Yogi is now famous as, so if anything Yogi passed that show theme on to Wally.
  • Furry Confusion: Not in his own show, but Wally has been shown to be able to at least communicate with non-sentient alligators in crossovers. He even does this to cheat once in Laff-a-Lympics, and gets away with it to boot.
    • Since Babu and the Great Fondoo had magical powers and were permitted to use them, the officials probably considered it to be fair.
  • Gallows Humor: Wally's intro in Laff-a-Lympics has him joke about having to run faster than bullets and jumping trees to avoid being turned into an alligator handbag.
    A little croc humour, don't y'know!
    • Black Comedy: Many jokes in the show itself relate to people either wanting to make Wally into a bag or mistaking him for luggage because it's all alligator-skinned.
  • Good Angel, Bad Angel: "Unconscious Conscience". Listening to his bad angel leads Wally to suffer much physical abuse, but listening to his good angel leads him to have to do chores like scrubbing down the elephants. When the good angel comments on how doing the right should make Wally feel better as he's working, Wally takes revenge on him by making the good angel do his chores.
  • Inflating Body Gag: Wally tries to get his blood pressure taken, and he inflates instead of the arm cuff.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: An eccentric rich man thinks of himself as this in "Droopy Dragon", and there's a literal one in "Knight Nut". Needless to say, the dragons they each try to slay are remarkably alligator-shaped.
  • Little Red Riding Hood: Parodied in "Little Red Riding Gator". Unusually for a parody (but completely ordinarily for Wally Gator), the wolf in the story never suffers once, with all the pain being suffered by Wally from both the wolf (for Wally foiling his plans before they could come to fruition since Wally warns the little girl) and the grandma (who misinterprets her granddaughter's description of the perpetrator and thinks Wally did it).
  • Love Interest: Harmony. And that's her only role.
    • Unlike most love episodes of his animal brethren, the focus isn't really on the love interest in this case, so much so that Harmony isn't even given a resolution.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Although it's not like there's much of a difference when you're already driven up the wall.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Beauregard to Wally in "Rebel Rabble".
  • Mythology Gag: Wally refers to Yogi Bear in conversation at least once.
  • Neck Lift: A common way for the characters to lift Wally. Wally does it to other characters on occasion.
  • Nice Hat: Wally wears one.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Wally's voice was modelled after Ed Wynn.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: A very common tactic, with Disguised in Drag and Adults Dressed as Children not out of the question.
  • Protagonist Title
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Mr. Twiddle, when not at wit's end.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Inverted since Wally is essentially quite harmless and friendly, even if he is mischievous. Part of Twiddle's concern about his frequent escapes is that he can't survive in the wild.
  • Ring Around the Collar
  • The Rival: Beauregard, again. Snowzer is also arguably one, but his rivalry is much more one-sided.
  • Rule of Funny: The interaction between Wally and the humans outside the zoo. Everyone can recognise him as an alligator, but the humans' reactions differ a lot depending on the plot. In some episodes, humans will react to Wally with screams of terror and disbelief at a bipedal alligator in a collar. hat and cufflinks, whereas in others a human will treat him like any other person. In "Accidentally on Purpose", the whole plot is about a Con Man trying to sell accident insurance to Wally. Wouldn't the liability lie with the zoo for all its animals?
  • Sidekick: A notable aversion in Hanna-Barbera's Talking Animal roster; Wally doesn't have a sidekick, and his solitude is a plot point in a couple of episodes.
  • Southern Belle: Harmony.
  • Talking Animal
  • Time Travel: "Knight Nut".
  • Wicked Witch: "Which is Which Witch".


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