Wheres Huddles? was a Hanna-Barbera animated television program which premiered on CBS on July 1, 1970 and ran for ten episodes as a prime-time summer replacement show for The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour until September 2, 1970. Repeats were shown on the networks Sunday afternoon schedule in the summer of 1971. It was the first primetime animated series to debut since The Flintstones went off the air in 1966, though it wouldn't be until The Simpsons premiered in 1989 that primetime animated shows would be popular again.
The show centered on professional football quarterback named Ed Huddles (voiced by Cliff Norton) and his neighbor, the teams center Bubba McCoy (voiced by Mel Blanc, using his Barney Rubble voice), who play for The Rhinos and go through the trials and tribulations of being sports stars and family men.
Other characters included Ed's wife, Marge (voiced by Jean Vander Pyl, the same voice actress who played Wilma Flintstone), their rather jovial, if acerbic and most likely Camp Gay, neighbor Claude Pertwee (voiced by Paul Lynde) who tended to refer to Ed and Bubba as "savages," loved to see them screw up, and had a pet cat named Beverly; their token black teammate Freight Train (voiced by Herb Jeffries), Ed's daughter Pom-Pom and Coach Mad Dog Maloney (Alan Reed using his Fred Flintstone voice). Bubbas wife, Penny McCoy, was played by comedic actress Marie Wilson in her final role before her death from cancer in 1972.
The show was similar to Hanna-Barbera's more successful series The Flintstonesnote , using several of the same style plots and voice actors (Alan Reed, Mel Blanc, and Jean Van Der Pyl being the main three). Like The Flintstones, and unlike many other animated series at the time, Wheres Huddles? had a laugh track, incorporated more adult themes and references than The Flintstones did while simultaneously keeping it family-friendlynote , had the voice actors in a more realistic fashion as compared to say a funny animal style speech. The show is also notable for the character, Freight Train, being the first regularly-seen African-American animated character on primetime.
The show isn't remembered much today, unless you either watched it when it premiered or back when Cartoon Network aired more of the Hanna-Barbera catalog (including turns for minor shows along with the more well-known stuff, like The Flintstones and Scooby-Doo). As later confirmed, these CN airings did have some parts cut from each episode. Upon the series 2016 DVD release, this footage not seen since the 1970s is once again included.
- Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: Ed's dog, Fumbles, wears a miniature football helmet and sneakers.
- Bullying a Dragon: Pertwee actively insults Ed and Bubba, who are much stronger and bigger than he is. On one occasion, Ed was ready to punch his lights out.
- Camp Gay: Claude Pertwee. He was voiced by Paul Lynde, what did you expect?
- Comic-Book Adaptation: Gold Key Comics published two issues; also appeared in issue #9 of Hanna-Barbera Fun-In (October, 1971).
- Dogs Are Dumb: Averted with Fumbles, who tends to derisively react to the antics of the humans and tries to alert them to an important matter.
- Dumb Blonde: Penny is not the sharpest tool in the shed, often missing sarcasm and metaphors. She's arguably still smarter than her husband.
- Hidden Depths: Freight Train has a great singing voice and can make up songs off the top of his head. Fitting since his voice actor was a jazz singer.
- Irrevocable Message: Ed and Bubba are so sure of financial success in their new car wash that they send an angry letter to Coach Mad Dog and resign from the Rhinos. When they learn that a new highway project will reroute all traffic from their business, they have to hurry to retrieve it before Coach receives it. They fail to stop him reading it, but luckily they forgot to sign it, so he dismisses it as the work of stupid weirdos.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Pertwee, Depending on the Writer. Sometimes, he's being needlessly obnoxious; other times, he's reacting to what Ed and Bubba did first and fully justified in his rants.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Rather than pay his insurance company $1,300 to fix storm damage, Pertwee steals Bubba's ladder and attempts some self-repair. He falls and ends up faking an injury in order to con his neighbors into doing the work and other tasks for him. However, he had earlier filled out a contract for the insurance company and sealed it and the payment in an envelope, which Ed and Bubba find and mail without knowing what it is. As a result of Pertwee staying at Ed's house, the foreman thought that was the house to be fixed up. Pertwee slept through it all, and he's so enraged about this that he accidentally reveals his deception. Freight Train figures him having to pay for Ed's repairs is fair since Ed did Pertwee's for free, but Ed never finished the roof and another storm is brewing. Pertwee's speedy attempt at repairs just makes things worse, wrecks his garden, and causes roof supplies to fall on his head.
- Mr. Seahorse: Occurs in the last episode, where a doctor mixes-up Bubba's test results with Penny's and makes everyone think that Bubba is pregnant.
- Obfuscating Disability: To save money for a vacation, Pertwee steals Bubba's ladder from Ed's house and attempts some home repairs, only to suffer a fall. He's okay, but he overhears Ed and Bubba fearing the worst and thinking they're on the hook for it, so he opts to milk it for all it's worth. He guilts Ed and Bubba into doing assorted tasks, with Ed only putting up with it in exchange for him signing a release for insurance purposes.
- Only Sane Man: Freight Train is typically a laidback voice of reason in response to Ed and Bubba's antics.
- Pom-Pom Girl: Ed's daughter Pom Pom has the look down at least, given the fact she's a toddler.
- Reused Character Design: Fumbles would be reused by H-B in 1974 for the halftime interstitials of NBC's NFL telecasts. Now voiced (Allan Melvin), Fumbles would explain the basics of football to young viewers.note
- Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Subverted. The Coach objects to his players moonlighting. When the Coach berates the main trio for trying to form a singing act, a manager overhears this and thinks his voice would work for a new project. The Coach absolutely balks at the idea of selling out his beliefs for a few paltry dollars. For a few thousand dollars, however...
- Token Minority: Ed's black teammate, Freight Train, was voiced by Herb Jeffries.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Bubba and Penny McCoy.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: The mailman reacts to finding Bubba in a mailbox with (at most) mild irritation.