» the flintstones · the show
The Flintstones is an American animated television series produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions.
As one of the most successful sitcoms ever, and inspired by the 1950s live-action sitcom The Honeymooners, The Flintstones is about a working class Stone Age man's life with his family and his next door neighbor and best friend. The first prime time cartoon geared for adults, the show originally aired from 1960 to 1966, on the ABC network. It was also ABC's first series to be televised in color. While the show was originally syndicated by Screen Gems (until 1981, then DFS Program Exchange from, and then Turner Program Services), Warner Bros. Television has the current rights (through parent Time Warner's purchase).
The show is set in the town of Bedrock in the Stone Age era. The show is an allegory to American society of the mid-to-late 20th century; in the Flintstones' fantasy version of the prehistoric past, dinosaurs, saber-toothed tigers, woolly mammoths, and other long extinct animals co-exist with barefoot cavemen, who use technology equivalent to that of the 20th century, largely through the use of various animals. The characters drive automobiles made out of stone or wood and animal skins and powered by foot. Although the series was set in the Stone Age, that never stopped the show's creators from producing a Christmas episode during the original series' run, as well as several more Christmas specials in the decades that followed.
One source of the show's humor was the ways animals were used for technology. For example, when the characters took photographs with an instant camera, the inside of the camera box would be shown to contain a bird carving the picture on a stone tablet with its bill. In a running gag, the animals powering such technology would, breaking the fourth wall, look directly into the camera at the audience, shrug, and remark, "It's a living," or some similar phrase. Another commonly seen gadget in the series was a baby woolly mammoth being used as a vacuum cleaner. Travel to "Hollyrock," a parody of Hollywood, California, usually involved an "airplane" flight—the "plane" in this case often shown as a giant pterodactyl. (Other familiar place names are similarly contorted: San Antonio becomes Sand-and-Stony-o; the country to the south of Bedrock's land is called Mexirock; and so forth.) Elevators are raised and lowered by ropes around brontosaurs' necks; "automatic" windows are powered by monkeys that dwell on the outside windowsill; birds configured as "car horns" are activated by pulling on their tails. An electric razor is depicted as a clam shell housing a bumble-bee vibrating it as the edges are rubbed against the character's face.
Season 6 Episode 6 — "Samantha" features Mr. & Mrs. Stephens (Dick York & Elizabeth Montgomery) from Bewitched as both cartoon characters and voice actors. Being set in the Stone Age allowed for endless gags and puns that involved rocks in one way or another, including the names of the various characters being "rock" puns; some such names included celebrities of the 1960s such as "Cary Granite" (Cary Grant), "Stony Curtis" (Tony Curtis), "Ed Sulleystone" (Ed Sullivan)", "Rock Hudstone" (Rock Hudson), and "Ann-Margrock" (Ann-Margret). Other celebrity/puns on The Flintstones were "Alvin Brickrock" (Alfred Hitchcock); "Perry Masonite" (Perry Mason); and a new neighbor lady "Sam" (Samantha of Bewitched).
In the show's closing credits, Fred tries to put the "cat" (actually a saber-tooth tiger) out for the night, and after the cat jumping back in through the window he winds up getting locked out and yelling for his wife to come open the door: "Wilma! Come on, Wilma, open this door! Willllll-ma!" By the time the theme song "Meet the Flintstones" was used, Fred cut the yelling to: "Willllll-ma!" Although the cat, Baby Puss, was seen in the closing credits of every episode, it was rarely actually seen in any of the storylines. This running gag of having the lead character of the series ending up being helpless during the end credits in every episode due to the hijinks of a family pet would later be repeated by Hanna-Barbera in the series The Jetsons in which George Jetson ends up being caught on a treadmill that ends up spinning out of control. He also (as does Fred in this series) cries out for his wife, by asking her to stop the mechanism with the line, "Jane! Stop this crazy thing!"
Flintstones, meet the Flintstones
They're the modern stone-age family
From the town of Bedrock
They're a page right out of history
Let's ride with the family down the street
Through the courtesy of Fred's two feet
When you're with the Flintstones
Have a yabba-dabba-doo time
A dabba-doo time
You'll have a gay old time