The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

POWER: ‘Yabba dabba doo’ — Hats off to the Flintstones

It starts off in the rock quarry with Fred on the job in his shabby orange shirt and blue tie. He’s on top of a purple dinosaur hauling rocks when a bird squawks to mark the end of the workday.

He leaps off the dinosaur’s back and slides down its tail yelling,“yabba dabba doo!” A snappy beat with jungle drums and horns jumps in and then the familiar jolly chorus picks up: “Flintstones, meet the Flintstones. They’re a modern stone age family …”

Many Americans recognize the tune or the adorable Bamm-Bamm, who is usually seen swinging his bulky club. Flintstones characters are popular Halloween costumes and the cartoon has even been parodied on “The Simpsons.”  They are the face of advertisements for Post’s Pebbles Cereal and the Flintstones Vitamins. The Bedrock family has been a part of American pop culture since 1960.

Sept. 30 marks the 50th anniversary of the Hanna-Barbera Productions’ premiere on ABC prime time.

In celebration of the beloved cartoon series, Cartoon Network’s Boomerang will air the first episode and the two most popular episodes.  A 24-hour marathon of “The Flintstones” episodes will be a couple days later on Oct. 2.

It should be well celebrated. There would be no “yabba dabba doo” without “The Flintstones.” What else could be yelled out in times of excitement?

“The Flintstones” is an ever-present part of American family life. It was the first cartoon made for all age groups, bringing together families to watch TV and share in the laughter. The show simplified real-life adult situations with humor by use of the innocent and goofy Barney Rubble, Fred’s short blond neighbor. The creativity brought modern life into the Stone Age and the use of dinosaur pets and carved stone slab newspapers entertained the imagination of kids and adults alike.

Growing up, it was exciting to go to my grandparents’ house because they had cable TV, meaning I could watch cartoons. I remember watching “Duck Tales” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” with my brother and cousins while my grandparents were in the kitchen making us peanut butter sandwiches. They didn’t care for the heroic duck adventures or bro-like turtle jokes.

However, when they heard “The Flintstones” song start to play, it was a different story. I remember them coming into the living room with the rest of us to watch Fred zoom around Bedrock in his foot-powered Flintmobile.

Prior to “The Flintstones,” TV shows focused on content specific to its age group. Parents and children often watched TV separately. Not only was it the first cartoon for families, but it was the first to run for more than two seasons, airing until 1966. The Flintstones was also the first cartoon to have one storyline within a half-hour showing. Prior to “The Flintstones,” cartoons showed three or four short stories (shorts) within a half hour.

Even when the main series ended, the Flintstones lived on.

From 1967 to 1970, NBC aired a recreated version for children. Three movies based off the show were produced: “A Man Called Flintstone,” featuring Fred as a spy; “The Flintstones Movie,” a live-action film made in 1994 with Rosie O’Donnell and John Goodman; and its prequel in 2000, “The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas.”

Cheers to you Fred, Wilma, Pebbles, Barney, Bamm-Bamm and Betty! You are in the memories of several different generations who grew up laughing with your quirky Stone Age characteristics and daily adventures.

Thanks for the 50 years of laughter.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Marquette Wire Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *