On Strips: Snuffy Smith Cartoon

By | Friday, February 03, 2017 1 comment
Barney Google and Snuffy Smith was a popular strip back in its day. It debuted under the name Take Barney Google, F'rinstance in 1919 under the talents of Billy DeBeck, and continues to this day under the hand of John R. Rose. I don't have any insights as to when the strip saw its greatest level of popularity, but I would guess between the mid-1920s and early 1930s, judging by the number of toys, short films and animated theatrical features that were made.

It would appear that King Features made a concerted effort to re-popularize the strip in the 1960s. There were plans made for building a chain of "Snuffy's Shantys" hot dog shops towards the end of the decade, with the hopes that 700 locations would be open by 1970. It does seem like at least some such restaurants were opened, but I can't seem to find how many. One presumes not many given that no one has ever heard of them.

But the other thing they tried was a television cartoon featuring the characters. They actually produced fifty six-minute shorts that were coupled with Beetle Bailey and Krazy Kat segments under the King Features Trilogy title. Despite using the exceptionally talented Paul Frees for the voices of both Snuffy and Barney, the animation is incredibly stiff, even by television standards, and the jokes and gags fall incredibly flat. Whatever level of syndication it may have gotten in 1963, I don't believe this made it back to even local stations years later when they might pick up Baby Huey and Popeye cartoons from about the same era.

Here's the first episode so you can judge for yourself why this hasn't seen much airplay in the past half century...
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1 comments:

The only place I've ever seen these was on TBS back in the 80s on Sunday mornings. They showed the Beetle Bailey ones at that same time.