Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Barbera


Well, there was a time on the old "blog," dark days, in which I was "blogging" compulsively, without relish, indeed with shame and revulsion, about such shows as THE FUNKY PHANTOM. Now that Joseph Barbera has passed away, I should step back and admit something, at least: based on extensive interviews with myself and Jim Whorton, I believe it is safe to say that everyone's first lunch box featured a Hanna-Barbera character, and there must be a reason for that. The fact that Jeff McNeil's first lunch box was a dome-topped Snoopy affair can be regarded as a statistical anomaly. Back when I was blowing off steam about Grape Ape and that genie who said "Yazzle Dazzle!" (or something) in the impersonated voice of Joe Besser (Joe Besser! Why were innocent children exposed to the creepy manchild locutions of a second generation Joe Besser?), I was not mad at Hanna-Barbera, I was mad at myself - at the craven pile of tics and phony nostalgia to which I had been reduced through "blogging." This was not Mr. Barbera's fault! Mr. Barbera certainly knew how to get a kid's attention. I still remember the theme song to Funky Phantom, which you can probably find on YouTube. Go for it. I won't object anymore. By coincidence, I have a meeting at Cartoon Network later today, a company which built itself on a foundation of Hanna-Barbera. I'll let you know what the mood is like over there.