Fred Flintstone

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Fred Flintstone
The Flintstones character
Fred Flintstone.png
First appearance The Flintstone Flyer
Created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera
Portrayed by John Goodman
(The Flintstones)
Mark Addy
(The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas)
Voiced by Daws Butler (Pilot, 1959)
Alan Reed (1960–1977)
Henry Corden (1977–2005)
Jeff Bergman (The Flintstones: On the Rocks)
James Arnold Taylor (2005-present)
Information
Aliases Frederick F. Flintstone
Fred W. Flintstone
"Twinkletoes" (bowling nickname)
Species Caveman
Gender Male
Occupation Crane operator
Police officer[1]
Family Ed Flintstone (father)[2]
Edna Flintstone (mother)[2]
Tex Hardrock (uncle)[3]
Giggles Flintstone (uncle)[4]
Hatrock (uncle)[5]
Zeke Flintstone (great-great-uncle)[6]
Rocky Flintstone (grandfather)[7]
Jed Flintstone (great-grandfather)[6]
Tumbleweed (cousin)[8]
Mary Lou Jim(cousin)[8]
Pearl Slaghoople (mother-in-law)
Ricky Slaghoople (father-in-law)[2]
Bamm-Bamm Rubble (godson/son-in-law)
Roxy Rubble (granddaughter)[9]
Chip Rubble (grandson)[9]
Spouse(s) Wilma Flintstone (wife)
Children Pebbles Flintstone (daughter)
Stony Flintstone (adopted son)[10]

Frederick "Fred" Flintstone, also known as Fred W. Flintstone or Frederick J. Flintstone,[citation needed] is the protagonist of the animated sitcom The Flintstones, which aired during prime-time on ABC during the original series' run from 1960 to 1966. Fred is the husband of Wilma Flintstone and father of Pebbles Flintstone. His best friends are his next door neighbors, Barney and Betty Rubble, who have an adopted son named Bamm-Bamm.[11]

Fred lives in the fictional prehistoric town of Bedrock, a world where dinosaurs coexist with modernized cavepeople and the cavepeople enjoy "primitive" versions of modern conveniences such as telephones, automobiles, and washing machines. Fred's trademark yell is "yabba dabba doo!", this phrase was originally his club's cheer; later a phrase adopted as part of the theme song from the third series on and used in the 1994 live-action Flintstones movie.

Since the original series' run, Fred has since appeared in various other cartoon spinoffs, live action adaptations and commercials.

Biography[edit]

While the mid-1980s spin-off series The Flintstone Kids depicts Fred as a child, the series may be apocryphal due to its presenting Wilma as a childhood friend of Fred and Barney; the original series asserts that they first met as young adults.[12] Still, the series' depictions that Fred is the only child of Ed and Edna Flintstone (a handyman and a homemaker respectively) might be taken as canon.

As young adults, Fred and Barney worked as bellhops at a resort. There, they meet and fall in love with Wilma and Betty, who were working there as cigarette girls. Wilma's mother, Pearl Slaghoople, also met her future son-in-law, and took a disliking toward Fred (and vice-versa), starting a long-lasting rivalry between the two.[12] An unspecified amount of time later, Fred married Wilma (and Barney married Betty).

Fred is a typical blue-collar worker, who works as a "bronto crane operator" at Slate Rock and Gravel Company (also known as Rockhead and Quarry Cave Construction Company in the earliest episodes). Fred's job title in the second season episode "Divided We Sail" is geological engineer.[13]

During the original series' third season, Wilma gives birth to the couple's daughter, Pebbles. Years later, when Pebbles is a teenager, Fred and Barney join the Bedrock police force for a time as part-time police officers.[1] Eventually, Fred becomes a grandfather to the adult Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm's offspring, twins Chip and Roxy. Fred's family grew again in A Flintstone Family Christmas, when he and Wilma adopted an orphaned caveboy named Stony, and despite a rough start, Fred and his new son bonded well.

Relatives[edit]

The Flintstone family's paternal side originally came from the prehistoric U.S. state of Arkanstone, where they had been engaged in a feud similar to the Hatfield-McCoy feud. The feud was originally started by an ancestor of Fred's putting his foot in his mouth and making a joke about a Hatrock family portrait ("I don't know what the artist got for doing that painting, but he should've gotten life!"). In the fourth season episode "Bedrock Hillbillies," the feud is ended when Fred helps rescue both a Hatrock baby (and Pebbles) from going over a waterfall, only to start up again when Fred puts his foot in his mouth and makes exactly the same joke as his ancestor's. The Hatrocks later appear in the follow-up fifth season episode "The Hatrocks and the Gruesomes," where they visit Bedrock. The last of the Arkanstone Flintstones was Fred's great-great-uncle Zeke Flintstone.

Other relatives of Fred include: Giggles Flintstone, a rich, eccentric practical joker whose jokes drive Fred into a mad rage;[4] Uncle Tex Hardrock, Fred's rich Texan uncle;[3] Tumbleweed (who, strangely enough, resembles Uncle Tex) and Mary Lou Jim, Fred's rich Texan cousins;[8] and Rockbottom "Rocky" Flintstone, Fred's grandfather, who was a veteran of Stone World War One.[7]

Personality[edit]

Fred's personality was based on that of Ralph Kramden of the 1950s television series The Honeymooners and Chester A. Riley from The Life of Riley, both of whom were originally portrayed on television by Jackie Gleason. Thus, much like Ralph, Fred tends to be loud-mouthed, aggressive, and constantly scheming ways to improve his family's working class lot in life, often with unintended results. The personalities of Archie Bunker of All in the Family and Archie Bunker's Place and George Jefferson of The Jeffersons owe much to Fred. Like these characters, Fred loses his temper easily and is very impatient, but he seems free of malice and never holds a grudge. Although his loudness irritates the people around him, Fred proves friendly, often going out of his way to help others. Also, although Fred often annoys Wilma with his immaturity, he is known to go to great lengths to please his family and apologize when he goes too far.

Fred's interests include bowling, playing pool, golf, poker and lounging around the house. At the first two of these, he is very skilled, as seen in an episode where (in disguise) he plays against Wilma's unsuspecting mother.[14] Fred has won championships with his incredible bowling skills; in one episode, he goes so far as to take ballet lessons in order to improve his game.[15] The nickname of "Twinkletoes" stuck with him when Fred attended a local university and became eligible to play on their football team, and it became his call sign.[16] Fred is also an excellent golfer. In one episode he wins the championship only to have Barney repossess the winning trophy cup because Fred is behind in his dues.[17] Fred, like Barney, was also a member of the Loyal Order of Water Buffalos Lodge (named "the Loyal Order of Dinosaurs" in an early episode[18]). Fred also has a serious gambling problem; the mere mention of the word "bet" causes Fred to stammer "bet" over and over again and go on gambling binges.[19] Fred is also an avid driver. In the fifth season episode "Indianrockolis 500," Fred entered the famed prehistoric auto race under the pseudonym "Goggles Pisano"; the race's announcer repeatedly compared Fred's performance to somebody "driving on the freeway".[20]

The original series had several episodes focusing on movies or television. In one, Fred makes a fool of himself trying to give Wilma acting lessons after she wins a TV appearance, only for the only part of her to appear on TV is her hands.[21] In another, an attempt to muddle with Wilma and Betty landing a role in a Hollyrock production leads Fred to win his own part on a TV series, which goes awry once Fred comes down with stage fright.[22] A third time, Fred appears on a TV commercial in a non-speaking role as a "before" picture of a person before going on a diet.[23] Once, Fred even appeared in a movie, but merely as a stunt double.[24]

Fred's catchphrase "Yabba-Dabba-Doo!" (originally derived from the Brylcreem advertising jingle motto "A Little Dab'll Do Ya!"[citation needed]Reed reportedly said that the inspiration for the phrase came from his mother, who used to say, "A little dab'll do ya," probably borrowed from a Brylcreem commercial. When the script called for a simple 'Yahoo!' Alan asked if he could alter or ad-libbed the phrase), becomes the subject of a song by Hoagy Carmichael that the singer-songwriter performs in an episode of The Flintstones.[25] Fred's ability to carry a tune was quite good in his younger years. One early episode[18] sees Fred (with Barney, who is a skilled drummer) perform at a nightclub with his musician friend "Hot Lips Hannigan" where his singing caused teenage girls to swoon over him; on this occasion, he was nicknamed "the Golden Smog". In another first season episode, "Girls' Night Out", Fred recorded a demo record at a carnival of the song "Listen to the Rocking Bird", which ended up making him a teenage singing idol named "Hi Fye." As the series progressed, however, his voice became worse and worse, eventually to the point that a temporary maid the Flintstones hired quit rather than having to hear Fred sing.[26]

Due to his impulsive and short-tempered behavior and stubborn and naive nature, Fred seems to be accident-prone. Even his most innocent and mundane actions often cause widespread confusion.

According to the original series' third season episode "The Birthday Party" (originally aired April 5, 1963), Fred's birthday is February 2. Fred's address has varied through the series' run, with addresses given for the Flintstone residence including 345 Cave Stone Road,[citation needed] 1313 Cobblestone Way,{{Citation needed|date=January 2013}Fred's address was cited as "55 Cobblestone Rd" in the 1961 episode "The X-Ray Story".} and 222 Rocky Way.[citation needed]

Other women[edit]

In the original series, plus the live-action films, Fred has shown some attraction toward women other than Wilma, and vice versa, although he remained a faithful husband to Wilma throughout the entire run:

  • Madame Yes - In the fifth season episode "Doctor Sinister" Fred and Barney meet Madam Yes, a seductive lady spy who manipulates them into aiding her in her covert activities, repeatedly landing them in trouble and then quickly escaping saying "I'm too important to be captured" leaving Fred and Barney in peril at the hands of the villains.[27]
  • Kitty Rockhawk - In the fifth season episode "Fred's Flying Lesson," Kitty, a pretty blonde flight instructor with an American Southern accent, teaches Fred how to fly a plane. Fred initially plans on keeping the flying lessons a secret to surprise Wilma, but his plans are thwarted after accidentally flying over a restricted military airspace near the airport.[28]
  • Miss Sharon Stone - In the first live-action film, after Fred is promoted to an executive at Slate & Co., Miss Stone (played by Halle Berry) becomes his secretary. Her boyfriend, Cliff, is the company's executive vice-president. When Fred is first introduced to her, he is immediately smitten with her, with Miss Stone flirting in return. Later, after seeing how villainous Cliff truly was (and his plans on betraying her), Miss Stone assists Fred and the others in unraveling the plot.[29]
  • Betty Rubble - In the second live-action film, which serves as a prequel to the first live-action film, Fred's first date is with Betty, who he becomes smitten with. But while Fred and Betty are on a date with Barney and Wilma (Barney's date), she becomes attracted to Barney and they swap dates. She becomes Barney's girlfriend and eventual wife.[30]

Portrayal[edit]

In other media[edit]

Appearances in other Hanna Barbera media[edit]

  • For many years Fred Flintstone and other characters from the show were used in a series of TV commercials, animated by Cam Ford of Cinemagic Animated Films, to advertise 'Amber'; an Australian company that sold stone pavers and tiles. In some advertisements, a variant of Fred's catchphrase was changed to "Only Amber tiles will do".
  • Fred also appeared in some episodes of 1977-1978's Laff-a-Lympics as guest.
  • A statue of Fred and Barney appears in an art museum in an episode of Top Cat.
  • Fred Flintstone appeared in the short movie trailer, Raging Fred, a redub of Flintstones clips with dialogue from the movie Raging Bull.
  • Fred Flintstone appeared alongside Barney Rubble street Santasin Yogi Bear's All Star Comedy Christmas Caper, in which Snagglepuss asked them if they had seen J. Wellington Jones, in response to which they suggested he ask that question of an old lady. She screamed in fear of Snagglepuss, and then Fred and Barney attacked him, purportedly for entertainment purposes.
  • Fred Flintstone appeared in the Johnny Bravo episode "A Page Right Out of History" voiced by Jeff Bergman. He saved Johnny Bravo's ancestor of the same name and Johnny repaid Fred by working for him.
  • James Arnold Taylor voiced Fred Flintstone when he appeared in the episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy entitled "Modern Primitives". Billy after digging him up in a block of ice adopts Fred as his pet and calls him "Jake Steele". Fred eventually escapes and, after colliding with an ice cream truck, ends up frozen again, and Billy reburies him in his backyard. At the end, he is once again freed from his "ice-prison" (along with Billy), only to have his brain eaten by gigantic alien creatures (much to Fred's chagrin). In this appearance, Fred's dialogue consists solely of him saying "Yabba Dabba!" without the Doo (however when he destroys a car he says the full phrase "Yabba Dabba Doo"). He also says "Oooh...Fred." when trying to explain his name to him. During the credits of Billy & Mandy's Big Boogey Adventure it reveals what happened to some of the characters afterwards. In the picture shown when it says "Creeper made a fortune selling time traveling pants," Creeper is shown warping into the Stone Age, appearing in front of three Neanderthals. They are apelike versions of Fred Flintstone, Wilma Flintstone, and Barney Rubble.
  • Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble both appear as guests in a 1996 video called "Kids for Character".

Pop cultural references[edit]

Commercials[edit]

During the first several seasons of The Flintstones series, Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble were pitchmen for Winston cigarettes, the show's sponsor at the time. In one Winston ad, Fred and Barney saw the men working hard at the quarry and decided to retire out of sight for a smoke break. After extolling the virtues of the Winston brand cigarette, Fred lit up his cigarette and delivered the catch phrase: "Winston tastes good like a cigarette should". Another similar ad for the cigarettes featured Wilma and Betty as well; the women were working hard mowing the lawn and beating dust out of a rug while Fred and Barney smoked behind the house. Vignettes also aired in which Fred lit Wilma's Winston cigarette, and the couple shared a smoke. By the original series' third season, Winston had been dropped as a sponsor in favor of Welch's.[35]

With Welch's as a sponsor of the series during its latter seasons, Pebbles would occasionally be shown in episodes[citation needed] asking for grape juice.

In the mid-1970s, the Flintstones cast were featured pitching a juice drink called "Yabba Dabba Dew." The drink was sold in large aluminum cans, similar to Hi-C. The commercial played a catchy jingle that went "Yabba Dabba Dew, Ooh Ooh Ooh. Yabba Dabba Dew, Ooh Ooh Ooh. It's the new, fun fruit drink made just for YOU. Yabba Dabba Dew!"

With Barney Rubble, Fred has been a pitchman for Post Cereals' Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa Pebbles breakfast cereals. The commercials typically feature Barney trying to trick Fred out of his cereal, usually ending with Fred bellowing, "Barney, my Pebbles!" as Barney runs off with Fred's cereal - a notable exception being a 1989 Christmas-themed commercial in which Santa Claus reminds him that "'Tis the season to be sharing, Fred," whereupon Fred then says "Happy holidays, pal", and willingly shares his cereal with both Barney and Santa.

Another cereal company the Flintstones was featured in was Team Flakes, a breakfast cereal from Nabisco in the late 1980s.

Another Cadbury advert during 1980s portrayed Fred looking for his chocolate pebbles. In calling "Wilma, where are my pebbles" his daughter answers "here I am daddy" Fred responds "not you darling, my candy coated chocolate pebbles, I put them somewhere" Barney calls to Fred " here Fred have some of mine" .... The advert ends with Fred's trademark "Yabba Dabba Doo"

In 1990, the Flintstones cast were featured in a UK advert for Swinton Insurance, as well as the cast from Thunderbirds.

In autumn 2005, Fred and Barney began appearing in Midas Muffler television commercials. Fred appears in a 2007 GEICO Insurance commercial which spoofs the money-saving methods of a blue-collar working man and how he and wife, Wilma, were able to afford a necklace "with huge rocks." It turns out saving money with GEICO really is so easy even a caveman can do it.

Fred was the spokesman for a Rhode Island bank until it went out of business in 1993. The bank, The Providence Institution for Savings, known as Old Stone Bank, featured Fred in its commercials, saying, "Yabba-Dabba-Doo! Love that Old Stone Bank!" The bank was also one of the first to offer full service Automated Teller Machines (ATM's) which were named "Ready Freddy" and included a picture of Fred until the Bank decided to terminate its contract with Hanna Barbera to use the likeness. The machines were so popular that people often referred to ATMs at other banks as "Ready Freddies."

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b The Flintstone Comedy Show, 1980-1982, NBC
  2. ^ a b c The Flintstone Kids, 1986-1988, ABC
  3. ^ a b "Baby Barney," The Flintstones, season 3
  4. ^ a b "A Haunted House Is Not A Home," The Flintstones, season 5
  5. ^ "They Went That Away," The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show, CBS
  6. ^ a b "Bedrock Hillbillies," The Flintstones, season 4
  7. ^ a b "The Story of Rocky's Raiders," The Flintstones, season 6
  8. ^ a b c "Droop Along Flintstone," The Flintstones, season 2
  9. ^ a b Hollyrock-a-Bye Baby, 1993, ABC
  10. ^ A Flintstone Family Christmas, 1993, ABC
  11. ^ The Flintstones The Museum of Broadcast Communications
  12. ^ a b "Bachelor Daze," The Flintstones, season 4
  13. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0580165/
  14. ^ "Mother-in-Law's Visit," The Flintstones, season 3
  15. ^ "Bowling Ballet," The Flintstones, season 3
  16. ^ "Flintstone of Prinstone," The Flintstones, season 2
  17. ^ "The Golf Champion," The Flintstones, season 1
  18. ^ a b "Hot Lips Hannigan," The Flintstones, season 1
  19. ^ "The Gambler," The Flintstones, season 2
  20. ^ Video on YouTube
  21. ^ "A Star is Almost Born," The Flintstones, season 2
  22. ^ "Hollyrock, Here I Come," The Flintstones, season 1
  23. ^ "Fred Flintstone---Before and After," The Flintstones, season 1
  24. ^ "The Monster From the Tar Pits," The Flintstones, season 1
  25. ^ "The Hit Song Writers," The Flintstones, season 2
  26. ^ "Wilma, the Maid," The Flintstones, season 3
  27. ^ "Doctor Sinister", The Flintstones, season 5
  28. ^ "Fred's Flying Lesson," The Flintstones, season 5
  29. ^ The Flintstones, 1994
  30. ^ The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas, 2000
  31. ^ "Voice of Fred Flintstone, Henry Corden dies at 85". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2010-10-03. 
  32. ^ McLellan, Dennis (2005-05-21). "Henry Corden, 85; Played Film and TV Heavies, Was Voice of Fred Flintstone". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-08-24. 
  33. ^ Brennan, Judy (1994-04-24). "Will 'Flintstones' Bolster Goodman's Rocky Film Career?". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-08-24. 
  34. ^ Harrison, Eric (2000-04-28). "Meet the Young Flintstones in Livelier Prequel". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-08-24. 
  35. ^ http://legendsrevealed.com/entertainment/2012/12/09/did-the-flintstones-do-commercials-for-winston-cigarettes/

Further reading[edit]

  • Yabba Dabba Doo! The Alan Reed Story, by Alan Reed and Ben Ohmart. Albany, 2009. ISBN 1-59393-313-4