Jabberjaw

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Jabberjaw
Genre Comedy
Created by Joe Ruby
Ken Spears
Directed by Charles A. Nichols
Voices of Tommy Cook
Barry Gordon
Julie McWhirter
Pat Parris
Frank Welker
Theme music composer Hoyt Curtin
Composer(s) Hoyt Curtin
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 16
Production
Executive producer(s) William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Producer(s) Alex Lovy
Running time 23 minutes
Production company(s) Hanna-Barbera Productions
Broadcast
Original channel ABC
Audio format Mono
Original run September 11, 1976 – September 3, 1978

Jabberjaw is a Saturday morning animated series created by Joe Ruby and Ken Spears and produced by Hanna-Barbera and aired from September 11, 1976, to September 3, 1978, on ABC.

Premise[edit]

Per a great deal of Hanna-Barbera's output in the 1970s, the format and writing for Jabberjaw was similar to that for Scooby-Doo,[1] Josie and the Pussycats and Speed Buggy. The show also drew inspiration (in the use of a shark as a character) from the overall shark mania of the 1970s[2] and the then-recent film Jaws. It also shared The Flintstones' penchant for making use of puns as the names of locations, people, etc., in this case, ocean-themed puns (such as "Aqualaska" instead of Alaska).

Sixteen 30-minute episodes of Jabberjaw were produced, which aired on ABC Saturday Morning from September 11, 1976, to September 3, 1977, and rebroadcast for a second season of reruns on Sunday Morning from September 11, 1977, to September 3, 1978. In the 1980s, repeats resurfaced on USA network's Cartoon Express and in the 1990s on Cartoon Network and Boomerang. This is one of a number of shows made before the mid-1980s seen on the Cartoon Network and Boomerang to have been taken from PAL prints.

Like many animated series created by Hanna-Barbera in the 1970s, the show contained a laugh track created by the studio.

Plot[edit]

Jabberjaw is a 15-foot great white shark and a drummer for The Neptunes, a rock group made up of four teenagers — Biff, Shelly, Bubbles and Clamhead — who live in an underwater civilization in 2076. Jabberjaw and The Neptunes travel to various underwater cities where they encounter and deal with diabolical villains who want to conquer the undersea world.

Characters[edit]

Jabberjaw and The Neptunes. Counterclockwise: Jabberjaw (drums), Bubbles (keyboard), Biff (guitar), Shelly (tambourine) and Clamhead (double bass).
  • Shelly (voiced by Patricia Parris) – Shelly is a dark-haired young woman who plays tambourine for The Neptunes. Shelly is attractive, intelligent, haughty, vain, a spoiled brat, and abrasive (like Josie and the Pussycats' Alexandra) and considers herself to be the star of the band. And while she holds a great deal of disdain for Jabberjaw (or "Blubberhead" as she calls him), she does have some fondness for him deep down and occasionally shows it. Also, she's sometimes irritated by Bubbles' idiocy.
  • Bubbles (voiced by Julie McWhirter) – Bubbles is a girl with blonde, curly hair who plays keyboard for The Neptunes. She is extremely ditzy and dimwitted, has a cute giggle, similar to Josie and the Pussycats' Melody. Shelly sometimes nicknames her "Ding-a-Ling" or "Bubblehead". Her annoying voice and mannerisms are similar to Gracie Allen, wife of George Burns. Whenever she volunteers to help, she usually ends up messing it up.
  • Clamhead (voiced by Barry Gordon) – Clamhead is a young man who plays bass for The Neptunes. His catchphrases are crying out "Abba-abba-abba!" and "Wowee-wow-wow!" whenever he gets excited. Clamhead is Jabberjaw's best friend, and bears a strong resemblance to Scooby-Doo's Shaggy, Speed Buggy's Tinker and to Josie and the Pussycats' Alexander.

Broadcast history[edit]

Original ABC broadcast:

  • Telecast: ABC Saturday Morning September 11, 1976 – September 3, 1977
  • Retelecast: ABC Sunday Morning September 11, 1977 – September 3, 1978

Broadcast schedules (all EDT):

  • September 1976 – November 1976, ABC Saturday 9:00–9:30 am
  • December 1976 – September 1977, ABC Saturday 8:30–9:00 am
  • September 1977 – September 1978, ABC Sunday 10:30–11:00 am

Episodes[edit]

Title Air date PC
1 "Dr. Lo Has Got to Go" 11 September 1976 (1976-09-11) 84-1
Jabber and the gang have to stop the evil Dr. Lo from unleashing his Gorgon on the city of Aquahama.
2 "There's No Place Like Outer Space" 18 September 1976 (1976-09-18) 84-2
Aliens land in the undersea city of Hydrostan. It's up to Jabber and the gang to stop their invasion.
3 "Atlantis, Get Lost" 25 September 1976 (1976-09-25) 84-4
Jabber and the gang get mixed-up in Dorsal's plan to overthrow the queen of Atlantis and become king himself.
4 "Run, Jabber, Run" 2 October 1976 (1976-10-02) 84-3
Jabber competes in the 2076 Undersea Olympics against a robot in order to unmask Z, the leader of a worldwide criminal organization.
5 "The Sourpuss Octopuss" 9 October 1976 (1976-10-09) 84-5
Jabber and the gang accidentally join Professor Acosta's expedition to find the treasure of Panaqua, and have to protect him from the villainous Octopus.
6 "Hang Onto Your Hat, Jabber" 16 October 1976 (1976-10-16) 84-6
The Brotherhood of Evil threatens the undersea world when it learns that the Power Helmet, invented by Professor Ortega, grants its bearer's every wish.
7 "The Great Shark Switch" 23 October 1976 (1976-10-23) 84-7
The Ambassador of Aquatania suspects the Neptune's of kidnapping Commander Shark so Jabberjaw must prove their innocence.
8 "Claim-Jumped Jabber" 30 October 1976 (1976-10-30) 84-8
The evil Coldfinger is after all the richest mines in Aqualaska. When Jabberjaw gets in the way, Coldfinger puts our favorite shark on ice!
9 "Ali Jabber and the Secret Thieves" 6 November 1976 (1976-11-06) 84-9
Jabber and The Neptunes, touring the undersea kingdom of Hydrabia, meet Volton, an evil mass of energy who lives inside the magic Electrolamp.
10 "Help, Help, It's the Phantom of the Kelp" 13 November 1976 (1976-11-13) 84-10
The Phantom, with the aid of a powerful growth ray, plans to raise an army of ferocious prehistoric plants to make the Aqua International Corporation bow to his demands.
11 "No Helpin' the Sculpin'" 20 November 1976 (1976-11-20) 84-11
Jabber and The Neptunes encounter the sinister Sculpin, who has stolen an unfinished time machine from the brilliant Professor Thorstein.
12 "The Bermuda Triangle Tangle" 25 November 1976 (1976-11-25) 84-12
Jabberjaw and the Neptunes accidentally go through the Bermuda Triangle and are taken prisoner by Sorceress Madame Sargasso.
Note: Telecast at noon (ET) on a Thursday, as part of ABC's Thanksgiving Funshine Festival.
13 "Malice in Aqualand" 27 November 1976 (1976-11-27) 84-13
While participating in a rodeo at Aqualand, Jabberjaw sees Dr. Cybron's henchmen kidnap the Rajah, and replace him with a robot duplicate. He tells the Neptunes, and Cybron tries to silence them by sending a runaway stagecoach over a cliff. When that fails, he captures Bubbles, and sends a duplicate of her to capture the others. The group rescues Bubbles and the Rajah, and discovers that Dr. Cybron himself is a robot....
14 "The Fast-Paced Chase Race" 4 December 1976 (1976-12-04) 84-14
The Neptunes try to win the top spot in the Trans-Marine Race while attempting to foil the evil plans of Dr. Robek.
15 "The Piranha Plot" 11 December 1976 (1976-12-11) 84-16
Biff books the group on a tanker to Amsteraqua after another gig falls through, this being the cheapest way to go straight there. The Piranha has designs on ruling the Underwater States of America and captures the tanker for its load of special rocket fuel. The Neptune's scuttle the Piranha's rocket practically dismantling the control center and messing with the rocket's fuel delivery system. Jabber manages to launch the rocket accidentally to a different destination, with its cargo of sleep dust....
16 "There's No Heel Like El Eel" 18 December 1976 (1976-12-18) 84-15
The eerie El Eel threatens to turn the entire undersea world to stone, and there's only one guy who can stop him: the great El Jabbo!

Yogi's Space Race (1978–79)[edit]

Main article: Yogi's Space Race

In 1978, Jabberjaw was featured in a new NBC Saturday morning program called Yogi's Space Race, in which he participated in intergalactic racing competitions with Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound and several new characters. Jabber's racing partner was a lazy bloodhound named Buford (from The Buford Files of Buford and the Galloping Ghost).

Other appearances[edit]

Outside of his own TV series, Jabberjaw also appeared in comic books such as this issue of Cartoon Network Presents #23, from 1999.
  • Jabberjaw made some comic book appearances. Such as Laff-A-Lympics issues No. 10 and No. 12 in 1978 and 1979. Hanna Barbera Presents No. 6 in 1995, and Cartoon Network Presents No. 23 in 1999.
  • Jabberjaw made a guest appearance in the Adult Swim animated television series Sealab 2021 in the episode, "Return of Marco" (2004), where he was one of the many sharks impaled with spears by the underwater cave tribe called The Snarkells.
  • Jabberjaw appeared later still in sporadic appearances on Cartoon Network's Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law (2002) where the Neptunes were accused of stealing Shouyu Weanie's (portrayed by the Chan Clan) song. It is also referenced that in the late 1990s, Jabberjaw was briefly engaged to budding filmmaker Madeline Austin-Kulat. In this show, Frank Welker reprises his role of Jabberjaw and also voices Biff. Clamhead made another appearance in the episode "Identity Theft" where he was voiced by Steven Blum.
  • Jabberjaw also appeared on Cartoon Network and Boomerang in a music video set to Pain's "Jabberjaw (Running Underwater)" with Jabberjaw and The Neptunes portrayed as a ska band, with the group dressed in modern clothing. In this version, Biff is the lead guitar and singer wearing a bowling shirt and jeans, Shelly is now dressed in a tank top and jeans and plays bass guitar & assists on vocals, Bubbles is dressed in a black top with a Catholic schoolgirl-style skirt and Mary Jane shoes and still plays the keyboard, and Clamhead is dressed in an updated version of what he wore in the original series and plays the trumpet & also assists on vocals. Jabberjaw still plays the drums and has a goatee and a nose ring. The Neptunes are animated in 3D escaping a lunch box decal and waging battle with an evil eel and his lobster robots who kidnap Shelly from one of the Neptunes' concerts.
  • Jabberjaw appears in the Scooby Doo special Night of the Living Doo, trying to take out the gang in order to get his respect.
  • Jabberjaw makes a cameo in the Johnny Bravo episode "Johnny Goes Hollywood".
  • Jabberjaw and his team appear in the Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated episode The Mystery Solvers State Finals alongside other Hanna-Barbera mystery teams in a fever dream of Scooby-Doo's. This time, Jabberjaw was unable to breathe on land without being moisturized. Frank Welker reprised the role of Jabberjaw.

Merchandising[edit]

In 1977–1979, merchandising for Jabberjaw included:

In 1977, a comic book series was originally scheduled by Charlton Comics but was later cancelled; however, in France, Jabberjaw was featured in comic books under his French language name Mantalo (1978).

On July 28, 1988, a Jabberjaw videocassette was released by Worldvision Home Video:

  • Hanna-Barbera Presents Jabberjaw (1988) contains 4 episodes:
1. Dr. Lo Has Got to Go
2. There's No Place Like Outer Space
3. The Sourpuss Octopuss
4. The Great Shark Switch

In April 2005, a Jabberjaw wacky wobbler bobblehead doll was released by Funko.

DVD release[edit]

On February 15, 2011, Warner Archive released Jabberjaw: The Complete Series on DVD in region 1 as part of their Hanna–Barbera Classics Collection. This is a Manufacture-on-Demand (MOD) release, available exclusively through Warner's online store and Amazon.com[4]

In other languages[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Crandol, Michael (1999). "The History of Animation: Advantages and Disadvantages of the Studio System in the Production of an Art Form". Digital Media FX. Joe Tracy. Retrieved 2009-01-31. 
  2. ^ Mallory, Michael (1998). Hanna-Barbera Cartoons. Warner Bros., Hugh Lauter Levin Associates Inc. ISBN 0-88363-108-3. 
  3. ^ "MetLife: "Everyone" Game Day Commercial". YouTube. 2012-02-03. Retrieved 2012-06-18. 
  4. ^ "Jabberjaw - 'The Complete Series' MOD Title Now Available: Cost, Contents, High-Res Box Art". 

External links[edit]