Snagglepuss

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For the song by John Zorn, see the album Naked City.
Snagglepuss
The Yogi Bear Show character
Snagglepuss.jpg
Snagglepuss Title Card
First appearance The Quick Draw McGraw Show (1959)
Created by William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Voiced by Daws Butler[1]
Information
Aliases Snaggletooth
Species Mountain lion
Gender Male
Relatives Yogi Bear
Quick Draw McGraw

Snagglepuss is a Hanna-Barbera cartoon character created in 1959,[2] a pink anthropomorphic mountain lion sporting an upturned collar, shirt cuffs and a string tie. He is voiced by Daws Butler,[1] and is best known for his famous catchphrase, "Heavens to Murgatroyd!",[1] along with phrases such as "Exit, stage left!" Snagglepuss was originally known as "Snaggletooth" (a pink lion precursor).[3]

Summary[edit]

Snagglepuss first appeared in several episodes of The Quick Draw McGraw Show[2] and became a regular segment on The Yogi Bear Show, starring in a total of 32 episodes. (See the list of episodes.) He also appeared in other Hanna-Barbera series such as Yogi's Gang in 1973, as a co-host for Laff-A-Lympics in 1977 and 1978, Yogi's Treasure Hunt in 1985 and as a teenager on Yo Yogi! in 1991.

Snagglepuss lives in a cavern, which he constantly tries to make more habitable for himself. No matter what he does, however, he always winds up back where he started or worse off than he was before. In some episodes, Snagglepuss is chased by Major Minor (voiced by Don Messick), a tiny-sized hunter, whose chases seem similar to the ones which involve Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny (which was hardly a coincidence, since most of the scripts were created by Michael Maltese, one of Warner Bros. Cartoons' key writers in the '40s and '50s).

In his earliest roles, before getting his own cartoons, Snagglepuss was orange instead of pink, wore no collar or cuffs, and occasionally was called "Snaggletooth". Confusion reigns in part because his first appearance, Lamb Chopped (an early Quick Draw McGraw short), actually calls him Snagglepuss but has him refer to an unseen "Snaggletooth" as his brother. The brownish-orange proto-Snagglepuss also appeared with Doggie Daddy and his son Augie in a short entitled "Snagglepuss".

Character[edit]

Butler's voice characterization is reminiscent of the more soft-spoken aspect of Bert Lahr's broad-ranging characterizations, specifically the Cowardly Lion in the 1939 MGM movie The Wizard of Oz. (Coincidentally, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera headed the MGM cartoon studio on the Tom and Jerry anthology before opening Hanna-Barbera Productions in 1957).[1]

Snagglepuss has three signature catchphrases. His most famous is his perpetual exclamation, "Heavens to Murgatroyd!" - a line first uttered by Bert Lahr in the 1944 film Meet the People.[1] Before dashing off (whether to escape or for some other reason), he exclaims "Exit, stage left!" (or stage right, and sometimes even up or down), a phrase used in theatrical stage directions. Finally, Snagglepuss tends to add the word "even" to the end of his statements. This is done in a number of different ways:

  • After emphasizing a previous statement ("Somebody hurt! In dire pain, even!").
  • After stating a synonymous phrase ("On account of I must be a little rusty. Stale, even").
  • In a grammatically correct way, though out of order in the sentence ("I wonder if he knows my telephone number, even").
  • Simply added as an exclamation ("Heavens to Murgatroyd! A veritabububble frankenmouse monster, even!").[4]

When the character of Snagglepuss was used for a series of Kellogg's cereal television commercials in the 1960s, Lahr filed a lawsuit, claiming that the similarity of the Snagglepuss voice to his own might cause viewers to falsely conclude that Lahr was endorsing the product. As part of the settlement, the disclaimer "Snagglepuss voice by Daws Butler" was required to appear on each commercial, thus making Butler one of the few voice artists to receive a screen credit in a TV commercial.

Titles[edit]

  1. Major Operation
  2. Feud for Thought
  3. Live and Lion
  4. Fraidy Cat Lion
  5. Lions Share Sheriff
  6. Cagey Lion
  7. Royal Ruckus
  8. The Roaring Lion
  9. Paws for Applause
  10. Knight and Daze
  11. The Gangsters All Here
  12. Having a Bowl
  13. Diaper Desperado
  14. Arrow Error
  15. Twice Shy
  16. Cloak and Stagger
  17. Remember Your Lions
  18. Remember the Daze
  19. Express Trained Lion
  20. Jangled Jungle
  21. Lion Tracks
  22. Fight Fright
  23. Spring Hits a Snag
  24. Legal Eagle Lion
  25. Don't Know It Poet
  26. Tail Wag Snag
  27. Rent and Rave
  28. Footlight Fright
  29. One Two Many
  30. Royal Rodent
  31. Be My Ghost
  32. Charge That Lion

Other appearances[edit]

Hanna-Barbera

Non Hanna-Barbera

  • In The Simpsons episode Lady Bouvier's Lover, Comic Book Guy shows Bart a cel of Snagglepuss to show a cel that's worth something, as opposed to the cel of Scratchy's arm Bart was trying to sell to him.
  • In The Simpsons episode Sweet Seymour Skinner's Baadasssss Song, Miss Hoover reminds Ralph Wiggum that he once reported seeing Snagglepuss outside in the schoolyard. Ralph responds, "he was going to the bathroom".
  • In Drawn Together Snagglepuss is featured in the episode "Gay Bash" but his face is blurred, referencing how strangers are blurred on reality programs. He is voiced by Chris Edgerly.
  • Snagglepuss made two cameos in a MetLife commercial in 2012, titled "Everyone". In a behind the scenes video, Snagglepuss acts and rehearses in front of the director of the ad, only for the director to tell him he does not have any speaking roles in the ad, and in response, Snagglepuss storms out of the trailer.
  • On a segment of Weekend Update on Saturday Night Live, Season 34: Episode 8, November 15, 2008, Bobby Moynihan appeared in costume as Snagglepuss to comment on California's ban on gay marriage. During the segment Snagglepus is outed by anchor Seth Meyers, and then confesses that his domestic partner is fellow Hanna-Barbera cartoon character The Great Gazoo who also makes a cameo.
  • Snagglepuss appears in The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy in the episode "Irwin Gets a Clue" as one of several Hanna-Barbera characters to be run into by Hoss Delgado's truck.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Martin, Gary (1996–2009). "Heavens to Murgatroyd". Retrieved 2009-08-22. 
  2. ^ a b "Cartoon Scrapbook".  Snagglepuss
  3. ^ Toonopedia, Snaggletooth and Snagglepuss.
  4. ^ Liberman, Mark (October 6, 2013). "Snagglepuss: early avatar of emphatic even". Language Log. 

External links[edit]