Fred and Barney Meet The Thing
|Fred and Barney Meet The Thing|
|Directed by||Ray Patterson
|Voices of||Henry Corden
Jean Vander Pyl
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||13 (26 segments of The Thing)|
|Executive producer(s)||William Hanna
|Running time||60 minutes|
|Distributor||Taft Broadcasting (original)
Warner Bros. Television Distribution (current)
|Original release||September 8– December 1, 1979|
|Preceded by||The New Fred and Barney Show|
|Followed by||Fred and Barney Meet the Shmoo|
Fred and Barney Meet The Thing is a 60-minute Saturday morning animated package show produced by Hanna-Barbera which aired on NBC from September 8, 1979 to December 1, 1979. It contained the following two segments:
- The New Fred and Barney Show (a revival of The Flintstones)
- The Thing (loosely based on the Marvel Comics superhero Thing)
Despite the title, the two segments remained separate and did not crossover with one another. Fred, Barney and The Thing were only featured together during the show's opening title sequence and in brief bumpers between segments. The unusual combination of a Marvel superhero and The Flintstones was possible because, at this time, Marvel Comics owned the rights to several Hanna-Barbera franchises and were, in fact, publishing comic books based upon them; The Flintstones was one of these.
Like many animated series created by Hanna-Barbera in the 1970s, the show contained a laugh track, one of their last productions to do so.
The first segment, a very loose adaptation of Marvel Comics' character The Thing, consisted of stories following the adventures of a scrawny, red-headed teenager named Benjy Grimm (voiced by Wayne Morton) who changes into the monstrous and mighty Thing (voiced by Joe Baker) by touching together magic rings and reciting the words "Thing ring, do your thing!", releasing an explosion of energy that causes orange rocks to hurl in from every direction and transform him into the stone-skinned superhero. When the Thing spoke, his good-naturedly gruff Brooklyn-accented voice was based on that of comedian Jimmy Durante.
The stories centered mostly around Benjy at Centerville High School with his friends, the beautiful brunette Betty (voiced by Marilyn Schreffler), her snooty rich boyfriend Ronald Radford (voiced by John Erwin), and Betty's blond tomboy younger sister Kelly (voiced by Noelle North), with minimal adult supervision provided by teacher Miss Twilly (voiced by Marilyn Schreffler). Only Kelly and her scientist father Dr. Harkness (voiced by John Stephenson) know Benjy's secret identity.
When not battling various mad scientists and getting involved in Scooby-Doo-style mysteries, the Thing spent most of his time using his superhuman strength to protect his pals from everyday dangers and the nasty practical jokes of leather-clad bully Spike (voiced by Art Metrano) and his biker buddies Stretch and Turkey in the Yancy Street Gang.
Twenty-six 11-minute episodes of The Thing were produced; two shorts aired per show.
The Thing segments are owned by Time Warner, but the character is owned by The Walt Disney Company due to its purchase of Marvel Comics in 2009 with the movie rights to all Fantastic Four characters currently owned by 20th Century Fox.
In FF #8, Ant-Man and Dragon Man give pink-haired rock star turned reluctant superhero Darla Deering her own Thing Rings to summon Ben Grimm's old rocky Thing-bodied exoskeleton and become the bubble-helmeted Miss Thing, saying "Thing Rings, do your thing--".
|#||Episode titles||Original airdate|
|1||"The Picnic Panic" / "Bigfoot Meets The Thing"||September 8, 1979|
|2||"Junkyard Hijinks" / "Gone Away Gulch"||September 15, 1979|
|3||"Circus Stampede" / "The Thing and the Queen"||September 22, 1979|
|4||"Carnival Caper" / "The Thing Blanks Out"||September 29, 1979|
|5||"The Thing Meets the Clunk" / "Beach Party Crashers"||October 6, 1979|
|6||"Decepto the Great" / "The Thing's the Play"||October 13, 1979|
|7||"Double Trouble For The Thing" / "To Thing or Not To Thing"||October 20, 1979|
|8||"The Big Bike Race" / "The Thing and the Treasure Hunt"||October 27, 1979|
|9||"Out to Launch" / "The Day the Ring Didn't do a Thing"||November 3, 1979|
|10||"A Hot Air Affair at the Fair" / "The Thing Goes to the Dogs"||November 10, 1979|
|11||"The Thing Goes Camping" / "Dude Ranch Rodeo"||November 17, 1979|
|12||"Photo Finish" / "Lights, Action, Thing!"||November 24, 1979|
|13||"The Thing and the Captain's Ghost" / "The Thing and the Absent-Minded Inventor"||December 1, 1979|
- Wayne Morton – Benjy Grimm, Stretch
- Joe Baker – The Thing
- Noelle North – Kelly
- Marilyn Schreffler – Betty, Miss Twilly
- John Erwin – Ronald Radford
- Art Metrano – Spike
- Michael Sheehan – Turkey
- John Stephenson – Dr. Harkness
The New Fred and Barney Show
The "Fred and Barney" half of the show consisted of a second season of seven new 30-minute episodes of The New Fred and Barney Show, which was a 1979 revival of The Flintstones.
|#||Episode title||Original airdate|
|1||"Stone Age Werewolf"||September 8, 1979|
|2||"Fred & Barney Meet the Frankenstones"||September 15, 1979|
|3||"Physical Fitness Fred"||September 22, 1979|
|4||"Moonlighters"||September 29, 1979|
|5||"Fred Goes to the Houndasaurs"||October 6, 1979|
|6||"The Bad Luck Genie"||October 13, 1979|
|7||"Dinosaur Country Safari"||October 20, 1979|
- Henry Corden – Fred Flintstone
- Jean Vander Pyl – Wilma Flintstone, Pebbles Flintstone
- Mel Blanc – Barney Rubble, Dino
- Gay Autterson – Betty Rubble
- Don Messick – Bamm-Bamm Rubble
- John Stephenson – Mr. Slate