|The Yogi Bear Show character|
Snagglepuss Title Card
|First appearance||The Quick Draw McGraw Show (1959)|
|Last appearance||Yo Yogi! (1991)|
|Created by||William Hanna
|Voiced by||Daws Butler
Snagglepuss is a Hanna-Barbera cartoon character created in 1959, a pink anthropomorphic mountain lion sporting an upturned collar, shirt cuffs and a string tie with a great desire to be a stage actor. He is voiced by Daws Butler, and is best known for his catchphrase, "Heavens to Murgatroyd!", along with phrases such as "Exit, stage left!" and "Heavens to Betsy!". Snagglepuss was originally known as "Snaggletooth" (a pink lion precursor).
Snagglepuss first appeared in several episodes of The Quick Draw McGraw Show 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 in his first appearance in Lamb Chopped (an early Quick Draw McGraw short), he is called Snagglepuss but refers 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".
In less sophisticated times, people didn't make anything of his pink color and theatrical bent, but later on it's sometimes been assumed that he might have been the first gay cartoon character. (See "Non Hanna-Barbera" references below.)
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 directed the Tom and Jerry cartoons for the MGM cartoon studio before opening Hanna-Barbera Productions in 1957.)
Snagglepuss has three signature catchphrases. His most famous is his perpetual exclamation, "Heavens to Murgatroyd!" – a line first uttered by Bert Lahr in the film Meet the People (1944). 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!").
He also would say "I hate meeses (Mice) to pieces".
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.
- Major Operation
- Feud for Thought
- Live and Lion
- Fraidy Cat Lion
- Lions Share Sheriff
- Cagey Lion
- Royal Ruckus
- The Roaring Lion
- Paws for Applause
- Knight and Daze
- The Gangsters All Here
- Having a Bowl
- Diaper Desperado
- Arrow Error
- Twice Shy
- Cloak and Stagger
- Remember Your Lions
- Remember the Daze
- Express Trained Lion
- Jangled Jungle
- Lion Tracks
- Fight Fright
- Spring Hits a Snag
- Legal Eagle Lion
- Don't Know It Poet
- Tail Wag Snag
- Rent and Rave
- Footlight Fright
- One Two Many
- Royal Rodent
- Be My Ghost
- Charge That Lion
- Snagglepuss appeared in Yogi's Ark Lark (1972) and Yogi's Gang (1972). In Yogi's Gang, he is often referred to as a tiger and not a mountain lion.
- Snagglepuss acted as a co-host with Mildew Wolf from the Cattanooga Cats segment "It's the Wolf" on Scooby's All-Star Laff-A-Lympics and Scooby's All-Stars (1977-79).
- Snagglepuss made a special guest appearance at a celebrity roast honoring Fred Flintstone in the TV special Hanna-Barbera's All-Star Comedy Ice Revue (1978).
- Snagglepuss was a regular in Yogi's Treasure Hunt.
- In the "Fender Bender 500" segment of Wake, Rattle, and Roll, Snagglepuss (voiced by Greg Burson) was paired up with Huckleberry Hound as they drove a monster truck called the Half-Dog, Half-Cat, Half-track; it resembled a portable stage, which was perfectly appropriate for both Huck and Snag.
- Snagglepuss appeared in three television films which were part of the Hanna-Barbera Superstars 10 series:
- Snagglepuss appeared in A Yabba Dabba Doo Celebration: 50 Years of Hanna-Barbera (1989).
- Snagglepuss also appeared in the animated holiday specials Casper's First Christmas (1979) and Yogi's First Christmas (1980).
- Snagglepuss was featured as a teenager in Yo Yogi!, again voiced by Greg Burson.
- Snagglepuss was seen in a Cartoon Network Rap in 1995.
- In The Simpsons episode "Lady Bouvier's Lover" (May 12, 1994), Comic Book Guy shows Bart a cel of Snagglepuss as an example of a cel that's actually worth something, as opposed to the cel of Scratchy's arm that Bart was trying to sell to him.
- In The Simpsons episode "Sweet Seymour Skinner's Baadasssss Song" (April 28, 1994), Miss Hoover reminds Ralph Wiggum that he once reported seeing Snagglepuss outside in the schoolyard. Ralph responds, "he was going to the bathroom".
- In the adult animated sitcom 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 (voiced by Stephen Stanton) 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 Season 34: Episode 8 "Weekend Update" segment on Saturday Night Live (November 15, 2008), Bobby Moynihan appears in costume as Snagglepuss to comment on California's ban on gay marriage. During the segment Snagglepuss 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.