The Great Gazoo

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The Great Gazoo
The Flintstones character
The Great Gazoo.png
The Great Gazoo
First appearance"The Great Gazoo" (1965)
Last appearance"My Fair Freddy"
Created byHanna-Barbera
Portrayed byAlan Cumming (in The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas)
Voiced byHarvey Korman (1965, 2000)
Maurice LaMarche (1998)
Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy, Seth MacFarlane's Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy)
Seth Green (Robot Chicken)
Eric Bauza (Yabba-Dabba Dinosaurs)
Flula Borg (2021–present)
Frank Welker (Scooby-Doo, Where Are You Now!)
In-universe information
SpeciesZetoxian

The Great Gazoo or simply Gazoo is a fictional character from the animated series The Flintstones. He first appeared on the show on October 29, 1965. The Great Gazoo was voiced by actor Harvey Korman.[1][2][3]

The voice of "The Great Gazoo", Harvey Korman from his first appearance.

Fictional biography[edit]

The Great Gazoo is a tiny, green, floating alien who was exiled to Earth from his home planet Zetox (sometimes called Ziltox)[4] by Gazaam the Mighty as punishment for having invented a doomsday machine, a weapon of immense destructive power. His invention was a button which if pressed would destroy the universe in an explosive "ZAM", though he insists he made it on a whim ("I wanted to be the first on my block to have one!") with no intent of using it. Gazoo was discovered by Fred and Barney when his flying saucer crashed. Gazoo recognizes Fred and Barney's world as prehistoric Earth, implying Gazaam the Mighty of Zetox banished him through time as well as space. Due to the terms of his exile, he was required by Gazaam to do good deeds for whoever found him first, putting him reluctantly under Fred and Barney's command. Gazoo refers to Fred and Barney as "dumb dumbs" and constantly causes problems for them. He can materialize and dematerialize objects, teleport, freeze time, travel through time, de-age anyone, and perform other remarkable feats but when he attempts to help out Fred and Barney, he usually ends up causing even more trouble. The only people who are able to see Gazoo are Fred, Barney and the children; animals also can see him. A running gag is that Fred argues with Gazoo while Wilma believes that he is talking to himself. When their daughter, Pebbles, says "Gazoo", Wilma thinks Pebbles is sneezing. The plot point regarding Gazoo trying to return home is never resolved because of the cancellation of the original series.

The character does not appear, nor is he referred to, in the immediate series follow-up The Man Called Flintstone (1966) or any of the later spin-off TV series or animated movies.

Development[edit]

The creation of the Great Gazoo is attributed to writer Joanna Lee, who wrote more than 20 episodes of The Flintstones.[5] He was based on Bill Moore, a design teacher from CalArts.[6] The first draft of the episode that introduced the Great Gazoo was originally entitled "The Wizard of Ogg" and Gazoo's original name was "Professor Ogg". Other proposed names for Gazoo were Rip van Zonk, Hocus the Pocus, Dr. Puckwuck, and Shagelbextyzinkus (Ol' Shaggy for short).[5] In her original character description, Lee described Gazoo as "a mirror, reflecting life's vicissitudes, vagaries, ritual magic and dreary reality. Simply, [Gazoo] is life, brought home to our two favorite life participants, Fred and Barney".[5]

Reception[edit]

Because Gazoo is introduced into the show midway through the final season and is considered by some to be an absurd character who alters the premise and dynamic of the show, he is often cited by fans and critics of the show as being an example of the show's having "jumped the shark".[7] In all, Gazoo appeared in 11 episodes.

Other appearances[edit]

Apart from the original TV series, he appears in many commercials for Pebbles cereal like one where he sends Fred somewhere where he can have all the Cocoa Pebbles he wants only for Barney to be brought there as Gazoo quotes "I don't play favorites". One particular commercial for Fruity Pebbles cereal commercial in 1998 had him as part of a promotion for a contest where consumers would have to try to find each of the 10 boxes of all-orange cereal pieces after Gazoo had taken all the orange from Bedrock. The prize for any who found the all-orange cereal pieces would win a trip to Florida. In 2003, Gazoo has become the mascot for Marshmallow Mania Pebbles cereal.

Gazoo is also a character in Flintstones vitamins.

Gazoo is a central character in the 1991 video game The Flintstones: The Rescue of Dino & Hoppy.

In the 2000 film The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas, Gazoo (portrayed by Alan Cumming) is exiled to Earth by Gazaam the Mighty to study the humans' rituals of love and marriage. This was secretly Gazaam's plan to get rid of Gazoo. He then meets Fred and Barney after crashing near them, because of this he follows the duo for study while also the only ones who can see him. A running gag within the movie is that a person will mistakenly pronounce his name as "Kazoo".

Gazoo appears in the 2016 DC Comics Hanna-Barbera Beyond series The Flintstones, where he is human-sized, does not float, and was sent by bookie aliens to evaluate the human race. In this version "Great Gazoo" is a title that roughly translates to "game warden".

Gazoo appears in the Yabba-Dabba Dinosaurs episode "Alien vs. Pebbles", voiced by Eric Bauza. In this episode, he first appears disguised as a mysterious futuristic alien creature who zapped the dinosaurs with his bubble laser, only to transport them to his spaceship jail. Only at the end of the episode, he is revealed to be the "Great Gazoo" who only wanted to examine the prehistoric creatures.

Gazoo made a cameo appearance in the Animaniacs revival segment "Suffragette City".

He makes a cameo appearance in Space Jam: A New Legacy amongst the crowd of other Hanna-Barbera characters and several other Warner Brothers characters watching the basketball game between the Toon Squad and the Goon Squad. When the characters were making their way to the site of the game, the Great Gazoo was seen briefly teleporting away from Muttley. During the basketball game, Gazoo can be seen floating near the Flintstones and the Rubbles.

The Great Gazoo appears in Jellystone!, voiced by Flula Borg in a German accent. He appears in the episode "Gotta Kiss Them All" as the sociopath host of the virtual reality game "BuddyBlasters". The Great Gazoo becomes a regular character in season 2.

The character also makes a brief cameo appearance in the Scooby-Doo reunion special Scooby-Doo, Where Are You Now! that aired on The CW where he was voiced by Frank Welker.[8] He was seen with Jabberjaw during the audition scene.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Harvey Korman of 'Burnett Show' Dies at 81". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  2. ^ "Comic actor Harvey Korman dies at 81". Edition.cnn.com. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  3. ^ "Harvey Korman on voicing The Great Gazoo on "The Flintstones" - EMMYTVLEGENDS.ORG". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-22. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  4. ^ Sennett, Ted (1989). The Art of Hanna-Barbera: Fifty Years of Creativity. Studio. p. 89. ISBN 978-0670829781. Retrieved 2 June 2020.
  5. ^ a b c The Great Gazoo: From A To Zetox (DVD Bonus Feature on The Flintstones: The Complete Sixth Season). Warner Home Media. 2006.
  6. ^ The CalArts Class Who Created a Great Renaissance of Animation - Vanity Fair
  7. ^ The Christian Science Monitor (30 September 2010). "The Flintstones turns 50: The five dumbest moments". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  8. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "Scooby-Doo, Where Are You Now!: Reunion Clip". YouTube.