The Gruesomes (The Flintstones)
|The Flintstones character|
|First appearance||"The Gruesomes" (The Flintstones)|
|Last appearance||"The Birthday Present" (The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show)|
|Created by||Hanna Barbera|
The Gruesomes are a family of fictional characters who appeared on The Flintstones television series. They debuted in 1964 during the show's fifth season. They are similar to other monster families who appeared on television during the same time period. It has been suggested that they were inspired by a previous Hanna Barbera monster family, Mr. & Mrs. J. Evil Scientist,
A modern version of the family, renamed The Creepleys, appeared on the Laff-A-Lympics series.
The Gruesomes are a family consisting of married couple Weirdly and Creepella, and their son Goblin (Gobby for short). Also living with the Gruesomes is Uncle Ghastly who is only seen as a hand and a shadow in "Meet the Gruesomes" and a hand coming from a well (that punches Fred Flintstone in the face) in "The Hatrocks and the Gruesomes" (he is also heard for the only time as a terrifying and creepy laugh in "The Hatrocks and the Gruesomes").
They first appear in an episode of The Flintstones titled "The Gruesomes". In this episode, Weirdly and Creepella Gruesome (voiced by Howard Morris and Naomi Lewis), along with their son Gobby, move into Tombstone Manor which is next door to the Flintstones. Trying to be neighborly, Fred and Barney agree to babysit Gobby, whose strange pets (including Schneider the spider and Occy the octopus) make for a tortuously eventful evening. After spending the evening at The Gruesomes' haunted mansion, Fred angrily tells Wilma that they are moving away from Bedrock. He then changes his mind when he sees Pebbles watching the "At Home With the Gruesomes" TV show.
The family reappears in the episode "The Hatrocks and the Gruesomes". The Hatrocks, who are hillbilly friends of Fred, come to visit but soon become an annoyance to everyone. Fred enlists the Gruesomes to scare them away, but they are unsuccessful, because the Hatrocks are immune to horror. Fred finally discovers The Hatrocks' aversion to "bug music" played by a band called the Four Insects and uses it to chase them back to the hills. This episode features the Flintstones, the Rubbles, and the Gruesomes all singing "She Said Yeah Yeah Yeah", a parody of the Beatles' song "She Loves You".
After The Flintstones ended, the Gruesomes returned for a final appearance on The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show (1972) with Weirdly Gruesome voiced by Don Messick and Creepella Gruesome voiced by Jean Vander Pyl. In the episode "The Birthday Present", Wooly (Pebbles' elephantine prehistoric pet, presumably a woolly mammoth or a mastodon) takes the gift that Pebbles had bought for Wilma and buries it in the back yard. Pebbles believes it is stolen by her neighbor the creepy Mrs. Gruesome, so she offers to babysit Gobby for the Gruesomes so that the kids can infiltrate the Gruesome mansion and search for the gift. Thinking that Mrs. Gruesome may have Wilma's gift with her, the gang then crashes a Gruesome family reunion, and Bamm-Bamm is mistaken for a cat burglar. The misunderstanding is cleared in the end and per her mother's birthday wish, Pebbles vows to judge people more fairly.
The colors used to depict the family is different on The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show. Weirdly's green skin has a muddier tone and his hair is changed from dark green to light brown, while Gobby is changed from having light blue skin and purple hair to pale green skin and bright blond hair. Creepella has white skin and black hair (in contrast to the green skin and red hair shown previously on The Flintstones), and speaks with a faux-Transylvanian accent instead of a high-pitched voice. It is this version of the character that the modern-age villainous Laff-A-Lympics character Mrs. Creepley is based upon.
The Gruesomes are replaced in later spin-off series by The Frankenstones, another monster-themed family who move next door to the Flintstones.
In 1977, a family similar to the Gruesomes were introduced as part of the Laff-A-Lympics segment on Scooby's All-Star Laff-A-Lympics. The Creepleys consist of Mr. Creepley, Mrs. Creepley, and their son Junior Creepley. They are members of the Really Rottens team.
They appeared in the 1978 Laff-A-Lympics comic book series by Marvel Comics.
The Creepleys are referenced in Scooby-Doo! Team-Up #7.
Appearances in other H-B media
- The Gruesomes appear in two different comic books. They first appear in The Flintstones #24 (published in 1965 by Gold Key Comics), and then had their own back-up feature in Cave Kids (a series starring young versions of the Flintstones, similar to the later Flintstone Kids animated series).
- The family also star in The Flintstones children's books and coloring books.
The Canadian 60's-inspired garage-rock band The Gruesomes took their name after the animated family.
- Markstein, Donald D. "Don Markstein's Toonopedia: Mr. & Mrs. J. Evil Scientist". Toonopedia.com. Retrieved 2009-07-04.
- "The Flintstones: The Gruesomes". TV.com. Retrieved 2009-07-04.
- "The Flintstones: The Hatrocks and the Gruesomes". TV.com. Retrieved 2009-07-04.
- "Flintstones Bibliography - The Flintstones on Paper, Illustrated". Trussel.com. Retrieved 2009-07-04.