The Hillbilly Bears

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The Hillbilly Bears
The Hillbilly Bears title card.
Directed by William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Voices of Henry Corden
Jean Vander Pyl
Don Messick
Paul Frees
Theme music composer Hoyt Curtin
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 26
Producer(s) William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Running time 6 minutes (per short)
Production company(s) Hanna-Barbera Productions
Distributor Screen Gems
Warner Bros. Television Distribution (current)
Original network NBC
Original release October 2, 1965 (1965-10-02) – September 7, 1967 (1967-09-07)
Related shows The Atom Ant/Secret Squirrel Show

The Hillbilly Bears is an animated television series produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions which aired as a segment on The Atom Ant/Secret Squirrel Show from October 2, 1965 to September 7, 1967.


The Hillbilly Bears played on a social stereotype of the "hillbilly", with a gun toting, mumbling father Paw Rugg (voiced by Henry Corden) who was always "feudin" ("feudin" was usually a lethargic operation, in which the protagonists fired the same bullet back and forth from the comfort of their rocking chairs) with their neighbors, the Hoppers.

Paw Rugg's voice was a low mumble, splattered with a few understandable words. Particularly in the first episodes, Paw Rugg's voice was incomprehensible; his speech improved with the later segments. His wife Maw (voiced by Jean Vander Pyl) was a homemaker who appeared as the more level-headed parent. Their daughter Floral (voiced by Jean Vander Pyl) had lemon-colored fur (as opposed to the darker-colored fur of Maw, Paw and Shag); she was the southern belle and most sophisticated member of the family. Shag (the youngest and smallest of the clan, voiced by Don Messick) was a troublemaker who looked up to his father. The voices and personas of Floral and Shag were nearly identical to Elroy and Judy Jetson from The Jetsons.


Season 1 (1965-1966)[edit]

# Title Airdate Summary
1 Detour For Sure Oct-02-1965 A construction crew is attempting to evict Maw and Paw Rugg out of their house so they can put in a new highway; however, the Ruggs are content to stay where they are.
2 Woodpecked Oct-09-1965 A woodpecker is disturbing Maw's beauty rest; Paw and Shag try to get rid of it, but it outwits them at every turn.
3 Anglers Aweigh Oct-16-1965 Maw sends Paw to catch a catfish for their dinner and gets more than he bargains for when he runs into Ol' Whiskers.
4 Stranger Than Friction Oct-23-1965 Disgusted with Paw's shooting strangers, Maw makes him swear to invite the next one to dinner: along comes an escaped chimpanzee.
5 Goldilocks and the Four Bears Oct-30-1965 A movie star named Goldy Looks gets a flat tire and finds the Bears' house while looking for help; she ends up eating their food and sleeping in their beds and she runs off when the Bears get home with an idea for a movie.
6 Going, Going Gone Gopher Nov-06-1965 Paw is put in charge of guarding the garden when Maw goes to town, but he winds up having to defend it from a very hungry gopher.
7 Courtin' Disaster Nov-13-1965 A truce is called between the Ruggs and the Hoppers so that Floral and Claude can begin dating.
8 Picnic Panicked Nov-20-1965 At the annual Hog Woller picnic, Claude Hopper chases Floral, hoping to share her picnic basket, while Paw chases Claude.
9 Judo Kudos Nov-27-1965 Sumo the Japanese fighting bear is on his way to the circus when he falls out of the truck when it hits a bump; Sumo helps Paw learn karate so he can use it on his rival, Claude Hopper.
10 Just Plane Around Dec-04-1965 The experimental plane X-Ray-X lands near the Rugg house and Paw goes for an unexpected ride with agent 00700 and his pal who are trying to steal the plane.
11 War Games Dec-11-1965 The Pentagon decides to conduct war games in the Ruggs' backyard.
12 Bricker Brats Dec-18-1965 Shag and the Hopper boy keep getting in fights over who has the toughest dad threatening to start the feud back up.
13 Slap Happy Grandpappy Dec-25-1965 Grandpa Rugg comes for a visit much to the excitement of Shag and Floral; Grandpa wants to shoot some Hoppers not knowing that Paw has just ended the feud with them.
14 Pooped Pops Jan-01-1966 It's July and time for Paw's yearly bath; when he's finished, Maw makes Paw play a Robin Hood game with Shag even though he is very tired.
15 Leaky Creek Jan-08-1966 Maw sends Paw down to the creek to take a bath even though he just took one last year and doesn't think he needs another one; When he gets to the creek he finds it has gone dry due to a pesky beaver that has built a dam.
16 My Fair Hillbilly Jan-15-1966 Maw is tired of Paw being such a slob so she sends him to the J.P. Snobbs School of Charm and they try to turn Paw into a gentleman.
17 Rickety-Rockety-Raccoon Jan-22-1966 Paw battles with Rickety Raccoon after he steals eggs from the hen house.
18 Modern Inconvenience Jan-29-1966 Maw and Paw are selected as the Hillbilly family of the month by Good Hillbillying Magazine and are given every modern convenience for one month.
19 Rabbit Rumble Feb-05-1966 Maw sends Paw and Shag to hunt for a rabbit for dinner.
20 Speckled Heckler Feb-12-1966 Professor Beetlebottom arrives at the Rugg house looking for a rare butterfly, the Speckled Fleeby Doo, and offers a $1,000 reward if they capture one.

Season 2 (1966)[edit]

# Title Airdate Summary
21 Whirly Bear Sep-10-1966 Paw goes on an unexpected ride while trying to fix the windmill.
22 Saucy Saucers Sep-17-1966 Paw is captured by aliens who take him back to their planet for observation.
23 Chipper Chirper Sep-24-1966 Paw's out hunting a meal for dinner when Maw's pet bird gets out of its cage and runs away.
24 Gettin' Paw's Goat Oct-01-1966 Paw battles with the neighbor's goat that is eating everything in his garden.
25 Buzzin' Cuzzins Oct-08-1966 Gorzo the Wild Man escapes from a truck delivering him to the circus and is mistaken for Paw's cousin Fud when he shows up at the cabin.
26 Do the Bear Oct-15-1966 Maw tries to wake up Paw from his between-naps rest period so he can go to the store for her; music producers offer Paw a lifetime music contract after hearing him play the guitar in the store.


DVD release[edit]

The episode "Woodpecked" is available on the DVD Saturday Morning Cartoons 1960's vol. 1. The episode "Picnic Panicked" is available on the DVD Saturday Morning Cartoons 1960's Vol. 2.

Other appearances[edit]

The Hillbilly Bears appeared in Yogi's Ark Lark and its spin-off series Yogi's Gang.

Paw and Maw Rugg appeared in Yogi's Treasure Hunt.

The Hillbilly Bears appeared in a Cartoon Network Shortie, "Miss Understanding," where Maw takes them on a Jerry Springer-like show due to the fact she can't understand Paw, although the audience assumes that she means she doesn't "understand" him in the sense that she doesn't know who he is anymore. This results in Paw shooting on the wall "I luv you Maw".

On the Dexter's Laboratory episode, "Chubby Cheese" an animatronic Paw Rugg is seen playing the xylophone during Chubby's song.

The Hillbilly Bears appear in the Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law episode "Guitar Control" defending their home from the SWAT team and Bear. Paw Rugg's name can also be seen in Harvey's black book in "BabySitter" and Paw can be seen using a crowbar to tear off the logo for Sebben and Sebben in "The Death of Harvey."

See also[edit]

External links[edit]