Retro Saturday Morning: The Pebbles and Bamm Bamm Show (1971-72)

From Hanna-Barbera

The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show was the first spin-off series derived from The Flintstones, minus the theatrical film The Man Called Flintstone in 1966. Several individuals wrote episodes for the series, including Joel Kane, Woody Kling, Howard Morganstern, Joe Ruby, and Ken Spears. Executively produced by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera's Hanna-Barbera Productions, Charles A. Nichols served as the director and Iwao Takamoto was an additional producer. The main title theme and musical directors for The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show were made by Hoyt Curtin and Ted Nichols. Along with the music composer and conductor for the series was made by Elliot Lawrence, and the music arrangements was made by Lanny Meyers, the music was recorded by Regent Sound Studios.

Related: Vintage Hanna-Barbara Barney Rubble Coin Bank

Author Christopher P. Lehman wrote that the success of The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show inspired Hanna-Barbera to create The Flintstone Comedy Hour in 1972. It combined previously broadcast episodes alongside new cartoons and shorts. Serving as a continuation, the new series featured vignettes titled "The Pebbles & Bamm-Bamm Show" during each of its eighteen episodes; it also included musical interludes performed by The Bedrock Rockers, similar to the original series. Fred Flintstone and Friends (1977) followed a similar setup by borrowing elements from the previous spin-offs, including both The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show and The Flintstone Comedy Hour.

The show followed neighbors Pebbles Flintstone (voiced by Sally Struthers and in Season 2 by Mickey Stevens) and Bamm-Bamm Rubble (voiced by Jay North) as teen sweethearts. The episodes were set mainly in the duo's activities at Bedrock High School in the prehistoric town of Bedrock with their friends Moonrock (the school genius and resident inventor), Penny (a slightly overweight girl obsessed with being thin), Wiggy (who planned her day according to what it said in the daily horoscope and has big feet), snobby Cindy (Pebbles's rival) and her equally snobby boyfriend Fabian, Bad Luck Schleprock (whose favorite catchphrase was, "Oh wowsie wowsie woo woo. Miserable day, isn't it?"), and a motorcycle gang called the Bronto Bunch (Bronto, Noodles, Stub, and Zonk). Bronto's favorite catchphrase was, "Wait for your leader, you dummies!" (said whenever his gang took off without him). Fred, Wilma, Barney, and Betty were also featured on the show in supporting roles. Their favorite hangout was a fast food joint called Brontoburgers'.

A running gag that occurred throughout the run of the series was whenever Pebbles came up with an idea (good or not-so-good), she would say, "Yabba Dabba Dooozie!" (a play on her father's, "Yabba Dabba Doo!" from the earlier series) and Bamm Bamm would become exasperated with Pebbles' "crazy hair-brained schemes". Among Bamm Bamm's favorite catchphrases was, "Oh no! She's got that look in her eye!" (said whenever Pebbles came up with one of her nutty ideas).

Similar to Hanna-Barbera's Josie and the Pussycats, it used contemporary rock music to attract more viewers. The 16 episodes have since had reruns broadcast on Boomerang often surrounded by interstitial cartoons and shorts. Critical response was mixed; although noted for its popularity, it was also described as one of the worst moments of the Flintstones franchise. It has since been released on DVD as part of Warner Home Video's "Hanna-Barbera Classic Collection" on a two disc set.

The reruns of The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show were incorporated into the 1972 hour-long show The Flintstone Comedy Hour as the second half-hour of the show. However, when the Comedy Hour first started airing, a few new Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm half-hour cartoons were produced for this position. After a few weeks, the new episodes stopped and the reruns of the original series began. Those new episodes were included in The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show DVD as bonus episodes. The noticeable difference is Mickey Stevens as Pebbles' voice in the new episodes, concurrent with Stevens' voice appearing as Pebbles anytime Pebbles is seen in the shorter cartoons that comprised the first half of The Flintstone Comedy Hour.

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