Monday, October 2, 2017

But When They Need Each Other, That’s Whennn They’re Ruff and Redddd-y!

If anyone doesn’t quite get the title of this post, it’s the last two lines of the RUFF AND REDDY theme song. 



…Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera gave us RUFF AND REDDY a serialized, episodic funny-animal adventure series with Daws Butler lending his future Huck Hound voice to Reddy the Dog, and Don Messick doing likewise with his future voice for “Pixie” (of “Pixie, Dixie, and Mister Jinks”) for Ruff the Cat.  

The chapters were narration-heavy with Messick’s “Narrator Voice” that he often used in HUCKLEBERRY HOUND cartoons. 
"Do we sound SORTA FAMILIAR, Reddy? 

That’s all you need to know… except that you can read a complete Dell Comics Ruff and Reddy story (from RUFF AND REDDY # 11, the issue pictured above) at THIS LINK to the YOWP Hanna-Barbera Blog. 

And, if you check out the Comments Section there, you’ll find an extensive observation by Yours Truly… and it’ll save me the trouble of reproducing it on this Blog.  …Efficient, eh? 

Your comments, extensive or otherwise, are always welcome right here!  

BONUS COVERAGE: CLICK HERE for a great - and profusely illustrated - piece on Ruff and Reddy!  

Look for the Pirate from Pixie and Dixie's "Pistol Packin' Pirate", a prototype for Yakky Doodle, and even a character resembling a cross between Beany and Cecil's Dishonest John and H-B's later Dick Dastardly among those many illustrations!  

Even More: In October, 2017, DC Comics will offer an updated, mature-readers version of Ruff and Reddy, based upon a back-up feature done earlier.  

It's sorta got that quality to it that made Howard the Duck interesting, back in the 1970s.  

I'll at least give it a look! 


Marc Whinston said...

Ruff and Reddy...wasn't that a brand of condoms?

Joe Torcivia said...

Oh, God, I hope not! :-)

Seriously, I'm betting you never even heard of these characters, yet they were the foundation of one of the greatest television cartoon empires!

Comicbookrehab said...

Ding-a-ling, Magic Rabbit, Galtar (and his golden lance), Kwicky Koala, Schnooker, Fluid-Man, Dirty Dawg, Big Duke & Little Duke Hot Rod, Mother Load, Hi-Riser, Ultra Magnus...quite a club of cartoon characters with double entendre names.

joecab said...

Howard was the first comic series I ever actively collected but, I dunno ... but I do like Chaykin's writing. I guess I'll try it. And so far I like Ellis' Dastardly & Muttley weirdness.

(Hi Joe!)

Marc Whinston said...

I'd heard of them. But I have not much beyond some vague awareness of their existence.

Joe Torcivia said...

Back from New York Comic-Con 2017, and hope to have some post on that soon!

Taking comments in reverse order:


I’m not at all surprised at that, as Ruff and Reddy have had NO presence on TV (besides a brief stint on Boomerang – a channel that nobody really watches), since the early 1960s. They were completely overshadowed by all of Hanna and Barbera’s later, and far more famous, creations!

No comics since 1962, until the upcoming “Mature Readers” version, no DVD release to jog our memories. I have only my vague early childhood recollections, the run of Dell Comics, and one bootleg DVD (from that run on Boomerang ) as proof they ever existed.

Maybe the serialized format works against them. Though, it was a popular formula for cartoons when it was created. Crusader Rabbit, Rocky and Bullwinkle, Felix the Cat (and his magic bag), and others like Space Angel and the infamous Clutch Cargo. There was even a live-action (humans interacting with string puppets) undersea serial called “Diver Dan”. The talking fish were the puppets.

I suspect all but Rocky and Bullwinkle (because they were so great) and Felix the Cat (because he was a previously-known property) are pretty much forgotten today. …They couldn’t complete with Happy Tree Friends! :-)

Joe Torcivia said...


I guess if you’re going to have a “Mature Readers” version of a property like that, Chaykin is the guy to do it all right. I liked the one-shot backup he did, so I’ll definitely be giving it a look. Though it might not get stored next to my Dell (…Comics are GOOD Comics) issues of RUFF AND REDDY!

Welcome back!

Joe Torcivia said...


Ding-a-ling, Magic Rabbit, Galtar (and his golden lance), Kwicky Koala, Schnooker, Fluid-Man, Dirty Dawg, Big Duke & Little Duke Hot Rod, Mother Load, Hi-Riser, Ultra Magnus...quite a club of cartoon characters with double entendre names.

You left out the granddaddy of them all… “Woody Woodpecker”!

…Though I wonder if it was quite the double entendre in 1940 as it could be viewed today.

…And tell Galtar to keep his golden lance in his golden pants, thank you very much!

scarecrow33 said...

The only problem I had with R & R on television in the olden days was that on my local station the episodes were not necessarily shown in continuity order--we'd get one episode one day and a totally different one the next. And they were run in a mix of other cartoons like Felix the Cat and Mr. Magoo, so it was sort of a grab bag. The only way I really got to know the characters was in the comics--which were evidently still being published when I was little, either that or I got some hand-me-downs from my cousin. I still loved the cartoons whenever they popped up on television, even without knowing the before and after of the stories. Ruff and Reddy were just plain cool!

Last appearances always fascinate me, and I believe that the last time Ruff and Reddy appeared in new animation was in "Yogi's Ark Lark" where they made very minor cameos. They were silent, of course, because all Reddy would have had to do was open his mouth to talk and he would sound like Huckleberry Hound! There is one decent bit of animation showing Ruff and Reddy arriving at Jellystone Park. After that, they are briefly seen during the endless choruses of that song about the "Perfect Place."

I believe their last appearance in a US comic book was in "Golden Comics Digest" number 11, the final time the Hanna-Barbera characters were featured in that publication. This was a reprint story from the Dell era, and I am guessing that some of the young readers even by the early 70's were wondering--who are they? Because by that time, apart from occasional reruns on local cartoon shows and their cameo in "YAL" Ruff and Reddy had effectively ridden off into the sunset.

Joe Torcivia said...

Would that effectively make them “RUFF Riders”, Scarecrow? …Yuk! Yuk! Yuk… Yuck!

Sounds as if your local TV station had no clue as to what Ruff and Reddy was, and just ran it at random, as any station would have run Popeye, Dick Tracy, Wally Gator, etc. Since Felix the Cat was also of a serialized format, did they do the same with that?

To my best recollection, the two channels in New York that ran daily cartoons (WPIX-11 and WNEW-5) didn’t botch anything that was set to run in a specific order… At least I don’t remember that they did, but I could be wrong. Then again, they never ran Ruff and Reddy as part of the daily animated packages that were part of those live-human-hosted kiddie shows that were so prolific back in the day.

The Ruff and Reddy comic book more or less ended with Dell and, like so many other “secondary” Dell titles, did not make the transition to Gold Key in 1962. Though Ruff and Reddy DID appear in the first two (of three) issues of Gold Key’s HANNA-BARBERA BANDWAGON, the giant-sized-twenty-five-cent catch-all title for all H-B characters that did not headline their own series… Augie Doggie, Yakky Doodle, Touché Turtle, and the like. They did not make the cut in the third and final issue, because it was “normal-12-cent-size”.

…Though that issue did give us the first comic book appearance of Mr. and Mrs. J. Evil Scientist, so there’s always something to be thankful for!

Debbie Anne said...

"Yogi's Ark Lark"? No! No! Not the song about "The Perfect Place"! I just got that song out of my head from the last time, when SOMEONE just HAD to title a story "Scrooge's Ark Lark"! Now who could THAT be, hmm?

Joe Torcivia said...

Guilty as charged, Deb!

But, if not for “Yogi’s Ark Lark” inspiring my title for that Uncle Scrooge story, you *could* have been stuck with something like… Oh, I dunno… “Noah Turning Back Now!”, or “Forty Days and Forty Frights”… or even “Arking Up the Wrong Tree”!

Considering those appalling alternatives, I think it all worked out for the best despite having THIS SONG echoing in your head!

Besides, if Scarecrow is correct, we really all need to pity poor Ruff and Reddy, if that was one of the last things THEY ever heard!

Perhaps such a traumatic experience is why they revived themselves by going the “Mature Readers” route. Sorry, but I have to say it… I can’t help myself… Please forgive this compulsive punster… Oohhh, here it is… Perhaps that’s why they “Chaykin-ed Out on us!”


TC said...

To this day, I have never seen a Ruff and Reddy (or Loopy DeLoop) animated cartoon. I was vaguely aware of their existence, somehow. I may have seen them in a reprint story in Golden Comics Digest ca. 1970. And/or, I seem to remember a Whitman/Golden hardback book that was an anthology of stories with Hanna-Barbera characters, and R&R may have been included in that.

AFAIR, our local TV stations in the 1960s showed serials, both cartoons (Rocky & Bullwinkle, Underdog, Clutch Cargo, Marvel Super Heroes) and live action (old Flash Gordon cliffhangers starring Buster Crabbe), in the correct order.

Joe Torcivia said...

Ditto on Ruff and Reddy, TC!

I have not seen a Ruff and Reddy cartoon since the tail end of their original run in the early 1960s. I cannot understand why they have had virtually ZERO presence in ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s syndication.

Loopy De Loop was on USA Network’s Cartoon Express in the late ‘80s. And, more recently, the complete run was released on Warner Archive DVD. I made sure to get that!

I’d never seen Loopy before Cartoon Express, save some Gold Key comic book appearances – and a kid’s record I had, but that was because it was a theatrical series.

scarecrow33 said...

Ruff and Reddy were featured on a VHS tape in the "Hanna-Barbera Personal Favorites" series titled "Animal Follies." Selected episodes from the inaugural space continuity were included in between stand-alone cartoons featuring some of the other H-B characters who similarly don't get as much press lately, such as Touche Turtle and the Goofy Guards. In their intro to the tape, Bill and Joe exhibit some--as it appears to me at least--genuine fondness for the characters of R & R, especially as their first rung on the ladder to television success. That kind of warm affection is hard to fabricate.

Joe Torcivia said...

You are SO RIGHT, Scarecrow!

And forgive me for forgetting about that VHS tape! I actually had that one! Such a thing was very welcome when it appeared back in the late eighties! My copy was, alas, destroyed in a very unfortunate accident – though Touché Turtle aside, I’ve managed to reassemble everything else from that tape on either authorized or bootleg DVD – save, of course, the hosting appearances by Hanna and Barbera themselves.

The Ruff and Reddy serial portion of the tape included EVERY OTHER CHAPTER, interspersed with other series such as those you mention, until the serial reached its conclusion. Oddly, the only piece of Ruff and Reddy animation I have today is that VERY SAME SERIAL on the aforementioned bootleg DVD, acquired about ten years ago – but the DVD has ALL the chapters.

There was an entire series of such VHS tapes, hosted by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera, for The Flintstones, Yogi Bear, and Huckleberry Hound, and maybe more that I don’t recall! And, how ironic that, The Flintstones aside, none of these series that we once had access to on VHS tape, are complete on DVD today!

Wouldn't it be nice if Warner Archives released these VHS tapes converted to MOD DVD? I'd sure get 'em!

Comicbookrehab said...

I remember Scooby-Doo and Johnny Quest volumes were also featured in that "Favorites" VHS series.

The cassettes from that brief pre-Cartoon Network period were extraordinary: attractive art on the box, trailers for "The Jetsons" movie & Universal Studios theme parks and "Hanna-Barbera Cartoon Trivia!", which was basically just "Who says 'Exit - Stage Left'?" or "What's the name of Dick Dastardly's sidekick?" on every tape.

Joe Torcivia said...


The more you guys remind me of these tapes, the more I’d like to see them ported over to DVD by Warner Archive.

Surely, they could at least do the ones with no “music clearance issues”… if indeed, that is even still a problem. What a great historical package it would be to see Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera still reasonably young and vital.

As great as WAC has been with old movies (I get all the Cagney and Bogart films they can release), that’s how BAD they’ve been with animation – the great new “PORKY PIG 101” notwithstanding. The “MOD” business model of the Warner Archive Collection should be perfect for things like this… yet we see so pitifully little of it.