Sunday, August 10, 2014

“The Roman Holidays” and “Help!... It’s the Hair Bear Bunch” – Not Loooong DVD Reviews, but Some Initial Observations – Part One “Taking a Holliday”!

In 2013, The Warner Archive Collection released “Complete Series” sets for the Hanna-Barbera Saturday morning TV series THE ROMAN HOLIDAYS (1972) and HELP!... IT’S THE HAIR BEAR BUNCH (1971). 
As stated in the comment thread of THIS POST, despite being a lifelong fan of classic-era (‘50s and ‘60s) Hanna-Barbera cartoons, I’d managed to miss both series, most likely due to a general disenchantment with the “State of SatAM”; post 1970.   

In response to a huge sale at Amazon… I ordered ROMAN HOLIDAYS to see how much it actually paralleled THE FLINTSTONES,  and HAIR BEAR BUNCH as sort of Daws Butler’s “last hurrah” in voicing wise-guy animal characters.”

I went on to say:  I’ve never seen ROMAN HOLIDAYS, and have only gotten the slightest taste of HAIR BEAR BUNCH from Boomerang. I don’t hold particularly high hopes for either, but this week’s sale prices on both will go a long way toward mitigating that.”

And, so, with my “not particularly high hopes" at the ready, I received my copies of  THE ROMAN HOLIDAYS and HELP!... IT’S THE HAIR BEAR BUNCH this past Saturday (August 09, 2014) and watched the first three episodes of each series – for the FIRST TIME and I’m sorta surprised to tell you… they’re not really bad at all! 

Read all about it!  CLICK to ENLARGE!

I described Daws Butler’s voicing of “Hair Bear” as his “last hurrah in voicing wise-guy animal characters.”  Apparently, the period of 1971-1972 (and not much beyond that, alas) was Hanna-Barbera’s “last hurrah” at creating the type of humor show they had originally become famous for.   

Soon thereafter, they would inundate us with the many “Teen Mystery Solver” clone series that followed in the wake of SCOOBY-DOO WHERE ARE YOU, simply awful series like RICHIE RICH, repeated miscastings of their own classic characters like Yogi Bear , and the 90 minute to two-hour Mega Shows that smooshed different series together in gigantic, ill-conceived mega-programming blocks.  Oh, and of course, the many incarnations and imitators of SMURFS and SUPER FRIENDS!   …Oh, the pain! 

Oh, the pain!  Oh, the seventies! ...And eighties, even!
An aside, those Hanna-Barbera “Teen Mystery Solver” clone series became so plentiful that a magnificent parody episode of the situation (“Mystery Solvers Club State Finals”) was done by the 2010 series SCOOBY-DOO MYSTERY INCORPORATED, which featured the casts of many of those clone shows and their pets and mascots! 

THE ROMAN HOLIDAYS, and its 63 AD setting, was one of several concepts that eventually gave way to pre-history during the development of what would become THE FLINTSTONES.  Instead of a “Mah-dern Stone Age Fam-mil-lee”, we have a “Modern Roman Empire Age Family”.  Although it took twelve years after THE FLINTSTONES to finally surface, THE ROMAN HOLIDAYS eventually came to TV, albeit for Saturday Morning, rather than prime time. 

Contemporary conveniences, instead of reflecting Stone Age sensibilities, were of ancient Roman origins.  Chariots for cars, wrist hour-glasses instead of watches, and American football games in the Roman Coliseum between the “Trojans” and the “Vikings”. 

Though, like THE FLINTSTONES, taxis and busses were also “shells powered by the driver’s and passengers’ feet”, and animals were sometimes used as machines.  

Oh, and names of persons and things ended in the Roman suffix “us”, as opposed to “rock” or “stone”. 

In its cast of characters, however, THE ROMAN HOLIDAYS was more like THE JETSONS than THE FLINTSTONES.  A well-meaning, put-upon father “Gus” (short for “Augustus”) voiced by WACKY RACES narrator Dave Willock (who also appeared in the ‘50s sci-fi film “It Came from Outer Space” and the James Cagney classic “Yankee Doodle Dandy”, to name two on my DVD shelf), and his loyal wife “Laurie” (does that sound Roman to you?), and, in a reversal of Judy and Elroy Jetson, a teenaged son and sarcastic-tongued young daughter. 

There’s also the expected mean and blustery little man, though it’s not “The Boss” like Mr. Spacely, it’s the landlord “Mr. Evictus” surprisingly well-voiced by comic actor (and, according to family lore, my very distant cousin, whom I’d never met) Dom De Luise.    

The cast is rounded out by an “Astro-like” pet lion named “Brutus”, who doesn’t actually “talk” but makes whatever sounds he can in Daws Butler’s “Snagglepuss voice”! 
"Not much for looks, but that VOICE will take him a long way!"
Two things initially strike me about THE ROMAN HOLIDAYS:
ONE:  It does not look like a Hanna-Barbera production, in that it fails to reflect the “traditional” H-B design sense of Ed Benedict and Dick Bickenback, or that of the chief designer of the time Iwao Takamoto.   If anything, THE ROMAN HOLIDAYS comes across as an odd melding of Iwao Takamoto and the Jay Ward Studio – with Ward as the more dominant influence.  

Gus Holiday and Jay Ward's Aesop... You decide!
Characters look more as if they stepped out of Ward’s “Fractured Fairy Tales” or “Aesop and Son” than any previous Hanna-Barbera series.   Particularly Brutus the Lion, who looks nothing like any H-B lion (and there were LOTS OF ‘EM) I’d seen before.  Human characters have FIVE FINGERS, instead of the usual four. 

"Say, I DO look like a Jay Ward character... I mean ROAR!"
But, classic 1960s H-B underscores from Hoyt Curtin and Ted Nichols are used throughout the series.  I note this only because these scores (that appeared in all series from THE FLINTSTONES thru SPACE KIDETTES) ...

A (cave) Man and his (Hoyt Curtin) Music!


Yeah, it’s the kind of thing only a real H-B geek would notice!  So what?
Adding to the familiar H-B ambiance are incidental character voices by Daws Butler, Don Messick, and John Stephenson. 

"Is he talking about US, Boo-Boo?"
TWO: THE ROMAN HOLIDAYS appears to have been written, less as a then-typical SatAM cartoon and more as a prime-time animated sitcom series, as were THE FLINTSTONES and THE JETSONS!  At least that’s what I saw in those first few episodes!  

Credited writers included William Raynor and Myles Wilder of such iconic comedy series as McHALE’S NAVY, GOMER PYLE, and GET SMART, and Barry E. Blitzer, previously of THE FLINTSTONES, THE JETSONS, TOP CAT and its inspiration THE PHIL SILVERS SHOW, as well as the aforementioned McHALE’S NAVY and GOMER PYLE! 


I think we’ll have CAESAR SALAD tonight.” 

Might as well be PATRIOTIC!” 

It’s little script gems like that, from the third episode, that set THE ROMAN HOLIDAYS apart from the rest of its contemporary fare.  And, what a breath of fresh air that quality of writing must have been to the Saturday Morning animated ghetto of 1972!  (…Not to mention 1975, 1978, 1980, or 1984!) Alas, only 13 episodes were produced.  SatAM series, back then, were particularly short run.  

The three episodes of THE ROMAN HOLIDAYS viewed to date were far more enjoyable than I expected.  No, it’s not THE FLINTSTONES at their best, not even close… but, as a series I had low expectations for, it was quite good!  Let’s see where it goes from here! 

I’ll be back with Part Two on HELP!... IT’S THE HAIR BEAR BUNCH soon!   


top_cat_james said...

I always thought of The Roman Holidays as influenced not only by The Flintstones/Jetsons, but also by the success of All in the Family the previous year. This same season TRH debuted also brought us Wait Till Your Father Gets Home, and Depatie-Freleng's The Barkleys, that were also hoping to cash in on Norman Lear's innovative melding of traditional sitcom and current social issues.

From what little info I could glean online, it seems that TRH's character design was handled by Willie Ito. I would have guessed Marty Murphy, who worked on Hong Kong Phooey and the aforementioned Wait Till Your Father Gets Home, among others, because that potato nose on most of the male characters is commonplace on all three series.

Finally, speaking of Jay Ward, I purchased my copy of the second volume of the Gold Key Rocky & Bullwinkle comics collection this Saturday, and plowed through it in one sitting, because it was so enjoyable. The art starts to take a turn for the worse towards the end of the book (I presume the use of reprints had ended, and brand-new stories were being commissioned), but the scripting remained sharp throughout. I'm sure you will have a good time perusing your copy when you get one.

Glad TRH exceeded your expectations.Your'e making me wish I had ordered a copy during that sale - I only got The Herculoids. As Brutus would say, "Whimper whimper".

Joe Torcivia said...


Yes, taking your comments into consideration, there might actually have been a small, pocked-sized patch of higher quality in the world of SatAM – at least in concept and writing, if not in the animation quality itself – after the “Let’s everyone do superheroes!” phase and before the period of dreadful seventies animated product truly got rolling. THE ROMAN HOLIDAYS and, to a lesser extent, HELP!... IT’S THE HAIR BEAR BUNCH bear this out, along with the series you mention. Though “WAIT TILL…” was an early evening show, and not applicable to SatAM. And, of course Bugs Bunny and The Pink Panther were around to… er, (“Help!”…It’s NOT the Hair Bear Bunch!) WOW! Was that last sentence ever awkwardly composed! …Must be the late hour!

…Though someone MUST explain to me why the “Bear” series was called “HELP!... IT’S THE HAIR BEAR BUNCH”, and not simply “THE HAIR BEAR BUNCH”! Was it just to conform to the lyrics of the theme song?

After all, imagine if “THE YOGI BEAR SHOW” was instead called “LOOK AT THE BEARS! LOOK AT THE BEARS! IT’S YOGI BEAR!” Eeesh!

There was a late ‘50s H-B look, an early-mid ‘60s H-B look, and a ‘70s H-B look – all distinctly different. TRH looked like none of these – and more like Jay Ward or even Total Television. As bizarre as the design for HONG KONG PHOOEY was, at least it seemed (to me, anyway) more reflective of the ‘70s H-B look.

Thanks for the tip on the second “Rocky and Bullwinkle” book! I’ll have to get that, this week!

“The art starts to take a turn for the worse towards the end of the book (I presume the use of reprints had ended, and brand-new stories were being commissioned), but the scripting remained sharp throughout.”

…Somehow, though, I’ll bet ROCKY *still* looks more authentic than in those 2014 stories! (I’ll never give that up!)

What the publishers didn’t seem to know, in the first book, is that when they (rightfully and reasonably) believed, when they say “Originally published by Gold Key as BULLWINKLE Issues # 1-4”, was that what they saw as Gold Key’s BULLWINKLE 3-4 were actually reprints of Dell issues of ROCKY AND HIS FRIENDS, as Gold Key was wont to do! With # 1-2 being actual early sixties Gold Key reprints, created while the show was still “active”. …That’s why anyone attempting to do “anything Gold Key” needs to engage me as a consultant! :-)

After that, in the second volume, they’re getting to original material created in the seventies when (perfectly on-topic for this post, BTW) artistic standards had begun to slip. Don’t know why they started with GK BULLWINKLE # 1, and they didn’t reprint the balance of the earlier Dell issues – and the early Gold Key Giants!

Finally, always take advantage of good sales! Or, as they might say on TRH: “You snooze-icus, you lose-icus!” “Whimper whimper!”

Joe Torcivia said...

Restating my comments on the first “Rocky and Bullwinkle” book, in a way that doesn’t reflect its 3:38 AM composition…

The last two (of four) Gold Key issues reprinted in the first “Rocky and Bullwinkle” book, were DELL REPRINTS of earlier ROCKY AND HIS FRIENDS issues – and not original Gold Key material. The publishers simply regarded this as “Original Material” that they assumed was created for Gold Key’s BULLWINKLE Issues # 3-4.

Hope that makes more sense, now that I’ve had morning coffee!

joecab said...

Glad ya liked it! To be honest, I barely remembered watching it back in the day myself but I did catch them all when they popped up on Cartoon Network years ago back when CN was still into old H-B shows. I never caught the Jay Ward design similarity or the five fingers though! And it makes me wonder what time and place H-B would have plumbed next if they decided to try a fourth time...

Joe Torcivia said...


Ah, yes… The REAL “Cartoon Network” that was true to its name. I caught it most evenings in the later nineties, when the line-up consisted of Freakazoid!, Scooby-Doo Where Are You, Dexter / Johnny Bravo / Cow and Chicken, etc., The Flintstones, The Jetsons, and Bugs and Daffy / Looney Tunes. It was better than coming home to a drink, after a hard days’ work.

ROMAN HOLIDAYS must have been on during the day, when I was AT that hard day’s work.

And, go figure… the Jay Ward similarities was the *first* thing that hit me! But, that might be precisely BECAUSE I’d never seen it before.

Depending on the actual production schedules, the “next try” would have been the strange and forbidding world of the early seventies, as seen on WAIT TILL YOUR FATHER GETS HOME – or, before that, WHERE’S HUDDLES. There’s a (very) short run series Warner Archives should release!

I wish they wouldn’t have given up on “funny animal” shows, though…

joecab said...

I meant a show in the past or the future so far removed from our own that they could get away with corny gag names like Stony Curtis, Cosmo G. Spacely, and a landlord named Evictus. So that leaves out the contemporary shows you mentioned as well as "straight" shows like "These Are The Days." Maybe Ancient Egypt?

Joe Torcivia said...

Well, the “gorny gag name” requirement does make it somewhat limited. You couldn’t do that with the old western days, or the depression, or the fifties or sixties. Though, all might have been interesting settings. How about colonial times? Still wouldn’t really make the “gorny gag name” requirement, though. …Unless EVERYONE (without exception) had names like Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Hamilton, Hancock. That could be a joke in itself… just not a very good one!

It would truly have to be “another time / another place / another well-known or well-imagined culture”, and ancient Egypt would qualify. Can’t think of too many others. Ancient Greece might look to close to ancient Rome. Pilgrims was another one that was originally considered by H-B.

Elaine said...

Of course, hourglasses are actually medieval technology. But I do like the joke effect of wearing one strapped on one's arm, which defeats the technology nicely.

Joe Torcivia said...

Yes, indeed, Elaine! Even a wrist-sundial can be effective when properly positioned, I suppose. …Unless you’re standing in shade.

But a wrist-hourglass is unintentionally reset with every arm movement!

That’s what was so great about cartoons like this. Even the illogic was somehow funny.

Chris Barat said...


I still think that THE COLOSSAL SHOW (the aborted TTV production) had better potential than ROMAN HOLIDAYS. But I am glad to see that you mined some gold from the prevailing dross.


Joe Torcivia said...


Of course, I’ve never seen THE COLOSSAL SHOW (not that anyone has, outside of that one Gold Key comic) but, given that, what makes you feel it had “better potential” than THE ROMAN HOLIDAYS? I’m not certain how you might compare them – beyond mere genre similarity.

After all, for ME to openly admit to liking a seventies H-B cartoon, it must be, at the very least, pretty okay. Though the TRUE “seventies stench” didn’t fully kick in until a wee bit later in the decade, and THE ROMAN HOLIDAYS may have benefited from its 1972 production dates.

Honestly, but for seeing it on DVD this week, I would have completely dismissed it along with the long list of dreadful ‘70s and ‘80s things I mentioned in the post. But, THE ROMAN HOLIDAYS and THE HAIR BEAR BUNCH are really (again) “pretty okay”, from what I've seen up to this point. And I’m pleasantly surprised to admit that.

scarecrow33 said...

Glad you liked The Roman Holidays, Joe. I actually was delighted with the set when I received it. As you suggest, and as I had earlier suggested, it has the look and feel of a series intended for prime time. Maybe at one time the concept was discussed, and then perhaps the show ended up on Saturday mornings as an afterthought.

Some of the characters actually get well developed during the course of the series--definitely a shade more depth than most Sat AM shows of the era. I was pleased that each character more or less has a show built around him/her. And the name Laura was actually in common use during the Roman times, as far as my research tells me, so the name Laurie is not too far-fetched as a Roman woman's name.
Of course Augustus is well known as a Roman name. And Precocia is sort of a play on words, although names back in those days sometimes did reflect a character quality (such as precociousness). My favorite names are Happius ("Happy Holiday") and Groovia--which is so blatantly 70's it's just hilarious. And what a perfect name for a landlord--Mr. Evictus! Ya gotta love it!

As for the gadgets and general "Roman-esque" ambiance, they seem to have borrowed quite heavily from "The Flintstones" and didn't seem to try extremely hard to come up with uniquely Roman-type devices that wouldn't appear derivative. It's almost like a version of Bedrock that has evolved into Roman times. This is especially true in the case of Gus' workplace, which looks like a not-too-heavily revamped version of the Slate Rock & Gravel Company.

It's too bad there are only 13 eps. This one could have gone on for a full season at least and maybe two or three. Lots of possibilities here.

Can't wait to hear about the Hair Bear Bunch! (Haven't got that set yet, but it's a series I remember well from watching it in its first run.)

Joe Torcivia said...


I tend to agree with you, that THE ROMAN HOLIDAYS may have been originally conceived as a prime-time series – but, unfortunately, there was no such thing happening on seventies network TV. Not since WHERE’S HUDDLES, which was a 1970 “summer replacement” series. And, so it would remain until something called THE SIMPSONS would come along and turn a few heads back in the right direction, as far as animation is concerned.

WAIT TILL YOUR FATHER GETS HOME doesn’t count, because it was syndicated – and took rare advantage of the “give back to local affiliates” of the 7:30 early evening time slot, around 1971. You remember that once-special 7:30 prime-time network slot that was the place for such shows as THE FLINTSTONES, LOST IN SPACE, BATMAN, and many more of my all-time favorite series. The fact that we’ve gotten “game shows” and “celebrity gossip shows” in that slot ever since, to me, has been nothing but a four-decade-plus giant step backwards!

I’d figure that might very well be why THE ROMAN HOLIDAYS ended up as a SatAM series, despite concepts and writing (and the use of actual sit-com WRITERS, themselves) that would indicate that higher ground was aimed for.

You can tell that more thought was given all around, right down to (as you correctly point out) the character names. And, just think, as a “Laura”, Rob Petrie’s wife might be of ancient Roman origins. Imagine a DICK VAN DYKE SHOW / ROMAN HOLIDAYS animated crossover, where Rob could have written for “Sid Caesar”, rather than “Alan Brady”! …And, about 1,300 years later, he’d come home and trip over the “Ottoman Empire”.

My thoughts on THE HAIR BEAR BUNCH will be largely similar to those on THE ROMAN HOLIDAYS, only with more specific focus on that show, its lineage from YOGI BEAR, the use of Daws Butler – and virtual non-use of him going forward, other TV show influences, and that it was a momentary “last hurrah for / farewell to” the great type of funny animal shows that put Hanna-Barbera Productions on the map.

It also encourages me to realize that H-B actually DID have a (very) small spasm of quality before (as Chris Barat so aptly put it) the “prevailing dross” of the seventies and eighties set in.

I hope to get to THE HAIR BEAR BUNCH soon enough, once I find the time to put these thoughts to post, but I expect two or three other posts to surface first.

Chris Barat said...


"Of course, I’ve never seen THE COLOSSAL SHOW (not that anyone has, outside of that one Gold Key comic) but, given that, what makes you feel it had “better potential” than THE ROMAN HOLIDAYS? I’m not certain how you might compare them – beyond mere genre similarity."

You might recall that I addressed this question at some length in a piece in THE HARVEYVILLE FUN TIMES. THE COLOSSAL SHOW was basically about a harried Phil Silvers type promoter who was constantly being asked to come up with "extra special" activities to entertain the Emperor and Empress. The result, on film, would probably have resembled a cross between SGT. BILKO, CLYDE CRASHCUP, and THE FLINTSTONES. There's obvious potential for wacky humor there above and beyond a "family sitcom."


Joe Torcivia said...

I *do* remember that, Chris… though not the complete details, after all this time. The question was as much for the readers as it was for me.

But, now that you’ve better refreshed our memories, I think the premise of THE COLOSSAL SHOW is a good one. So good, in fact that THE ROMAN HOLIDAYS actually… um, “made use of it” in their third episode, “Star for a Day”!

Right down to Daws Butler trotting out his “Phil Silvers / Hokey Wolf” voice as the promoter / manager of “Davy Cassius” a “David Cassidy-like” rock star that Happius switches places with “Prince and the Pauper” style. “Max”, the Silvers character, is even DRAWN to look like Phil Silvers – complete with bald head, non-Roman era glasses and hat!

Bill and Joe were legendary in their “borrowing” from other TV series, but this is either quite the coincidence – or a new level of borrowing! Borrowing from a show that never even made it to air!

Dan said...


Glad you got to pick both of these up: The Roman Holidays was something of a return-to-form for H-B of a sitcom format, I can't imagine Joe Barbera didn't attempt to push this to networks for prime-time as "The next Flintstones!" That endeavor was met with some success the next television season, with Wait Till Your Father Gets Home.

Speaking of the latter, it's notable that H-B actually hired cartoonist Marty Murphy to design the characters for Wait Till Your Father Gets Home to give it a unique style... you can tell they were going for a magazine cartoon look: even the backgrounds on Father fade off so they don't meet the edge of the screen, they're more background vignettes as magazine cartoons tend to go. Here's one of Murphy's panels:

Marty Murphy Playboy Cartoon

I bring this up because the design style utilized in The Roman Holidays exists as the half-way point between the traditional Hanna-Barbera style under Iwao's Art Direction and the look of Wait Till Your Father Gets Home. For stylized humor shows, the crew's "pencil mileage" mandate was eschewed in favor of things like hair details and *gasp!* four fingers!

This opens up the notion that at the start of the 1970s H-B had a few vanity projects sold that were (at least) trying to honor the past while attempting to break some new ground, even under the financial limitations and expectations from Taft Broadcasting.

While it's not quite the first 3 seasons of The Flintstones there's a lot about The Roman Holidays to enjoy, which you've pointed out here. The Jay Ward connection to the design of Gus vs. Aesop is brilliant one! You can see some of Iwao's refinements in the character design, but the influence of Willie Ito (as T.C. James pointed out) is strong as are incidental characters by Roman Arambula, as well.

Hoyt Curtin's theme for the show has some 70s aspects to it, but his enthusiasm is apparent: it's one of the more memorable themes from that era of H-B! Daws Butler as Brutus makes the whole thing work even better... and utilizing actors outside of the H-B stable for the core cast also reflects the mindset of prime-time shows of the early 1960s.

A Torcivia family connection to Dom DeLuise? Aaaah, I knew I liked ya, Joe! - Dan

P.S. Marty Murphy did some more animation work into the 1980s and 1990s. One of his gigs? According to the IMDb, Murphy was a Storyboard Designer for "DuckTales: Treasure of the Golden Suns"!!!

Joe Torcivia said...


Though I haven’t seen it in decades, even back then I noted that WAIT TILL YOUR FATHER GETS HOME seemed to be done in more of a “magazine cartooning style”, than traditional H-B animation. After all, every home had magazines in it – and, because of that, I was able to discern the difference between magazine cartooning, vs. comic strips (through there was a lot of blending there), vs. comic book art.

But, even on first view in 2014, I didn’t really notice that influence in THE ROMAN HOLIDAYS. As I said, I saw almost as much Jay Ward as I did Iwao Takamoto – largely because that’s what I was looking for, within an animation context. But, now I realize the “magazine cartooning” influence, as well.

I also have no doubt Joe Barbera at least TRIED for a prime-time ROMAN HOLIDAYS but, alas, the network TV landscape had changed too much, and animation was now imprisoned in a tidy Saturday morning cellblock.

As you note, THE ROMAN HOLIDAYS is “more seventies than sixties”, but not SO MUCH seventies that I’m unable to enjoy it – and that’s been the pleasant surprise for me. Daws Butler makes ANYTHING “work better”! I particularly enjoyed the resurfacing of his “Phil Silvers character” in episode three.

Why did such great talents like Butler and Michael Maltese become so tragically “underutilized” in those later years? Maltese ended up going back to write for Gold Key Comics in the seventies. Probably because there was little or nothing worthy of his talents in animation and, in comics, he could go back to writing Bugs, Daffy, and Woody (which he did) and even one issue of SUPER GOOF!

The Murphy link is great! I’d sure like to know the CAPTION for that illustration! (Oh, but that’s just the writer in me!) Seeing it this way kinda reminds me of those illustrations in the Gold Key Comics Club where you draw the last panel to FINISH THE GAG, and send it in for publication! Anyone remember those? …Yeah, I know, sorry if you do!

And Murphy worked on one of the greatest episodes of DuckTales? Now that’s interesting!

Also alas, Dom DeLuise and I never met. You know how those feuding Italian family factions are! My “side” was not talking to his “side” since before I was born! …At least, so the story goes – from the “side” that talks to me!

Comicbookrehab said...

Another unusual cartoon from Hanna Barbara during the early 70s was "These Are The Days", which I only saw one of two episodes of when CN had Boomerang Saturday Mornings. It looked like an attempt to capitalize on "The Waltons" and Filmation's success with 'Fat Albert" - light comedy mixed with morality in a period setting. It looked interesting.

Tim Snider said...

Popped in a few years late as I was reading up on The Roman Holidays, which brought me here. As to your one point: "...and his loyal wife “Laurie” (does that sound Roman to you?)...", yes it does! Just as Gus' full name is "Augustus", Laurie's full name is "Laurel" Holiday -- as in "laurel wreath".

Joe Torcivia said...


It’s never a few years late to comment around here! And, welcome to what we do!

I don’t know why I never figured “Laurel”, but yes! And, I really did enjoy THE ROMAN HOLIDAYS – far more than I would have expected to enjoy a seventies Hanna-Barbera series (as you might guess from other postings, I’ve always been a big fan of their sixties series, especially the earlier ones). I only wish they’d made more ROMAN HOLIDAYS.