Snooper and Blabber, from a comic book cover.


Medium: TV animation
Produced by: Hanna-Barbera
First Appeared: 1959
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As cartoon directors at MGM, Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera introduced the first successful series to consist almost entirely of chase scenes with a cat and …

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… a mouse. Tom & Jerry was followed by Famous Studios' Herman & Katnip, Terrytoons' Percy & Little Roquefort, and their own Pixie & Dixie. Years later, at the studio they'd founded, Hanna and Barbera were responsible for what may have been the first series to ignore nature, and make the cat and mouse partners. (But not first by a very large margin, as Courageous Cat & Minute Mouse appeared only a year later.)

Super Snooper (a cat wearing a trenchcoat and a deerstalker hat) and Blabber Mouse (a mouse wearing a trenchcoat and a fedora) ran a detective agency. Snooper talked in the terse manner of Jack Webb on Dragnet ("Just the facts, ma'am"), and Blabber talked with an equally terse lisp. Both voices were provided by a giant in the cartoon voice field, Daws Butler, whose credits include Huckleberry Hound, Chilly Willy and a host of others.

The Snooper & Blabber series was one of three segments in Hanna-Barbera's second half-hour cartoon show, Quick Draw McGraw. The other segment was Augie Doggie & Doggie Daddy. Together, they debuted in syndication on September 29, 1959, and ran three seasons. Snooper & Blabber had a couple of notable guest stars during the first season — early versions of Snagglepuss and Hardy Har Har. After new production stopped, the 45 episodes were rerun on CBS's Saturday morning from 1963-66.

Snooper & Blabber were merchandised as much as most Hanna-Barbera characters that didn't head up their own shows, with toys, clothing etc. appearing on a regular basis as long as Quick Draw's show was running on TV. They got into comic books in a minor way, with stories in the back pages of a few Dell comics and a title of their own from Gold Key, which ran three issues, 1962-63. Unlike some of Hanna-Barbera's minor stars of the time, they didn't get into Little Golden Books.

After Quick Draw's show ended, they were seen in an occasional ensemble production such as Yogi's Treasure Hunt, where Top Cat, Dastardly & Muttley and a few others found a new lease on life. As recently as the 1990s, they turned up as guest stars in the "Super Secret Squirrel" segment of 2 Stupid Dogs. But they never were superstars and no-doubt never will be.


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Text ©2003-05 Donald D. Markstein. Art © Hanna-Barbera.