L-r: Yippee, Yahooey, Yappee.

YIPPEE, YAPPEE AND YAHOOEY

Medium: TV animation
Produced by: Hanna-Barbera
First Appeared: 1964
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By 1964, the Hanna-Barbera studio was the undisputed king of television animation. That year, they released no less than three new half-hour shows — Jonny Quest in prime time, plus Magilla Gorilla

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… and Peter Potamus on Saturday morning. The Saturday shows had the then-standard format of three segments, each about as long as a standard theatrical cartoon, meaning they had to come up with three new series for each.

For Hanna-Barbera, tapping the wellsprings of creativity meant looking at what had worked in the past. For the Peter Potamus show, which debuted in syndication on September 16, 1964, the first of the two back segments was easy. Yogi Bear, a tall guy with a short partner whose schtick was trying to put one over on the local authority figure in a national park, was the template for Breezly & Sneezly, a tall guy and a short guy always trying to put one over on the local authority figure in the arctic wilderness. The second didn't have a direct antecedent among Hanna-Barbera properties, but a parody of The Three Musketeers was a time-honored source of funny goings-on, used by (among others) DC Comics in The Three Mouseketeers and the studio principals themselves, back when they worked at MGM, and cast Tom & Jerry as The Two Mouseketeers.

Yippee, Yappee and Yahooey didn't exactly have point-for-point correspondence with the Musketeers,, but they were close enough to get laughs out of the kids. They were palace guards working for Ye King in a setting that looked like 16th century France, tho with cartoons you never know. (Disney's Cinderella looked like it was set there too, but a couple of its incidental characters turned up in Grandma Duck's barn.)

Yippee's voice was provided by Doug Young (Doggie Daddy, Ding-a-Ling). Yappee and Ye King were both played by Hal Smith (Gyro Gearloose, Goliath). Yahooey was Daws Butler (Loopy de Loop, Lambsy Divey).

Yippee, Yappee and Yahooey flourished while Peter Potamus flourished — syndicated at first, then picked up by ABC in 1966. But when Peter went off the air, they did too.

— DDM

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Text ©2008 Donald D. Markstein. Art © Hanna-Barbera.