First aired at 8pm
Wednesdays beginning in 1960, making it the first prime time cartoon series ever on TV.
The Flintstones was a parody on modern suburban life, set in the Stone Age. The characters in the
cartoon series all behaved and spoke in a contemporary manner, though they lived in the prehistoric city of
Bedrock. Fred worked as operator of a dinosaur-powered crane at Rock Hard & Quarry Cave Construction Co.
(slogan: "Own Your Own Cave and Be Secure"). Around their split-level cave the Flintstones enjoyed such
conveniences as Wilma's Stoneway piano, a hi-fi on which Fred could play his "rock" music (it consisted of a
turntable and a bird with a long beak to serve as a needle), a vacuum cleaner (a baby elephant with a long
trunk), and an automatic garbage disposal unit (a famished buzzard stashed under the sink). Their car, which
sported tail fins, also came equipped with steamroller wheels--to smooth out the rocky road.
At first the Flintstones had only Dino, their pet dinosaur, around the cave to play
with. Then one day in 1963 they were blessed with a baby daughter, whom they named Pebbles. Not to be outdone,
their neighbors the Rubbles adopted an orphan boy named Bamm Bamm. (The two kids later had a Saturday morning
cartoon series of their own, Pebbles and Bamm
The Flintstones was always as much
adult satire as children's fun. In many respects it resembled Jackie Gleason's popular Honeymooners, especially in the relationships of the
principals. A wide range of caricatures passed through the stories: Lollobrickida, a pretty cook; Ann-Margrock,
whose voice was supplied by Ann-Margret; attorney Perry Masonry (he never lost a case); Ed Sullystone, a TV host;
Eppy Brianstone, a teenage impresario; and Weirdly and Creepella Gruesome, the strange couple who with their son
Goblin moved into a cave nearby (this was a parody on The Addams
Family and The
Munsters, then popular). The Gruesomes thought that they were normal, and
everyone else in Bedrock was odd.
The Flintstones and its spin-offs
had a highly successful run on Saturday mornings--on NBC from January 1967-September 1970, on CBS from September
1972-January 1974, back on NBC from February 1979-September 1984, and on ABC with The Flintstone Kids from September 1986-September