MONDAY MISCELLANEOUS
April 24, 2017 posted by Jerry Beck

Hanna Barbera Press Releases – Part 1

Hal Humphrey was a television & radio columnist for the Los Angeles Mirror (and later the LA Times) in the late 1950s and early 60s. His papers were left to the USC Cinematic Library and among them are several clippings of his columns – including many press releases from Hanna-Barbera and their publicists.

While there many not be anything new in these press releases – in fact, there may be a fair bit of hyperbole within – they are worth a look, if for nothing else than a peek at how animated shows were perceived and promoted.

This first one is pretty early on – from 1958…



Here’s a note from Ed Fisher of Screen Gems, lobbying Humphrey to do a piece on Hanna Barbera (more about this next week)…


Meanwhile Daws Butler himself began lobbying Humphrey for more than a mere mention. This 1959 bio of Daws was found in his archives.


This 1960 letter to Humphrey from Daws was found in the archive…


Humphrey finally devoted a column to Daws Butler in 1961:


Next Week: Prime-time H&B. Ahead of that, here is the official Hanna and Barbera bio sent out to the press at the time of the premiere of The Flintstones.

(Thanks to Ned Comstock at USC)

5 Comments

  • Interesting that the bio from ABC says that Bill and Joe initiated their own departure from MGM before the studio closed, as opposed to Metro shutting the studio down which then forced then to create their own company.

    • “Interesting that the bio from ABC says that Bill and Joe initiated their own departure from MGM before the studio closed, as opposed to Metro shutting the studio down which then forced then to create their own company.”

      They probably thought that sounded better for the purposes of promoting H-B than “they were fired”.

  • Thanks, Jerry, for the nice press releases. I enjoy reading these “hyperbole” of H-B history.

  • Really enjoyed reading these..Jerry.

  • It’s been oft reported that Bill and Joe were “released” when MGM closed the department. It doesn’t seem that they were caught entirely by surprise, however. They had been “moonlighting” and preparing for the entrance to television for some time. They were doing commercials and TV intros on the side. The most famous of their early TV intros was a series of them done for I LOVE LUCY, which have been rediscovered in recent years.

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