Why wasn't Ranger Smith more like Jackie Gleason?

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zoombie

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Jan 23, 2007
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#1
Was there any thoughts early on to make Ranger Smith character be more like an animated version of Jackie Gleason type of character. Fat, quick tempered, grumpy, if Yogi Bear was a cartoon version of Art Carney's Ed Norton from the Honeymooners, wouldn't be natural if Yogi's foil was more Norton's foil Ralph?

If the ranger was more like that, I guess he would more of an antagonist, like another Gleason character the Sheriff in Smokey and the Bandit.
 
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hobbyfan

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#3
Was there any thoughts early on to make Ranger Smith character be more like an animated version of Jackie Gleason type of character. Fat, quick tempered, grumpy, if Yogi Bear was a cartoon version of Art Carney's Ed Norton from the Honeymooners, wouldn't be natural if Yogi's foil was more Norton's foil Ralph?

If the ranger was more like that, I guess he would more of an antagonist, like another Gleason character the Sheriff in Smokey and the Bandit.
Don't think so. That would create a bad stereotype for park rangers. Also, there would be complaints that Smith would be a knockoff of Disney's J. Audubon Woodlore.
 

Neo Ultra Mike

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May 18, 2006
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#4
Not to mention that kind of destroys the dynamic of the characters. Ranger Smith is suppose to be more the straight man, the one who is going against Yogi's actions. Yeah Boo Boo does generally question and doesn't always agree with what Yogi's doing but usually goes along with it and is still trying to help him. Ranger Smith is suppose to be the hindrance meant to stop Yogi from easily doing whatever he wants to create a series of consequences or obstacles for Yogi to overcome. If Smith were more like Jackie Gleason then you would have to change the dynamic with how Yogi Bear is especially as Yogi is suppose to be the more stand out character with the biggest personality and general draw.

Not to mention that though it's obvious Hanna Barbera was borrowing characters from other sitcoms to fit they're cartoon characters, they weren't going to constantly steal the exact relationships all the characters in those other series had with one another for every single one of they're character types. They had to mix things up to stake out they're own identity besides "what if this person from this animated sitcom were an animated bear or cat or something like that?" Thus having characters set up differently thus leading to different types of story. So yeah you do have Yogi as an Ed Norton type but you get different kind of jokes if he's not against a Jackie Gleason kind of character in his setting which also creates other unique stories as well.
 

zoombie

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#5
Yogi as an Ed Norton type but you get different kind of jokes if he's not against a Jackie Gleason kind of character in his setting which also creates other unique stories as well.
Not to mention probably out stage Yogi who is suppose to be the star. Norton was the supporting character to Ralph for a reason.

My question isn't why didn't they, they should have. My question is more of during the development did they consider, did they come close? I am glad Ranger Smith turned out the way he did, but did we get close to getting something different?
 
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#7
Neo Ultra Mike makes some good points.
Let me add that Yogi Bear is not based on Ed Norton. His voice is based on Norton. You could even say his vest and hat are borrowed from Norton. But as a character, he is decidedly not Norton.
Ranger Smith didn't exist until he was invented by Warren Foster in 1959 during the Huckleberry Hound Show's second season. Foster took the idea of the "long-suffering ranger" Joe Barbera and Charlie Shows had in a bunch of characters from the previous year and put them in one character.

F. Fox
 

hobbyfan

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#8
@Fibber Fox: Would it be easy to suggest, then, that Yogi was a cross between Sgt. Bilko (because he was always looking to scam his way into obtaining picnic baskets if not outright stealing them) and Norton? Mind, this was before Top Cat came along and he was modeled after Bilko.
 
Jan 2, 2009
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#9
Hi, HF. Yes, there's some of that in his personality, certainly after Warren Foster took over the series. Like Bilko, Yogi would use flattery or a little conning to get his way, though he was far less aggressive and a little more hammy than Bilko.
Top Cat may be H-B's most derivative series. Critics noticed it when it came out; it didn't get much positive ink.
I still like the earlier Yogi where Joe Barbera and Charlie Shows put him into spot-gag story lines and other types of Boo Boo-less or Ranger-less cartoons (trying to catch a fish, helping a baby eagle), ones that may seem completely out-of-character today.

F. Fox
 

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