Huckleberry “Huck” Hound is a fictional cartoon character, a blue dog that speaks with a Southern drawl and has a relaxed, sweet, and well-intentioned personality. He first appeared in the series The Huckleberry Hound Show. Huckleberry Hound’s southern drawl and laid back mannerisms bear close resemblance to the character “Southern Wolf” in the MGM cartoons including those produced by Hanna and Barbera.
The term “huckleberry” can be a slang expression for a rube or an amateur, or a mild expression of disapproval. Most of his short films consisted of Huck trying to perform jobs in different fields, ranging from policeman to dogcatcher, with results that backfired, yet usually coming out on top, either through slow persistence or sheer luck. Huck did not seem to exist in a specific time period as he has also been a Roman gladiator, a Medieval knight, and a rocket scientist. He never appeared in futuristic cartoons, only those set in the present or the past.
One regular antagonist in the series was “Powerful Pierre”, a tall and muscular unshaven character with a French accent. Another regular villain was “Dinky Dalton” a rough and tough western outlaw that Huck usually has to capture, and Crazy Coyote, an Indian who Huck often had to defeat who was his match. There were also two crows with Mafia accents who often annoyed Farmer Huck. Another trademark of Huck was his tone deaf and inaccurate rendition of “Oh My Darling, Clementine”, often used as a running gag. He also commonly used the phrase “and stuff like that there” in place of “and so on”. This phrase showed up quite often in many Hanna-Barbera productions of this time, but Huckleberry said it more often than anyone else. One of his careers had his job position on the door listed as “TS & SLTT”. When asked what it stood for, Huck said “Top secrets and stuff like that there.”
Various Hanna-Barbera characters were known for breaking the fourth wall, frequently turning to the viewing audience to make comments and asides. Huck took this to somewhat of an extreme, and a significant part of a typical cartoon was his running narrative to the audience about whatever he was trying to accomplish.
Huckleberry’s name is a reference to classic American novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, written by Mark Twain. Hanna and Barbera almost named Yogi Bear as “Huckleberry Bear”.
He was voiced in the original cartoons in 1957 by Daws Butler, who had given a similar voice and characterisation to a wolf character in the 1954 Tex Avery MGM cartoon Billy Boy. Butler denied he based the voice on Carolinian actor Andy Griffith, and had been using it since the late 1940s. The voice for Huck was actually inspired by a neighbor of Butler’s wife, Myrtis Martin, in Albemarle, North Carolina, her hometown. Butler would visit Myrtis and her family, and would talk to the neighbor who was a veterinarian. Butler found the man’s voice amusing, and would remember it when it came time to voice Huck.
Huckleberry Hound And The Ghost Ship… (COLPIX Records CP 210)
‘Huckleberry Hound and the Ghost Ship.’ This isn’t a really a comedy like the cartoons, it’s more of a 20-minute adventure with comedy. The script is pretty clever in places. It’s cool to hear Daws Butler, Don Messick and Doug Young do their thing, especially when they sing a funny song a capella. Oh, and one of the ghosts sounds like a certain cereal Cap’n. And the bad guy has got one of Daws’ familiar incidental English voices from the H-B and Jay Ward studios.
Besides Yogi, Boo Boo, Jinks and the Meece, Snooper (without Blabber), Hokey and Ding-a-ling, we get a bad guy pirate. If you look at the album cover, you can see his design is based on Crossbones Jones from the second Ruff and Reddy adventure, and was re-used in Pixie and Dixie’s Pistol Packin’ Pirate (1958).