Snagglepuss is a Hanna-Barbera cartoon character created in 1959, a pink anthropomorphic mountain lion voiced by Daws Butler. He is best known for his famous catchphrase, “Heavens to Murgatroyd!”, along with phrases such as “Exit, stage left!” Snagglepuss was originally known as “Snaggletooth” (a pink lion precursor).
Snagglepuss first appeared in several episodes of The Quick Draw McGraw Show and became a regular segment on The Yogi Bear Show, starring in a total of 32 episodes. (See the list of episodes.) He also appeared in other Hanna-Barbera series such as Yogi’s Gang in 1973, as a co-host for Laff-A-Lympics in 1977 and 1978, Yogi’s Treasure Hunt in 1985 and as a teenager on Yo Yogi! in 1991.
Snagglepuss lives in a cavern, which he constantly tries to make more habitable for himself. No matter what he does, however, he always winds up back where he started or worse off than he was before. In some episodes, Snagglepuss is chased by Major Minor (voiced by Don Messick), a tiny-sized hunter, whose chases seem similar to the ones which involve Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny (which was hardly a coincidence, since most of the scripts were created by Michael Maltese, one of Warner Bros. Cartoons’ key writers in the ’40s and ’50s).
In his earliest roles, before getting his own cartoons, Snagglepuss was orange instead of pink and occasionally called “Snaggletooth”. Confusion reigns in part because his first appearance, Lamb Chopped (an early Quick Draw McGraw short), actually calls him Snagglepuss but has him refer to an unseen “Snaggletooth” as his brother.
Snagglepuss escorting Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman and Toto down the Yellow Brick Road towards Emerald City.
As we can see, Dorothy has black hair, contrary to conventional wisdom, which suggests Dorothy’s hair is light brown in color. She’s got a green turtle-neck sweater and Capri pants for an outfit. Not quite how it is in the book, or even the movie. No Silver Slippers either, just dark loafers. Maybe they were thinking of a Laura Petrie sequel? I can just see Dick Van Dyke as The Wizard!
She is accompanied by the Scarecrow, who seems to have vision problems and is wearing a suit and tie. Hmmm… A corporate Scarecrow… What a thought.
Now the Tin Woodman appears to be made out of an engine block of sorts, with brake pads for shoes, a piston head and some sort of weird spark plug for a nose.
As for the Cowardly Lion, that’s where Snagglepuss comes into the story. He was kinda cowardly in nature. Oddly enough, all large cartoon cat characters from the 60’s, such as Snagglepuss and Pete Puma (I loved that guy!!!) have a cowardly nature to them. Perhaps this is a direct influence from the Wizard of Oz stories? Or the movie…
Finally, Toto now comes in white and rides a skateboard. What a hoot!
If that wasn’t enough, the Emerald City looks like something out of the Jetsons.
As you can see, the Flintstones, Yogi Bear, Magilla Gorilla, and even Top Cat got into the act. The one apparent reason behind this was probably due to the fact that there was only voice talent to deal with, without regards to the immense amount of time involved in frame-by-frame animation, unlike today’s computer animation techniques. Take a popular story (Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, ect..) and combine it with a popular cartoon character and voila!!!