The Flintstones




The Flintstones is the first animated primetime American television series. It was broadcast from September 30, 1960, to April 1, 1966 on ABC. The show, produced by Hanna-Barbera, fancifully depicts the lives of a working-class Stone Age man, his next-door neighbor/best friend, and their families.

The show's continuing popularity rested heavily on its juxtaposition of modern everyday concerns in the Stone Age setting.[5][6] The Flintstones was the most financially successful network animated franchise for three decades, until The Simpsons debuted decades later.[7] In 2013, TV Guide ranked The Flintstones the second Greatest TV Cartoon of All Time (after The Simpsons)

The show is set in the Stone Age town of Bedrock. In this fantasy version of the past, dinosaurs and other long-extinct animals co-exist with cavemen, saber-toothed cats, and woolly mammoths. Like their mid-20th century counterparts, these cavemen listen to records, live in split-level homes, and eat at restaurants, yet their technology is made entirely from preindustrial materials and powered primarily through the use of animals. For example, the cars are made out of stone, wood, and animal skins, and powered by the passengers' feet.

Animation historian Christopher P. Lehman considers that the series draws its humor in part from creative uses of anachronisms. The main one is the placing of a "modern", 20th-century society in prehistory. This society takes inspiration from the suburban sprawl developed in the first two decades of the postwar period. This society has modern home appliances, but they work by employing animals. They have automobiles, but they hardly resemble the cars of the 20th century. These cars are large wooden structures and burn no fuel. They are powered by people who run while inside them. Finally, the stone houses of this society are cookie-cutter homes positioned into typical neighborhoods. 

As a running gag, often the "prehistoric" analog to a modern machine uses an animal.[10] For example, when a character takes photographs with an instant camera, inside the camera box, a bird carves the picture on a stone tablet with its beak. The animal powering such technology would frequently break the fourth wall, look directly into the camera at the audience and offer a mild complaint about his job. Other commonly seen gadgets in the series include a baby woolly mammoth used as a vacuum cleaner; an adult woolly mammoth acting as a shower by spraying water with its trunk; elevators raised and lowered by ropes around brontosauruses' necks; "automatic" windows powered by monkeys on the outside; birds acting as "car horns", sounded by the driver pulling on their tails or squeezing their bodies; an "electric" razor made from a clam shell, vibrating from a honey bee inside; a pelican as a washing machine, shown with a beakful of soapy water; and a woodpecker whose beak is used to play a gramophone record. In most cases, "The Man of a Thousand Voices", Mel Blanc, contributed the animals' gag lines, often lowering his voice one to two full octaves, far below the range he used to voice the character of Barney Rubble. In the case of the Flintstones' cuckoo clocks, which varied from mechanical toys to live birds announcing the time, when the hour approached 12:00, the bird inside the clock "cuckooing" usually just ran out of steam and gave up vocally, physically, or both.

The Stone Age setting allowed for gags and word plays involving rocks and minerals. For example, San Antonio becomes "Sand-and-Stony-o"; the country to the south of Bedrock's land is called "Mexirock" (Mexico). Travel to "Hollyrock", a parody of Hollywood, usually involves an "airplane" flight — the "plane", in this case, is often shown as a giant pterosaur, with the fuselage strapped to its back. Sun Valley becomes "Stone Valley" and is run by "Conrad Hailstone" (Conrad Hilton). The last names "Flintstone" and "Rubble", as well as other common Bedrock surnames such as "Shale" and "Quartz", are in line with these puns, as are the names of Bedrock's celebrities: "Gina Loadabricks" (Gina Lollobrigida), "Gary Granite" (Cary Grant), "Stony Curtis" (Tony Curtis), "Ed Sullivanstone/Sulleystone" (Ed Sullivan), "Rock Pile/Quarry/Hudstone" (Rock Hudson), "Ann-Margrock" (Ann-Margret), "Jimmy Darrock" (James Darren), "Alvin Brickrock" (Alfred Hitchcock), "Daisy Kilgranite" (Dorothy Kilgallen), "Perry Masonry/Masonite" (Perry Mason as played by Raymond Burr), "Mick Jadestone and The Rolling Boulders" (Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones, called "Mick Jagged and the Stones" in live-action film The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas), "Eppy Brianstone" (Brian Epstein) and "The Beau Brummelstones" (The Beau Brummels). Once, while visiting one of Bedrock's houses of "Haute Couture" with Wilma, Betty even commented on the new "Jackie Kennerock (Jackie Kennedy) look". In some cases, the celebrity featured also provided the voice: "Samantha" and "Darrin" from Bewitched were voiced by Elizabeth Montgomery and Dick York. Examples from the above list include Ann-Margret, Curtis, Darren, and the Beau Brummels. Other celebrities, such as "Ed Sulleystone" and "Alvin Brickrock", were rendered by impersonators. Some of Bedrock's sports heroes include: football player "Red Granite" (Red Grange), wrestler "Bronto Crushrock" (Bronko Nagurski), golfer "Arnold Palmrock" (Arnold Palmer), boxers "Floyd Patterstone" (Floyd Patterson) and "Sonny Listone" (Sonny Liston), and baseball players "Sandy Stoneaxe" (Sandy Koufax), "Lindy McShale" (Lindy McDaniel), "Roger Marble" (Roger Maris), and "Mickey Marble" or "Mickey Mantlepiece" (Mickey Mantle). Ace reporter "Daisy Kilgranite" (Dorothy Kilgallen) was a friend of Wilma. Monster names include "Count Rockula" (Count Dracula), Rockzilla (Godzilla) and "The Frankenstone Monster" (Frankenstein's monster).