Snagglepuss is a Hanna-Barbera cartoon character created in 1959, a pink anthropomorphic mountain lion sporting an upturned collar, shirt cuffs, and a string tie who has a great desire to be a stage actor. He is voiced by Daws Butler and is best known for his catchphrases: "Heavens to Murgatroyd!", "Exit, stage left!", and "Heavens to Betsy!"
|The Yogi Bear Show character|
|First appearance||The Quick Draw McGraw Show (1959)|
|Created by||William Hanna
|Voiced by||Daws Butler (1959–1988)
Greg Burson (1989–2002)
Jeff Bergman (commercials, The Funtastic Four)
Billy West (commercials)
Stephen Stanton (MetLife commercial)
Victor Yerrid (Robot Chicken)
Chris Edgerly (Drawn Together)
A similar-looking orange mountain lion, known as "Snaggletooth" and without collar or cuffs, first appeared in The Quick Draw McGraw Show in 1959, before appearing as a supporting character in Augie Doggie & Doggie Daddy and Snooper & Blabber. Snagglepuss appeared in his own series of shorts in 1961, becoming a regular segment on The Yogi Bear Show, featuring in a total of 32 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.
When the character of Snagglepuss was used for a series of Kellogg's cereal television commercials in the 1960s, Bert Lahr filed a lawsuit, claiming that the similarity of the Snagglepuss voice to his own might cause viewers to falsely conclude that Lahr was endorsing the product. As part of the settlement, the disclaimer "Snagglepuss voice by Daws Butler" was required to appear on each commercial, thus making Butler one of the few voice artists to receive a screen credit in a TV commercial.
In 2017, Snagglepuss appeared in a eight-page story in Suicide Squad/Banana Splits Annual #1 by Mark Russell where he is portrayed as a homosexual Tennessee Williams-type playwright in 1950s America. This was followed by the 2018 six-issue miniseries Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles in where it is revealed to be a prequel to the original shorts.
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.
Butler's voice characterization is reminiscent of the more soft-spoken aspect of Bert Lahr's broad-ranging characterizations, specifically the Cowardly Lion in the 1939 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film The Wizard of Oz. (Coincidentally, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera directed the Tom and Jerry cartoons for the MGM cartoon studio before opening Hanna-Barbera Productions in 1957.)
Snagglepuss has three signature catchphrases. His most famous is his perpetual exclamation, "Heavens to Murgatroyd!" – a line first uttered by Bert Lahr in the film Meet the People (1944). Before dashing off (whether to escape or for some other reason), he exclaims "Exit, stage left!" (or stage right, and sometimes even up or down), a phrase used in theatrical stage directions. Finally, Snagglepuss tends to add the word "even" to the end of his statements. This is done in a number of different ways:
- After emphasizing a previous statement ("Somebody hurt! In dire pain, even!").
- After stating a synonymous phrase ("On account of I must be a little rusty. Stale, even").
- In a grammatically correct way, though out of order in the sentence ("I wonder if he knows my telephone number, even").
- Simply added as an exclamation ("Heavens to Murgatroyd! A veritabububble frankenmouse monster, even!").
Snagglepuss's pink color, lisping voice and theatrical manner of speaking have been interpreted as the character being gay. This is explored in Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles, a 2018 comic miniseries from DC Comics and Hanna-Barbera. Written by Mark Russell, Snagglepuss is portrayed as a gay playwright in the style of Tennessee Williams, living as a closeted homosexual while being targeted by the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1950s America.
- Major Operation
- Feud for Thought
- Live and Lion
- Fraidy Cat Lion
- Lions Share Sheriff
- Cagey Lion
- Royal Ruckus
- The Roaring Lion
- Paws for Applause
- Knights and Daze
- The Gangsters All Here
- Having a Bowl
- Diaper Desperado
- Arrow Error
- Twice Shy
- Cloak and Stagger
- Remember Your Lions
- Remember the Daze
- Express Trained Lion
- Jangled Jungle
- Lion Tracks
- Fight Fright
- Spring Hits a Snag
- Legal Eagle Lion
- Don't Know It Poet
- Tail Wag Snag
- Rent and Rave
- Footlight Fright
- One Two Many
- Royal Rodent
- Be My Ghost
- Charge That Lion
- Snagglepuss appeared in Yogi's Ark Lark (1972) and Yogi's Gang (1972). In Yogi's Gang, he is often referred to as a tiger and not a mountain lion.
- Snagglepuss acted as a co-host with Mildew Wolf from the Cattanooga Cats segment "It's the Wolf" on Scooby's All-Star Laff-A-Lympics and Scooby's All-Stars (1977–79).
- Snagglepuss made a special guest appearance at a celebrity roast honoring Fred Flintstone in the TV special Hanna-Barbera's All-Star Comedy Ice Revue (1978).
- Snagglepuss was a regular in Yogi's Treasure Hunt.
- In the "Fender Bender 500" segment of Wake, Rattle, and Roll, Snagglepuss (voiced by Greg Burson) was paired up with Huckleberry Hound as they drove a monster truck called the Half-Dog, Half-Cat, Half-track; it resembled a portable stage, which was perfectly appropriate for both Huck and Snag.
- Snagglepuss appeared in three television films which were part of the Hanna-Barbera Superstars 10 series:
- Snagglepuss appeared in A Yabba Dabba Doo Celebration: 50 Years of Hanna-Barbera (1989).
- Snagglepuss also appeared in the animated holiday specials Casper's First Christmas (1979) and Yogi's First Christmas (1980).
- Snagglepuss was featured as a teenager in Yo Yogi!, again voiced by Greg Burson.
- Snagglepuss was seen in a Cartoon Network Rap in 1995.
- Snagglepuss was depicted in DC Comics' 6-issue comic miniseries, Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles by writer Mark Russell and artist Mike Feehan, as a gay playwright living in New York City. The first issue was released on January 3, 2018.
- In The Simpsons episode "Lady Bouvier's Lover" (May 12, 1994), Comic Book Guy shows Bart a cel of Snagglepuss as an example of a cel that is actually worth something, as opposed to the cel of Scratchy's arm that Bart was trying to sell to him.
- In The Simpsons episode "Sweet Seymour Skinner's Baadasssss Song" (April 28, 1994), Miss Hoover reminds Ralph Wiggum that he once reported seeing Snagglepuss outside in the hallway. Ralph responds, "he was going to the bathroom".
- In the adult animated sitcom Drawn Together, Snagglepuss is featured in the episode "Gay Bash", but his face is blurred, referencing how strangers are blurred on reality programs. He is voiced by Chris Edgerly.
- Snagglepuss made two cameos in a MetLife commercial in 2012, titled "Everyone". In a behind the scenes video, Snagglepuss (voiced by Stephen Stanton) acts and rehearses in front of the director of the ad, only for the director to tell him he does not have any speaking roles in the ad, and in response, Snagglepuss storms out of the trailer.
- On a Season 34: Episode 8 "Weekend Update" segment on Saturday Night Live (November 15, 2008), Bobby Moynihan appears in costume as Snagglepuss to comment on California's ban on gay marriage. During the segment, Snagglepuss is outed by anchor Seth Meyers and then confesses that his domestic partner is fellow Hanna-Barbera cartoon character The Great Gazoo, who also makes a cameo.
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- "DC's 'Gay, Southern Gothic' Snagglepuss Comic Introduces Augie Doggie".
- "DC's Gay Snagglepuss Is Now Officially Hanna-Barbera Canon".
- Liberman, Mark (October 6, 2013). "Snagglepuss: early avatar of emphatic even". Language Log.
- Hughes, William (31 January 2017). "New comic series reimagines Snagglepuss as a gay 1950s playwright". AV Club. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
- Abad-Santos, Alex (17 December 2017). "The Snagglepuss Chronicles is the first great comic book of 2018".
- "THIS: Look at those cavemen go – HiLobrow". Retrieved 8 February 2017.