The Hillbilly Bears

The Hillbilly Bears is an animated television series produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions which aired as a segment on The Atom Ant/Secret Squirrel Show from October 2, 1965 to September 7, 1967.[1]

The Hillbilly Bears
The Hillbilly Bears title card.
Title card
Directed byWilliam Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Voices ofHenry Corden
Jean Vander Pyl
Don Messick
Paul Frees
Theme music composerHoyt Curtin
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes26
ProducersWilliam Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Running time6 minutes (per short)
Production companyHanna-Barbera Productions
DistributorScreen Gems
Original networkNBC
Original releaseOctober 2, 1965 (1965-10-02) –
September 7, 1967 (1967-09-07)
Related showsThe Atom Ant/Secret Squirrel Show


The Hillbilly Bears, played on a social stereotype of the "hillbilly", with a gun-toting, mumbling father Paw Rugg (voiced by Henry Corden) who was always "feudin" (the "feudin" was usually a lethargic operation, in which the protagonists fired the same bullet back and forth from the comfort of their rocking chairs) with their neighbors, the Hoppers.[2]

Paw Rugg's voice was a low mumble, splattered with a few understandable words. Particularly in the first episodes, Paw Rugg's voice was incomprehensible; his speech improved with the later segments. His wife Maw (voiced by Jean Vander Pyl) was a homemaker who appeared as the more level-headed parent. Their daughter Floral (also voiced by Jean Vander Pyl) had lemon-colored fur (as opposed to the darker-colored fur of Maw, Paw and Shag); she was the Southern belle and most sophisticated member of the family. Shag (the youngest and smallest of the clan, voiced by Don Messick) was a troublemaker who looked up to his father. The voices and personas of Floral and Shag were nearly identical to Judy Jetson and Elroy from The Jetsons respectively.

List of episodesEdit

Season 1 (1965-66)Edit

Ep Title Air date
11"Detour for Sure"October 2, 1965 (1965-10-02)
A construction crew is attempting to evict Maw and Paw Rugg out of their house so they can put in a new highway; however, the Ruggs are content to stay right where they are.
22"Woodpecked"October 9, 1965 (1965-10-09)
A woodpecker is disturbing Maw's beauty rest; Paw and Shag try to get rid of it, but it outwits them at every turn.
33"Anglers Aweigh"October 16, 1965 (1965-10-16)
Maw sends Paw to catch a catfish for their dinner and Paw gets more than he bargains for when he runs into Ol' Whiskers.
44"Stranger Than Friction"October 23, 1965 (1965-10-23)
Disgusted with Paw's shooting strangers, Maw makes him swear to invite the next one to dinner: then along comes an escaped chimpanzee.
55"Goldilocks and the Four Bears"October 30, 1965 (1965-10-30)
A movie star named Goldy Looks gets a flat tire and finds the Ruggs' house while looking for help; she ends up eating their food and sleeping in their beds. She runs off when the Ruggs get home with an idea for a movie.
66"Going, Going Gone Gopher"November 6, 1965 (1965-11-06)
Paw is put in charge of guarding the garden when Maw goes to town, but he winds up having to defend it from a very hungry gopher.
77"Courtin' Disaster"November 13, 1965 (1965-11-13)
A truce is called between the Ruggs and the Hoppers so that Floral and Claude can begin dating.
88"Picnic Panicked"November 20, 1965 (1965-11-20)
At the annual Hog Waller picnic, Claude Hopper chases Floral, hoping to share her picnic basket, while Paw chases Claude.
99"Judo Kudos"November 27, 1965 (1965-11-27)
Sumo, the Japanese fighting bear, is on his way to the circus when he falls out of the truck when it hits a bump; Sumo helps Paw learn karate so he can use it on his rival, Claude Hopper.
1010"Just Plane Around"December 4, 1965 (1965-12-04)
The experimental plane X-Ray-X lands near the Rugg house and Paw goes for an unexpected ride with Agent 00700 and his pal, who are trying to steal the plane.
1111"War Games"December 11, 1965 (1965-12-11)
The Pentagon decides to conduct war games in the Ruggs' backyard.
1212"Bricker Brats"December 18, 1965 (1965-12-18)
Shag and the Hopper boy keep getting into fights over who has the toughest dad, threatening to start the feud back up.
1313"Slap Happy Grandpappy"December 25, 1965 (1965-12-25)
Grandpa Rugg comes for a visit, much to the excitement of Floral and Shag; Grandpa wants to shoot some Hoppers, not knowing that Paw has just ended the feud with them.
1414"Pooped Pops"January 1, 1966 (1966-01-01)
It is July and time for Paw's yearly bath; when he is finished, Maw makes Paw play a Robin Hood game with Shag, even though he is very tired.
1515"Leaky Creek"January 8, 1966 (1966-01-08)
Maw sends Paw down to the creek to take a bath, even though he just took one last year and does not think he needs another one; but when he gets to the creek he finds it has gone dry due to a pesky beaver that has built a dam.
1616"My Fair Hillbilly"January 15, 1966 (1966-01-15)
Maw is tired of Paw being such a slob, so she sends him to the J.P. Snobbs School of Charm and they try to turn Paw into a gentleman.
1717"Rickety-Rockety-Raccoon"January 22, 1966 (1966-01-22)
Paw battles with Rickety Raccoon after he steals eggs from the Ruggs' hen house.
1818"Modern Inconvenience"January 29, 1966 (1966-01-29)
Maw and Paw are selected as the Hillbilly Family of the Month by Good Hillbillying Magazine and are given every modern convenience for one month.
1919"Rabbit Rumble"February 5, 1966 (1966-02-05)
Maw sends Paw and Shag to hunt for a rabbit for dinner.
2020"Speckled Heckler"February 12, 1966 (1966-02-12)
Professor Beetlebottom arrives at the Rugg house looking for a rare butterfly, the Speckled Fleeby Doo, and offers a $1,000 reward if the Ruggs capture one alive.

Season 2 (1966-67)Edit

Ep Title Air date
211"Whirly Bear"September 10, 1966 (1966-09-10)
Paw goes on an unexpected ride while trying to fix the windmill.
222"Saucy Saucers"September 17, 1966 (1966-09-17)
Paw is captured by aliens who take him back to their planet for observation.
233"Chipper Chirper"September 24, 1966 (1966-09-24)
Paw is out hunting a meal for dinner when Maw's pet bird gets out of its cage and runs away.
244"Gettin' Paw's Goat"October 1, 1966 (1966-10-01)
Paw battles with the neighbor's goat that is eating everything in the garden.
255"Buzzin' Cuzzins"October 8, 1966 (1966-10-08)
Gorzo the Wild Man escapes from a truck delivering him to the circus and is mistaken for Paw's cousin Fud when he shows up at the cabin.
266"Do the Bear"October 15, 1966 (1966-10-15)
Maw tries to wake up Paw from his between-naps rest period so he can go to the store for her; then music producers offer Paw a lifetime music contract after hearing him play the guitar in the store.


Home videoEdit

GoodTimes Home Video (under their Kids Klassics label) released a VHS tape of The Hillbilly Bears in the 1980s, which has long since gone out of print.

The episode "Woodpecked" is available on the DVD Saturday Morning Cartoons 1960's vol. 1.

The episode "Picnic Panicked" is available on the DVD Saturday Morning Cartoons 1960's Vol. 2.

Other appearancesEdit

The Hillbilly Bears appeared in Yogi's Ark Lark and its spin-off series Yogi's Gang.[3]

Paw and Maw Rugg appeared in Yogi's Treasure Hunt.

The Hillbilly Bears appeared in a Cartoon Network Shortie, "Miss Understanding," where Maw takes them on a Jerry Springer-like show due to the fact she cannot understand Paw, although the audience assumes that she means she does not "understand" him in the sense that she does not know who he is anymore. This results in Paw shooting on the wall with his gun the sentence "I luv you Maw".

On the Dexter's Laboratory episode, "Chubby Cheese", an animatronic Paw Rugg is seen playing the xylophone during Chubby's song.

The Hillbilly Bears appear in the Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law episode "Guitar Control" defending their home from the SWAT team and Bear. Paw Rugg's name can also be seen in Harvey's black book in "BabySitter" and Paw can be seen using a crowbar to tear off the logo for Sebben and Sebben in "The Death of Harvey."

Paw and Maw Rugg had a minor cameo in the Wacky Races episode "Grandfather Knows Dast" with Paw Rugg voiced by Billy West and Maw Rugg voiced by Jill Talley.

Paw Rugg and the rest of his family will all appear in the upcoming HBO Max original series Jellystone![4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Woolery, George W. (1983). Children's Television: The First Thirty-Five Years, 1946-1981, Part I: Animated Cartoon Series. Scarecrow Press. pp. 27–29. ISBN 0-8108-1557-5. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  2. ^ Rovin, Jeff (1991). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Cartoon Animals. Prentice Hall Press. pp. 120–121. ISBN 0-13-275561-0. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  3. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 99–100. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  4. ^

External linksEdit