Warner Home Video has just re-released Yogi Bear’s All-Star Comedy Christmas Caper, an animated holiday special from 1982. Along with Yogi and Boo Boo, the special features a number of classic Hanna-Barbera characters like Quick Draw McGraw, Huckleberry Hound, Snagglepuss, Doggie Daddy and his son Augie, Hokey Wolf, Snooper, Blabber, Pixie and Dixie, Mr. Jinks, Wally Gator, Yakky Doodle, Magilla Gorilla, and even special appearances by Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble.
The style of the artwork doesn’t look much like the classic Hanna-Barbera cartoons of the 1960s. However, the actors working on the special reads like a list of who’s who of legendary voice talent. The cast, mostly playing their original characters, includes Daws Butler, Don Messick, Henry Corden, Mel Blanc, Allan Melvin, Jimmy Weldon, John Stephenson, Hal Smith, Janet Waldo, and Georgi Irene.
Esteemed comics and TV writer Mark Evanier wrote the special in just two and a half days. Several scripts that were written by others were deemed unacceptable and if Evanier’s wasn’t right, the special would have likely been cancelled. Production was also rushed and the special was barely finished in time to make its air date of December 21, 1982. Evanier notes that some scenes were never finished and some errors stayed because they literally didn’t have time to fix them.
Evanier also says that, when the special first aired, one word was bleeped out by CBS. It wasn’t one of the four-lettered variety that someone snuck into the special. It was a benign mention of Chanukah. At one point, Snagglepuss says, “Merry Christmas! Season’s Greetings! Happy Chanukah even!”.
Though the script had been fully approved, someone at CBS apparently found the mention of the Jewish holiday objectionable at the last minute. Evanier wasn’t sure who made the last minute decision but a friend found the memo from CBS insisting the edit be made. Unfortunately it didn’t include any explanation for the reason behind it. There was no time to rerecord a new line so the “bleep” sounded like an audio glitch.
The special has aired many times over the years and the bleeping wasn’t included. It seems likely that this new DVD release will have Snagglepuss’ “controversial” line intact. We’re expecting to receive our copy soon so we’ll let you know! If you’d like to purchase a copy, you can find it here for just $14.49.
UPDATE: The DVD version doesn’t have the complete line. The word “Chanukah” has been removed. It sounds a bit odd but most probably wouldn’t notice it. It comes at the 14:30 mark.
Here’s a couple clips from Yogi’s Birthday Party!, a rare 1962 special that’s also included on the new DVD.