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Frederick Joseph "Fred" Flintstone is the main Protagonist of the animated sitcom The Flintstones on ABC. He is the husband of Wilma Flintstone and father of Pebbles Flintstone. His best friends are his next door neighbors, Barney and Betty Rubble, who have a son named Bamm-Bamm. [1]

Fred lives in the fictional prehistoric town of Bedrock, at 345 Cave Stone Road (in some episodes, 1313 Cobblestone Way), a world where dinosaurs coexist with modernized barefoot cavepeople and the cavepeople enjoy "primitive" versions of modern conveniences such as telephones, automobiles, and washing machines. Fred Flinstone's catchphrase is "yabba dabba doo!", which is also heard at the beginning of the theme song and the movie.

Fred has since appeared in various other cartoon spinoffs, live action adaptations and commercials.


ContentsEdit

[hide]*1 Personality and occupation

[edit] Personality and occupationEdit

Fred's personality was based on that of Ralph Kramden of the 1950s television series The Honeymooners and Chester A. Riley from The Life of Riley. Thus, much like Ralph, Fred tends to be loud-mouthed, aggressive, and constantly scheming ways to improve his family's working class lot in life, often with unintended results. Archie Bunker of All in the Family & Archie Bunker's Place and George Jefferson of The Jeffersons also have similar personalities based on Fred Flintstone.

Fred is a typical blue-collar worker, who works as a "bronto crane operator" at Slate Rock and Gravel Company (also known as Rockhead and Quarry Cave Construction Company in the earliest episodes). However, when their children become teenagers, Fred and Barney join the Bedrock police force. Fred and Barney even coached two baseball teams as well.

The Flintstone family came from "Arkenstone" (Arkansas) where they had been engaged in a feud with the "Hatrock" family which had been caused by a ancestor of Fred's making a wisecrack of a Hatrock family portrait. In one episode the feud is ended when Fred helps save a Hatrock baby (and Pebbles) from going over a waterfall only to start up again when Fred makes the very same wisecrack. And in another episode when the "Hatrock" family visited the Flintstone family and being friends until when Bug Music was played & the Hatrocks can't stand the Bug Music. The last of the Arkenstone Flintstones was Fred's Great-uncle Zeke Flintstone. Other Flintstone relatives were Giggles Flintstone - a rich eccentric practical joker whose jokes drive Fred into a mad rage; an "Uncle Tex" and his sister "Aunt Jamima".

Fred's interests include bowling, playing pool, poker, lounging around the house, and playing golf. At the first two of these, he is very skilled, as seen in one of the episodes where he plays against Wilma's unsuspecting mother. Fred has won championships with his incredible bowling skills. In one episode, he goes so far as to take ballet lessons in order to improve his game which led to his nickname "Twinkletoes". The nickname of "Twinkletoes" stuck with him when Fred attended a local college and became eligible to play on their football team, and it became his call sign. Fred is also an excellent golfer. In one episode he wins the championship only to have Barney repossess the winning trophy cup because Fred is behind in his dues. Fred, like Barney, was also a member of the Loyal Order of Water Buffalos Lodge and a member of the Loyal Order of Dinosaurs. Fred also has a serious gambling problem; the mere mention of the word "bet" causes Fred to stammer "bet" over and over again and go on gambling binges.

The original series had several stories regarding TV with Fred as a dupe. In one, Fred makes a fool of himself trying to give Wilma acting lessons after she wins a TV appearance – only for the only part of her to appear on TV is her hands. In another, when Fred wins a TV appearance he tries to act like a "Stage parent" - until he comes down with stage fright. A third time Fred appears on a TV commercial in a non speaking role as a "before" picture of a person before going on a diet. Once, Fred even appeared in a movie, but merely as a stunt double.

Fred's catchphrase "Yabba-Dabba-Doo!" (originally derived from the Brylcreem advertising jingle motto "A Little Dab'll Do Ya!"), becomes the subject of a song by Hoagy Carmichael that the singer-songwriter performs in an episode of The Flintstones. Fred's ability to carry a tune was quite good in his younger years. One early episode was where he did a jam with his musician friend "Hot Lips Hannigan", (with Barney, who is a skilled drummer) where his singing caused teenage girls to swoon. In fact, in one of the earliest episodes, "The Girl's Night Out", he recorded a demo record at a carnival of the song "Listen to the Mockingbird", which ended up making him a star whereupon he took the stage name of "Hi Fye" and toured for two weeks with Wilma, Barney, and Betty. Fred, as Hi Fye, was a hit until Wilma and Betty tired of road life and told teenagers the truth, that Fred was actually a square. As the series progressed, however, his voice became worse and worse, eventually to the point that his housekeeper quit rather than having to hear Fred sing. It was also referenced in the refrain of the 1989 George Jones song, "The King is Gone (And So are You)."

Also in the Flintstones show credits, Fred would beat on the door and scream, "WILMA!"

Due to his impulsive and short-tempered behavior and stubborn and naive nature, Fred Flintstone seems to be accident-prone. He is able to create the biggest confusion, even with the most innocent and mundane action.

[edit] Positive QualitiesEdit

Despite his apparently anti-social character, Fred's actions are shown to be usually free of any malice. And, although he almost constantly shouts and aggravates the people around himself, Fred proves to be a friendly person; often going out of his way to help someone.

Although Fred often annoys Wilma with his immaturity, he proves to be a very caring and loving husband and father. Flintstone is even known to go to great lengths to please his family or apologize when he goes too far.

[edit] Other WomenEdit

In the TV series, and in the movies, Fred has many times shown attraction to other women;

  • Kitty Rockhawk- In the television series, Kitty teaches Fred how to fly a plane, and shows a romantic interest in him, but he is unable to see her after the location of his lessons is turned into a military base.
  • Miss Stone- In the live action film, after Fred is promoted to an executive at Slate & Co, Miss Stone becomes his secretary and makes no secret that she is seducuing him, as she kneels onto his lap when they first meet. Fred and Miss Stone later are flirting with each other and are just about to kiss, but a furious Wilma walks in. It is revealed that Miss Stone was only interested in him to distract him from finding out about Cliff's plan to frame him. However, she later regrets what she did and saves Fred's life. After she is arrested for helping Cliff, Fred tells her he'll tell the police that she saved him, and to which she replies by hinting an offer at a true fling between the two once she is released, an idea that he is clearly happy with.
  • Maggie- In "A Flintstones Christmas Carol", Maggie plays Fred's love interest in Bedrock's production of A Christmas Carol, and the two are having a real romance behind Wilma's back. She often shows up at the quarry he works at and seduces him, much to the jealousy of the other quarry workers. Wilma later finds out and becomes furious at Fred.

In "A Man Called Flintstone", Fred's undercover mission forces him to romance several wealthy Russian women, all of whom believe they are marrying him. This film is the only time in any Flintstones franchise that Fred kisses any other women besides Wilma, although he almost kissed both Miss Stone and Maggie.

[edit] PortrayalEdit

[edit] Appearances in other Hanna Barbera mediaEdit

  • For many years Fred Flintstone (as well as other characters from the show) was used to advertise 'Amber', an Australian company that sold pavers and tiles. In some advertisement, a variant of Fred's catchphrase was changed to "Only Amber tiles will do".
  • Fred and Barney once appeared as guest stars in Yogi's Space Race.
  • Fred also appeared in some episodes of 1977-1978's Laff-a-Lympics as guest.
  • A statue of Fred and Barney appears in an art museum in an episode of Top Cat.
  • Fred Flintstone was the guest of honor at a celebrity roast for his birthday in the live-action and animated TV special Hanna-Barbera's All-Star Comedy Ice Revue (1977) hosted by Roy Clark and Bonnie Franklin which featured the Ice Capades.
  • Fred Flintstone appeared in the short movie trailer, Raging Fred, a redub of Flintstones clips with dialogue from the movie Raging Bull.
  • Fred Flintstone appeared alongside Barney Rubble street Santasin Yogi Bear's All Star Comedy Christmas Caper, in which Snagglepuss asked them if they had seen J. Wellington Jones, in response to which they suggested he ask that question of an old lady. She screamed in fear of Snagglepuss, then Fred and Barney attacked him, purportedly for entertainment purposes.
  • Fred Flintstone appeared in the Johnny Bravo episode "A Page Right Out of History" voiced by Jeff Bergman. He saved Johnny Bravo's ancestor of the same name and Johnny repayed Fred by working for him.
  • Fred Flintstone appeared in the Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law episode "The Dabba Don" voiced by Maurice LaMarche. He was suspected of being an organized crime lord.
  • James Arnold Taylor voiced Fred Flintstone who appeared in the The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy episode Modern Primitives. In which Billy after digging him up in a block of ice adopts him as his pet and calls him "Jake Steele", eventually he gets loose and after colliding with an ice cream truck he ends up frozen again and Billy reburies him in his backyard. At the end, he is once again freed from his "ice-prison" (along with Billy), only to have his brain eaten by gigantic alien creatures (much of Fred's chagrin).
  • In the crossover film The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones, Fred and Barney become spokesmen for Spacely Sprockets and Cogswell Cogs respectively.
  • Fred Flinstone and Barney Rubble both appear as guests in a 1996 video called "Kids for Character".

[edit] AdvertisingEdit

During the first several seasons of The Flintstones series, Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble were pitchmen for Winston cigarettes, the show's sponsor at the time. In one Winston ad, Fred and Barney saw the men working hard at the quarry and decided to retire out of sight for a smoke break. After extolling the virtues of the Winston brand cigarette, Fred lit up his cigarette and delivered the catch phrase: "Winston tastes good like a cigarette should." Another similar ad for the cigarettes featured Wilma and Betty as well; the women were working hard mowing the lawn and beating dust out of a rug while Fred and Barney smoked behind the house. Vignettes also aired in which Fred lit Wilma's Winston cigarette, and the couple shared a smoke. Campaigns such as this contributed to cigarette advertising of all kinds being banned from television beginning in 1970.[citation needed]

During later seasons of the original series, after the arrival of daughter Pebbles, she was often seen drinking or requesting grape juice. This was at a time when Welch Company (makers of grape juice and other juices) was a major sponsor of the show. Several cross-promotions were spawned by this sponsorship.

In the mid-1970s, the Flintstones cast were featured pitching a juice drink called "Yabba Dabba Dew." The drink was sold in large aluminum cans, similar to Hi-C. The commercial played a catchy jingle that went "Yabba Dabba Dew, Ooh Ooh Ooh. Yabba Dabba Dew, Ooh Ooh Ooh. It's the new, fun fruit drink made just for YOU. Yabba Dabba Dew!"

With Barney Rubble, Fred has been a pitchman for Post Cereals' Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa Pebbles breakfast cereals. The commercials typically feature Barney trying to trick Fred out of his cereal, usually ending with Fred bellowing, "Barney, my Pebbles!" as Barney runs off with Fred's cereal - a notable exception being a 1989 Christmas-themed commercial in which Santa Claus reminds him that "'Tis the season to be sharing, Fred," whereupon Fred then says "Happy holidays, pal", and willingly shares his cereal with both Barney and Santa.

In Autumn 2005, Fred and Barney began appearing in Midas Muffler television commercials. Fred appears in a 2007 GEICO Insurance commercial which spoofs the money-saving methods of a blue-collar working man and how he and wife, Wilma, were able to afford a necklace "with huge rocks." It turns out saving money with GEICO really is so easy even a caveman can do it.

Fred was the spokesman for a Rhode Island bank until it went out of business in the 1980s-'90s. The bank, The Providence Institution for Savings, known as Old Stone Bank, featured Fred in its commercials, saying, "Yabba-Dabba-Doo! Love that Old Stone Bank!" The Bank was also one of the first to offer full service Automated Teller Machines (ATM) which were named "Ready Freddy" and included a picture of Fred until the Bank decided to terminate its contract with Hanna Barbera to use the likeness. The machines were so popular that people often referred to ATMs at other banks as "Ready Freddies."

Fred has also been spotted working for a company using the alias 'Terry Crane'.

[edit] Other languagesEdit

  • When the series was broadcast in Spanish-speaking countries, Fred and Wilma's names became Pedro (Pedro, Peter in Spanish as being close to 'piedra' which means 'stone') and Vilma Picapiedra ('picapiedra' translating to something like 'stone chiseler' or 'stone hammerer'), and Barney and Betty Rubble became Pablo and Betty Mármol ('marble'), though in Portuguese (which is quite similar to Spanish), the names remained intact. The Spanish version featured Mexican actor Jorge "Tata" Arvizu doing the voice of Pedro Picapiedra, who frequently ad-libbed comments not traceable to the original English language script. Some critics (and a few Hanna-Barbera executives, Arvizu once claimed), found these ad-libbed comments funnier than those in the original English track. A classic example is an episode in which Fred suggests to Barney that two music-playing boarder youths who rented rooms at their respective houses be ejected from them "de una patada en la rabadilla" ("with a kick in their rumps"), a line not featured in the English script.

[edit] ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ The Flintstones The Museum of Broadcast Communications

[edit] Further readingEdit

Yabba Dabba Doo! The Alan Reed Story, by Alan Reed and Ben Ohmart. Albany, 2009. ISBN #1-59393-313-4.

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