Help! It’s the Hair Bear Bunch Producer Spill on How Joe Flynn Didn’t Work as Joe Flynn

Hair Bear BunchWarner Archives is slowly working their way through all of the 1970’s Hanna-Barbera cartoons and the latest is Help! It’s the Hair Bear Bunch!

This newly remastered bit of wackiness contains 16-episodes on two discs. Plot? Of course there’s a plot, also some amazing voice actors.

In the Wonderland Zoo, there are the certain bears who stay at home every night and never quarrel or fight – and then there’s the Hair Bear Bunch, the heppest, savviest and silliest ursines to ever crash out of a zoo. Their bear cave transforms from stone and straw to a swinging, scientific bachelor bear pad at the touch of a button – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Quick-talking Hair (voiced by Daws Butler), befuddling curlicue talker Bubi (Paul Winchell) and master of the invisible motorcycle, the zen-drawling Square Bear (William Callaway) are more than a match for their “keepers” – Mr. Eustace P. Peevly (John Stephenson) and Botch (Joe E. Ross). And that’s even before the other delightful denizens of Wonderland Zoo are always ready to help the Bears in their bigger-than-the-zoo schemes.

Joe Ruby and Ken Spears produced the series and they want to let Hair Bear fans in on a little secret.

“The main character was supposed to be a take-off on Joe Flynn’s character in McHale’s Navy,” Spears recalls. “That was a big deal, so we went out and recruited Joe Flynn to do the voice. Only problem was
that it just didn’t work.

“Joe obviously knew the character, but he was one of those guys that you really had to see him do the role. It didn’t translate to the voice in the animation. So we had to get somebody to impersonate Joe Flynn to play the Joe Flynn role.”

They ended up casting John Stephenson, who was the voice of Mr. Slate on The Flinstones. John did such an excellent job imitating Joe Flynn, that everyone always assumes it’s Flynn himself voicing Mr. Eustace P. Peevly.

You can pick up a copy of Help! It’s the Hair Bear Bunch!: The Complete Animated Series from Amazon. Then check out all the great cartoons from the Warner Archive Collection.

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