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Yogi Bear

Yogi Bear
The Yogi Bear Show character
First appearance Yogi Bear's Big Break (1958)
Created by William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Ed Benedict
Portrayed by Daws Butler (1958 - 1988)
Greg Burson (1988 - 1994)
Jeff Bergman (1990s commercials)
Stephen Worth (Boo Boo Runs Wild, Boo Boo and the Man)
Dan Aykroyd (film)
Species Bear
Gender Male
Relatives Boo-Boo Bear (best friend)
Ranger Smith (rival/friend)
Cindy Bear (girlfriend)

Yogi Bear is a family cartoon character who has appeared in numerous comic books, animated television shows and films. He made his debut in 1958 as a supporting character in The Huckleberry Hound Show. Yogi Bear was the first breakout character created by Hanna-Barbera and was eventually more popular than Huckleberry Hound.[1] In January 1961, he was given his own show, The Yogi Bear Show, sponsored by Kellogg's, which included the segments Snagglepuss and Yakky Doodle.[2] Hokey Wolf replaced his segment on The Huckleberry Hound Show.[3] A musical animated feature film, Hey There, It's Yogi Bear!, was produced in 1964. Yogi was one of several Hanna-Barbera characters to have a collar. This allowed animators to keep his body static, redrawing only his head in each Film frame when he spoke. This reduced the number of drawings needed for a seven-minute cartoon from around 14,000 to around 2,000.[4]


  • Personality 1
  • Catchphrases 2
  • Portrayers 3
  • Media 4
    • Television series 4.1
    • Films and specials 4.2
    • Video games 4.3
    • Albums 4.4
    • Live action/Animated feature film 4.5
    • Songs 4.6
    • Spümcø Ranger Smith and Boo Boo shorts 4.7
    • Broadcasts 4.8
  • Comic books 5
  • DVD release 6
  • In popular culture 7
  • Licensing 8
  • See also 9
  • Notes 10
  • External links 11


Yogi sign advising young National Park visitors not to feed the bears

Like many Hanna-Barbera characters, Yogi's personality and mannerisms were based on a popular celebrity of the time. Art Carney's Ed Norton character on The Honeymooners was said to be Yogi's inspiration;[5][6] his voice mannerisms broadly mimic Carney as Norton.[7] Norton, in turn, received influence from Borscht Belt and comedians of vaudeville.[6]

Yogi's name was similar to that of contemporary baseball star Yogi Berra, who was known for his amusing quotes such as "half the lies they tell about me aren't true." Berra sued Hanna-Barbera for defamation but their management claimed that the similarity of the names was just a coincidence. Berra withdrew his suit but the defense was considered implausible and sources now report that Berra was the inspiration for the name.[8] Hanna-Barbera also had a contemporary character Augie Doggie whose name bore similarity to baseball umpire Augie Donatelli.

The plot of most of Yogi's cartoons centered on his antics in the fictional Jellystone Park, a takeoff on the famous Yellowstone National Park. Yogi, accompanied by his constant companion Boo-Boo Bear, would often try to steal picnic baskets from campers in the park, much to the displeasure of Park Ranger Smith. Yogi's girlfriend, Cindy Bear, sometimes appeared and usually disapproved of Yogi's antics.


Besides often speaking in rhyme, Yogi Bear had a number of catchphrases, including his pet name for picnic baskets ("pic-a-nic baskets") and his favorite self-promotion ("I'm smarter than the av-er-age bear!"),[9] although he often overestimates his own cleverness. Another characteristic of Yogi was his deep and silly voice. He often greets the ranger with a cordial, "Hello, Mr. Ranger, sir!" and "Hey there, Boo Boo!" as his preferred greeting to his sidekick, Boo Boo. Yogi would also often use puns in his speech, and have a habit of pronouncing large words with a long vocal flourish.


From the time of the character's debut until 1988, Yogi was voiced by voice actor Daws Butler. Butler died in 1988; his last performance as Yogi was in the television film Yogi and the Invasion of the Space Bears. After Butler's death, Greg Burson stepped in to perform the role (Butler had taught Burson personally how to voice Yogi as well as his other characters). Greg Burson died in 2008. Jeff Bergman also performed the character throughout the 1990s for various Cartoon Network commercials and bumpers. In the Yogi Bear film, the character is voiced by actor Dan Aykroyd. In the animated stop motion sketch comedy show Robot Chicken created by Seth Green, Dan Milano voiced Yogi Bear.[10]

Daws Butler originated the character's voice


Television series

Films and specials

Video games


Live action/Animated feature film

A live-action/animated film titled Yogi Bear was released by Warner Bros. in December 2010. The movie featured Dan Aykroyd as the voice of Yogi Bear. The film, adapting the television series, follows the adventures of Yogi Bear and his pal Boo-Boo in Jellystone Park, as they avoid Ranger Smith who is trying to stop Yogi from stealing picnic baskets.


"Yogi" by the Ivy Three (1960), sung in a voice mimicking Yogi Bear. The song reached no. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100

Spümcø Ranger Smith and Boo Boo shorts

In 1999, animator John Kricfalusi's Spümcø company created and directed two Yogi cartoons, A Day in the Life of Ranger Smith and Boo Boo Runs Wild. Both shorts aired that year on the Cartoon Network as part of a Yogi Bear special. "Boo Boo Runs Wild" features a fight between Yogi and Ranger Smith, which was edited heavily for broadcast for both violence and torture situations.

In 2003, Spümcø created another Boo Boo cartoon, Boo Boo and the Man, which was made with Macromedia Flash and released on Cartoon Network's website.

A music video (known as a "Cartoon Groovie") for Yogi Bear airs on Cartoon Network and Boomerang. It showcases clips of Yogi and Boo Boo stealing picnic baskets and annoying Ranger Smith.


Yogi Bear is currently aired by Cartoon Network's sister channel, Boomerang.

In the Hanna-Barbera Personal Favorites video, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera picked their favorite Yogi Bear episodes, including the very first one, "Yogi Bear's Big Break", and Yogi meeting some storybook friends: The Three Little Pigs, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Little Red Riding Hood.

Comic books

Over the years, several publishers have released Yogi Bear comic books.

  • Gold Key Comics was first, with a title that ran 33 issues from 1962–70.
  • Charlton Comics then did a title for 35 issues from 1970–77.
  • Marvel Comics did a title for 9 issues in 1977.
  • Harvey Comics then did several titles for a total of 10 issues in 1992–94.
  • Archie Comics regularly featured Yogi Bear stories in the anthology comics Hanna-Barbera All-Stars and Hanna-Barbera Presents. After the cancellation of both titles, Archie Comics put out one issue of a Yogi Bear comic
  • DC Comics semi-regularly featured Yogi in Cartoon Network Presents.

The Yogi Bear comic strip began February 5, 1961.[12] Created by Gene Hazelton and distributed by the McNaught Syndicate, it ran from 1961 to 1988.

Hanna-Barbera produced an instructional comic book on earthquake preparedness called Yogi's Quakey Shakey Van.[13]

DVD release

On November 15, 2005, Warner Home Video released the complete series on DVD R1.

DVD Name Ep # Release Date Additional Information
The Yogi Bear Show – The Complete Series 33 November 15, 2005
  • Collectible animation cel
  • Original episode with bridges and bumpers
  • Never-before-seen animation sketches come to life
  • Yogi gets global: One episode in a variety of languages
  • Featurette on the art of Hanna-Barbera sound

In popular culture

  • Yogi Bear appears in 4 MAD segments: "Law and Ogre", "Yu-gi Bear", "Frankenwinnie" and "Here Comes Yogi Boo Boo".
  • Yogi and Boo Boo cameo on an episode of The Flintstones, stealing Fred and Wilma's "pic-a-nic basket".
  • In The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, Yogi Bear (voiced by Dave Fouquette) and Boo-Boo appear in the episode "Here Thar Be Dwarves!" where they try to steal Billy's picnic basket. They are depicted as overweight, dirty, and having primal, animalistic tendencies. Billy runs into a cave and teases them, claiming they can't follow him in there. Yogi, in response, says "He's right, Boo-Boo. We bears are terribly afraid of caves." Boo-Boo replies, "Why are we so lame, Yogi?" Yogi is later seen at a karaoke bar where he is among those watching Billy do karaoke. He later appears in the episode "Irwin Gets a Clue" as one of several Hanna-Barbera characters to be run into by Hoss Delgado's truck.
  • In "Five Nights at Freddy's" As noted in Genius Bonus and Freeze-Frame Bonus in the trivia section, the distorted messages on night 5 translate to lines from "Autobiography of a Yogi". Said distorted quotes are coming from a cartoon bear.[14]


  • Yogi Bear lends his name to a chain of recreational vehicle and camping parks ("Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp Resorts"[15]), with the first opening in 1969 in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. As of 2011, over 70 locations have hosted the parks.
  • There is also one restaurant remaining from the chain bearing Yogi's name, "Yogi Bear's Honey Fried Chicken," in Hartsville, South Carolina.

See also


  1. ^ Mallory, Michael. Hanna-Barbera Cartoons. New York: Hugh Lauter Levin Associates, 1998. ISBN 0-88363-108-3. p. 44.
  2. ^ Sennett, Ted. The Art of Hanna-Barbera: Fifty Years of Creativity. New York: Viking Penguin, 1989. ISBN 0-670-82978-1. pp. 63–64.
  3. ^ Sennett, p. 52.
  4. ^ "Hanna Barbera's golden age of animation", BBC, December 19, 2006
  5. ^ Sennett, p. 60.
  6. ^ a b Anthony, Breznican. "Yogi Bear gets a digital makeover." USA Today n.d.: Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. Dec. 9, 2010. "Yogi, as voiced by Daws Butler in the early 1960s, was a takeoff on Art Carney's Ed Norton from The Honeymooners -- itself a character heavily influenced by the Borscht Belt and vaudeville comics."
  7. ^ Sennett, p. 59.
  8. ^ Laura Lee (2000), The Name's Familiar II, Pelican Publishing, p. 93,  
  9. ^ Mallory, p. 44.
  10. ^ "Dan Milano - Voice Actor Profile at Voice Chasers". September 10, 1972. Retrieved 2013-02-01. 
  11. ^ "A website about unreleased video games". Lost Levels. September 22, 2008. Retrieved 2013-02-01. 
  12. ^ "1961 Timeline: February 5. Animation sensation Yogi Bear is the star of a new comic strip overseen by Gene Hazelton." American Comic Book Chronicles: 1960-64 by John Wells, TwoMorrows Publishing, 2012, page 42.
  13. ^ Barbera, Joseph (1994). My Life in "Toons": From Flatbush to Bedrock in Under a Century. Atlanta, GA:  
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Find A Park | Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts". Retrieved 2013-02-01. 

External links

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