Television Sitcoms and their Influence on Animated Sitcoms
During the early days of television, the situation comedy became a popular form of programming and the most successful example of this genre would have to be "The
Honeymooners". CBS aired the 39 classic episodes between 1955 and 1956 and the characters created within this sitcom were so popular and enduring that they can still be
seen in syndication today. The popularity of the domestic situation comedy "The Honeymooners" caught the attention of Bill Hanna, and Joe Barbera. "The Flintstones"
was the first animated sitcom shown in prime-time television, premiering on ABC on September 30 1960. Hanna-Barbera was the first animation studio to produce prime time cartoons, prior to "The Flintstones" cartoons were only a few minutes long and contained several story lines. The similarities in "The Honeymooners" and "The Flintstones" are undeniable and the success of these programs produced the structure for today's most
popular live action and animated sitcoms like the landmark show, "All in the Family" and the longest running animated sitcom in history, "The Simpsons".
Gleason laid the framework for the typical head of the household character in a sitcom. Ralph Kramden was an overweight, loud, and obnoxious lower middle class working man that constantly fought with his wife, Alice and belittled his best friend and neighbor, Ed Norton. Even though Ralph could be overbearing, audiences have
continued to embrace the loud-mouthed bus driver, as an American Everyman, a dreamer whose visions of getting ahead were constantly thwarted.
Ralph Kramden had his eternal sidekick Ed Norton, and Fred Flintstone had his best buddy and partner in crime, Barney Rubble. Ralph was constantly trying to hatch a scheme to make money quickly, which inevitably failed. Fred Flintstone foolishly followed in Ralph's footsteps as can seen in many episodes...