“Where’s Huddles?”

Huddles is shrieking in some cartoon inferno as Screwy Squirrel sucks his marrow dry and spits it in his face, if there’s any justice. Which is doubtful, given the very existence of this hideous thing. Broadcast in 1970, “Where’s Huddles?” was the first prime-time cartoon series since the Flintstones. Left to right: Marge and Ed Huddles. (Ed, apparently, was played by Walter Matthau.) Then there’s Bubba and Penny McCoy; Bubba was cut from the same bolt of cloth from which Barney Rubble was spun. I think it goes without saying that a laugh track was heavily employed. And I think it goes without saying that nothing on the show was remotely funny.

Said the release: “Ed Huddles is the star quarterback for the Rhinos football team.” So far so good. “He lives in a home built in the shape of a football stadium.” We are now at the border of Hannabarberaland; the native bearers are nervous, yet we plunge on. “His carpet and lawn are marked off with yard-line stripes.” Deeper in-country we head. “The bed headboards are giant goal posts and the doorway resembles a box office.” The bearers have now fled, and we find ourselves alone in the Graveyard of Imagination. The press release does not mention the Huddles' effiminate bitchy, Paul-Lynde-voiced neighbor - named - so help me God - "Claude Pertwee."

Since this was an Hanna-Barbera cartoon, it no doubt suffered from Repetitive Background Syndrome - you know, the same pictures repeat as someone runs. And since this was a football-themed cartoon, characters no doubt run. So we can be reasonably certain that when Bubba was running for the goal line, the sideline markers said 50 . . . 40 . . . 30 . . . 50 . . . 40 . . . 30 . . . 50 . . . .40 . . . 30.

One season. Barely.