Yogi Bear: Smarter Than Your Average Bear

By | April 22, 2019

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Cartoon characters Yogi Bear and Boo Boo visit the The Empire State Building on December 16, 2010 in New York City. Source: (Photo by Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic/Getty Images)

Remember Hanna-Barbera’s favorite picnic basket-stealing, park ranger-teasing, campground-dwelling cartoon bear? Did you know that Yogi Bear was supposed to be a side-kick character, but he was so popular that he got his own show? And did you know that his name was inspired by baseball player Yogi Berra, who threatened to sue Hanna-Barbera? Yogi Bear claimed that he was smarter than your average bear, and he has an interesting backstory to boot, with links to baseball, Civil Rights, and Vaudeville. Here is the story of Yogi Bear. 

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Yogi started as a sidekick to Huckleberry Hound. Source: (flickr.com)

Yogi and Huckleberry Hound

Yogi Bear debuted in 1958. Initially, Hanna-Barbera planned to use the character as a sidekick to their well-loved Huckleberry Hound character on The Huckleberry Hound Show. Audiences loved Yogi Bear and his crazy antics in the fictional Jellystone National Park. In fact, Yogi grew more popular than Huckleberry Hound so he became Hanna-Barbera’s first breakout character to get his own spin-off. The Yogi Bear Show debuted in 1961.