Yabba-Dabba-Do! Happy 50th Anniversary to the Folks in Bedrock (twitch, twitch)!

TV's favorite stone-age family first visited our living rooms on September 30, 1960. Originally pitched as The Flagstones, television's first prime-time animated series ran for six seasons and became so popular that companies like Welch's paid big bucks to get their products advertised by Fred, Wilma, Betty, Barney and Pebbles. (Let's face it, 44 years after the series went off the air, kids are still gobbling down Flintstones vitamins daily.) While everyone remembers things like Fred's catchphrase and his foot-propelled car and Wilma's baby mastodon vacuum cleaner, what often gets forgotten is some of the great (well, "catchy" at least) music that the series gave us over the years.

If You Play a Hot Piano, You Get Your Fingers Burned

How many of you still wish couples a "happy anniversary" to the tune of the William Tell Overture? Gioachino Rossini wrote the melody, but it was William Hanna and Joseph Barbera who provided the memorable lyrics. Poor Fred had forgotten his wedding anniversary yet again, and in a bid to buy Wilma a nicer last-minute present than a bouquet of flowers, he decided to purchase a piano. Unfortunately his limited budget meant that he had to buy a genuine Stoneway out of the back of a truck from a guy named 88 Fingers Louie. Fred and Barney were busted while hauling the piano home late at night, but the obliging cops took time out to sing this commemorative ditty.

Long-Haired Weirdoes

The writers spoofed everything from the then-current craze of Beatle-haired pop groups with strange names and gimmicks to the hysteria that occasionally resulted from outrageous promotional campaigns in the episode entitled "The Masquerade Party." Radio ads warning Bedrock of an imminent invasion from the Way-Outs spooked the city into a War of the Worlds-type panic, which led to Fred (in a spaceman costume en route to a party) being arrested. Eventually it was revealed that the Way-Outs were a British pop band, and their catchy theme song was sampled many years later in rap trio J.J. Fad's hit "Way Out."

Your Taste We Will Tickle with a Cold Dill Pickle

Unless there's a Sonic near your home, you may have never experienced having your food brought out to your vehicle by a carhop. But in the 1960s, drive-in restaurants were as common as 1-800-LAWYER commercials. Because of their ubiquity and popularity, Fred and Barney naturally assumed that owning a drive-in meant instant goldmine. Unbeknownst to their wives, they quit their day jobs and bought a restaurant. Their secret didn't stay under wraps for long, however, when two enterprising carhops got a bit too aggressive in their job-seeking campaign:

It's Where the Hipsters Go

"The Twitch" was an obvious reference to Chubby Checker's hit "The Twist," but singer Rock Roll was meant to be a composite of the manufactured pop stars of that era. It was revealed in the episode that his groovy hair and sideburns were fake, and that his dance craze had been invented inadvertently as a result of an allergic reaction to pickled dodo eggs. (By the way, for those under-30 types who've never seen the real thing, that animated TV host is a spoof of Ed Sullivan, whose variety show was the venue for the hot acts of the day.)

Better Buy Some SoftSoap Quick, Before They Call You "Skunk"

Around the same time The Flintstones was originally on the air, another hit show was Sing Along with Mitch, which starred record producer/A&R man Mitch Miller leading a chorale in a community sing. The words would scroll on-screen so viewers could sing along at home. (It didn't take much to entertain us back in the day.) In Bedrock, folks tuned in to Hum Along with Herman to get their karaoke mojo on. When Fred discovered that Barney had a mellifluous singing voice, he quickly formed the Flintstone Canaries and arranged for an audition. Unfortunately, Barney could only carry a tune while in the bathtub, which is why the quartet ended up semi-nude on the program for a commercial spot promoting the sponsor's soap:

Almost a Lawsuit, but Really Just a Strange Coincidence

It's probably far from politically correct, but whenever I hear someone speak with any type of Scandinavian accent my mind automatically recites, "He is Olé, I am Sven." The episode entitled "The Swedish Visitors" featured a pair of foreign musicians who bunked at the Flintstone home for a short time. The episode was inspired by a record called "Wilma" released in Sweden by Owe Thörnqvist. The chorus "jabadabadooo" sounded suspiciously like Fred's favorite exclamation, and then there was that whole "Wilma" angle... Hanna-Barbera contacted Thörnqvist who insisted that jabadabadooo was a traditional Viking cry, and everything else was strictly coincidental. The matter was resolved by having the singer record an English version of his tune for use on the show.

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job secrets
9 Behind-the-Scenes Secrets of Hollywood Body Doubles
Hugh Jackman and his Real Steel body double, Taris Tyler
Hugh Jackman and his Real Steel body double, Taris Tyler
Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

When you see the back of an actor’s head in a movie, it may not be the actor you think it is. In addition to stunt performers, most movies employ body doubles (or photo doubles) with a passing resemblance to the principal actors. While some body doubles are brought on set for specific skills—like helping an actor pass as a professional athlete—the job can often involve just being a body, whether that means being nude on camera, having photogenic hands, or appearing in place of actors who can’t be on set for some reason. Here are nine secrets of the job:


Body double Danielle Sepulveres has played the hands of other actors in plenty of roles in her career, on TV and in beauty commercials featuring close-up shots of her holding moisturizer or makeup. She’s drizzled dressing on salad in place of Brooke Shields. She regularly slides files across tables, makes lists, and pours wine in the place of actresses on The Good Wife. (She has also played Jill Flint's butt on the show.) “I knew only glimpses of my hands might make it into a shot, or part of my shoulder along with a wisp of hair,” she wrote of one of her jobs in Good Housekeeping in 2016. But she overheard the director complaining that her wrists looked “vastly different” than those of the principal actress in the movie, 2015’s Mania Days. “Luckily, I didn't get fired in spite of my wrists, but I wouldn't have been surprised had it happened.”


Yes, body doubles are often brought in if an actor doesn’t want to bare it all on camera. But they are hired for other reasons, too. For one thing, union rules mandate the actors get 12 hours off between when they leave set for the day and their next call time, so if the shoots are running long, the crew might employ someone else to stand in. Other times, it's a matter of particular talents. Most actors may be able to sing, dance, and cry on camera, but few also have the athletic skills to allow them to pass as a sports legend. In Battle of the Sexes (2017), Emma Stone plays Billie Jean King, one of the best tennis players of all time. To realistically represent King’s skills on the court, the movie makers brought in tennis doubles to play in place of Stone and her co-star, Steve Carell. Stone’s double was chosen for her playing style, which resembled King’s, and worked with King on-set to perfect her imitation. The effort was, according to The Wall Street Journal, a huge success. “Not only is the tennis believable, it’s a meticulous representation of the type of tennis played in that era: serve and volley, chipping and charging to the net, touch volleys and soft hands.”


When you are tasked with choosing a celebrity doppelgänger, you’ve got to keep egos in mind. “The choice reflects on the principal actor,” DeeDee Ricketts, the casting director for Titanic, told Vanity Fair in 2016. “We have to take into consideration that they can’t be too thin, or more beautiful, or too heavy, or too old, or else the principal actor will think, That’s how they see me?” Actors often get to give input on who will be their double, and sometimes have final approval rights written into their contracts. When she was being considered for the job of Janet Leigh's body double in Psycho's iconic shower scene, model and Playboy covergirl Marli Renfro had to strip down for both Alfred Hitchcock and Leigh herself so that they could make sure her body looked enough like Leigh's, as Renfro recently revealed at a Brooklyn screening of the documentary 78/52: Hitchcock's Shower Scene. In the case of nude scenes, actors might even have final approval on what physical moves their doubles are allowed to make.


If you’re working as an actor’s double, by definition, you’re not going to have scenes with them, and so some body doubles never meet the stars they’re pretending to be. Danish actor Elvira Friis, who worked as a body double for Charlotte Gainsbourg (and her character’s younger self, played by Stacy Martin) during the racier scenes of Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac (2013), never met the actor. “The closest I got to Charlotte Gainsbourg was that I was wearing her dress,” Friis told The Wall Street Journal.


But how much time an actor spends with their doppelgänger really depends on the role. Some actors spend plenty of time with their doubles on set helping them get into the role. In What Happened to Monday (2017), Noomi Rapace plays the roles of seven identical sisters, making body doubles a necessity on set. Rapace helped direct her doubles during filming, “as they needed to know how the star would play the scene for each character so that it would sync up when she performed the part herself,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. Game of Thrones star Lena Headey (who plays Cersei) worked closely with her double Rebecca Van Cleave for a nude scene in the show’s fifth season finale. Headey walked Van Cleave through her character’s thinking and movements for each shot. Then, Headey did the same performance herself, wearing a beige dress that could later be edited out. In the final product, Headey’s facial expressions were merged with Van Cleave’s nude body.


Because body doubles are often only seen from the back or side, they may not look quite as much like their acting counterpart as you’d think. Brett Baker, who worked as Leonardo DiCaprio’s body double for Titanic, is several inches shorter than DiCaprio and seven years older. From the front, you wouldn’t peg him as a Jack Dawson lookalike. But with the same clothes and haircut, shot from above and behind, he passed easily as DiCaprio. Once Leo’s closeups were done, according to Vanity Fair, Baker was often brought in to stand opposite Kate Winslet as she played through her half of the scene. In some cases, he didn’t make it into the final shot at all, but still had to be on set for those 14-hour days.


With the help of technology, filmmakers can put their leading actor’s face on a body double’s torso, so they don’t have to limit their body doubles to just back-of-the-head or partial shots. This allows them to seamlessly meld both the main actor and the body double’s performances in post-production. That can allow directors to get exactly the scene they want in shows like Orphan Black, which features Tatiana Maslany playing multiple roles, or in cases where actors don't want to get totally naked on-camera. In rare cases, it can also be used to bring actors back from the dead. When Paul Walker died in a car crash midway through filming Furious 7 (2015), the filmmakers used his brothers and another actor as body doubles, superimposing computer-generated images of Walker’s face on their performances. Around 260 shots featuring Walker’s doubles appeared in the final cut.


When Matt Damon was filming The Martian (2015), he wanted to lose 30 to 40 pounds to portray astronaut Mark Watney after he had been surviving on meager rations for years. But the filming schedule made that impossible, so a body double had to be brought in for some shots. “I was going to lose a bunch of weight in the third act of the movie, then put the weight back on,” Damon told Maclean’s. However, as the schedule shook out, they filmed the NASA interiors in Hungary, then immediately went to Jordan, which doubled as the Red Planet for the film’s purposes, and shot all the exterior shots from the beginning, middle, and end of the movie, with no time for Damon to lose a significant amount of weight. The skinny body double isn’t on screen for long. “It was, like, two shots,” Damon describes. (Still, fans noticed.)


When it comes to nude scenes, sometimes body doubles are hired but never used. Veteran body double Laura Grady was cast as Robin Wright’s lookalike for State of Play (2009), but didn’t shoot a single scene. “I just sat in my trailer, ready to go, and then at the end, [Wright] decided to do her own scenes,” Grady told Vulture in 2014. “That happens sometimes. Sometimes they just get a body double because they think they might need one, and then all of a sudden the actress is comfortable and she’s like, ‘No, I’ll just do it.’ Or they change a scene and they don’t make it as risqué.” Don’t worry, though—the double still gets paid.

Bob Ross’s Happy Little Menagerie Is Getting the Funko Treatment, Too

Back in August, the pop culture-loving toy fiends at Funko introduced a happy little Pop! Vinyl figurine of beloved painter/television icon Bob Ross, decked out in his trademark jeans and button-down shirt with a painter’s palette in his hand and his legendary perm (which he hated) atop his tiny little vinyl head. This Joy of Painting-themed addition to the Funko lineup proved to be an instant hit, so the company added a couple of additional toys to its roster—this time incorporating members of Ross’s happy little menagerie of pets, who were almost as integral to the long-running series as the painter himself.


If you’re looking to score one of these toys before Christmas, it’s going to have to be a limited edition one—and it’s going to cost you. In collaboration with Target, Funko paired Ross with his favorite pocket squirrel, Pea Pod, which will set you back about $40. For just a few dollars more, you can opt to have the happy accident-prone painter come with Hoot the owl.


On Friday, December 8, the company will release a Funko two-pack that includes Ross with a paintbrush and Ross with an adorable little raccoon.


If you’d prefer to save a few dollars, and are willing to wait out the holiday season, you can pre-order Ross with just the raccoon for delivery around December 29.

So many happy little options, so little time.


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