From TV show to comic and comic to TV show, Mark Arnold reviews the Great Gazoo and George of the Jungle, two media-crossing comedies still funny to this day.
The Great Gazoo
The Great Gazoo is considered by many Flintstones fans as the one element that helped The Flintstones finally “jump the shark”, a term applied to any TV show that has an element or elements that permanently shift the integrity of the series.
In this case, the Gazoo (voiced by comedian Harvey Korman) is forever trying to help Fred and Barney out of their latest predicament by creating even greater problems with his magical solutions. Long after the TV series was canceled in 1966, Charlton saw fit to make Gazoo the star of his own comic book series in 1973.
George of the Jungle
After the runaway success of Rocky and Bullwinkle and the middling successes of follow-up series such as Fractured Flickers and Hoppity Hooper, Jay Ward made one more attempt at a weekly animated series in 1967 with George of the Jungle, starring a Tarzan-like clone whose brain capacity was similar to Bullwinkle’s.
Other segments included Super Chicken and Tom Slick, but those segments didn’t make it into the comic books.
George also makes an appearance in America’s Best TV Comics, a comic book produced for ABC television designed to promote the latest Saturday morning cartoon line-up. Years later, Disney had a hit feature film about George, starring Brendan Fraser.
Mark Arnold is a comic book and animation historian and a writing, art, and film/video production professional. He writes comic books and articles on comic books and animation for various publications in addition to scripts, short stories and novels. He is also skilled in sales, marketing and promotion, and has film and TV production experience with digital video, video tape, and film. He has many online websites including Fun Ideas, Mark's Rare Comics, The Harveyville Fun Times!, So Rare!, and Food Shop. He also writes an (almost) daily blog and writes and draws a weekly comic strip called Protecto, the Little Robot. For the curious, Mark can be reached online at firstname.lastname@example.org. Whew!