Snagglepuss

Ralph, remember the time you said Snagglepuss was outside? — Miss Hoover, “Sweet Seymour Skinner’s Baadasssss Song”

Top cat in the Hanna-Barbera stable of characters, Snagglepuss ranks right up there with such pillars as Fred Flintstone, Papa Smurf, and, uh, anyone else you might recognize here.

The smooth-talking hep cat has been delighting children of all ages for over 40 years, with his influence spanning the globe. In Croatia, for example, he is known as Krezumica, The Spiteful One:

Snagglepuss’s velvety tone and eccentric mannerisms were drawn/stolen from Bert Lahr (the actual voice actor for the cartoon character was Hanna-Barbera go-to Daws Butler, who we can thank for training future star Nancy Cartwright), an actor whose Broadway and vaudeville career was just the set-up for one very iconic role:

That’s right: The Lion King. One thing I’ve learned today is that Dorothy’s three companions in her Oz adventure were played by the same three actors who played the farmhands at the movie’s outset. This is a clever touch that I should have appreciated more, but I’m usually pretty out of it by the time “On The Run” comes on.

Lahr did not approve of the Snagglepuss character leeching off of his cultivated image, and he actually filed a lawsuit against the cat’s managers to ensure that the two were separated in the public perception. Hence the brief disclaimer on television commercials such as this:

Murgatroyd, out.

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