Holiday episodes of cartoons are just the best, aren’t they? And this Halloween season, I’m going to introduce you to a few more spooky and kooky classics.
When I think classic cartoons, of course, Hanna-Barbera is what first comes to mind. And after my beloved Scooby Doo, I think of “The Flintstones”.
The modern stone-age family from the town of Boo-rock, er, I mean Bedrock, premiered in 1960, ran for 6 seasons and a total of 166 episodes. Not surprisingly, the Christmas episodes are my favourites. But there was also a Halloween episode, as well as The Flintstone’s version of Alfred Hitchcock Presents — and both are positively fang-tastic.
Today, we’ll feature “Alvin Brickrock Presents“, the fourth episode of season 2, which aired October 6, 1961.
The episode opens with a cute scene featuring Fred and the paper boy, who has arrived to collect his fee for four weeks of newspapers AND the rental of some of his comic books. Oh, and also, Fred is .26 cents overdue on Arnold’s “Little Golden Treasury of Murder Mysteries”, which Fred isn’t quite done with yet.
We shift to Fred and Barney setting up to watch a fight. Wilma assumes they mean a boxing match on television, but really, the fight is going to take place next door, at the house of their new neighbours, Mr. and Mrs. Brickrock, and the boys are going to “eaves-peep”, as Wilma calls it. The episode is a fun spoof of the series “Alfred Hitchcock Presents“, (the name “Brickrock” is the stone-age take on the name “Hitchcock”), so you know there’s a mystery afoot. Barney mentions seeing all sorts of weird things going into the house, like coffin-shaped crates and boxes. But much to Fred and Barney’s disappointment, the window blind next door gets pulled, so no entertainment tonight!
A few minutes later, Mr. Brickrock unexpectedly shows up at the Flintstone’s door, and he’s a — pardon the pun — dead ringer for Alfred Hitchcock; from his droopy eyelids and bald head, to his signature slow-drawling, slightly British-sounding, “Good eeeevening.”
He’s come over to borrow a shovel. He tells the Flintstones and Rubbles that he’s been transferred for work, so he and his wife Agatha (a nod to Agatha Christie, I’m sure!) are moving again. When Betty inquires about meeting his wife, he tells everyone that will be impossible as he’s already sent her on ahead.
Before bed, Fred is fully immersed in one of Arnold’s detective magazines. And when he reads a wanted ad for a wife-murdering criminal named Albert Bonehart, he becomes convinced that the criminal is actually his neighbour, Alvin Brickrock — this despite the fact that Bonehart is 5’10, has wavy hair and a mustache, and walks with a limp, while Brickrock is 4’10, bald, clean-shaven and walks just fine. But both apparently have trouble saying “Good evening” properly, and that’s good enough for Fred!
He hurries to tell Barney, and the two creep over to the neighbour’s house, and let themselves in. There are all sorts of creepy things inside, including a dinosaur skeleton, bones and a coffin. The boys are sure that Mr. Brickrock has killed his wife.
When Brickrock finds them in his house, he explains that he is an archaeologist, and is eager to show Fred and Barney some of his best specimens, including a 2,000-year-old mummy, and his prize possession and secret: A rare, thought-to-be-extinct man-eating flying fish called a piranha-keet.
The boys return home still convinced that Brickrock is really Bonehart in disguise. Fred is shocked when Wilma shows him a large trunk which Mr. Brickrock has left at the house for the movers to pick up. SURELY Mrs. Brickrock’s body must be inside!!
To prove the possibility of a large woman like Agatha fitting into the trunk, Fred decides to climb into one of his trunks that happens to be the very same size. This is classic Flintstones, so Fred promptly gets locked in the trunk — WITH the keys. Wilma saves the day by picking the lock with a hair pin, and has a good laugh at the boys’ expense regarding their crazy suspicions about sweet and innocent Mr. Brickrock.
Alvin walks in with Fred’s shovel, and is confronted with questions about whether or not his wife’s body is in the trunk. He happily opens it for them, revealing all of Agatha’s barbells and weights! He then places a call to his wife — whom he affectionately calls “Pussycat” — in New Rock City, and everyone is left feeling very sheepish at the thought of this timid little man killing his wife.
But in true Alfred Hitchcock Presents fashion, things might not actually be as they seem. Alvin Brickrock provides a closing narration for the episode:
“Your suspicions are correct… the story had a happy ending. Science was indeed astounded by my discovery of a living man-eater which can be trained to eat wives too, if necessary. *turning to the bird* Chirp for the people. Please forgive its toothy grin that’s just like a canary that ate the pussycat. Good eeeevening…..”
You can watch the full episode embedded below or here: Alvin Brickrock Presents
I hope you yabba dabba do yourselves a favour and sit down to enjoy this Flintstones Halloween treat, ghouls and fiends. And tune in soon for part two featuring “A Haunted House Is Not a Home”.
Good eeeevening, and until next time, unpleasant dreams . . .