Yabba Dabba Doo! Flintstones Turns 50

Fifty years ago this week, The Flintstones debuted on television. Host Scott Simon tips his hat to that modern, stone-age family.

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OK. No Googling now. Who's the protagonist in "Moby Dick"? When was the Battle of Hastings? What was the Treaty of Utrecht? What's the Third Amendment to the Constitution of the United States? Ah, but I'll bet you know the lyrics to this song.


Unidentified Man (Actor): (as Fred Flinstone) Yabba dabba doo!

SIMON: Fifty years ago this week, "The Flintstones" debuted on ABC-TV. They're the modern Stone Age family. ABC aired the cartoon adventures of Fred, Wilma, Barney, Betty, from 1960 to '66. And they've been in reruns ever since, from Sheboygan to Shanghai.

The series was set in the town of Bedrock around 10,000 B.C. But Fred and Barney bore a detectable resemblance to Jackie Gleason and Art Carney on "The Honeymooners," with Fred saying yabba dabba doo rather than one of these days.

P: Adolf Eichman was put on trial, "The Fantasticks" premiered, President Eisenhower signed a civil rights bill, the Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina finally integrated, and John Kennedy was elected president of the United States.

And 50 years later, people are still saying yabba dabba doo.


Unidentified People: (Singing) When you're with the Flintstones, have a yabba dabba doo time, a dabba doo time. We'll have a gay old time.

SIMON: You're listening to WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News.

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