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No Place Like Rome For These Holidays.

Discussion in 'Hanna-Barbera' started by emeraldisle, May 4, 2014.

  1. emeraldisle

    emeraldisle Moderator Staff Member I SUPPORT BCDB!

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    Hanna-Bsrbera had originally intended for "The Flintstones" to be ancient Romans, Pilgrims, etc.

    In 1972, they went ahead with their idea about a family in Ancient Rome, and put "The Roman Holidays" on the air. When I saw a promotional ad in a comic book about NBC's Saturday morning lineup for the 1972 season, I figured it was worth a look. But in print, I thought they were like a Roman version of The Arabian Knights. Of course, I was mistaken, but the comedy clicked.

    The Holidays faced antagonism from Mr. Evictus, who was openly opposed to having Brutus the lion in his apartment complex, and also Mr. Tycoonius, who was the show's answer to Mr. Slate and Mr. Spacely. Among other things, he wrongfully accused Gus of being up all night at a wild party. Gus had, in fact, spent the night working on blueprints.

    But when the theme song stated, "You'll love Gus and Laurie, Precocia, too. And big brother Hap Holiday. And Brutus the lion, the family cat," they were right. I did love their antics.

    In one episode, Gus had to see Precocia perform at her school, on the same night as a bowling match. So he ran back and forth between the two events. Say, didn't I see something like this on "The Flintstones?" Sure I did, but I was cool with the "been there, done that" bit.

    Gus also inadvertently foiled a bank robbery, and was hailed as "Augustus The Brave." Another time, he returned from a trip with gifts for the whole family, and Groovia. She got a mink stole, Precocia, a portable TV, and Brutus, a six month supply of steaks. However, the lion swallowed them whole when Gus tossed them, causing Happius to comment, "Correction, Dad. You mean a six second supply of steaks." After seeing this, I read that lions really do swallow huge chunks of food, often without chewing. So H-B clearly did their research.

    I also saw Happius listening to music on headphones, which I often did at the time. And being a teenager, he went to Roman High, and once desperately tried to convince Groovia that he wasn't cheating on her with another girl.

    I was learning all about ancient Rome in Social Studies when this series premiered. So I knew ancient Romans didn't live the good life. But this series was funny, and that was all that mattered to me.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2015
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  2. oneuglybunny

    oneuglybunny Moderator Staff Member Forum Member

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    For me, it was interesting to hear the late Dom DeLuise voicing the meanie character Evictus. Mostly, Dom voiced pure goofus characters, or the cowardly conscience of a good-aligned group. Thus, a gruff and growling Evictus was a head-bender for me. And those Ionic columns galore, some erected purely for Gus to crash into.

    Although, I think that Brutus swallowing steaks whole wasn't a case of H-B writers Doing The Research and Showing Their Work, as much as Science Marches On, discovering that the gag is actually Truth In Television. :)
  3. Pokey J.Anti-Blockhead

    Pokey J.Anti-Blockhead Intern Forum Member New Member

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    Title was based on the famous 1953 Oscar winner for Audrey Hepburn..
  4. artytoons

    artytoons Administrator I SUPPORT BCDB! Forum Member New Member

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    Daws Butler used a funny roar for Brutus the lion...sounding like Snagglepuss doing a sarcastic enunciated roar, taking away whatever threatening manner the Holidays' pet lion might have.

    While Hanna-Barbera's other time-warp families "The Flintstones" and "The Jetsons" aired on prime time in their debut seasons with some sophisticated humor for the grown-ups, "The Roman Holidays" aired on NBC Saturday Mornings in a very early time period (7am or so in the West Coast), specifically for the kiddies...and lasting one season.

    Dom DeLuise played Mr. Evictus. DeLuise played bus driver Stanley Beaumont in the 1974 NBC series "Lotsa Luck" for two seasons. based on the British comedy series "On the Buses" before he gained more fame as Burt Reynolds' comedy sidekick in films such as "The End" and "The Cannonball Run".

    Precocia was voiced by Pamelyn Ferdin who had a distinctive memorable voice and had previously played the voice of Lucy in some early Charlie Brown specials and appeared in live-action as Felix's bratty niece Edna in "The Odd Couple" tv series and as Laura in the Filmation live-action Saturday series "Space Academy".

    Gus Holiday was voiced by Dave Willock who was the announcer in "The Wacky Races". Shirley Mitchell played Laurie Holiday. She played the voice of Cathy's mother in several "Cathy" specials based on the comic strip by Cathy Guisewhite.

    Stanley Livingston played older brother Happy. Stanley Livingston had played middle brother Chip Douglas to younger real-life brother Barry Livingston as adopted brother Ernie in "My Three Sons" after older brother Mike (Tim Considine) left the series after 5 seasons from 1960 to 1965 making then-middle brother Robbie (Don Grady) the older sibling in the Douglas household from 1965 to the final season in 1972.
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2015
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  5. peterhale

    peterhale Moderator Staff Member I SUPPORT BCDB!

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    I had never heard of this series. It did, apparently, air in the UK on BBC2 in 1986 - but I never saw it.

    I suppose that H-B were encouraged to resurrect the Roman format by the success of the 1966 film of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and the subsequent revival of the stage musical - the 1972 Phil Silvers Broadway run had been preceded by a production in LA in 1971.
  6. Pokey J.Anti-Blockhead

    Pokey J.Anti-Blockhead Intern Forum Member New Member

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    The stage musical happened before the film - the 1961 Huckleberry Hound cartoon "Ben Huck" even REFERENCES "A Funny Thing Happened On the way to the Forum"!!
  7. MattPriceTime

    MattPriceTime Intern Forum Member New Member

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    The Roman Holidays is another one that i missed. Apparently youtube videos of bumpers show they had it on the old "look what we found" block. But that block was dead/almost dead by the time i got to get CN. So my first knowledge of this show was on the internet. Actual viewing of course came from the DVD.

    To me this show right off the gates hits me that it's not the better of HB's family sitcom based shows, but that's not necessarily a negative thing. It's still pretty good on it's own merits. The family is once again fun and fit the plots well. The show brings a nice set of family adventures in this roman-like times. It's also nice to hear more of Dave Willock.

    A nice worthy show of HB's lower decks. Another good thing i'm happy to have discovered at my current age.
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  8. emeraldisle

    emeraldisle Moderator Staff Member I SUPPORT BCDB!

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    Trivia Question 72: Name the teen idol featured in one episode.
  9. emeraldisle

    emeraldisle Moderator Staff Member I SUPPORT BCDB!

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    Trivia Answer: David Cassius, who was just a Roman version of David Cassidy.
  10. Aaron Handy III

    Aaron Handy III Apprentice Forum Member New Member

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    Cool to jam along to the instrumental of the theme played during the end credits... :cool:[thumbup]:joyful:

  11. BeanoMaster

    BeanoMaster Newbie New Member

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    I was watching an episode of The Roman Holidays the other day, it's good but not as good as The Flintstones or The Jetsons.
  12. Thinice

    Thinice Intern Forum Member New Member

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    I recall watching it in 80's and enjoyed the show very much.

    Variety, that has to be the thing I miss most about the 70's and 80's cartoon shows. The shows may have all been similar but most had enough changes to make you want to watch.
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