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After the phenomenal success of "The Flintstones",and "The Jetsons",
producers William Hanna and Joesph Barbera made their return to prime
time in this animated comedy titled "Wait Till Your Father Gets Home".
First seen as a special for the ABC-TV situation adult comedy series
"Love American Style",was basically shown as a pilot and on the
strength of that pilot,the show was launched into an weekly animated
cartoon series for prime-time. It was shown in first-run syndication
from the premiered episode on September 12,1972 and ended in March of
1974,in repeated episodes from the first season. This was an attempt to
cash in on the enormous success of Norman Lear's All In The Family, and
from the first episode was a instant hit,but it was aimed at adult
audiences. It was the first for Hanna-Barbera Productions to do
something that was beyond the usual calling---this was something
totally different from the norm. This wildly funny series illustrated
the generation gap and social issues reflecting the times,and this was
set in the period of the early 1970's. But it was nothing like "All In
The Family" at all,with one exception: Harry Boyle was not a racist at
all,but he was however,highly educated and very successful as a
businessman. A far cry from the radical aspects of Archie Bunker.
Father figure Harry Boyle(voiced by Tom Bosley of "Happy Days" fame) was a conservative businessman-father who was the president of the Boyle Restaurant Supply Company,who was continually exasperated by the excesses of his hippie/slacker of a son,Chet(David Hayward),and his sexually liberated daughter Alice(Kristina Holland),not to mention his obedient youngest son,Jamie(Jackie Haley). His wife Irma(Joan Gerber) was neutral but supportive with her husband in some of the topics mentioned. Their next door neighbor is the neanderthal communist hating Ralph(Jack Burns)who had a thing against people who were on the opposite side of American values. Harry's own modern-day children had their own side to certain issues but going through the difficulties of accepting their father's old-fashioned methods and the philosophies of life itself.
This was show that may have been quite controversial when it premiered,but it was extremely funny in parts along with some of the topics that were the brink of discussion but with mixed results. Since this was an adult-oriented show and a cartoon that was seen only in prime-time. The scripts that were written by some of the best in the business,especially for an animated cartoon with a social message in between the segment were done by the team of R.S. Allen and Harvey Bullock(writers for several Hanna-Barbera shows including "The Flintstones",and "The Jetsons")and also from Jack Elinson and Norman Paul. Elinson was one of the writers for the shows "Good Times", "One Day At A Time",not to mention several episodes of "The Andy Griffith Show". Paul on the other hand was a writer and as well as one of the producers for "The Doris Day Show".
Broadcast between 1972 and 1974,the 48-episode series appeared in prime-time only,and the first show since 1970's "Where's Huddles?" and the first in six years since "The Flintstones". The executive producers for this series were William Hanna and Joesph Barbera,with the animation produced in Canada to cut production costs. The show was seen in several major markets,including five-owned and operated NBC and ABC affiliates stations across the United States. The series was rebroadcast again on cable's Cartoon Network and again in 2002 for Cartoon Network's sister station Boomerang on a limited basis.
FYI: A good many celebrities appeared on the show,sometimes voicing cartoon representations of themselves. Among the special guest lists were Don Knotts(of The Andy Griffith Show),Phyllis Diller(of Laugh-In),Don Adams(of Get Smart),game show host Monty Hall(of Let's Make A Deal),along with Rich Little and Jonathan Winters.
One of the commentators mentioned that this was a Saturday morning
cartoon. Wrong......it was aired during prime time, just like the
original 1960 Flintstones series. The show was clearly aimed at an
adult audience; not just because of the time slot; I remember that one
of the show's sponsors was Haynes panty hose. I cannot agree that this
show was a parody of All in the Family, as this same commentator
mentioned; at least not in the sense that the father figure was a
parody of Archie Bunker. The father in this show was not at all
bigoted, as was Archie Bunker (and he was also a much more educated
I do remember seeing a very humorous old lady, in at least one episode, who was paranoid, thinking that there was "a communist under every bed". My mother commented to me, at the time, that she thought that this character was a take-off from the old lady in the 1971 movie "Cold Turkey" (about the town that gave up smoking for a whole month), and I believe that she was correct. "Cold Turkey" came out a year before "Wait Till Your Father Gets Home" debuted.
It's really a shame that this series did not make more than one season's worth of episodes (I believe it ran for two years, but the second year the shows were just repeats). I thought that it was a great show. When it debuted in '72, it had been 6 years since "The Flintstones" prime time show had ended. I missed seeing adult cartoons on TV. After "Wait Till Your Father Gets Home" ended, adult TV animation hit a dry spell for the next 15+ years, until The Simpsons began.
This is one of my favorite show's from Hanna-Barbera. After years of placing families in the stone age, the space age and even in ancient Rome, Hanna-Barbera finally had a piece that took place in this century. The best thing about this show was the fact that the Boyles were played more or less like real people and it was a very humorous look at how conservative Harry dealt with not only his liberal kids, Alice and Chet, but with a changing world around him. However, the real star was Ralph, Harry's reactionary neighbor. He made Dale from "King of the Hill" look normal. Ralph was always looking for communists in every nook and cranny and he would always give Harry all sorts of crazy advice based on his wild theories. The only thing I found wrong with the show, however, was the poor job of animation (allegedly Hanna-Barbera "farmed out" the animation work to a Canadian company as a way to save money). All in all, though, despite the poor animating, this still is one of the funniest cartoons to come out of the 1970's.
We used to watch this when I was very little...maybe four or five, and I have dim memories of the theme song and some of the voices. They are good memories. As I remember it, the show "King of the Hill" kind of puts me in mind of it, with the concise wit, varying personalities and their interactions and the references to modern culture. My dad used to laugh at the neighbor, whose constant "Huh? Huh? Huh?" briefly became something of a catchphrase in the early 70s. I'd buy this in a second if they released it on DVD...why haven't they? They have everything else out there...every obscure show that was ever produced. I even saw the boxed set of "The Powers of Matthew Starr", for God's sake. They put that out, and leave "Father" in the vault? Come on!
I love this show. I was 10 when it came out but funny enough, don't
remember watching it back in 1972. I guess I was too busy watching the
Partridge Family and Brady Bunch. I'm glad it's on the Boomerang
network, along with another childhood favorite, the Banana Splits.
Thank God for DVR so I can tape them since it's on in the middle of the
night. I hadn't seen mentioned here in detail that Jackie Earle Haley,
later of the Bad News Bears and most recently, the movie "Little
Children" (Oscar nominated) was the voice of youngest son Jamie.
According to his IMDb bio WTYFGH was his first acting job, albeit
This show is awesome and I'm sure was very topical for its time, for example, the episode when Chet wants to move in with his girlfriend. I'm surprised that the Jack Burns character was able to get away with talking about "Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Blacks" on a cartoon. He reminds me of a cartoon version of Archie Bunker, for sure.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Long after the Flintstones & Jetsons and longer before The Simpsons and
their Sunday night counterparts,there was "Wait Till Your Father Gets
Pre-Happy Days Tom Bosley voiced the character of Harry Boyle,conservative father to a college age-hippie son Chet,a "free spirited/liberated daughter" Alice and a good boy Jamie,who wants to be just like his dad. Harry's wife Irma (who really tries not to take sides)seems quite obviously to be an animated but less confused Edith Bunker.
Then again,the show was created as kind of an animated "All In The Family" to begin with. For 2 years it worked and it should have had more than 2 years but... with Bosley becoming Howard Cunningham on "Happy Days,I guess it wasn't meant to be. The story lines are simply what an old fashioned father has to put up with in the (then) modern world of the early 1970s. Just like "All In The Family",but a little less "loud".
While I didn't see it in it's first run in syndication,I happened to catch repeats of it when I lived in San Diego,California from 1977 to 1980. Our TV was able to receive a station out of L.A. (most likely KTLA)that ran the show. Just like my title implies,I recall vividly the "War Games" episode where neighbor Ralph conducts these games in case the "Commies" attack the U.S.;Harry's not to thrilled about it to be sure.
He's most likely less thrilled with his daughter (although not exactly mentioned)she's possibly not a virgin anymore,as well as having very outspoken ideas. Oldest son (22!) Chet is in college,not necessarily learning much though and lives in the "free" style of the hippies,although he sure doesn't mind still receiving an allowance!
Another show I recall dealt with Harry and Irma going to a marriage counselor,where Harry points out Irma's annoying habit of chewing on the handle of her glasses. "I do not!"... she quips,with the tip in her teeth. I know I saw more but those are the stand outs. The theme song was catchy and for all who saw the show,unforgettable. I always did laugh at the end of the song,when the roof of the house flew up and back down again,as if Harry was yelling,"Whaaaat??!!"
The main cast is: Tom Bosley-Harry Boyle (all shows) Joan Gerber-Irma B. Kristina Holland-Alice B. David Hayward-Chet B. Jackie Haley-Jami B.
(Comedian)Jack Burns as Ralph (no last name given).
Although I don't recall more shows,I do know a good TV show when I watch one and like most here,I'd love to see this on DVD as well! It's been 26 years since I've seen it but I can still give it 10 stars!
"Dad's not so bad and he seldom gets mad"...yeah,right. LOL! (END)
RIP Tom Bosley 10/19/2010
I am an avid fan of the series. I am looking for others to share my
interest in the DVD set. Let me know what you think. I believe I can
help with any questions you may have as I have ran some fan clubs in
the past for this great television comedy. I can remember seeing the
show when I was a smaller one and really didn't get it, yet as I grew
older I started to think about the material and what was said and was
blown away. Some of the racial comments were treated lightly due to the
cartoon style and I thought this was a crazy concept and I think that
is why it has stayed with us in one way or another.
Surely this cartoon series has resonances for today and deserves a
There are many funny scenes and dialogues as a broadly average family man struggles to deal with all the tribulations we have come to expect from raising teenage children.
However, Harry also has to put up with a lunatic neighbour who is armed to the teeth and sees communists everywhere.
Superimpose an image of the overreaction of many to the perceived terrorist threat of today. Everyday behaviour is modified, trust is at a minimum and everybody is suspected.
Against this background, Harry is trying to raise his family, prepare them for the future and help them make educated decisions.
Allow today's viewers to draw their own conclusions about the paranoia and fear in America at the start of the 21st century and the effect that this has on family life.
But don't forget, "Wait Till Your Father Gets Home" is very funny.
Much of what I have to say about it, I've already said on "Jump The Shark," but, this was a show that tried to be a cartoon answer to ones like All In The Family, without being a COPY of them, and it actually succeeded in a very big way. Without getting credit for it, or much of any publicity that I know of. (It was a syndicated show, and in my area at least, came on before prime time, so it probably "flew beneath the radar.") In some ways, it actually OUTDID the Norman Lear kinds of shows. Especially with the "Ralph" character, played by Jack Burns, who's always been so great at playing comical loudmouths, and sometimes bigoted ones (as in the famous Burns and Schreiber "Taxi" routine). The Ralph character was almost closer to "Joe" (in the Peter Boyle movie) than to Archie Bunker, because he was an actual vigilante (although one who never actually DID anything violent), who was on the lookout for minorities as much as Communists. And some of his lines were genuinely "strong," lines that AITF probably would've though twice about putting into Archie Bunker's mouth.(But again, who expected something like that from a Hanna-Barbera cartoon show? So no one seemed to know about it.) Then there was "Chet" the older son, who (even though it was a cartoon) was one of the least exaggerated comical hippies on TV! One of the best episodes was about Chet getting drafted, and planning to leave the country, which is STILL a touchy subject. Even though it had a sort of "tidy" ending - he gets a deferment - it was still a pretty bold thing to do with a REGULAR character on a show (as opposed to a ONE-TIME character, that no one's going to see again). And Alice (played by Kristina Holland, who played the "ditzy" secretary on "Courtship of Eddie's Father") was far from a stereotyped "fat girl" - instead of being worried about her having no social life, Harry always seemed to be worried about her fooling around with too many boys. And of course, Tom Bosley as Harry - some time before Happy Days, he was already playing the put-upon father very well.
Wow! When I first saw this when I was a kid, I had no idea this was Hanna Barbera. And I though to myself, finally, they made a show down to Earth, and something that reflected society, as the story of a dad, normal, white, tries to live a good life in the '70s despite his hippie son, and teenage liberal daughter, and each episode has a good lesson or a message filled with social commentary, much like The Simpsons, or King Of the Hill in the "Me Generation", or The Flintstones or Jetsons in the 70s. And Ralph is the most unforgettable and perhaps the funniest character in the whole series, as the conservative McCarthyist, as he said things about commies. Yes, it had the feel and sentiments of the Cold War days. Recommended to all those who love The Simpsons, King Of the Hill, and the Adult Swim shows. If they were to remake this, they should make Ralph the same, except they should make him say things about terrorists instead of the Reds. No swearing or violence.
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