Joe Barbera, TV cartoon pioneer, in 1997

Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Barbera’s autograph on one of the
first books I picked for myself as a child
For an American kid after the birth of television, few experiences were more memorable than discovering one’s first favorite TV show.

For several generations in the mid-to-late 20th Century, odds are good that thrill came from a show created at the dominant U.S. television animation studio — the one founded by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera.

Joe Barbera, Bill Hanna
Photo: NBC

via Wikimedia Commons
For me, it was Hanna-Barbera’s Huckleberry Hound (although Jay Ward Productions’ Rocket J. Squirrel quickly surpassed Huck in my personal pantheon).

In this first part of my 1997 interview with Joe Barbera and in this Part 2 of the session, we explore the evolution of cartoons from the dawn of TV animation for kids to the onset of a more adult era.

If you’ve ever enjoyed time spent with the Cartoon Network or Boomerang, you owe a debt to Barbera, who died in 2006. Here’s our chat.

Got a thing for the history of kids’ TV? Here’s Captain Kangaroo in 1994 and Sesame Street co-creator Jeff Moss in 1997.

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