Hey, hey, hey, it’s Yogi!
Whether Yogi is a catcher with the New York Yankees or a bear snitching pic-a-nic baskets around Jellystone Park depends on your age range.
The similarity between the names Yogi Berra, the catcher, and Yogi Bear, the cartoon character, was purely coincidence according to Hanna-Barbera Studios, who introduced their version of Yogi in 1958.
As created by animators Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera, the personality of Yogi Bear was inspired by Ed Norton, as played by actor Art Carney in the popular television series, “The Honeymooners.” Early Hanna-Barbera characters were often inspired by the mannerisms of actors such as Phil Silvers (Hokey Wolf) and Jimmy Durante (Augie Doggie).
Yogi Berra (1925-2015) was given his nickname by a teammate before he entered the majors. Born as Lawrence Peter Berra, he preferred sitting cross-legged, much like a Hindu yogi, and the nickname stuck. Berra played for the Yankees from 1946 to 1963 and returned as team manager from 1984 to 1985.
In addition to his baseball skills, Berra became known for his quips, such as, “It ain’t over until it’s over,” and, “I never said most of the things I said.” After the introduction of Yogi Bear, he tried suing Hanna-Barbera Studios for defamation but later dropped the case.
First featured during “The Huckleberry Hound Show,” Yogi Bear starred in his own cartoon program in 1961. “The Yogi Bear Show” offered two cartoon segments featuring Yogi and Boo Boo, and one each featuring new characters Yakky Doodle and Snagglepuss.
This metal serving TV tray would have come in handy for youngsters eating snacks or meals in front of the television while watching their favorite cartoons. The scene includes Huckleberry Hound, Mr. Jinks, Pixie and Dixie, and Yakky Doodle joining Yogi and Boo Boo in a musical performance.