Revisiting 'The Flintstones Meet Rockula and Frankenstone,' the ultimate Halloween special of the disco era

It featured the voice of a beloved Addams Family member — months after his death.

The Flintstones primetime television series may have ended in 1966, but it was only the beginning. The characters only became bigger and bigger over the years, thanks to vitamins and breakfast cereal. Oh, and cartoons, of course.

Throughout the Seventies, the Modern Stone Age Family appeared in several Saturday morning cartoons and specials. In 1979, they even joined forces with Marvel Comics characters for the weekly Fred and Barney Meet the Thing.

That same year, the Flintstones and Rubbles took a spooky trip to Rocksylvania, bumping into some classic monsters in The Flintstones Meet Rockula and Frankenstone. The one-hour special aired on the evening of October 30 — and has rarely been aired since.

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1. It featured the voice of Ted "Lurch" Cassidy… nine months after he died.

No actor in Hollywood (outside of Richard Kiel, perhaps) was better suited to playing lumbering hulks than Ted Cassidy. His 6' 9" frame and deep voice made him the perfect choice for Lurch, the imposing butler of The Addams Family, not to mention the hunchbacked Balok puppet on Star Trek. And "Frankenstone," of course. Cassidy died in January of 1979, nearly 10 months before The Flintstones special aired. He was just 46 years old.

2. It featured the voice of the "new Fred."

Voicing the character in the original 1960–66 animated series, Alan Reed defined the sound of Fred Flintstone. Reed continued to bring Fred to live in spin-offs like The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show and The Flintstone Comedy Hour, as well as commercials and whatnot. In the summer of '77, the New York City native passed away shortly before his 70th birthday. Hanna-Barbera had a replacement readily at hand. Henry Cordon, the bespectacled actor who some might remember as landlord Henry Babbitt on The Monkees, was no stranger to Fred. Cordon had voiced the singing voice of Fred as far back as 1966. His first big starring role as Flintstone came in A Flintstone Christmas (1977). A sports special called Flintstones: Little Big League (1978) followed, and the Halloween special hit just as The New Fred and Barney Show (1979) was kicking off. Cordon would voice Fred up through 1997.

3. There was a disco scene.

In case there was any doubt this was a product of 1979, Wilma and Betty implore the men to boogie in Rockula's castle. A rather lengthy disco scene follows. "I could dance like this all night, couldn't you?" an excited Betty proclaims. The closing credits also feature a funky disco instrumental version of the familiar "Meet the Flintstones" theme.

4. There's a good reason this game show host sounded like Shaggy.

In addition to hosting American Top 40 on the radio, Casey Kasem was a go-to voice over artist for Hanna-Barbera. The iconic deejay was the man behind Shaggy in Scooby-Doo and Robin the Boy Wonder in Super Friends. Here, he was Monty Marble, a spoof of Let's Make a Deal emcee Monty Hall, a game show host for Make a Deal or Don't. It would be Kasem's only appearance in a Flintstones cartoon.

5. The actor who played Rockula was better known as another Fred Flintstone adversary.

Yes, outside of the groovy music, the voice actors are indeed the most interesting element of this special. John Stephenson provided the voice of the titular vampire Rockula. He was no stranger to Flintstones fans' ears. He had previously voiced Fred's boss Mr. Slate — who oddly does not appear in this special!

6. Betty had a different voice actress, too.

The most noticeably different voice in the group belongs to Betty Rubble. Gay Autterson handled the role throughout the Seventies, so for a certain generation, she might be the Betty of memory. But the Texas native adds a hint of Twang to the brunette. (Well, here, she also has a striking skunk-striped "Bride of Frankenstein" hairdo.) The only actors from the original Flintstones remaining in this special were Mel Blanc (Barney, Dino) and Jean Vander Pyl (Wilma).

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25 Comments

BenSobeleone 4 months ago
John Stephenson made guest appearances on Hogan's Heroes.
CoreyC 4 months ago
Henry Corden voiced Fred's arch enemy next door neighbor in The Flintstones.
Bapa1 4 months ago
As long as my lime-green leisure suit still fits me, Disco will never die!
WGH 4 months ago
The reason it hasn't aired many times since the original broadcast was simple. I remember this. It sucked.
Andybandit 4 months ago
That Flintstones cartoon was very good.
Karellen 4 months ago
Wouldn't it be nice for MeTV to air this special, and other specials that they do stories about. When MeTV first came to our market, there were Christmas and Easter specials. After the first year, almost nothing. I would like to see the old network specials return.
LoveMETV22 Karellen 4 months ago
Like Network TV stations used to do back in the day....Remember when the networks would annually air The Wizard of Oz then The Charlie Brown Great Pumpkin then the various Christmas specials. It was very memorable. The specials are still on it's just now they are aired by various cable networks.
MrsPhilHarris LoveMETV22 4 months ago
Loved seasonal specials even if they were lame.
LoveMETV22 MrsPhilHarris 4 months ago
True, there might have been a bit of lameness to some of them, however they didn't seem that way when we viewed them as children. However a few of them had seen remakes or sequels that just don't take the place of the originals.
Dianar 39 months ago
I love METV channel all the shows are great.😍😍
colleenhenry66 40 months ago
Loved seeing the shoe again, my son loved it!
Mario500 40 months ago
(believes the proper spelling of the surname for the provider of the voices of Fred in the "special" is "Corden")
Jon 40 months ago
Henry Corden was also the voice of Arnie Barkley, head of THE BARKLEYS, one of my favorite Saturday morning cartoons, on NBC for the 1972-73 season. I now have THE BARKLEYS on DVD along w/ THE HOUNDCATS.
JosephScarbrough 40 months ago
I actually have a copy of this special on a double-feature VHS, which also features as a bonus cartoon another special, THE FLINTSTONES' NEW NEIGHBORS, which has the Frankenstone family moving in next door to the Flintstones, and Fred basically acting like a bigoted a$$#0l3 about it. If my memory serves correctly, I have this VHS because it was rented from a local small-town video store that went out of business before it could be returned (or maybe it was rent-to-own, I'm not sure).
Wiseguy JosephScarbrough 40 months ago
"The Flintstones' New Neighbors" was not a special. It was the premiere of a new primetime Flintstones series broadcast on 9/26/80 (produced, I believe, due to a writers' or directors' strike going on at the time). Four half-hour episodes were made and some of them were rerun or held over to the following fall when there was another writers' or directors' strike. "The Flintstones Meet Rockula and Frankenstone" was also rerun on 10/3/80 as a broadcast of that series.

Note: This special should not be confused with "Fred & Barney Meet the Frankenstones" broadcast 9/15/79 on Saturday morning as an episode of The New Fred & Barney Show. I think I recall the two versions of the Frankenstones didn't even look alike.
mantsmom 40 months ago
I missed it didn’t see this until tonight
MrsPhilHarris 40 months ago
Never seen it. I think I might tune in.
LittleMissNoName 40 months ago
Looking for ward to watching it with my family Friday Night.🌙
stephaniestavropoulos 40 months ago
Honey97 has got to be stopped. We were complaining about all those get rich quick posts, those are nothing in comparison to what Honey97 is posting!!
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