Alan Reed's son said that Fred Flintstone's trademark ''Yabba Dabba Doo'' was his father's idea

This "Yabba Dabba Doo" was almost a "Yabba Dabba Don't."

Just as iconic as a name or an outfit, a character’s catchphrase is iconic in its own right. It’s what sticks in a viewer’s mind long after the television has turned off, or even after the show has left the airwaves of television.

Such is the case for Fred Flintstone and his famous catchphrase “Yabba Dabba Doo!” If you yell that into a crowded supermarket, sure, they’ll probably be a little frightened, but they’ll also definitely know that you’re quoting Fred Flintstone. Well, it might surprise you to know that the famous catchphrase was actually an improvisational choice by none other than Alan Reed, the voice of Fred Flintstone himself.

In an interview with Tinseltown Talks for the Fayette Tribune, Reed’s son, Alan Reed Jr., recounted the story. He said, “It called for Fred to yell ‘Yahoo!’ but Dad felt it didn’t have the exuberance that was needed.” He continued, “So he spontaneously came up with ‘Yabba Dabba Doo!’ during a recording session and Joe (Barbera) liked it.”

Reed Jr. also claimed that the series stood on the shoulders of another well-known program. He said, “The show was inspired by Jackie Gleason’s The Honeymooners. Fred Flintstone apparently took the place of Ralph Kramden, played by Jackie Gleason.

Reed Jr. also revealed that while it may be difficult to picture, his father wasn’t actually the first choice to voice the main Flintstone character. He revealed, “There was a short pilot called ‘The Flagstones’ with Daws Butler as the voice of Fred. He was a great voice actor for Hanna-Barbera, but just didn’t come up with the sound the producers had in mind for Fred.” By contrast, Reed Jr. said, “Dad had that natural gruff, heavy tone that could be excitable and funny, but with a warm twinkle about it at the same time.”

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17 Comments

templar99 8 months ago
And Alan Reed Jr. played beatnik Sheldon Epps in three episodes of The Beverly Hillbillies!
AgingDisgracefully 8 months ago
If only Jerry Lewis hadn't already given the world, "Hey LADY!!"...
Dugan 8 months ago
Always thought it had something to do with “a little dab will do ya”
Runeshaper 8 months ago
That's AWESOME! Way to go, dad! (-:
MrsPhilHarris 8 months ago
Alan Reed’s voice is all over old time radio.
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KJExpress MrsPhilHarris 8 months ago
I think I'll look for some scary things around Halloween. I used to have a recording of a couple episodes of The Shadow.
MrsPhilHarris KJExpress 8 months ago
Love The Shadow!
Moverfan MrsPhilHarris 8 months ago
I have four or five cassette tapes (yep, I'm that old) of The Shadow radio episodes. One of the credits on several episodes said that Margo Lane was played by Agnes Moorehead...I spent a good forty-five minutes thinking "I know that name, I know that name" before I finally remembered she played Endora on Bewitched years later! The two characters sound nothing alike, but you'd think my brain would kick into gear a little faster...
MrsPhilHarris Moverfan 8 months ago
😂 That’s funny! She does sound very different on The Shadow.
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