5Dino from The Flintstones Could Talk
Dino was the Stone Age equivalent of a dog. He made children believe that owning a dinosaur in real life would be just like owning a puppy, and not a prehistoric monster that would probably eat all your neighbors' pets and then die because his immune system couldn't handle contemporary bacteria.
You'd be surprised how much antibacterial soap these guys can go through.
But in the Beginning:
In his first appearance on The Flintstones, Dino could talk ... even though everyone watching probably wished he couldn't. In the episode "The Snorkasaurus Story," Fred and Barney go hunting and encountered a wild, talking Snorkasaurus (Dino), who easily outwitted them -- much like Bugs Bunny, except in a way that's far less charming or amusing.
"What the? He's right there, guys! Look up! Ha ha! This is a good time, isn't it?" -- Nobody
Since this is a Hanna-Barbera cartoon, Dino's voice had to be a bad impression of a 1950s celebrity. Huckleberry Hound sounds like Andy Griffith, Snagglepuss is Bert Lahr and Dino, for obvious reasons, is Phil Silvers.
This man's face screams "prehistoric monster."
After Fred and Barney failed to beat the dinosaur to death with their clubs, Dino accidentally encountered Betty and Wilma, who took pity on the horrid amalgamation of lizard and man, and rescued him.
The episode ends with Dino apparently becoming their butler; ironing clothes, answering phones and singing joyfully.
The lighter side of unpaid domestic slavery!
Since Dino never spoke again, a lot of Flintstone purists (yes, there is such a thing. A sad, sad thing) claim that this dinosaur wasn't Dino at all, citing such credible sources as The Flintstone Kids, which features Fred and Dino as children. But in the final minutes of the episode, Wilma proves all of these theories wrong, when she and Betty clearly call the Snorkasaurus "Dino." Every other episode afterward featured the dinosaur acting like a dog, and not an effete manservant.
To us, the answer is clear: The Flintstones obviously lobotomized all of their servants in order to keep them docile and to prevent uprisings.
4Kermit the Frog Killed Dudes
Everybody's favorite mild mannered Muppet, Kermit the Frog, has been the centerpiece of the Muppets cast since their inception. His timid nature makes him a natural straight man to the zany antics of characters like Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and Gonzo. Over the course of multiple TV series and cameo-stuffed feature films, Kermit was the boring paste that held the explosive Muppets together.
It really is rather difficult being green.
But in the Beginning:
Proto-Kermit was a coffee-loving sadist.
Jim Henson has been fiddling around with puppets for much longer than most people realize. It's easy to associate the Muppets with the 1970s because they were constantly on TV and in movies, and also because everybody was so drugged up that you could re-cast the whole decade with talking puppets and nobody would bat an eyelash. But the Muppets have actually been around since the 1950s, when Henson was doing early, abbreviated work with a five-minute TV series called Sam & Friends and a series of 10-second commercials for Wilkins Instant Coffee. The latter starred an early incarnation of Kermit the Frog named "Wilkins." He didn't look exactly like Kermit, yet -- but he was green, vaguely frog-shaped and his speaking voice sounded like somebody strangling a Minnesotan that just ate an entire pot of melted cheese.
Here's Kermit, murdering a young athlete.
The first ad has Wilkins (proto-Kermit) asking a dumpy-looking Muppet named Wotkins if he likes Wilkins Coffee. The other Muppet answers, "No," so Kermit shoots him with a cannon. He then turns to the camera and asks the audience, now unwitting accomplices to Muppet murder, if they like Wilkins Coffee. The implication being that Kermit the Frog will murder you as well if you don't shell out the cash. That's right: The first Muppet was a murderous extortionist.
Kermit: Pro-torture, as long as they're confirmed "bad guys."
Over the course of the rest of the ads, Kermit tortures his unsuspecting friend by pushing him out of a tree, shoving him out of a hot air balloon, smashing him with hammers, stabbing him, throwing knives at him, trampling him with horses, drowning him, running him over with a steamroller and finally giving up all pretense of wacky comedy shenanigans and just straight-up shooting him with a pistol.
Like any other organic life-form, the Muppets needed to evolve to stay competitive. As Jim Henson and company kept experimenting with their characters, Kermit changed from a generic green sock to a lizard and finally to a frog. Now he plays the straight man to the rest of the Muppet cast, suffering their slings and arrows with good-natured humor ... until one day, they'll push him too far, and he'll show them, oh yes. He'll show them all what it's truly like to be victimized.
Kermit the goddamn lizard, everybody. You can pick your jaws up at the door.