Not content with getting one hit show out of ripping off The Honeymooners, Hanna-Barbera also used Ed's personality, speaking style, look, and mannerisms as the basis for Yogi Bear ...
CBS Television Distribution, Hanna-BarberaEspecially that episode wherein Ed eschewed civilization and went off to live in the woods wearing nothing but his hat and tie.
... who, of course, got his name from legendary baseball player Yogi Berra. Berra wasn't too amused by the "tribute" (and was even less so when people started asking him if it was the other way around), but his attempts to sue didn't hold up in court.
Next up, the studio set their sights on Sgt. Bilko, a streetwise army officer who routinely roped his platoon into get-rich-quick schemes. HB took the idea, turned the cast into a bunch of alley cats, and called it Top Cat. They went so far as to hire a former Bilko writer for the cartoon, and brought one of the main actors to voice his own feline version.
CBS Television Distribution, Hanna-Barbera
CBS Television Distribution, Hanna-BarberaAre these the first ever fursonas?
And finally, Snagglepuss, the pink mountain lion with a flair for the dramatic, was such an obvious copy of Bert Lahr's Cowardly Lion from The Wizard Of Oz that they even got a renowned Lahr impersonator for the part. Snagglepuss' catchphrase -- "Heavens to Murgatroyd!" -- was even cribbed from one of Lahr's movies. The cartoon was so successful that Kellogg's eventually recruited the Snag-meister as a spokes-lion for their cereals ... which was a problem for Lahr, since people now thought he was endorsing those products. He sued for $500,000. And now, of course, everybody remembers Bert Lahr and not Snagglepuss.
Get that blasted "Let It Go" song into the heads of parents you hate by buying their kids an entire Frozen toy instrument set!
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For more stolen characters, check out 6 Famous Characters You Didn't Know Were Shameless Rip-Offs and 16 Famous Characters That Are Secretly Rip-Offs.
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