1977: C B Bears Released on 10 September
Fred Flintstone and Friends Released on September 11
This was a 30–minute weekday animated series produced by Hanna-Barbera Production. The show was a repackaging of four Saturday morning Hanna-Barbera animated series and was hosted by Fred Flintstone. It contained the following segments: Goober and the Ghost Chasers, Jeannie, Partridge Family 2200 A.D. (re-titled The Partridge Family in Outer Space) and lastly, Yogi's Gang which again featured Allan as Magilla Gorilla.
1978: Hanna-Barbera's All-Star Comedy Ice Revue First aired on January 13
A 60-minute live-action/animated television special. Featuring a celebrity roast for Fred Flintstone on his birthday and hosted by Roy Clark and Bonnie Franklin. Other characters appearing were Yogi Bear, Jabberjaw, Huckleberry Hound, Scooby-Doo, Hong Kong Phooey, Quick Draw McGraw, Snagglepuss and The Hair Bear Bunch and The Banana Splits (with Allan as the voice of Drooper).
The All New Popeye Hour First aired on September 9
An hour-long animated series produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions, which tried its best to retain the style of the original comic strip (Popeye returned to his original costume and Brutus to his original name of Bluto), while complying with the prevailing content restrictions on violence.
The spinach-gobbling old tar was less violent than in the old days, but he looked and sounded the same as he had in his previous 454 cartoon appearances.
The All-New Popeye Hour ran on CBS until September 1981, when it was cut to a half-hour and retitled The Popeye and Olive Show. It was removed from the CBS lineup in September 1983, the year before the great Jack Mercer's death.
Popeye original theme
1979: Two voiceovers for the ABC Weekend Specials programme......these were on the Ruby-Spears Produced, The Puppy's Great Adventure Released February 3 and The Horse That Played Centrefield Released February 8.
The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Hour Released 08 September - featured the segments Plastic Man, Fangface and Mighty Man & Yukk. Voices: Thugsy in Plastic Man (episode called The Minuscule Seven) - Additional voices for Fangface - Coach Crime in Mighty Man & Yukk (episode called Coach Crime's Big Play) and also in Mighty Man & Yukk as Sanfon Vulch in the episode entitled, The Glutunous Glop.
Also released in September was a saturday morning cartoon series called The New Adventures of Flash Gordon.......this animated series came out a full year before the movie version, which starred Sam Jones, Brian Blessed and Max Von Sydow.
This version of Flash was unmatched, by either the wonderful 1930s Buster Crabbe serial, or the soon to be released movie. The makers, Filmation captured perfectly the splendour and the essence of Alex Raymond's original animated comic strip, making great use of the best technology on offer: Body rotoscope, moiré patterns, fx animation, rotoscoping over motion control shots of model ships. The end result? A 16 chapter serial, which, while flawed with repetitive (at times) animation, delivered non-stop action, breathtaking animation and artistry with a truly FULL look and feel to it.
Allan Melvin voiced Vultan who was the King of the Hawkemen. He was also the series announcer and his vocals were used on numerous additional characters too.
Vultan King of the Hawkemen
With his cartoon face of soft curves and pouches, Allan, had enjoyed a good life playing ensemble parts, then he fell into comedy character parts and never let up. On a visit to London he was spotted by a Hackney Cab driver who yelled at him, "HENSHAW!!" This was over twenty years after the Bilko show had ended.
1981: Voice work continues to roll in. Next up was the one-minute cartoon wrap arounds, The Bungle Brothers. This featured two beagle dogs named George and Joey, voiced by Michael Bell and Allan, who want to break into show business. The two canines wanted to be stars, but their ill-fated shots at fame failed every time.
This animated programme filler was one of four to feature on the new Kwicky Koala Show. Other segments featured the title character Kwicky Koala who was always being pursued by his enemy Wilfred Wolf. Another segment featured a character named Crazy Claws and the final segment featured Dirty Dawg.
This show is notable for being among the legendary cartoon director Tex Avery's final works, as he died during production in 1980.
Next up for Allan was to provide a few imitations for those small blue creatures called Smurfs.
Marvel Productions came calling when they wanted Allan to voice the part of Electro on their new animation, Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends.
Electro is a supervillain and a dangerous enemy of Spider-Man. He was created when an electrician named Max Dillon gains his electrical powers after being struck by lightning while working on a power line only to be then electrocuted by the power cables. He manages to survive and becomes a supervillain after discovering his new powers. When his body is charged to high levels, he becomes superhumanly strong and fast. He can also glide over power lines by using the electricity contained therein for propulsion, and he has on occasion been shown to actually ride on lightning bolts.
The show featuring Allan was episode seven of series one. This was called, Videoman. Here Electro plots to take over New York City by gathering as much of the Big Apples' electricity as possible. To help him in his daring plot he creates the villain called Videoman, an electronic being from an arcade machine.
Allan then supplied additional voices, for a spin-off of a successful television show, that cartoon was Laverne & Shirley in the Army.
By 1982 this cartoon was included, along with two other TV spin-offs, in the hour-long Mork & Mindy/Laverne & Shirley/Fonz Hour.
The year of 82 saw Allan make a very brief return as Magilla Gorilla in the 24 minute seasonal cartoon, Yogi Bear's All-Star Comedy Christmas Caper. He voiced two other parts in this delightful animation, they were as Police Chief Blake and a passer-by with a pickernick basket with the name of Murray.
"With me it was strictly business. I'd go in and say the words and go home -- pop off home, as Arthur Treacher used to say, and that was sort of my m.o. I look at it as a job, it's like selling shoes or being a dentist. You go in the morning and do it and then you get in your car and you go home." Allan
1984: Challenge of the GoBots Released on 8 September
1985: Galtar and the Golden Lance Debuted in September
Various additional voices
Another animation from Hanna-Barbera Studios. Set in outer space and in the distant future, featuring all kinds of sword & sorcery. The series is about the mythical adventures of three companions: Galtar, Princess Goleeta, and her younger mind controlling brother, Zorn. Galtar, with the help of his Golden Lance, is fighting with Tormack, the tyrannical usurper of the kingdom of Bandisar who is conquering their entire world.
CBS TV turn to Allan to provide extra mimickry for their new family animation, Harry the Fat Bear Spy. This cartoon, which was first aired 12 October, concerns the exploits of Harry the Ursine spy who is ordered to find out why all the macaroons in Bearmania are coming out green, his search bring him faceto face with mysterious bear agents, flying bears in bird suits and the Terrible Green Bear himself!
Magilla Gorilla resurfaced as The Thinker in an episode of Yogi's Treasure Hunt called The Moaning Liza (aired December 30). In Paris, France, the famous painting The Moaning Liza is stolen by the Pink Pussycat, who's is more-or-less a Doppelgänger of Snagglepuss; Snag is accused of the theft, and Yogi and the gang try to clear him by catching the real thief.
During 1986 Allan joined the voiceover cast of Foofur. This animal based children's animated series was created by Hanna-Barbera Productions and Freddy Monnickendam and aired on NBC to the year 1988. The main protagonist and title character was a skinny big blue hound dog. Allan Melvin would be the voice behind the character of Chucky for the whole series.
1987: Four years after his first stint on the Popeye show had finished Allan found himself back with the old seafarer when producers, Hanna-Barbera, decided to make another series featuring the old spinach-gobbling sailor. Debuting on television on September 19, this new show was called Popeye And Son. Olive and Popeye were married and had produced, Jumior, their non spinach eating son. Popeye's rival Bluto has a wife of his own and they also have a son named Tank. Jack Mercer, the voice for Popeye for many many years, had sadly passed away in 1984 so Maurice LaMarche supplied the rasping tones of Popeye. Allan, of course, took his customary role as Popeye's arch-enemy, Bluto........but who would voice J. Wellington Wimpy? After all the late Jack Mercer had also provided the voice of this Hamburger-munching friend of Popeye. Allan Melvin was well up to the task, he auditioned for the part and was superb by all accounts. The producers wasted no time in having him provide the much needed vocals of J. Wellington Wimpy.
Interestingly, the woman who would finish off the series as Olive Oyl was non-other than Nancy Cartwright.......she who went on to enjoy huge worldwide success when providing the voice of Bart Simpson in the Simpsons animated television series.
The next voiceovers, for Allan was when he worked for Walt Disney on DuckTales. This was in the show called Bermuda Triangle Tangle first aired 26 October. Here Scrooge McDuck and Huey, Dewey and Louie venture through the Bermuda Triangle in their quest to find the missing boat known as The Queen of the South. Allan had two roles in this cartoon, one was as Scrooge McDucks' Captain Foghorn.... the other was as the pirate leader, Captain Bounty.
Yogi's Great Escape first aired in syndication November 19
Yogi Bear and Boo Boo Bear find themselves in a western ghost town. Apparently the only remaining resident is the sheriff, Quick Draw McGraw, who mistakes Yogi and Boo Boo for two bank robbers, Bandit Bear (voiced by Allan) and Li'l Brother Bear (Hamilton Camp). Quick Draw throws Yogi and Boo Boo in jail along with three cubs. The Lone Raiders help spring Yogi from jail and capture the real robbers, who turned out to be close doubles of Yogi and Boo Boo!!
1988: This year saw Allan voice many parts in The Good, the Bad and Huckleberry Hound Released April 6.
The Good, the Bad and Huckleberry Hound
Set during during the California Gold Rush of 1849, this was a 120 minute animated television movie that starred Huckleberry Hound and featured several other Hanna-Barbera characters, including; Quick Draw McGraw, Baba Looey, Snagglepuss, Hokey Wolf and Peter Potamus. It was a part of the Superstars 10 series of television films. This made-for-television feature was a parody of various western movies, the title is obviously a take-off of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and a major plot point was lifted from High Noon. The constant references to Huckleberry as a "mysterious, steely-eyed, and silent-type stranger" (despite the fact that Huck's just being himself) spoof the western stock character of the Man with No Name. Several other plot points were lifted from well-known western films, such as High Plains Drifter.
Allan had five characters to voice - they were as the Devil, a Game Show Announcer, Dinky Dalton, a Spooky Movie Narrator and as Magilla Gorilla (who appeared alongside Mr Peebles at the site of Stinky Dalton's breakout).
1988: Allan decides to retire from acting on camera......his reasoning was...."I've done it for, 40 years and I've had a bellyful of it. Now I play golf and I travel a little and enjoy myself. I just wanted to make a living and sort of do my own thing as well as work. I was never that driven toward show business, to be honest with you, so it was the way that I made a living, and that was it."
Allan meant business --- he had recently turned down an offer of a regular role as Sid Caesar's agent on his upcoming comedy series. But as Allan kept telling everybody his face is all over the dial and will be for many years with reruns.
Between 1988-91 he used his voicebox to great effect on the Adventures of the Gummi Bears cartoon show.
First aired September 17, 1990: Magilla Gorilla resurfaced on Wake, Rattle and Roll.
This was a kids live action show that was also interspersed with cartoons. Funnily enough, the toons were usually introduced by a robot, called D.E.C.K.S. (this was an acronym for Digital Electronic Cassette-Headed Kinetic System).
Magilla appeared in the segment of the show that featured the cartoon, Fender Bender 500, a sort of Wacky Races of the 1990s, in which the racers drove monster trucks. Partnering the famed simian in his racer, the Swamp Stomper, was Wally Gator, the anthropomorphic alligator. Of the others, each vehicle had a different theme, specific to its drivers, like; Yogi & Boo Boo's truck looked like a giant "pickernick" basket on wheels.
Competitors (listed by truck number) included:
00: Dick Dastardly & Muttley in the Dirty Truckster
1: Yogi & Boo-Boo Bear in the Jellystone Jammer
2: Huck & Snagglepuss in the Half Dog, Half Cat, Half Track
3: Wally Gator & Magilla Gorilla (aided by Yakee Doodle) in the Swamp Stomper
4: Top Cat & Choo-Choo in the Alley Cat
5: Quick Draw McGraw & Baba Looey in the Texas Twister
6: Pixie & Dixie in the Chedder Shredder
7: Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy in the Lucky Trucky
13: Winsome Witch (with her cat, Lucky) in the Sonic Broom
A total of 50 shows were made
The Disney company were obviously impressed with the voicing talents of Allan as they again called on his services for the cartoon series called TaleSpin. (First aired December 4)
Allan was at his meanest as the tyrannical, Warden Slammer, the stern warden of Bedevilled Island Maximum Security Prison. Although at first he seems ruthless, he is eventually revealed to be amore-or-less fair and level headed individual.
The star of this show was non-other than Baloo the Bear the lovable ursine from the earlier Disney classic animated movie, The Jungle Book.
First aired to the American public, 23 September, Allan provided various impressions for the Hanna-Barbera produced animated television series, Adventures of Don Coyote and Sancho Panda.
Based on the classic Cervantes tale of Don Quixote, first published in 1605, the funny, yet meaningful shenanigans proved that some tales are timeless, even when retold by talking cartoon animals.
1991: Hanna-Barbera need Allan for additional voices and to get his larynx in top form, for the role of the young Magilla Gorilla, this was on, Yo Yogi. This was an animated series first aired on NBC on Saturday mornings. Many of the featured episodes, or parts of episodes, were in 3D. At the beginning of these 3D sequences, Yogi would spin his hat atop his head, as a cue for the viewers to put on their 3D glasses.
The show featured teenage versions of, amongst others; Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, Snagglepuss, Yogi's own sidekick, Boo Boo and Yogi's Girlfriend, Cindy Bear. The characters hung out at Jellystone Mall owned by "Diamond" Doggie Daddy with Augie Doggie as his heir to the mall business. Yogi and the gang worked at an agency called L.A.F. (short for Lost and Found) where they acted as detectives trying to solve mysteries under the supervision of the mall's security guard Officer Smith. Dick "Dickie"Dastardly and his sidekick Muttley would cause trouble for Yogi and his gang. But the other teenager who was causing trouble with Dick Dastardly was a new character named Roxie Bear who was Cindy's rival and Yogi's competitor. The characters were never seen at home or school.
Allan Melvin had a great time, voicing the young Magilla, in the show called Jellystone Jam. The full name of the noted simian, in this show, was Magilla Ice Gorilla an obvious reference to the celebrated pop star, Vanilla Ice, who was riding high in the charts at the time.
After this Allan carried on enjoying his "retirement".....................Or did he.............
1994 arrived and with it an invitation from Hanna-Barbera to give Magilla Gorilla one last appearance on the screen. Allan accepted the challenge and duly voiced the part for the animated movie, Scooby Doo in Arabian Nights. Magilla Gorilla starred as Sinbad, in a funny parody which included a send-up of Walt Disney's famed, Pirates of the Caribbean ride!
Scooby Doo and Shaggy Rogers were hired as royal food-tasters by a young Arab Caliph - a job offer they couldn't refuse. When they eat everything, the Caliph gets mad and has his guards chase them, until he found Shaggy disguised in drag as a harem girl. In order to make the prince fall asleep, Shaggy tells him two classic stories: The first tale is about a female character named Aliyah-din and how the genies (played by Yogi and Boo Boo) help her obtain the love of a prince while thwarting the plot of the evil wizard Haman. Sinbad the Sailor (Magilla Gorilla) mistook a pirate ship for a cruise ship. When Shaggy Rogers was about to escape, the Caliph decided to start the ceremony right away. When the wedding cake arrives, Shaggy pigs out and his ruse is discovered. He and Scooby Doo are asked to be the royal storytellers, and the duo accept as well as being the royal food tasters again.
First aired September 3, this 69-minute special was animated with bright colors, stylized character designs and a flatter style to the previous Hanna-Barbera television movies.
In 1996, even at the age of 73, Allan continued to do voice-overs for commercials. He was still living in Brentwood, California with his wife of 52 years, Amalia.
A new movie was about to be released based on the television comedy, The Phil Silvers Show .....the new film was to be called quite simply, Sgt Bilko.
Allan was asked if he would consider a part in the movie, he said about it, "They offered me the father of the bride or something. It had one line. I said I didn't care to do that. The script didn't seem that funny."
Allan now considered himself largely retired, although you could still hear his voice work on the occasional new cartoon or commercial. But mostly you would have found him relaxed on the golf course in and around Los Angeles or near his lovely summer home in Michigan. Now he loved writing and collecting higgledy-piggledys.
In 2005 and 2006 he got the call to do a different kind of work with his voice.........this time for DVD commentaries and interviews for some of his past shows.
First up in 2005 was work on a boxset to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the launch of Bilko or as it was properly known, The Phil Silvers Show on TV. Here Allan provided show introductions and commentaries..........
2006 saw the release of Magilla Gorilla The Complete Series onto DVD. Here Allan provided, in interviews, features on various characters and voices.
Sergeant Bilko: The Phil Silvers Show - 50th Anniversary Edition
Magilla Gorilla Complete Series
Sometimes the funniest people on-screen tended to be the most serious in reality, but Allan Melvin had a genuine easy going nature and a lighthearted humour that had carried him well.
He was "sort of ad-libbing" his way through life when he found showbiz and stayed with it for five decades.
Allan Melvin interviewed:
How did you get the job on Bilko?
I was working in Stalag 17 on Broadway when Phil Silvers saw me and asked me to be on the show. Phil had this wonderful background in burlesque. And he had this physical thing. He would crank himself up. We'd burst into a scene like we were shot from guns.
You were also on Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. and All in the Family, amongst others. Do you still get recognised?
I'm a household face. They say, "Hey, Henshaw," or "Hey, Sam the Butcher from The Brady Bunch." Now there's a cult thing. I've enjoyed the stuff I've done, but the one you're getting paid for, that's what you enjoy most.
Did it ever bother you that you weren't a leading man type?
Yeah, I always used to look at myself and say, "Gee, I don't think the leading man syndrome is gonna work out."Well, I guess at the time when you're a kid you entertain the thought of looking like Errol Flynn because it's such a glamorous, wonderful aspect that appeals to you, but then it passes away and you find that if you have a sense of humour that's very important too. I've sort of been a journeyman actor all my life. I really am a character actor who has been lucky enough to have a face that works for me and a sense of humour, and maybe something to contribute now and then in the creative line, so it all falls into a piece and you work.
Do you have a fave of all the shows you've done?
Well, they all offered something different. The time of your career was different, and you were in a different frame of mind. I enjoyed the Bilko show a lot and I enjoyed working with Norman and Carroll, and they were both really a lot of fun. They were all very rewarding. It all adds up to -- you acquire and benefit from working with all the top guys like Phil Silvers and Sid and Carroll, you learn something from all of them.
Which character was the easiest for you to get into?
Well, I guess it was probably Barney Hefner. Barney is a lot like Allan Melvin, he's sort of just relaxed and goofy and laid back and a little dumb. The clothes were comfortable and the role was and the people I worked with were.
Was it you who really came up with the voice for Magilla Gorilla?
I think it was. You experiment, you do a number of different voices and then you talk them over, and then finally Joe Barbera said, "I think we hit on it, I think that's the one we're gonna use." I've done voices all my life, and cartoon work is fun; it's just going over and being creative vocally and you try and bring something to the character that they have in mind, that's always interesting work. It's just like doing radio. You record the scripts and then they cartoon to your voice, so it's not a matter of you looping or laying in tracks, so it's relatively easy to do once you get the character down.
The multi-talented, Allan Melvin passed away from cancer at his home in Brentwood, California., on January 17, 2008, at the age of 84. He was survived by Amalia, his wife of 64 "DYNAMITE" years, daughter Jennifer Hanson and a grandson.
Goodbye Allan you brought joy to the lives of millions and millions of people.........and your legacy lives on for future generations to treasure and enjoy.