Fred and Barney Meet the Thing

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Fred and Barney Meet the Thing
Fred and Barney Meet the Thing.jpg
Based on
Directed byRay Patterson
George Gordon
Carl Urbano
Voices ofHenry Corden
Mel Blanc
Jean Vander Pyl
Gay Autterson
Joe Baker
Wayne Morton
Marilyn Schreffler
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of episodes13 (26 segments of The Thing)
Executive producer(s)William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Producer(s)Alex Lovy
Running time60 minutes
Production company(s)Hanna-Barbera
Marvel Comics Group
DistributorTaft Broadcasting
Original networkNBC
Original releaseSeptember 22 (1979-09-22) –
December 1, 1979 (1979-12-01)
Preceded byThe New Fred and Barney Show
Followed byFred and Barney Meet the Shmoo

Fred and Barney Meet the Thing is a 60-minute Saturday morning animated package show and a spin-off of The Flintstones produced by Hanna-Barbera which aired on NBC from September 22, 1979 to December 1, 1979. It contained the following two segments:

Despite the show's title, the two segments remained separate and did not crossover with one another; the characters of Fred Flintstone, Barney Rubble and the Thing were only featured together during the opening title sequence and in brief bumpers between segments. The unusual combination of a Marvel superhero and The Flintstones was possible because, at this time, Marvel Comics owned the rights to several Hanna-Barbera franchises and were, in fact, publishing comic books based upon them; The Flintstones was one of these.

For the 1979–80 season, the series was expanded to a 90-minute timeslot with the addition of The New Shmoo episodes and broadcast under the new title Fred and Barney Meet the Shmoo.

Like many animated series created by Hanna-Barbera in the 1970s, the show contained a laugh track, one of their last productions to do so.

The Thing[edit]

The first segment, a very loose adaptation of Marvel Comics' character the Thing, consisted of stories following the adventures of a scrawny, red-headed teenager named Benjy Grimm (voiced by Wayne Morton) who changes into the monstrous and mighty Thing (voiced by Joe Baker) by touching together magic rings and reciting the words "Thing ring, do your thing!", releasing an explosion of energy that causes orange rocks to hurl in from every direction and transform him into the stone-skinned superhero. When the Thing spoke, his good-naturedly gruff Brooklyn-accented voice was based on that of comedian Jimmy Durante.

The stories centered mostly around Benjy at Centerville High School with his friends, the beautiful brunette Betty (voiced by Marilyn Schreffler), her snooty rich boyfriend Ronald Radford (voiced by John Erwin), and Betty's blond tomboy younger sister Kelly (voiced by Noelle North), with minimal adult supervision provided by teacher Miss Twilly (voiced by Marilyn Schreffler). Only Kelly and her scientist father Dr. Harkness (voiced by John Stephenson) know Benjy's secret identity.

When not battling various mad scientists and getting involved in Scooby-Doo-style mysteries, the Thing spent most of his time using his superhuman strength to protect his pals from everyday dangers and the nasty practical jokes of leather-clad bully Spike (voiced by Art Metrano) and his biker buddies Stretch and Turkey in the Yancy Street Gang.

Other members of the Fantastic Four did not appear in the show, and the portrayal of the Thing and his origin story differed greatly from the original comics.[1]

Twenty-six 11-minute episodes of The Thing were produced; two shorts aired per show.

The Thing segments are owned by WarnerMedia, but the character is owned by The Walt Disney Company due to their purchase of Marvel Comics in late 2009, with the movie rights to all Fantastic Four characters currently owned by 20th Century Fox. Ironically, Disney announced to purchase Fox in late 2017, which will also give Disney the film rights.

Other appearances[edit]

In FF #8, Ant-Man and Dragon Man give pink-haired rock star turned reluctant superhero Darla Deering her own Thing Rings to summon Ben Grimm's old rocky Thing-bodied exoskeleton and become the bubble-helmeted Miss Thing, saying "Thing Rings, do your thing--".[2]


# Episode titles Original airdate
1 "The Picnic Panic" / "Bigfoot Meets the Thing" September 22, 1979
2 "Junkyard Hijinks" / "Gone Away Gulch" September 29, 1979
3 "Circus Stampede" / "The Thing and the Queen" October 6, 1979
4 "Carnival Caper" / "The Thing Blanks Out" October 13, 1979
5 "The Thing Meets the Clunk" / "Beach Party Crashers" October 20, 1979
6 "Decepto the Great" / "The Thing's the Play" October 27, 1979
7 "Double Trouble for the Thing" / "To Thing or Not to Thing" November 3, 1979
8 "The Big Bike Race" / "The Thing and the Treasure Hunt" November 10, 1979
9 "Out to Launch" / "The Day the Ring Didn't do a Thing" November 17, 1979
10 "A Hot Air Affair at the Fair" / "The Thing Goes to the Dogs" November 24, 1979
11 "The Thing Goes Camping" / "Dude Ranch Rodeo" December 1, 1979
12 "Photo Finish" / "Lights, Action, Thing!" December 8, 1979 *
13 "The Thing and the Captain's Ghost" / "The Thing and the Absent-Minded Inventor" December 15, 1979 *


The New Fred and Barney Show[edit]

The "Fred and Barney" half of the show consisted of five new 30-minute episodes of The New Fred and Barney Show combined with reruns of first-season episodes.


# Episode title Original airdate
1 "Physical Fitness Fred" September 22, 1979
2 "Moonlighters" September 29, 1979
3 "Fred Goes to the Houndasaurs" October 6, 1979
4 "The Bad Luck Genie" October 13, 1979
5 "Dinosaur Country Safari" October 20, 1979



  1. ^ "Fantastic Four on TV". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved September 9, 2010.
  2. ^ FF #8, writer: Matt Fraction, artist: Mike Allred

External links[edit]