Meet George O’Hanlon

The face may not be familiar, but the voice surely is.

George O’Hanlon (1912-1989) was George Jetson, the space-age, white-collar counterpart to Fred Flintstone (Alan Reed)’s paleolithic quarry worker.

Season one of the classic animated sitcom, The Jetsons (1962-1963), which originally aired for 24 episodes in primetime on ABC, will soon be on MeTV’s schedule. Starting February 21, the over-the-air channel will show episodes Sundays at 11:30 am ET.

(You can also stream The Jetsons, plus all 51 episodes from a two-season 1980s syndicated reboot, with subscriptions to HBO Max and Boomerang; or you can buy the original season for $9.99/season or $1.99 per episode from Vudu and other providers.

George’s nuclear family includes Jane (Penny Singleton), Judy (Janet Waldo), Elroy (Daws Butler), Rosey the Robot (Jean Vander Pyl, aka, Wilma Flintstone) and Astro the dog (Don Messick).

Cosmo S. Spacely, George’s boss, is voiced by the great Mel Blanc. Blanc’s incredibly vast and varied portfolio includes numerous Warner Bros. characters and, of course, Barney Rubble.

O’Hanlon’s career, however, was a little more eclectic.

Aside from The Jetsons, his comparatively limited animation resume includes assorted voices for The Flintstone Kids (1986-1990).

As for live-action, O’Hanlon played a TV commentator in Rocky, and made spot appearances on Love American Style, The Odd Couple, Mission Impossible, The Partridge Family, Adam-12, Marcus Welby, Mister Ed and other shows.

Joe McDoakes

George O'Hanlon as Joe McDoakes
(Above: George O’Hanlon as Joe McDoakes. Source: YouTube video)

But before television sets were a fixture in most American homes, O’Hanlon was the star of his own theatrically released Warner Bros comedy series –  Joe McDoakes (1942-1956).

There were more than 60 one-reel shorts with titles starting with “So You …”  Entries included “So You Love Your Dog,” “So You’re Going to Be a Father,” “So You Want to Hold Your Wife,” “So You Want to Be a Politician” and “So You Want to Be a Gladiator.”  Each short opened with McDoakes standing behind a giant eight-ball, looking somewhat peevishly into the camera.

McDoakes was an absurdist take on the middle-class striver, a how-to for tackling fears (“So You Think You’re a Nervous Wreck”) or pursuing dreams of attainment (“So You Want to Get Rich Quick”), self-improvement (“So You Want to Give Up Smoking”) or the latest gadget (“So You Want a Television Set”).

When it comes to laughs, the series is a bit inconsistent. Still, there is one short we enthusiastically recommend. “So You Want a Model Railroad” is a cautionary tale. In it, Joe’s wife (Jane Frazee) recounts his rapid slide into toy train addiction.

So You Want to Binge Joe McDoakes?

Although Joe McDoakes doesn’t have a regular streaming home, you can find several of the shorts on YouTube. They also pop up occasionally on TCM, and you can buy the series on DVD for $20.22 from Amazon.

(Top image source: MeTV)

About Larry Greenberg

A former local beat reporter and film critic, co-founder Lawrence Greenberg has more than 25 years’ experience as a writer and public relations executive.

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