Dear Straight Dope:
My husband thinks I am nuts, but I recall, from my childhood, a cartoon character who was a purple ape, who always said "grape ape." Can anyone tell me the name of the show? Thanks!
SDStaff Terey with SDStaff Scott replies:
You’re not nuts, Dawn! I remember him, too. Like many of us, you just have a brain that’s filled with useless memories from your TV-soaked childhood. Along those lines, I asked our resident TV-soaked expert, Scott, whose brain is a virtual museum of this stuff, for further details on our purple pal.
The character’s name was Grape Ape, a 30-foot (some publicity materials say 40-foot — you decide) purple ape who wore a green baseball cap, an open green short sleeve shirt, and, as with many of Hanna-Barbera’s funny animals, the traditional bow tie. Grape Ape was part of The Tom and Jerry/Grape Ape Show which ran Saturdays on ABC from September 6, 1975 to September 4, 1976. Grape Ape returned with his own half-hour show in 1977.
Grape Ape was voiced by a guy named Bob Holt. His sidekick was a little beagle called Beegle Beagle who Grape Ape referred to as Beegily-Beagily. Beegle was voiced by Mr. Shirley Jones, Marty Ingels, who later gained fame as the voice of Pac Man.
Also in 1977, Grape Ape found more work, sans his sidekick Beegle, on Scooby’s All-Star Laff-A-Lympics (as a member on the Yogi Yahooeys team) which ran from 1977 to 1980.
Scott adds, “While the the Laff-a-Lympics show was tolerable, even fun to watch at times, the Grape Ape show was nothing but cookie-cutter cartoon plots with bad writing and bad animation from the really low-rent era at Hanna-Barbera, really the nadir of TV animation. This kind of show is why Hanna-Barbera has had such a lousy reputation for years.”
Hey. I kinda liked Grape Ape.
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