Celebrating Nearly 60 Years of ‘The Flintstones’ With a Revealing Inside Look at the Beloved Classic

One of the most beloved Classic TV series ever produced is The Flintstones, the animated sitcom — and that’s the best word for it, since it really does feel like it could have been a live-action show — that introduced audiences to Fred and Wilma Flintstone as well as their next-door neighbors Barney and Betty Rubble nearly 60 years ago. Set in the town of Bedrock, it deals with the guys (usually under Fred’s lead) trying one crazy scheme after another, and their wives having to pick up the pieces when it inevitably goes wrong. Think of it as The Honeymooners, but, you know, set in the Stone Age.

“What made The Flintstones were the voices and the human aspects of those characters,” suggests author, pop culture historian and lecturer Arlen Schumer in an exclusive interview with Closer Weekly. “In the end, even if it was inspired by The Honeymooners, Alan Reed was still a great Alan Reed, his Fred Flintstone as unique a voice as Jackie Gleason‘s Ralph Kramden. In the end, it was the voice of the cast and the class of the show. With television — good television — you come away feeling like we know the characters. So it’s the characters and how they were brought to life and, like all great television, when we reminisce about it, it always comes down to the characters we love. It’s acting and personality and, obviously, the scripts too.”

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Hanna Barbera/Kobal/Shutterstock

Another element that separates The Flintstones from other sitcoms is taking elements of our modern world, and giving us a prehistoric take on them. Wanna drive a car? No problem, just be prepared to use your feet to get it moving, because there’s no such thing as engines or gasoline. Want to listen to some music? Have your monkey hand over a stone-carved disc to a bird that will use its beak like a needle to play it. Hungry? How would you like your brontosaurus burger cooked? Wanna fly to another city? Take one of the seats attached to the top of pterodactyls or strap into a contraption like the one above and hold on for dear life. We’re assuming you get our point.

The Flintstones, which has recently become a part of the MeTV Network, has been around since 1960 (sounds like the Stone Age, doesn’t it?), but for nearly six decades it’s been entertaining one generation after another. With this guide, you’ll understand why as we take a look back at the beloved characters, like a page right out of history.

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