One comment on Twitter brought up a question I'd always been wondering:
One Twitter wag, sentimentally trying to resurrect Cartoon Network's "Any 60's H-B with animals running around looping backgrounds is evil" propaganda from the 00's, joked on Warner Archive's feed:
Pitch: "It's a cartoon about a hippopotamus who sounds like Joe E. Brown. The kids will love it!"
And it occurred to me, wait a minute...Joe E. Brown? I'd always liked Peter Potamus's voice for sounding like it belonged to a big-mouthed hippo (even though it was just Daws Butler recycling his Lippy the Lion/Joe Rockhead voice), but I was never sure whether it was "supposed" to be any previous-generation famous-comic shtick. (I first thought Eddie Foy, but...)
Joe E. Brown would certainly go with the "big mouth" joke, and Pete's hurricane-holler seems to channel Brown's "hhhhHELP!" shtick, but one of the problems with mid-60's post-Pebbles H-B (okay, you got a better name for it?)
is that the writers were too caught up in character concepts
, and had gotten away from homaging famous radio/burlesque stars: In the early days, Snagglepuss had Bert Lahr's act, Hokey Wolf was a Phil Silvers conman, and some of the DVD-featurette experts even theorized that Quick-Draw McGraw had Red Skelton roots, but the later Atom, Secret and Magilla were just funny ideas
for characters with standard-trope funny voices--Wally Gator had Ed Wynn's funny voice, y'know, but not any other act that was particularly reminiscent of Wynn.
So, um...IS Peter supposed to be "anybody"? The "dead comics" trope took a lot of straw-man beating not just from 00's CN but also the mid-80's Robotech/Voltron fans as "proof" of Why US Toons Were Outdated And Bad, but I'd gotten my first taste of liking Lahr and Silvers just from realizing I'd heard them before.