Help!... It's the Hair Bear Bunch!

Help!... It's the Hair Bear Bunch!
Genre Comedy
Written by Joel Kane
Heywood Kling
Howard Morgenstern
Joe Ruby
Ken Spears
Directed by William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Voices of Daws Butler
William Callaway
Joe E. Ross
John Stephenson
Paul Winchell
Composer(s) Ted Nichols
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 16 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Producer(s) Alex Lovy
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Hanna-Barbera Productions
Distributor Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Original network CBS
Picture format Color
Audio format Monaural
Original release September 11, 1971 (1971-09-11) – January 8, 1972 (1972-01-08)

Help!... It's the Hair Bear Bunch! is an American Saturday morning cartoon show, produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions in 1971 for CBS.[1]


The show was developed under the name The Yo Yo Bears, a title which many sources inaccurately list as its name in syndication. The show was never syndicated and was rarely seen after CBS cancelled it. It reappeared briefly in 1984 on the cable channel USA Cartoon Express. The Hair Bear Bunch also aired on Cartoon Network's sibling network Boomerang.

Like many animated series created by Hanna-Barbera in the 1970s, the show contained an inferior laugh track created by the studio, one of the first shows to do so. In the UK, the series regularly aired on BBC1 in various slots from the mid-1970s into the 1990s.


The series depicted three fun-loving bears - the fast-talking Hair Bear (voiced by Daws Butler), bafflegab-talking Bubi Bear (voiced by Paul Winchell), and laid-back Square Bear (voiced by William Callaway) — who are always trying to find a way to escape from the Wonderland Zoo on some sort of get-rich-quick scheme, or a wild night of fun.

Trying to stop them are the constantly aggravated head zoo director, Mr. Eustace P. Peevly (voiced by John Stephenson), and his hopelessly inadequate assistant Lionel J. Botch (voiced by Joe E. Ross). Mr. Peevly and Botch work for the Zoo Superintendent (also voiced by John Stephenson), and both of them try to stay on his good side. Many episodes end with Hair Bear covering for Peevly, couching the shenanigans and disarray as a project initiated by Peevly for the zoo's welfare, which the Superintendent always accepts (and he spares Peevly's job).

The bears have a modern "bachelor pad"-styled den at the zoo containing actual beds, Bubi's laboratory, a moving chair, a television, refrigerators, and a pizza maker. Yet they disguise it (with secret panels) from Peevly and Botch to avoid revealing their comfortable surroundings.

While the bears escape the zoo for larks and excursions, they cherish the easy life in the zoo and do not wish to leave permanently; Peevly, aware of this, often threatens to expel the bears from the zoo and into the North Woods - a prospect the bears dread, because they would lose their domestic lifestyle.

The bears also have an invisible motorcycle, which Square Bear can call upon when necessary by jumping in the air and kicking his leg to start it. The motorcycle is never explained, though in episode twelve, Hair Bear comments: "I don't know what he does, but I'm sure glad he does it".



No. Title Original air date
1"Keep Your Keeper"September 11, 1971 (1971-09-11)
The Hair Bear Bunch trick Mr. Peevly into thinking he has Zoolerium. When Mr. Peevly goes on vacation, a strict zoo keeper named Mr. Grunch is called in to cover for him, so the Hair Bear Bunch plan to find Mr. Peevly and persuade him to come back.
2"Rare Bear Bungle"September 18, 1971 (1971-09-18)
The Hair Bear Bunch get a new roommate named Rare Bear, but Hair Bear suspects that he has been planted in their cave by Mr. Peevly to act as his spy.
3"Raffle Ruckus"September 25, 1971 (1971-09-25)
Hair Bear suggests to Mr. Peevly to hold a raffle in order to obtain money for new facilities for the zoo. When Hair Bear wins, he ends up having ownership of the zoo and sees how hard it is to run the zoo and fill out the needs of the other animals. When Hair Bear learns that Mr. Peevly has been playing him, he ends up sneaking the other animals out of the zoo.
4"Bridal Boo Boo"October 2, 1971 (1971-10-02)
In order to keep Mr. Peevly busy, Hair Bear decides to set him up with a female to be his girlfriend. Yet Mr. Peevly ends up getting a tough lady named Bertha who brings order to the Wonderland Zoo.
5"No Space Like Home"October 9, 1971 (1971-10-09)
The Hair Bear Bunch apply for an advert for adventure and fame, which turns out to be a space expedition to Mars sponsored by Professor Nielsen Rockabuilt. Mr. Peevly and Botch end up stowing away and end up landing on an alien planet of Turulia where the Turulians elect Mr. Peevly as their new leader. While in the alien's dungeons, the Hair Bear Bunch learn that the aliens elect a new leader every day while the old one gets imprisoned in a glass cage.
6"Love Bug Bungle"October 16, 1971 (1971-10-16)
Mr. Peevly ends up bunking a gorilla named Arnie into the Hair Bear Bunch's cave. Hair Bear discovers that Arnie is in love with Gloria the Gorilla and plans to hook both of them up, which involves making a cologne that causes him to lose control of his love advances.
7"I'll Zoo You Later"October 23, 1971 (1971-10-23)
The Hair Bear Bunch plan to make their way to the National Forest. Once they do, the Hair Bear Bunch take refuge in a cabin which turns out to be a hideout for two bank robbers even when Mr. Peevly and Botch catch up to them.
8"Ark Lark"October 30, 1971 (1971-10-30)
Following a drawing from the Suggestion Box, Mr. Peevly puts on a play of Noah's Ark with the zoo animals. Later that night, Hair Bear secretly places wheels on the Ark and pilots it all the way to Pleasure Island when they planned to go to a deserted island. To gain money, they disguise Zeed the Zebra a horse and enter a horse race.
9"Gobs of Gabaloons"November 6, 1971 (1971-11-06)
When Mr. Peevly wants the animals to build him a swimming pool, the Hair Bear Bunch finds a treasure map in one of the trees which leads to the treasure of Redbeard which had been stolen from Ptomania. They follow the map to the end point to Mr. Peevly's office and try different ways to get to the treasure below.
10"Panda Pandamonium"November 13, 1971 (1971-11-13)
While hiding from Mr. Peevly and Botch in the woods when trying to get to the carnival, the Hair Bear Bunch find a baby panda named Percy whose cage fell off a passing train bound for the St. Louis Zoo. Mr. Peevly has the Hair Bear Bunch watch over Percy Panda until the Zoo Superintendent comes to pick Percy up and bring him to the St. Louis Zoo.
11"Closed Circuit TV"November 20, 1971 (1971-11-20)
Mr. Peevly sets up a closed TV and cameras around the zoo to keep an eye on the zoo so that he would catch the Hair Bear Bunch in another one of their escapes. Hair Bear discovers the cameras and uses this as an advantage to make a television show.
12"The Bear Who Came to Dinner"November 27, 1971 (1971-11-27)
Hair Bear has Square Bear fake an injury to have the Hair Bear Bunch evade being sent to the National Forest. Mr. Peevly ends up allowing Square Bear to recuperate at his house to evade getting into trouble with the Zoo Superintendent. Mr. Peevly vows to find a way to expose the fact that Square Bear is faking.
13"Unbearably Peevly"December 4, 1971 (1971-12-04)
In order to catch the Hair Bear Bunch in one of their escape plans, Mr. Peevly and Botch disguise themselves as bears. Of course the Hair Bear Bunch play along with this upon seeing through their disguise. Things get worse for Mr. Peevly and Botch when they are mistaken for escaped circus bears.
14"Goldilocks and the Three Bears"December 11, 1971 (1971-12-11)
The Hair Bear Bunch end up getting involved in the production of "Whatever Happened to Goldilocks and The Three Bears" where Twinkles Sunshine (the actress playing Goldilocks) rewrites the script where the Three Bears have to save Goldilocks from an evil prince.
15"The Diet Caper"December 18, 1971 (1971-12-18)
The Hair Bear Bunch and the other animals attempt to tunnel into town to get food leads the Hair Bear Bunch into a haunted house in an amusement park. The Hair Bear Bunch then end up tricking Mr. Peevly and Botch into going down the same path.
16"Kling Klong versus The Masked Marvel"January 8, 1972 (1972-01-08)
In order to win $500 from the Sports Arena, Hair Bear has Bananas the Gorilla go through wrestling training in order to stay in the ring with the Masked Marvel. Yet when the Masked Marvel gets the measles, Botch ends up having to cover for him in the wrestling ring. Final episode of this series.

Voice cast

Comic spin-off

A series of comic books were produced by Gold Key Comics. They were mostly drawn by Jack Manning and featured original stories, as well as a few adaptations of television episodes. Some of these comics were also drawn by Hanna and Barbera. In the comic book, the antagonism between the Bears and the Keepers was softened a bit, to the point that one story had the Keepers figuring since the Bears do return to the zoo after an escape (after a wild night on the town), it would be best just to give them weekend passes and save both parties a lot of aggravation.

DVD and digital media release

On March 12, 2013, Warner Archive released Help!... It's the Hair Bear Bunch!: The Complete Series on DVD in NTSC picture format with all region encoding, as part of their Hanna–Barbera Classics Collection. This is a manufacture-on-demand (MOD) release, available exclusively through Warner's online store and[3] The series is also available in Digital media format at iTunes Store for Apple mobile device owners to download their favorite episodes or the entire series after purchases.

See also


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