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Fred and Barney Meet The Thing is a 60-minute Saturday morning animated package show produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions from September 8, 1979 to December 1, 1979 on NBC. It contained the following segments:
- The New Fred and Barney Show (a revival of The Flintstones)
- The Thing (based on the Marvel Comics superhero)
Despite the title, the two segments remained separate and did not crossover with one another. Fred, Barney and the Thing were only featured together during the show's opening title sequence and in brief bumpers between segments. The unusual combination of a Marvel superhero and The Flintstones was possible because, at this time, Marvel Comics owned the rights to several Hanna-Barbera franchises and were, in fact, publishing comic books based upon them; The Flintstones was one of these.
The first segment, a very loose adaptation of Marvel Comics' character The Thing, consisted of stories following the Thing as a teenager named Benjy Grimm (voiced by Wayne Morton). He transforms into the rock-skinned superhero Thing (voiced by Joe Baker) by touching together magic rings and reciting the words "Thing ring, do your thing!" When the Thing spoke, his voice is identical to Jimmy Durante.
The stories centered mostly around Benjy at Centerville High School with his friends Betty (voiced by Marilyn Schreffler), her rich boyfriend Ronald Radford (voiced by John Erwin), Betty's kid sister Kelly (voiced by Noelle North) and teacher Miss Twilly (voiced by Marilyn Schreffler). Kelly was the only person who knew about Benjy's secret.
Other members of the Fantastic Four did not appear in the show, and the portrayal of the Thing and his origin story differed greatly from the original comics.
Twenty-six 11-minute episodes of The Thing were produced; 2 shorts aired per show.
|"The Picnic Panic / Bigfoot Meets The Thing"|
|"Junkyard Hijinks / Gone Away Gulch"|
|"Circus Stampede / The Thing and the Queen"|
|"Carnival Caper / The Thing Blanks Out"|
|"The Thing Meets the Clunk / Beach Party Crashers"|
|"Decepto the Great / The Thing's the Play"|
|"Double Trouble For The Thing / To Thing or Not To Thing"|
|"The Big Bike Race / The Thing and the Treasure Hunt"|
|"Out to Launch / The Day the Ring Didn't do a Thing"|
|"A Hot Air Affair at the Fair / The Thing Goes to the Dogs"|
|"The Thing Goes Camping / Dude Ranch Rodeo"|
|"Photo Finish / Lights, Action, Thing!"|
|"The Thing and the Captain's Ghost / The Thing and the Absent-Minded Inventor"|