Wait Till Your Father Gets Home

Wait Till Your Father Gets Home

Unlike Trix cereal, cartoons aren’t always for kids. The Flintstones, created by Hanna-Barbera, blazed the prime-time animation trail in the 60s, proving that a cartoon series could hold its own against some live-action competition. In the 70s, Hanna-Barbera tried again with Wait Till Your Father Gets Home, a show about a typical family with a few issues. And, much like The Flintstones borrowed from The Honeymooners, the new show was inspired by the much more controversial sitcom, All in the Family.

The story centered on the Boyles, a middle-class family reminiscent of the Bunkers. Harry, restaurant supply salesman and patriarch (voiced by Happy Days dad, Tom Bosley), constantly clashed with his older children, Chet and Alice, who had contemporary liberal views and with his wife Irma, who struggled not to take sides in the frequent tiffs. Jamie Boyle, the youngest child, was much more sympathetic to his dear old dad. In the opening credits, for example, Jamie gives Harry money after the rest of the family have emptied his wallet.

Harry conservative views paled in comparison to the Boyles’ right-wing neighbor, Ralph Kane (Jack Burns), a conspiracy theory nut. Ralph often went around in army fatigues, looking for communists under every rock. He even had a sidekick, an old lady named Sara who shared his zeal and whom Ralph always addressed as “Sergeant.”

The show was produced by Hanna-Barbera and featured the voices of many notable guest stars like Don Knotts, Phyllis Diller, Rich Little and Monty Hall. Many other characters were based on real-life celebrities but their names and voices weren’t used. As you can guess, some celebrity portrayals were less than flattering.

The series was a hit during its two year run from 1972-1974, and aired 49 episodes in syndication. Though The Flinstones had cross-generational appeal and eventually transitioned to a Saturday morning slot, Wait Till Your Father Gets Home dealt with too many taboo and controversial subjects to venture out of prime time territory. To date, only the first season of Wait Till Your Father Gets Home has been released on DVD, although fans of the series remain hopeful that a complete collection will eventually make its way to store shelves.

Do you remember watching Wait Till Your Father Gets Home back in the day? We’d love to hear any memories you have (catchy theme song anyone?) of this short-lived series in our comments section below.

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