Jabberjaw is an American animated television series created by Joe Ruby and Ken Spears and produced by Hanna-Barbera which aired 16 original episodes on ABC from September 11 to December 18, 1976. Reruns continued on ABC until September 3, 1978.
|Created by||Joe Ruby and Ken Spears|
|Directed by||Charles A. Nichols|
|Voices of||Tommy Cook|
|Music by||Hoyt Curtin|
|Opening theme||"Jabberjaw" (Jabberjaw and The Neptunes)|
|Ending theme||"Jabberjaw" (instrumental)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||16 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producers||William Hanna|
|Running time||23 minutes|
|Production company||Hanna-Barbera Productions|
Warner Bros. Television (currently)
|Original release||September 11 –|
December 18, 1976
Jabberjaw, a 15-foot air-breathing great white shark, is the drummer for The Neptunes, a rock group made up of four teenagers — Biff, Shelly, Bubbles and Clamhead — who live in an underwater civilization in the year 2076. Jabberjaw and The Neptunes travel to various underwater cities where they encounter and deal with assorted megalomaniacs and supervillains who want to conquer the undersea world.
Like a great deal of Hanna-Barbera's 1970s output, the format and writing for Jabberjaw was similar to that for Scooby-Doo, Josie and the Pussycats and Speed Buggy. The show also drew inspiration (in the use of a shark as a character) from the overall shark mania of the mid-1970s caused by the then-recent film Jaws. It also shared The Flintstones' penchant for making use of puns as the names of locations, people, etc., in this case, ocean-themed puns (such as "Aqualaska" instead of Alaska). Every episode ended with a musical chase sequence where Jabberjaw and the gang would run from the villains, performing zany cartoon antics in order to escape while a song by The Neptunes played in the background.
The series features the following five main characters throughout its run:
- Frank Welker as Jabberjaw, an air-breathing, Brooklyn-accented anthropomorphic great white shark who impersonated Curly Howard of The Three Stooges. Jabberjaw found it hard to get respect in a society where "shark ejectors" (robots that would guard various buildings or cities against sharks being allowed to enter) were commonplace. These robots, as well as unpleasant treatment from others, frequently prompt him to utter some variation of his catchphrase (borrowed from the comedian Rodney Dangerfield): "I don't get no respect!" He has the unique ability to change his shape or adapt himself to act like various objects such as a trampoline, parachute, jack, throw rug, etc., either to get himself and the gang out of a jam, or just to hide.
- Tommy Cook as Biff, an athletic, handsome, brown-haired young man who is the band's guitar player and level-headed leader who books all the gigs. In many episodes, his hair is drawn black. His main catchphrase is "Jumpin' jellyfish!" (occasionally, "Hoppin' halibut!")
- Pat Parris as Shelly, a dark-haired young woman who plays tambourine and sings backup vocals for The Neptunes and is Biff's girlfriend. She is attractive and intelligent, but haughty, vain and abrasive (like Josie and the Pussycats' Alexandra) and considers herself to be the star of the band. While she holds a great deal of disdain for Jabberjaw (or "Blubberhead" as she calls him), she does have some grudging fondness for him deep down and occasionally shows it.
- Julie McWhirter as Bubbles, a young woman with blonde, curly hair who plays keyboard for The Neptunes. She is extremely ditzy and dimwitted, has a cute giggle, similar to Josie and the Pussycats' Melody. Shelly sometimes nicknames her "Ding-a-Ling" or "Bubblehead". Whenever she volunteers to help, she usually ends up messing it up.
- Barry Gordon as Clamhead, a tall and slim, red-haired young man who plays bass for The Neptunes and is Jabberjaw's best friend. His catchphrases are crying out "Abba-abba-abba!" and "Wowee-wow-wow-wow!" (or some variation, commonly featuring the word "zowie") whenever he gets excited.
Sixteen 30-minute episodes of Jabberjaw were produced, which aired on ABC Saturday Morning from September 11, 1976, to September 3, 1977, and rebroadcast for a second season of reruns on Sunday Morning from September 11, 1977, to September 3, 1978. In the 1980s, repeats resurfaced as part of USA Cartoon Express on USA Network, in the 1990s on Cartoon Network and in the 2000s on Boomerang. This is one of a number of shows made before the mid-1980s seen on the Cartoon Network and Boomerang to have been taken from PAL prints.
Like many animated series created by Hanna-Barbera in the 1970s, the show contained a laugh track created by the studio.
Broadcast schedules (all EDT):
- September 11, 1976 – November 27, 1976, ABC Saturday 9:00-9:30 AM
- December 4, 1976 – September 3, 1977, ABC Saturday 8:30-9:00 AM
- September 11, 1977 – September 3, 1978, ABC Sunday 10:30-11:00 AM
|No.||Title||Original air date||Prod.|
|1||"Dr. Lo Has Got to Go"||September 11, 1976||84-1|
|Jabber and the gang have to stop the evil Dr. Lo from unleashing his Gorgon on the city of Aquahama.|
|2||"There's No Place Like Outer Space"||September 18, 1976||84-2|
|After Biff gets them kicked out for a publicity stunt, aliens land in the undersea city of Hydrostan. It's up to Jabber and the gang to stop their invasion.|
|3||"Atlantis, Get Lost"||September 25, 1976||84-4|
|Jabber and the gang get mixed-up in Dorsal's plan to overthrow the queen of Atlantis and become king himself.|
|4||"Run, Jabber, Run"||October 2, 1976||84-3|
|Jabber competes in the 2076 Undersea Olympics against a robot in order to unmask Z, the leader of a worldwide criminal organization.|
|5||"The Sourpuss Octopus"||October 9, 1976||84-5|
|Jabber and the gang accidentally join Professor Acosta's expedition to find the treasure of Panaqua, and have to protect him from the villainous Octopus.|
|6||"Hang On to Your Hat, Jabber"||October 16, 1976||84-6|
|The Brotherhood of Evil threatens the undersea world when it learns that the Power Helmet, invented by Professor Ortega, grants its bearer's every wish.|
|7||"The Great Shark Switch"||October 23, 1976||84-7|
|The Ambassador of Aquatania suspects that the Neptunes have kidnapped Commander Shark, so Jabberjaw must prove their innocence.|
|8||"Claim-Jumped Jabber"||October 30, 1976||84-8|
|The evil Coldfinger is after all the richest mines in Aqualaska. When Jabberjaw gets in the way, Coldfinger puts our favorite shark on ice!|
|9||"Ali Jabber and the Secret Thieves"||November 6, 1976||84-9|
|Jabber and The Neptunes, touring the undersea kingdom of Hydrabia, meet Volton, an evil mass of energy who lives inside the magic Electrolamp.|
|10||"Help, Help, It's the Phantom of the Kelp"||November 13, 1976||84-10|
|The Phantom, with the aid of a powerful growth ray, plans to raise an army of ferocious prehistoric plants to make the Aqua International Corporation bow to his demands.|
|11||"No Helpin' the Sculpin"||November 20, 1976||84-11|
|Jabber and The Neptunes encounter the sinister Sculpin, who has stolen an unfinished time machine from the brilliant Professor Thorstein.|
|12||"The Bermuda Triangle Tangle"||November 25, 1976||84-12|
Jabberjaw and The Neptunes accidentally go through the Bermuda Triangle and are taken prisoner by Sorceress Madame Sargasso.|
Note: Telecast at noon (ET) on a Thursday, as part of ABC's Thanksgiving Funshine Festival.
|13||"Malice in Aqualand"||November 27, 1976||84-13|
|While participating in a rodeo at Aqualand's theme land Westernland, Jabberjaw sees Dr. Cybron's henchmen kidnap the Rajah and replace him with a robot duplicate. He tells The Neptunes and Dr. Cybron tries to silence them by sending a runaway stagecoach over a cliff. When that plot fails, his henchmen capture Bubbles and send a duplicate of her to capture the others. The group rescues Bubbles and the Rajah and discovers that Dr. Cybron himself is a robot.|
|14||"The Fast Paced Chase Race"||December 4, 1976||84-14|
|The Neptunes try to win the top spot in the Petrolaqua Trans-Marine Race while attempting to foil the evil plans of Dr. Robek.|
|15||"The Piranha Plot"||December 11, 1976||84-16|
|Biff books the group on a tanker to Amsteraqua after another gig falls through, this being the cheapest way to go straight there. The Piranha has designs on ruling the Underwater States of America and captures the tanker for its load of special rocket fuel. The Neptunes scuttle the Piranha's rocket, practically dismantling the control center and messing with the rocket's fuel delivery system. Jabber manages to accidentally launch the rocket to a different destination with its cargo of sleep dust.|
|16||"There's No Heel Like El Eel"||December 18, 1976||84-15|
|The eerie El Eel threatens to turn the entire undersea world to stone, and there's only one guy who can stop him: the great El Jabbo!|
- Jabberjaw appeared as a guest announcer or referee on the Laff-A-Lympics segment of Scooby's All-Star Laff-A-Lympics / Scooby's All-Stars in the episodes "Mexico and England" (1977), "India and Israel" (1977), "Africa and California" (1977), "New York and Turkey" (1978) and "Louisiana and Atlantis" (1978).
- Jabberjaw (voiced by Don Messick) made a special guest appearance at a celebrity roast honoring Fred Flintstone on the TV special Hanna-Barbera's All-Star Comedy Ice Revue (1978).
- Jabberjaw co-starred on the short-lived 1978 series Yogi's Space Race in which he participated in intergalactic racing competitions with Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound and other characters; his racing partner was a lazy bloodhound named Buford (from The Buford Files of Buford and the Galloping Ghost) and their race ship contained a track on which Buford ran to increase speed. Jabber and Buford were both voiced by Frank Welker.
- Jabberjaw also appeared in the medium of comic books. He made appearances in Laff-A-Lympics issues #8 through #12 published by Marvel Comics in 1978–79. He also appeared in Hanna-Barbera Presents Superstar Olympics (issue #6) published by Archie Comics in 1996 and Cartoon Network Presents Jabberjaw (issue #23) published by DC Comics in 1999. Charlton Comics was originally set to publish a Jabberjaw comic series in 1977, but it was cancelled. In France, Norbert Fersen adapted the show into a comic strip under its French translated name Mantalo and featured in the magazines Télé Junior, Télé Parade and Télé BD (1978–81).
- Jabberjaw and Shelly starred in two 1979 educational filmstrips – The Silent Hunters and A Whale of a Tale – as part of the Hanna-Barbera Educational Filmstrips series distributed in classroom environments.
- Jabberjaw made a cameo appearance in the episode "Goodbye, Mr. Chump" on Yogi's Treasure Hunt (1987).
- Jabberjaw and The Neptunes appeared on Cartoon Network Groovies in a music video set to Pain's "Jabberjaw (Running Underwater)" (1999) in which they are portrayed as a ska band with the group dressed in modern clothing.
- Jabberjaw appeared on the TV special Night of the Living Doo (2001) trying to take out Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Inc. gang so he can finally get his respect. Frank Welker reprised the role of Jabberjaw
- Jabberjaw and The Neptunes made sporadic appearances on Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law in the episodes "Shoyu Weenie" (2002), "The Dabba Don" (2002), "Back to the Present" (2004), "Peanut Puberty" (2004), "Identity Theft" (2005), "Juror in Court" (2007) and "The Death of Harvey" (2007). Frank Welker reprised the role of Jabberjaw.
- Jabberjaw made a cameo, sitting in the movie theater with other Hanna-Barbera/Cartoon Network/Warner Bros. characters on the opening Cartoon Network logo from The Powerpuff Girls Movie (2002).
- Jabberjaw made a cameo appearance on Johnny Bravo in the episode "Johnny Bravo Goes to Hollywood" (2004).
- Jabberjaw appeared on Sealab 2021 in the episode "Return of Marco" (2004) where he was one of many sharks impaled with spears by an aquatic tribe of cave dwellers.
- Jabberjaw and The Neptunes appeared on Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated in the episode "Mystery Solvers Club State Finals" (2011) alongside other Hanna-Barbera mystery teams in a fever dream of Scooby-Doo's. Frank Welker reprised the role of Jabberjaw.
- Jabberjaw made a cameo appearance in a 2012 MetLife commercial entitled "Everyone".
- In 2018, DC Comics rebooted Jabberjaw into a less cartoonish character and featured him, and the Neptunes in a crossover with Aquaman titled Aquaman/Jabberjaw Special #1.
- Jabberjaw and The Neptunes appeared in the Robot Chicken episode "Things Look Bad for the Streepster" (2018) where Jabberjaw (voiced by Tom Sheppard) goes on vacation to Amity Island and runs into the cast of Jaws, only to be killed by them.
- Jabberjaw appears in the end credits of the film Scoob! as a new recruit of the Blue Falcon's Falcon Force.
- Jabberjaw and The Neptunes will be featured in the upcoming series Jellystone! (2021).
In 1977–78, Rand McNally released two coloring books (Jabberjaw and The Neptunes and Jabberjaw Does It Again), a story book (Jabberjaw Out West by Jean Lewis, illustrated by Jim Franzen) and a read & color book (Jabberjaw and the Rustlers).
Other merchandise in the late 1970s–early 1980s included a lunchbox and thermos, iron-on transfers, jigsaw puzzles, Presto Magix, bubble maker set, a school tablet, Avon pendant, a plush toy and Hanna-Barbera Marineland Jabberjaw picture viewer.
On July 28, 1988, an 85-minute videocassette of Jabberjaw containing four episodes ("Dr. Lo Has Got to Go", "There's No Place Like Outer Space", "The Sourpuss Octopuss" and "The Great Shark Switch") was released by Worldvision Home Video.
On February 15, 2011, Warner Archive released Jabberjaw: The Complete Series on DVD in region 1 as part of their Hanna–Barbera Classics Collection. This is a manufacture-on-demand (MOD) release, available exclusively through Warner's online store and Amazon.com.
In other languagesEdit
- Woolery, George W. (1983). Children's Television: The First Thirty-Five Years, 1946-1981. Scarecrow Press. pp. 149-150. ISBN 0-8108-1557-5. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
- Rovin, Jeff (1991). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Cartoon Animals. Prentice Hall Press. p. 135. ISBN 0-13-275561-0. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
- Crandol, Michael (1999). "The History of Animation: Advantages and Disadvantages of the Studio System in the Production of an Art Form". Digital Media FX. Joe Tracy. Retrieved 2009-01-31.
- Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 307. ISBN 978-1538103739.
- Mallory, Michael (1998). Hanna-Barbera Cartoons. Warner Bros., Hugh Lauter Levin Associates Inc. ISBN 0-88363-108-3.
- America Toons In: A History of Television Animation By David Perlmutter page 154
- Jabberjaw: The Silent Hunters at WorldCat
- Jabberjaw: A Whale of a Tale at WorldCat
- "MetLife: "Everyone" Game Day Commercial". YouTube. 2012-02-03. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
- "Aquaman/Jabberjaw #1 Review". AIPT!. Retrieved May 31, 2018.
- Marineland Jabberjaw Picture Viewer (1980)
- "Jabberjaw - 'The Complete Series' MOD Title Now Available: Cost, Contents, High-Res Box Art". Archived from the original on 2011-09-14.