Frederick J. "Fred" Flintstone is a fictional character who originated in the animated sitcom The Flintstones on ABC. He is the husband of Wilma Flintstone and father of Pebbles Flintstone. His best friends are his next door neighbors, Barney and Betty Rubble, who have a son named Bamm-Bamm.
Fred lives in the fictional prehistoric city of Bedrock, a world where dinosaurs coexist with modernized barefoot cavepeople and the cavepeople enjoy "primitive" versions of modern conveniences such as telephones, automobiles, and washing machines.
Fred has since appeared in various other cartoon spinoffs, live action adaptations and commercials.
Personality and occupation
Fred's personality was based on that of Ralph Kramden
of the 1950s television series The Honeymooners
and Chester A. Riley from The Life of Riley
. Thus, much like Ralph, Fred tends to be loud-mouthed, aggressive, and constantly scheming ways to improve his family's working class lot in life, often with unintended results.
Fred is a typical blue-collar worker, who works as a "bronto crane operator" at Slate Rock and Gravel Company (also known as Rockhead and Quarry Cave Construction Company in the earliest episodes).
Fred's interests include bowling, playing pool, poker, lounging around the house, and playing golf. At the first two of these, he is very skilled, as seen in one of the episodes where he plays against Wilma's unsuspecting mother. Also, Fred has won championships with his incredible bowling skills; in one episode, he goes so far as to take ballet lessons in order to improve his game which led to his nickname "Twinkletoes". Fred is also an excellent golfer. In one episode he wins the championship only to have Barney repossess the winning trophy cup because Fred is behind in his dues. Fred, like Barney, was also a member of the Loyal Order of Water Buffalos Lodge and a member of the Loyal Order of Dinosaurs (clearly modeled after Freemasonry; Mel Blanc, the voice behind Barney, was himself a Mason). Fred also has a serious gambling problem; the mere mention of the word "bet" causes Fred to stammer "bet" over and over again and go on gambling binges.
Fred's catchphrase "Yabba-Dabba-Doo!" (originally dervied from the Brylcreem advertising jingle motto "A Little Dab'll Do Ya!"), becomes the subject of a song by Hoagy Carmichael that the singer-songwriter performs in an episode of The Flintstones. Fred's ability to carry a tune was quite good in his younger years. In fact, in one of the earliest episodes, "The Girl's Night Out", he recorded a demo record at a fair of the song "Listen to the Mockingbird", which ended up making him a star; renamed "Hi Fye", he toured for two weeks with Wilma, Barney and Betty. As the series progressed, however, his voice became worse and worse, eventually to the point that his housekeeper quit rather than hear Fred sing. It was also referenced in the refrain of the 1989 George Jones song, "The King is Gone (And So are You)."
In the original TV series, Fred and Wilma fight often because of Fred's laziness, and inconsiderate behaviour. Wilma always gets upset at Fred for this, and at times she has caught him flirting with other women. Despite his flaws, Fred does love his wife very much and on many occasions he has proven himself to be a loving husband. He has often said that he could not imagine his life without her.
- For many years Fred Flintstone (as well as other characters from the show) was used to advertise 'Amber', an Australian company that sold pavers and tiles. In some advertisement, a variant of Fred's catchphrase was changed to "Only Amber tiles will do".
- Fred and Barney once appeared as guest stars in Yogi's Space Race.
- Fred also appeared in some episodes of Scooby's All-Star Laff-a-Lympics as guest.
- Fred Flintstone was the guest of honor at a celebrity roast for his birthday in the live-action and animated TV special Hanna-Barbera's All-Star Comedy Ice Revue (1977) hosted by Roy Clark and Bonnie Franklin which featured the Ice Capades.
- Fred Flintstone appeared in the short movie trailer, Raging Fred, a redub of Flintstones clips with dialogue from the movie Raging Bull.
- Fred Flintstone alongside Barney Rubble appeared in Yogi Bear's All Star Comedy Christmas Caper as Street Santas. Snagglepuss approaches them if they seen J. Wellington Jones only for Fred and Barney to have him ask an old lady. When the old lady screams in fear of Snagglepuss, Fred and Barney attack him claiming it to be an entertainment purpose.
- Fred Flintstone appeared in the Johnny Bravo episode "A Page Right Out of History." He saves Johnny Bravo's ancestor of the same name and Johnny repays Fred by working for him.
- Fred Flintstone appeared in the Family Guy episode "Believe it or Not, Joe's Walking on Air." When at Peter Griffin's men's club, he confesses to Barney that he was walking by his house when he saw Betty undressing. Fred says that Betty saw him, but kept undressing leading to an "erocktion." He also appeared in "Patriot Games" where he warns viewers to 'vote no on Indian gaming laws'.
- Fred Flintstone appeared in the Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law episode "The Dabba Don" voiced by Maurice LaMarche. He was suspected of being an organized crime lord.
- James Arnold Taylor voiced Fred Flintstone who appeared in the The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy episode "Modern Primitives." In which Billy after digging him up in a block of ice adopts him as his pet and calls him "Jake Steele", eventually he gets loose and after colliding with an ice cream truck he ends up frozen again and Billy reburies him in his backyard.
- Fred Flintstone appeared in the Robot Chicken episode "Easter Basket" voiced by Stephen Stanton. He and Barney fight over a box of Fruity Pebbles which ends in Fred's accidental death. Dave Coulier voices Fred Flintstone in the episode "Yancy the Yo-Yo Boy." When his brake end up broken, he wonders if he should see a doctor or a mechanic.
- In 2003, Fred Flintstone came in at #42 on VH1's list of the 200 Greatest Pop Culture Icons. Some of Fred's animated peers also made the list including Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, Spider-Man, Charlie Brown, Scooby Doo, Batman, Superman, and The Simpsons.
- In 2004 the gay rights movement of Ohio all dressed as Fred and marched at the town hall to demonstrate their anger at recent proposals to ban a popular gay magazine.
- English cricketer Andrew Flintoff has been nicknamed "Freddie Flintoff" because of a similarity between their surnames.
- In the crossover film The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones, Fred and Barney become spokesmen for Spacely Sprockets and Cogswell Cogs respectively.
During the first several seasons of The Flintstones
series, Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble were pitchmen for Winston cigarettes
, the show's sponsor
at the time. In one Winston ad, Fred and Barney saw the men working hard at the quarry and decided to retire out of sight for a smoke break. After extolling the virtues of the Winston brand cigarette, Fred lit up his cigarette and delivered the catch phrase: "Winston tastes good like a cigarette should
." Another similar ad for the cigarettes featured Wilma and Betty as well; the women were working hard mowing the lawn and beating dust out of a rug while Fred and Barney smoked behind the house. Vignettes also aired in which Fred lit Wilma's Winston cigarette, and the couple shared a smoke. Campaigns such as this contributed to cigarette advertising of all kinds being banned from television beginning in 1970.
With Barney Rubble, Fred has been a pitchman for Post Cereals' Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa Pebbles breakfast cereals. The commercials typically feature Barney trying to trick Fred out of his cereal, usually ending with Fred bellowing, "Barney, my Pebbles!" as Barney runs off with Fred's cereal - a notable exception being a Christmas-themed commercial in which Santa Claus reminds him that "'Tis the season for sharing, Fred," whereupon Fred then sheepishly shares his cereal with both Barney and Santa.
In autumn 2005, Fred and Barney began appearing in Midas Muffler television commercials. Fred appears in a 2007 GEICO Insurance commercial which spoofs the money-saving methods of a blue-collar working man and how he and wife, Wilma, were able to afford a necklace "with huge rocks."
Fred was the spokesman for a Rhode Island bank until it went out of business in the 1980s-'90s. The bank, The Providence Institution for Savings, known as Old Stone Bank, featured Fred in its commercials, saying, "Yabba-Dabba-Doo! Love that Old Stone Bank!" The Bank was also one of the first to offer full service Automated Teller Machines (ATM) which were named "Ready Freddy" and included a picture of Fred until the Bank decided to terminate its contract with Hanna Barbera to use the likeness. The machines were so popular that people often referred to ATMs at other banks as "Ready Freddies."
Fred Flinstone is mentioned in the Beastie Boys
song "Shake Your Rump
" and in the Cam'ron
song "Killa Cam".
- When the series was broadcast in Spanish-speaking countries, Fred and Wilma's names became Pedro (Pedro, Peter in Spanish as being close to 'piedra' which means 'stone') and Vilma Picapiedra ('picapiedra' translating to something like 'stone chiseler' or 'stone hammerer'), and Barney and Betty Rubble became Pablo and Betty Mármol ('marble'), though in Portuguese (which is quite similar to Spanish), the names remained intact. The Spanish version featured Mexican actor Jorge "Tata" Arvizu doing the voice of Pedro Picapiedra, who frequently ad-libbed comments not traceable to the original English language script. Some critics (and a few Hanna-Barbera executives, Arvizu once claimed), found these ad-libbed comments funnier than those in the original English track. A classic example is an episode in which Fred suggests to Barney that two music-playing boarder youths who rented rooms at their respective houses be ejected from them "de una patada en la rabadilla" ("with a kick in their rumps"), a line not featured in the English script.