The Great Gazoo
|The Great Gazoo|
|The Flintstones character|
|First appearance||"The Great Gazoo" (1965)|
|Last appearance||"My Fair Freddy"|
|Portrayed by||Alan Cumming (in Viva Rock Vegas)|
|Voiced by||Harvey Korman (1965, 2000)|
Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy, Seth MacFarlane's Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy)
Seth Green (Robot Chicken)
Eric Bauza (Yabba-Dabba Dinosaurs)
The Great Gazoo or simply Gazoo is a fictional character from The Flintstones animated series. He first appeared on the show on October 29, 1965. The Great Gazoo was voiced by actor Harvey Korman.
The Great Gazoo is a tiny, green, floating alien who was exiled to Earth from his home planet Zetox (sometimes called Ziltox) as punishment for having invented a doomsday machine, a weapon of immense destructive power. His invention was a button which if pressed would destroy the universe in an explosive "ZAM", though he insists he made it on a whim ("I wanted to be the first on my block to have one!") with no intent of using it. Gazoo was discovered by Fred and Barney when his flying saucer crashed; Gazoo recognizes Fred and Barney's world as prehistoric Earth, implying Zetox banished him through time as well as space. Due to the terms of his exile, he was required to do good deeds for whoever found him first, putting him reluctantly under Fred and Barney's command. Gazoo refers to Fred and Barney as "dumb dumbs" and constantly causes problems for them. He can materialize and dematerialize objects, teleport, freeze time, travel through time and perform other remarkable feats but when he attempts to help out Fred and Barney, he usually ends up causing even more trouble. The only people who are able to see Gazoo are Fred, Barney and the children; animals also can see him. A running gag is that Fred argues with Gazoo while Wilma believes that he is talking to himself. When their daughter, Pebbles, says "Gazoo", Wilma thinks Pebbles is sneezing. The plot point regarding Gazoo trying to return home is never resolved because of the cancellation of the original series. The character does not appear, nor is he referred to, in the immediate series follow-up The Man Called Flintstone (1966) or any of the later spin-off TV series or animated movies. However, Gazoo's latest appearance was in Yabba-Dabba Dinosaurs, in the episode "Alien vs. Pebbles". In this episode, he first appears disguised as a mysterious futuristic alien creature who zapped the dinosaurs with his bubble laser, only to transport them to his spaceship jail. Only at the end of the episode, he is revealed to be "The Great Gazoo", who only wanted to examine the prehistoric creatures.
The creation of the Great Gazoo is attributed to writer Joanna Lee, who wrote more than 20 episodes of The Flintstones. The first draft of the episode that introduced the Great Gazoo was originally entitled "The Wizard of Ogg" and Gazoo's original name was "Professor Ogg." Other proposed names for Gazoo were Rip van Zonk, Hocus the Pocus, Dr. Puckwuck, and Shagelbextyzinkus (Ol' Shaggy for short). In her original character description, Lee described Gazoo as "a mirror, reflecting life's vicissitudes, vagaries, ritual magic and dreary reality. Simply, [Gazoo] is life, brought home to our two favorite life participants, Fred and Barney."
Because Gazoo is introduced into the show midway through the final season and is considered by some to be an absurd character who alters the premise and dynamic of the show, he is often cited by fans and critics of the show as being an example of the show's having "jumped the shark". In all, Gazoo appeared in 11 episodes.
Apart from the original TV series, he appears in many commercials for Pebbles Cereal. One particular one for Fruity Pebbles cereal commercial had him as part of a promotion for a contest where consumers would have to try to find boxes of all-orange cereal pieces, and more recently[when?] has become the mascot for Marshmallow Mania Pebbles cereal. He is also a character in Flintstones vitamins, and is a central character in the 1991 video game The Flintstones: The Rescue of Dino & Hoppy. Gazoo appears in the 2016 DC Comics Hanna-Barbera Beyond series The Flintstones, where he is human-sized, does not float, and was sent by bookie aliens to evaluate the human race.
- "Harvey Korman of 'Burnett Show' Dies at 81". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
- "Comic actor Harvey Korman dies at 81". Edition.cnn.com. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
- "Harvey Korman on voicing The Great Gazoo on "The Flintstones" - EMMYTVLEGENDS.ORG". YouTube. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
- Sennett, Ted (1989). The Art of Hanna-Barbera: Fifty Years of Creativity. Studio. p. 89. ISBN 978-0670829781. Retrieved 2 June 2020.
- The Great Gazoo: From A To Zetox (DVD Bonus Feature on The Flintstones: The Complete Sixth Season). Warner Home Media. 2006.
- The Christian Science Monitor. "The Flintstones turns 50: The five dumbest moments". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 20 November 2014.