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Smarter Than the Average Bear!

From 1990ish, my scripts auditioning to write the Yogo Bear newspaper strip with artist Rich Maurizio. Since we were then doing the Tom & Jerry strip for Editor's Press Service (sold in 2004 to Universal Press Syndicate and renamed Atlantic Syndicate), I assume the samples were for them. We went with an environmental theme for the samples, so I hope they recycled the script pages after rejecting it. To my knowledge (and minimal research) no new Yogi Bear strip appeared at the time.

Yaba daba doo!

Monday - YOGI BEAR #1

1.         Yogi is standing on the bank of a beautiful stream meandering through the woods in Jellystone Park with a fishing pole in hand, casting the line out over the water. Boo Boo is walking into the scene, looking at Yogi in surprise.


Boo Boo:         Gosh, Yogi, I didn’t know you liked to fish.

Yogi:    That all depends, Boo Boo buddy...


2.         On the other side of the stream is a picnic table at which a family of picnickers are seated. Yogi's fishing line is flying in from off panel, the hook catching the handle of the basket, much to their surprise.




3.         Back to Yogi and Boo Boo as Yogi reels in the basket full of goodies, giving Boo Boo a big, self-satisfied smile.


Yogi:    ... On what I’m fishin’ for!


Tuesday - YOGI BEAR #2

1.         In the foreground are a Man and a Woman, in close-up, campers in Jellystone Park, smiling at one another, looking happy and serene. Yogi and Boo Boo are passing by in the background.


Man:    Ahh, this is the life!

Woman:          I love getting away from it all!


2.         We pull back to see that Yogi and Boo Boo are passing the campsite of the Man and Woman above: they've got a mobile home set up with all the comforts of home, including television set, electric cooktop, cellular telephone... everything else you can think of to throw into the scene.


Yogi:    Kind of makes you wonder what they think they're gettin’ away from!


Wednesday - YOGI BEAR #3

1.         A whole group of Yellowstone Park tourists and campers are looking up into the sky or starting to run for cover as rain begins to fall.


Tourist:            Oh, no... rain!

Tourist B:         This’s terrible... the whole day is ruined!


2.         All the above people are rushing past Yogi and Boo Boo, who's watching them run for cover with newspapers or picnic blankets held over their heads to protect them from the rain.


Yogi:    Funny, ain’t it. Boo Boo? Some folks hate the rain...


3.         Yogi is looking down at the patch of wildflowers he and Boo Boo are standing beside. The flowers are spreading their petals wide. their flowers turned up to the sky to catch the rain.


Yogi:    ... And others can’t live without it!


Thursday - YOGI BEAR #4

1.         Yogi and Boo Boo are walking into their cave, both carrying big armloads of picnic baskets, the day’s take.


Yogi:    Hey, hey, hey, a great day of pic-a-ick basketing, eh Boo Boo?

Boo Boo:         Remember, Yogi, you said we'd split everything evenly.


2.         Close-up of Yogi, smiling sweetly, holding up one hand in a Boy Scout salute, the other hand over his heart.


Yogi:    A promise is a promise! It’s a 50 - 50 split all the way!


3.         A few minutes later: Boo Boo is sitting on the floor with all the empty picnic baskets piled up in front of him as Yogi walks away with all the food from the baskets in his arms, licking his lips.




Friday - YOGI BEAR #5

1.         Yogi is hanging from the branch of a tree by one hand, reaching down towards the branch below it from which hangs a big, fat juicy honey dripping beehive. He’s licking his lips in anticipation of all that sweet honey.


Yogi:    Oboyoboy, I’m gonna have me a honey of a snack!


2.         With his hand just inches from the hive, a bee is buzzing from out of it, pointing to its stinger and wagging a finger at the wide-eyed Yogi.


Bee:     Uh-uh!

Yogi:    Ulp!

SFX:     bezzezzzrzzzzz


3.         Grinning sheepishly at the reader, Yogi is shimmying along the branch back towards the tree, leaving the hive unmolested.


Yogi:    It’s a wise bear who knows when to take a hint!


Saturday - YOGI BEAR #6

1.         Cindy Bear is walking towards Yogi, who's looking in her general direction with what appears to be absolute love in his eyes, holding his hands over his heart, little hearts floating all around his head. Cindy is overjoyed that he’s finally reacting to her the way she feels about him.


Yogi:    Hey, hey, hey, I think I'm in love!

Cindy: Oh, Yogi!


2.         Yogi has started to run towards Cindy, who's running towards him with arms outstretched, the two of them looking like a Clairol commercial.


Cindy: You don’t know how long I’ve waited for this day!

Yogi:    Me too, Cindy...


3.         Yogi is rushing right past the chagrinned Cindy, headed towards the Jellystone Park Restaurant Concession stand, where a delivery truck is being unloaded of all sorts of food by deliverymen, sides of beef, boxes of hot dogs and burgers and potato chips, and a variety of other goodies.


Yogi:    ... Delivery day at the concession stand!


Sunday - YOGI BEAR #7

1-A.     SPLASH PANEL: In whatever space there is left over from the logo, we see a woodpecker, sitting on a tree, pecking away at a big, thick branch, which is just a few pecks short of falling away from the tree.


SFX:     rat-a-tat-tat-tat-a-tat!


1-B.      THROWAWAY PANEL: the woodpecker has pecked those last few pecks, and the tree branch is falling, right on to Yogi's head as he passes underneath, beaning the unsuspecting bear. The woodpecker is flying off, looking embarrassed.


Woodpecker:  Whoops!

SFX:     Clunk!


2.         Later: Yogi is running away from the picnic area, with Ranger Smith chasing angrily after him, yelling and screaming at him for trying to steal a picnic basket from the picnickers there.




3.         Later: Yogi is crossing a babbling stream in the woods on a log over the stream but has slipped and is falling into the water with a big splash.


SFX:     Splassssh!


4.         Later: Yogi. still all wet from his dunk in the stream, while walking past a trashcan, is slipping on a banana peel, which sends him tumbling through the air.


SFX:     Sploooosssh!


5.         Later: Yogi, now both wet and bruised from his fall, is tripping over a tree root while walking towards his cave, which sends him stumbling into a thorny rosebush. Boo Boo is looking out from the cave entrance and sees this.


SFX:     Klunk!

6.         Yogi, looking totally miserable -- not to mention all wet, bruised, and covered with thorns – has plopped down into a chair inside the cave... which is collapsing under him, sending m sprawling to the ground. Boo Boo is walking towards his miserable bear buddy.


SFX:     Crassh!


7.         Boo Boo is putting his arms around Yogi, who's on the floor with the ruins of the chair, embracing Yogi with a sweet and loving hug.



8.         Same as above, except Yogi is smiling at the reader over Boo Boo's shoulder, looking like everything's all better now.


Yogi:    After a day like today, there’s nothin’ like a good ol’ fashioned bear hug to make it all better...


Monday - YOGI BEAR #8

1.         Yogi is sauntering along through the forest, happy and carefree. Passing him going the other way is a Coyote... but not just any Coyote: this guy is decked out in enough protective gear for a nuclear war, looking like something from outer space. He's wearing a gas mask, an umbrella hat for protection from the sun, and a full-body protective suit. Yogi isn’t reacting, just going along on his stroll, tipping his hat in greeting.


Yogi:    A jolly good mornin’ to you, Mr. Coyote.


2.         Close-up of Yogi, freezing in mid-step as he realizes what he's just passed, doing a majorly surprised double-take.




3.         Yogi is turning to look, still startled, at Coyote.


Yogi:    I think I've just stumbled across a serious break in the evolutionary chain...!


Tuesday - YOGI BEAR #9

1.         A very confused Yogi and the protectively garbed Coyote are facing one another talking in a clearing in the forest. Boo Boo is standing there listening in on the exchange.


Coyote:           One day, everybody will have to dress like this!

Yogi:    Looks kind’a extreme to me, Mr. Coyote.


2.         Close-up of Coyote, pointing to his gasmask.


Coyote:            The gas mask is for air pollution... the umbrella protects me from acid rain...


3.         A chagrined Yogi is looking at the reader as he turns to walk away from Coyote, who's still talking, plucking at his protective suit. Boo Boo is shaking his head.


Coyote:            ... The suit shields me from the ultra-violet rays from the hole in the ozone layer...

Yogi:    I feel a sudden urge to go back to bed.

Boo Boo:         Sounds like you'll be safer under the bed.


Wednesday - YOGI BEAR #10

1.         Yogi and Coyote are walking past Ranger Smith's log cabin ranger station. There's smoke curling out of the chimney and Ranger Smith is walking into the door with a bucket of coal.


Coyote:            Uh-oh!

Yogi:    What’s wrong now, Mr. Coyote?


2.         Coyote is pointing up at the chimney and the smoke chugging out of the chimney. Yogi looks alarmed.


Coyote:            Ranger Smith's burning coal! The smoke from it is poison to the atmosphere.

Yogi:    Yikes!


3.         Inside the ranger station: Ranger Smith is standing in front of his coal-burning stove, across from a window. Yogi is standing at the window with a garden hose, directing the spray into the open chamber of the stove, dousing the fire... as well as Smith, who’s standing there dripping wet with the coal bucket in hand.


Smith:  I’m sure there’s an explanation for this...


Thursday - YOGI BEAR #11

1.         Yogi and Coyote are walking past the mouth of Cindy Bear's cave. Yogi looks worried.


Coyote:            Folks damage the environment every day without even knowing it.


2.         Yogi is looking into Cindy's cave as he passes by: Cindy is sitting at her dressing table, spraying her hair with a can of hairspray.


Coyote:            Aerosol spray cans contain gases that are bad for the atmosphere.


3.         Yogi is grabbing at his chest in panic as he falls backwards to the ground in a faint.


Yogi:    ... Aerosol... cans...?!

SFX:     Hssssss!


4.         Cindy is sticking her head out of the cave to see Yogi spread out on the ground in front of her cave entrance, unconscious.


Cindy:  Really, Yogi, If you don’t like my new hairstyle, you could have just said so!


Friday - YOGI BEAR #12

1.         Yogi is Kneeling beside a stream, scooping up a handful of water to drink as Coyote rushes towards him, yelling out a warning for Yogi to stop.


Coyote:            Don’t drink that water, Yogi! It might be polluted!


2.         Later: Yogi was about to chomp down on an apple he’s picked from the apple tree he's standing under... but Coyote is grabbing the apple from his hand, leaving Yogi to chomp down on empty air.


Coyote:            Drop that apple! It might have been sprayed with pesticides!


3.         Later: Yogi is standing overlooking a beautiful canyon, about to take a deep breath... as Coyote jumps up and clamps a hand over Yogi's mouth.


Coyote:            Don’t breathe the air! It’s full of pollutants!


4.         Yogi has dumped Coyote upside down into a garbage can, his legs kicking in the air. Yogi is walking away from the garbage can, dusting off his hands with a look of satisfaction.


Yogi:    It's one thing to be concerned, but a bear’s gotta draw the line somewhere!


Saturday - YOGI BEAR #13

1.         Close-up of Boo Boo and Yogi walking out of the forest. Boo Boo is smiling up at his buddy.


Boo Boo:         Do you think Mr. Coyote was overreacting to the pollution problem, Yogi?

Yogi:    Maybe, Boo Boo...


2.         Pull back for a long shot to see that the two bear buddies are walking through one of the public camp areas: the whole area is strewn with various sorts of litter, newspapers, soda cans, food wrappers, etc.; cars zooming by on the road are belching out black exhaust fumes; in the distance are some log cabins, smoke billowing out of their chimneys.


Yogi:    ... Or maybe he’s a canine ahead of his time!


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