With Beatlemania in full swing in America, two cartoon dogs tried to get in on the act. One typo and two members shy of the Beatles, the fab canine duo of Stringer and Tubby made their Saturday morning television debut in September 1966.
Each week, the pair (as their names suggest, they had Abbott and Costello–like body types) would look for their big break in showbiz, only to end up in bigger trouble. Because their manager—Scotty, a Terrier with a brogue—believed his boys needed real-life adventures to inspire them as songwriters, off they went to join the Foreign Legion or investigate a haunted house.
These flimsy pretenses paid off in some catchy, British Invasion–style songs, which were collected on an album, Here Come the Beagles (it’s been reissued on CD in a twofer with another animal band, The Banana Splits).
Despite its hoofing and woofing, Beaglemania never caught on, and the show was cancelled after a year. Sadder still, after the cartoon’s editor died in the late 1960s, The Beagles master negatives and editing materials were tossed out by his widow. Some bootleg copies of the cartoon survive on YouTube and eBay.
This article first appeared in The Bark, Issue 49, Jul/Aug 2008