Most of the characters in the Hanna Barbara universe were punching bags.Â In fact, Iâ€™d say that about every last one of them.Â Whether they were maniacal schemers (Yogi Bear) or good-hearted pansies (Huckleberry Hound), they always got their asses kicked left and right no matter what they were doing.Â However, amongst all the characters getting mauled by dogs or shredded in wood-chippers, Lippy the Lion and Hardy Har-Har had to be the most tragic outlets for Hanna Barbaraâ€™s psychotic pent-up rage.Â
They were traveling handymen, willing to take on any job if it meant a quick buck.Â Lippy the Lion was the â€œbrainsâ€ of the operation, always devising the schemes that would inevitably backfire in their faces and result in them getting poisoned or drawn and quartered.Â Meanwhile, Hardy Har-Har was the depressed â€œlaughingâ€ hyena who was always sulking and fretting over every little thing.Â Lippy was advertised as the brains of the pair, but I think Hardy was really the smart one.Â He was aware that no matter what they did, be it driving a truckload of dynamite cross-country or eating a sandwich, it would inevitably end in their utter misery and suffering.Â
Iâ€™d be suicidal, too, if I had to be a character in a Hanna Barbara cartoon.Â Flat, lifeless environments, backgrounds that repeat in an endless loop no matter how fast you run, everyone and everything out to kill you, forced to recycle the exact same jokes over and over and over again for an audience thatâ€™ll forget you as soon as the showâ€™s endedâ€¦my God, they were troopers.
People think life in the Hanna Barbara Universe would be all fun and games, but theyâ€™re wrong.Â Itâ€™s a Hellish existence of raw, undiluted suffering and redundant gags that only get worse with age.Â And, at the end of the day, unless your name is in the showâ€™s title, youâ€™re doomed to a future of obscurity, suitable only for occasional appearances in the All-Star Laff-a-Lympics or on Harvey Birdman.
Godspeed, Lippy the Lion and Hardy Har-Har.Â Godspeed.