The first episode aired on ABC on September 30th 1960. Yup, The Flintstones turn the big five-o today. Everyone should sing Happy Anniversary to the tune of The William Tell Overture.

The image above was featured on Google all day. I really respect artist Mike Dutton but they should have gotten Scott Shaw, Pat Owsley, Marc Christiansen, John K… or quite frankly, anybody else to draw this tribute. Someone with some passion for the characters.

There have been many Flintstone articles posted on the web this week to commemorate this event – but the stupidest one I’ve seen was posted by The Christian Science Monitor: The Five Dumbest Moments on The Flintstones.

Here’s what they came up with:

5. The Flintstones Smoked – We know, we know. Everyone did back then.
4. The Great Gazoo – On the one hand I totally understand the hate for Gazoo, on the other hand he was a cool green space man who invented a doomsday machine!
3. Dinosaurs in The Flintstones – They are arguing science? It’s a cartoon!
2. The Pebbles and Bamm Bamm Show – I actually liked this spin-off. And Sally Struthers and Jay North seemed the right choice for the voices.
1. Sexism in The Flintstones – It was the 60s. The Madmen era. This show was portraying life in the Stone Age. Give me a break.

As usual, there’s the assumption on the writer’s part that cartoons are strictly kids stuff. What they really missed was the fact that The Flintstones was the first primetime animated sitcom, created to appeal adults and kids. And it’s done just that for exactly fifty years on the dot.

Congratulations, Fred and Barney… have a cold one on me:

(Thanks, Art Binninger)