Almost everyone is familiar with the Flintstones, but few people know that for a short period of time, Fred and his family lived next door to the Frankenstones!
The Frankenstones made cameo appearances in only a few episodes and television specials before getting their own spin-off, beginning in 1980. Prior to getting their own show, the Frankenstones went through several changes. For example, Frank Frankenstone, the head of the household, originally acted and sounded like Boris Karloff. After several name and character changes, the official Frankenstones were introduced to America as part of the Flintstone Comedy Show, which debuted in the fall of 1980.
The Frankenstone family consisted of Frank, his wife Hidea, their daughter Atrocia, and son Freaky. Charles Nelson Reilly provided the voice of Frank Frankenstone, right down to Reilly’s patented laugh. Frank’s wife Hidea was voiced by veteran film and television actress Ruta Lee. Atrocia, the Frankenstone’s daughter, was performed by the one and only Zelda Rubenstein. Last but not least was Freaky Frankenstone, who was voiced by Paul Reubens.
Frank Frankenstone was a hot-head. When he wasn’t losing his temper with his own family, he was busy arguing with his neighbor, Fred Flintstone. Hidea was the peacemaker of the family, who often teamed up with Wilma to ease tensions between their husbands. Atrocia tried to help the family by casting spells, but often ended up making things worse. And then there was Freaky. Despite his name, Freaky was the most normal member of the family, and happened to be dating the Pebbles Flintstone. You can bet that every time Frank Frankenstone saw the two of them together, he blew his top!
Much like the Flintstones, the Frankenstones owned the latest in stone age technology, from a van made out of dinosaur bones to a record player with a prehistoric bird for a needle. The Frankenstones even owned a pet named Rockjaw (voiced by Frank Welker) that protected the family.
Even when Frank Frankenstone and Fred Flintstone occasionally found common ground (like when playing video games together), the peace between the two was usually short-lived. If Fred was hoping the Frankenstones would disappear from his life for good, in 1982, he got his wish. When The Flintstone Comedy Show disappeared in 1982, so did the Frankenstone family, never to be heard from again.
As delicious as Fruity Pebbles is, every Halloween I find myself wishing the Frankenstones had got their own spooky-themed cereal!