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As his name indicates, Wally Gator was an alligator, who, in the Hanna-Barbera tradition, loved to escape from his habitat in order to experience life among the humans.
The alligator was the bane of zookeeper Mr Twiddles’ existence, constantly escaping his confines and causing mayhem on an unsuspecting public. The show also featured a swingin’ theme song:
Wally Gator is a swingin’ navigator in the swamp!
He’s the greatest percolator when he really starts to romp.
There has never been a greater operator in the swamp!
See ya later, Wally Gator!
Unlike that mischievous pic-a-nic basket pilferer Yogi Bear, Wally seemed innocent. His need to escape stemmed not from a desire to fool or trick anyone, but from a desire to learn more about life, to see what the world had to offer.
Unfortunately, the world was often filled with people who saw Wally as a vast resource for handbags and shoes, teaching us all a lesson about the dangers of the world outside our safe and happy homes.
Wally Gator started out as part of The New Hanna-Barbera Cartoon Series along with Touché Turtle and Lippy the Lion and Hardy-Har-Har.
Wally proved to be the most popular segment, and the character went on to co-star in future Hanna-Barbera projects like Yogi’s Ark and Scooby’s All-Star Laff-A-Lympics.