Posted by R. Berg on January 26, 2001
In Reply to: Murgatroid posted by ESC on January 26, 2001
: : : Can you tell me if this the correct spelling of Mergatroyd? What does "Heavens To Mergatroyd" mean?
: : The correct spelling is Murgatroyd. As far as I know, "heavens to Murgatroyd" means the same thing as "heavens to Betsy"-that is, very little. It's just an exclamation of surprise like "Goodness gracious!"
: From the archives:
: "Heavens to Murgatroid" is a catchphrase of a cartoon character, Snagglepuss. (See below.) The last time this discussion came up, I don't believe anyone came up with a origin of the phrase beyond that. One person thought "Murgatroid" was used because it sounded like a snooty upper-class name.
: I am sure you can find sites with a Wav file of Snagglepuss saying this bit. I was scared off by sites that promised files of "adult sounds." I shutter to think what that might be.
: "The character of Snagglepuss originally appeared in 1959 as a minor character on episodes of Quick Draw McGraw, Augie Doggie, and Snooper & Blabber (this episode introduced Snagglepuss's nemesis the master hunter Major Minor). The character proved to have such appeal that he was given his own segment on The Yogi Bear Show when it premiered in 1961. Snagglepuss's favorite sayings were 'Exit stage left' and 'Heavens to Murgatroid.' In the '70s and '80s Snagglepuss appeared with other Hanna-Barbera stars on shows like Yogi's Gang , Scooby's All-Star Laff-A-Lympics (1977-1979), and Yogi's Treasure Hunt (1985-1988). Snagglepuss's voice was also borrowed for the character of The Funky Phantom . Snagglepuss's memorable voice was provided by supreme voice artist, Daws Butler (Butler was Hanna-Barbera's most prolific actor, providing the voices of Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, Dixie, Mr. Jinks, Quick Draw, Baba Looey, Snuffles the dog, Augie Doggie, Peter Potamus, Wally Gator, Hokey Wolf, Snooper, and Blabber, as well as providing the voice of Cap'N Crunch for Jay Ward."
Just as Snagglepuss wasn't the first to say "Exit stage left," he (his writers) may not have originated "Heavens to M." A search on Google reveals that both Murgatroid and Murgatroyd are real names, but I've always seen the spelling with "y" in print versions of the "Heavens" phrase. For a very snooty-looking Murgatroyd, see www.manning-and-manning.com/oliver/murgatroyd