Posted by Tom wendel on September 20, 2001
In Reply to: Heavens to Murgatroid posted by ESC on April 06, 2000
: : : Does anyone know the origin of the above phrase (possibly also spelled "Murgatroyd")? Phrase Finder lists it, but does not give its origins.
: : We had a discussion about this phrase and it should be in the archives. I couldn't find it. Maybe someone else will have better luck accessing it. If we can't, maybe we can collectively reconstruct the information.
: Here's all I know:
: "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."
The Murgatroyds are characters, shadowy, in Gilbert and Sullivan's Ruddigore -- for whatever that might add to the discussion.