Barnard "Barney" Rubble is the deuteragonist in the television animated series The Flintstones. He is the diminutive blonde-haired caveman husband of Betty Rubble and father of Bamm-Bamm Rubble. His best friends are his next door neighbors, Fred and Wilma Flintstone.
Barney's personality was based on that of Ed Norton on the 1950s television series The Honeymooners, played by Art Carney. Mel Blanc, who voiced Barney, first used the Barney Ruble voice when imitating Ed in the 1956 Looney Tunes Cartoon Half-Fare Hare As such, Barney tended to be much more jovial-minded and easygoing than his friend Fred, who was slightly smarter than Barney in some matters and slightly dimmer than him in others. Like Ralph Kramden on The Honeymooners, Fred was constantly on the lookout for get-rich-quick schemes, while Barney, like Norton, found life satisfactory as it was but participated in said schemes because Fred was his friend. Usually after Fred had hatched one of his plans, Rubble would usually show his agreement by laughing dumbly and saying "er huh huh... OK, Fred!" or "huh huh huh... whatever you say, Fred!"
Barney's interests included bowling, playing pool, poker, tinkering around in Fred's garage and playing golf (though there were episodes where Barney did not know how to play golf). He, like Fred, was also a member of the Loyal Order of Water Buffalos lodge and its predecessor in earlier episodes, the Loyal Order of Dinosaurs. He is also a talented pianist and drummer. In the first episode of the original series he was an inventor of a hand-powered helicopter. Though clearly depicted as being in better shape than Fred, he isn't shown to be quite as enthusiastic a sportsman as Fred is. This distinction can be attributed to Fred's fondness of food, though Barney is shown to be almost as capable of excessive appetite on a number of occasions.
While the mid-1980s spinoff series The Flintstone Kids depicts Barney as a child, the series seems to be mostly apocrypha due to its presenting Barney as a childhood friend of Wilma and Betty (vs. the original series' assertion that they first met as young adults). Still, the series' assertions that Barney had at least one younger brother, Dusty, was a childhood friend of Fred, and was the son of artist Flo Slate Rubble and car dealer Robert "Honest Bob" Rubble might be taken as valid. The original series also suggested in one episode that Barney was the nephew of Fred's boss, Mr. Slate, though subsequent episodes and spinoffs don't seem to support this claim. As a kid Barney worked in "Rock City". As young adults, Barney and Fred worked as bellhop at a resort, where they first met Wilma and Betty, who were working as cigarette girls. Eventually, Barney married Betty (as Fred did Wilma).
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