Wally Gator is a swinging alligator
in the swamp
He's the greatest perculator
when he really starts to romp
There has never been a greater
operator in the swamp
See ya later,
Theme Song, "Wally Gator"
Wally Gator (voiced by the inimitable Daws Butler) is one of the many celebrated characters in the early animation period of Hanna-Barbera Studios. He was first conceived (along with many other memorable characters) in the summer of 1962, when Butler was asked to come up with some voices and ideas for animated shorts. Wally's voice and constantly delighted manner was based on 50s comedian Ed Wynn.
Wally is not your average gator. He thinks of himself as a human, and hates the idea that he isn't treated like a regular person by people when he meets them. Like his contemporaries Yogi Bear and Magilla Gorilla, Wally is held in confinement by a likeable but incompetent handler. In Wally's case, he is a resident of the city zoo, whose caretaker Mr. Twiddles is something of a nitwit. Wally - something of a bon vivant - constantly escapes the zoo to see the rest of the world.
Wally's first appearances were part of the "The New Hanna-Barbera Show", which also had episodes featuring Touché Turtle and Lippy the Lion & Hardy Har Har. All in all, 51 episodes were made from August 1962 to December 1963. Since then, Wally has returned to TV twice: first as a member of The Yogi-Yahooey's on Scooby-Doo's All Star Laff-a-Lympics, and then later as part of the ensemble cast of Yogi's Gang, the successful environmental series featuring most of Yogi and Wally's contemporaries.