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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

4355-4361. The Ant Hill Mob

The Ant Hill Mob was a group of 1920s gangsters who competed in Wacky Races. Their names are Clyde (leader, voiced by Paul Winchell), Ring-A-Ding (Don Messick), Danny, Rug Bug Benny, Mac, Kirby and Willy. It never was revealed whether they had escaped from jail or what, but they seemed to be a little caring of one another. Although he is sometimes rude to the rest of the gang, Clyde actually cares for them. In one episode, when the rest of the gang was stuck in the Creepy Coupe, Clyde was menacing the Gruesomes: "All right, you creeps, where are my boys?"
The gang drove in car number 7, The Bulletproof Bomb (also known as The Roaring Plenty), and were pint-sized characters, a reference to the Seven Dwarfs. In the very first episode, "See-Saw to Arkansas", they even disguise themselves as the Seven Dwarfs to escape from a policeman. Their usual method of improving the speed of their car was "getaway" power, which they achieved by extending their feet through the floor of the car and running, the same way Fred Flintstone accelerates his own prehistoric car.

Clyde was probably named for criminal Clyde Barrow. This is further reinforced in a dialog where he threatens the boys with, "Youse want I should tell Bonnie on you?", an apparent reference to Barrow's henchwoman, Bonnie Parker. When Wacky Races was dubbed in French, Clyde's name was changed to "Al Carbone", a play on Al Capone.

Ring-A-Ding usually queries Clyde's orders or causes the plan to go wrong in some way. Clyde also sometimes wrongly calls him "Ding-A-Ling" instead of "Ring-A-Ding."

The Ant Hill Mob re-appears in a spin-off of Wacky Races, called The Perils of Penelope Pitstop. This time they were Penelope's knights in shining armor, but with a car instead of a horse. They all had different names, except Clyde, who wore a gray suit, and his wingmen all wore blue outfits. Also, their car changed with a whole new look, personality and name, Chugga-Boom.
Before Wacky Races, the name was used in the Atom Ant short "Wild, Wild Ants". Here, the Ant Hill Mob was a bunch of biker ants who steal the picnickers' food.

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