HORIZONS - BROCK HOTEL CORP. COMPANY NEWSLETTER; Issue 4, Winter 1897 :: "Yogi Bear Invades ShowBiz " (( 1987 )) [[ Courtesy of Showbizpizza.com ]]
"*These photographs are of some rare Rock-afire Explosion test stages. .. ..The Yogi stages were tested in 1987 at three locations - Augusta, GA, Omaha, NE, and Colorado Springs, CO."
"The Rock-afire stage was also altered slightly during this time. Billy Bob’s stage was changed from Smitty’s Super Service Station to the ShowBiz Pizza Campground. Creative had begun selling the Rock-afire to outside restaurant competitors, so with ShowBiz losing its exclusive rights, this made the Rock-afire’s at ShowBiz unique. Experimentation also began with phasing out the Rock-afire completely. One of the first moves was to introduce new licensed characters to the stage. After considering characters such as Garfield, Spider-man, and Superman, ShowBiz decided on Yogi Bear. After almost 2 years of negotiation and production, Yogi Bear appeared in place of Billy Bob on stage at 3 test stores."
"Yogi and Boo Boo were briefly considered (and licensed) to become the Animatronic entertainment at ShowBiz Pizza restaurants (the result of souring relations between ShowBiz and Creative Engineering , the company who owned ShowBiz's existing animatronic show, The Rock-afire Explosion ). Other than a very short run at three test locations , this never materialized."
-->> Just using these photos only for proof and historical sake,that i am not as bonkers as everyone thinks i am when i mention this.
I was fortunate enough to go to one of these test locations in the late 1980s. My pop took me a number of times to the local Showbiz in Colorado Springs ((the place is still there..tho' it's C.E.C. now of coarse..)) during the months that Yogi and Boo-boo appeared with the Rock-afire Explosion at Showbiz. Billy Bob's gas station was retro-fit and converted to a "Jellystone Park" scene. Yogi was placed where Billy was.. and Looney Bird in his barrel of oil had disappeared. The Oil barrel was now a trash can and Boo Boo was popping his head in and out and talking and singing with Yogi and the rest of the band like Looney did.
My thoughts are fuzzy:I don't recall if Rolfe DeWolfe ..or his puppet sidekick Earl on the far left of the three-part stage had a big part of the Yogi shows. Guess he wasn't as Yogi's robot was retrofit from Rolfe's if any. Billy Bob's robot had to be moved off the far right stage to make room for Yogi. I specifically remember asking the pizza boy that was cleaning the tables .. like the moronic little kid that i was ..,"Where is Billy Bob today ??". The boy told me that he was on a vacation.
Rolfe's stage was still there but not utilized in the show and the curtains were drawn at all times. The particular store i went to used this stage as storage for Billy Bob and related elements.
Fatz the Gorilla and the rest of the band interacted with Yogi and Boo Boo in prolly the most unique animatronics pizza shows ever.
I recall this installation being at Showbiz for a number of months. Soon..Jellystone was converted back to something less Jellystone..((tho' i think it was still a forest of some sort))..and Billy Bob returned. This was before the majority of the Rock-afire restaurants' shows were turned into Chuck E.Cheese themed shows during the 'Concept Unification'.
Little did i know at the time.. i was very,very,VERY lucky to have witnessed such an interesting animatronics event.