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Hanna-Barbera produced this 1972-1974 animated prime time series. Harry Boyle (voiced by Happy Days' Tom Bosley) is a conservative businessman whose elder son, Chet, is a hippie who dropped out of college. His high-school aged daughter, Alice, is a sexually liberated feminist. Only his younger son, Jamie, shows any signs of sharing Harry's values, and his wife, Irma, stays out of the conflict (though she has dreams of finding her own identity and being more than just a wife and mother). Meanwhile, his neighbor Ralph (comedian Jack Burns) masterminds an anticommunist organization so far to the right that they make the John Birchers (and more importantly, Harry) look pinko. Convinced of the imminent arrival of the godless Red hordes, Ralph and his followers have turned one end of the block into an armed camp. Poor Harry finds himself forced to navigate his life safely between all the extremes that surround him.
A deft, almost cynical, social commentary disguised as an animated Dom Com, Wait Till Your Father Gets Home had fun skewering targets from all over the social and political spectrum. On a deeper level it satirized the polarization of American society, as viewed through the bewildered eyes of Everyman Harry.
For two years this was Hanna-Barbera's second most popular primetime animated show, and as a result a number of celebrity guest stars appeared in the second season, including perennial favorites such as Jonathan Winters, Don Knotts, Don Adams and Phyllis Diller. Though it didn't last as long as The Flintstones, it was the inspiration for FOX's dysfunctional family animated sitcoms that became popular in the 1990s and the 2000s (The Simpsons, King of the Hill, Family Guy, American Dad and — to a lesser extent — The Cleveland Show).
- Actor Allusion: As Ralph, Jack Burns would occasionally use his stand-up trademark of making a statement to another character then saying "huh?" "huh?" "huh?" until the other character shouts an agreement with him to get him to shut up.
- Animated Series
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: The dog Julius does it on a regular basis. Harry does it on occasion as well, although it could be explained that he's just Thinking Out Loud to make sense of this week's problem.
- Crossover: One episode featured Car 54, Where Are You?'s Officers Toody and Muldoon with Gunther introduced as Irma's brother-in-law. This episode is possibly a Poorly-Disguised Pilot for an animated Car 54 series.
- Deliberately Bad Example: The purpose of the militantly paranoid ultra-right-wing Ralph: to make Harry look moderate and reasonable.
- Dom Com
- Draft Dodging: When he gets his notice, Chet considers running to Canada.
- Dysfunctional Family
- Precious Puppies: The family dog, Julius, doesn't speak, yet understands English and reacts to things said around him, usually in aside glances.
- Everything's Worse with Bees: In one episode Harry gets two unwanted visitors -- a colony of bees and a bumbling live-in exterminator played by Don Knotts.
- Frivolous Lawsuit: Harry is encouraged to file one when he has a minor accident that coincides with a tight time in the family finances. Ultimately, he decides against it.
- Game Show Appearance: To earn money for an aniversary gift, Irma appears on Let's Make a Deal, complete with Special Guest Voice Monty Hall as himself.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: The opening theme has a part where Alice heads out on a date with a guy standing at the door. The scene spins around and the next time she comes in, her clothes are tattered and her glasses are skewed.
- Granola Girl
- Half-Hour Comedy
- Hawaii: Irma literally dreams of a Hawaii vacation when Harry receives a tax refund check mistakenly made out for $947,000 instead of $94.70.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: In addition to Tom Bosley as Harry, the youngest son, Jamie, was originally voiced by Jackie Earle Haley, who went on to play Rorschach in Watchmen.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Ralph and Wittaker
- Intimidating Revenue Service: Harry is amazed to find out he is the only one to want to return a computer error tax refund check for $947,000.
- Keep Circulating the Tapes: No season other than the first one has been released on DVD. And thanks to poor sales, the other seasons will probably never be released.
- Miles Gloriosus: Ralph tends to be a lot of talk and no action.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed
- The Other Darrin: Two of the kids had their voice actors recast: Chet (David Hayward and Lennie Weinrib) and Jamie (Jackie Earle Haley and Willie Aames).
- Richard Nixon: Ralph is designed as a Nixon caricature.
- Scenery Censor: Done in the episode where Alice is a nude model for an artist.
- Special Guest
- Theme Tune
- Vapor Wear: On the second episode, Alice buys a dress she wants to wear to her father's special dinner. The problem is, it's see-through (and when told that she can't wear it because everyone will see her bra, Alice replies, "What bra?").