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Alan Reed took some time to warm up to Mel Blanc

Reed and Blanc weren't "Barney and Fred" close...at first.

© 2024 WBEI

You can't make everyone like you, no matter how charming you might think you are. Like it or not, in this life, you're bound to make some incredible friends, along with a few enemies.

Believe it or not, two voice actors who became good friends later in their careers got off on the worst possible foot imaginable. This is especially wild, considering they voiced two of the most iconic best pals on television.

The Flintstones wasn't the first time that Mel Blanc and Alan Reed, who voiced Barney Rubble and Fred Flintstone, respectively, were acquainted. According to Blanc's memoir, That's Not All Folks, Reed's voice appeared on Blanc's series The Mel Blanc Show.

Reed portrayed piano teacher Mr. Potchnik in The Mel Blanc Show, which briefly ran from 1946 until 1947. "He [Reed] and I were equally in demand in Hollywood but never got to know each other well," Blanc said.

It took a near-death experience to bring Reed and Blanc together. In 1961, Blanc was involved in a car accident that left him horribly injured. While Blanc made a full recovery, there was a period of time when he needed to stay in bed in order for his body to properly recover.

Despite this, Blanc was still able to provide several of his more famous voices, including that of Barney Rubble of The Flintstones, recording his lines from bed. The experience shifted Reed's perception of Blanc, and the actor actually took him aside to get honest. 

"Mel, I used to think you were a conceited little jerk," Reed said. "Don't know why, I just did. But seeing your dedication and effort — Christ, doing a cartoon series from a hospital bed — changed my mind. I started thinking, 'Gee, what a brave little guy he is.' I just wanted you to know."

The conversation made the two actors go from costars to friends.

"From that day on we became better pals than even Fred and Barney," Blanc said. 

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