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Sylvester Nate George Oscar Slate is a fictional character from Hanna-Barbera's The Flintstones.

Role on The FlintstonesEdit

Mr. Slate is Fred Flintstone's boss at The Slate Rock and Gravel Company/The Rockhead and Quarry Cave Construction Company, and shares a sometimes-strained friendship with him. Oddly enough in the spinoff series The Flintstone Kids, Nate Slate is shown as a friend of then children version of Betty, Wilma, Fred and Barney. He is nearly bald, having only two hairs on his head, and wears a pair of black glasses with circular lenses. One episode of the original series gives a strong hint that his nephew is Barney Rubble, though later on this relation seems to mysteriously dissolve. Another of the original series episodes which has the Flintstones and Rubbles travelling to the future (to a Bedrock resembling something out of The Jetsons) – helped by the Great Gazoo – has Mr Slate's lookalike descendant, George Slate the 80,000th, who tries to chase Fred Flintstone to collect a $4.00 debt which has grown to billions of dollars owing to interest.

An episode of the series revealed that Mr. Slate is actually the mere manager of the Construction Company under a demanding board of directors, whose only appearance was on one episode of the series in which Fred and Slate had a bitter falling out, causing Fred to wish for the Great Gazoo to switch their jobs, only for Fred to realize the next day that Slate's job was a lot more complicated than his own with the directors bossing him about every minute of the day. However, in episodes before and after this specific one, Slate has always referred to the company as his company, and so it remains unknown whether the board of directors really exists and has named the company after Slate or if they were merely a creation of Gazoo's for that one day to teach Fred a lesson.

The Jetsons Meet the FlintstonesEdit

Mr. Slate also appeared in The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones, in which he fires Fred and Barney for not working the night shift as he told them. Introduced in the special was also Turk Tarpit, Mr. Slate's sworn business rival, who is after Slate's company and narrowly beats him at the company picnic (in exchange for their jobs back, Fred and Barney try to help Slate with George Jetson's futuristic gadgets, but it still isn't enough to counter Tarpit's cheating, and Slate fires Fred and Barney again). Slate, on the verge of declaring bankruptcy, joins forces with Tarpit to make George famous after seeing his gadgets at the picnic, and in gratitude, Slate makes George his partner of the company, although at the end, George hands the partnership over to Fred and Barney. Slate's reaction to this is unknown, as he is not seen after giving George the partnership contract.

Mr. Slate's first name, changing appearances and familyEdit

Mr Slate's first name (and appearance) often varied from episode to episode. He is married with Martha Alexandra Lucy Margaret Dolfstone and has 3 children that appeared in the series, a young son named Eugene, also known as "Slugger", an older son named Eddie whom he had made plant manager, and (in the early episodes) an older, apparently ugly, daughter named Concrete (called "Concretia" in the 1994 movie). It is mentioned in the series that he has four children.

In earlier episodes of The Flintstones, the character later recognizable as Mr. Slate was referred to as Mr. Rockhead or Mr. J.J. Granite. The "Mr. Slate" character in these episodes was short and bald with a black mustache. With no explanation ever given, the identities and names of these two men were switched, and the now short character of Mr. Rockhead quickly faded out of the show even though the character appears in the opening credits of the syndicated version of the series setting off the alarm to signal the end of the shift. In the first season episode "The Big Tycoon", Fred had another unnamed boss, with white hair.

1994 live-action filmEdit

In the 1994 film, Mr. Slate is still the owner of the company, but has a minor role in the film. His Executive Vice President, Cliff Vandercave, concocts a plan to build faulty machinery to quadruple the company's profits but which will fall apart after Cliff has stolen Slate's money and fled the country. Cliff makes Fred Flintstone the Vice President of the company and tricks him into firing all the workers, framing him for embezzlement. Slate's reaction to this is unknown, and it is also not known whether it is he who calls the police to pursue Fred. At the end, when Cliff is defeated and trapped in concrete, Slate congratulates Fred for "ending the stone age" and attempts to promote him to President of the company's concrete division, but Fred, happy with his own job, politely declines, and requests his old job back, along with two weeks holiday. Slate accepts, and his last line is "There goes the best executive I ever had.".

PortrayalsEdit

John Stephenson provided the voice of the animated character, while character actor Dann Florek portrayed him in the 1994 live-action movie.

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