July 05, 2014

SCOOBY-DOO, WHERE ARE YOU?

SCOOBY-DOO, WHERE ARE YOU!
(CBS, September 13, 1969-October 31, 1970
ABC, September 9-November 4, 1978)

Hanna-Barbera Productions



MAIN CAST:
Don Messick – Scooby-Doo, various
Casey Kasem – Norville “Shaggy” Rogers, various
Frank Welker – Fred Jones, various
Indira Stefanianna Christopherson (season 1) & Heather North – Daphne Blake
Nicole Jaffe & Pat Stevens (season 3) – Velma Dinkley

For background information on Scooby-Doo, check out the post here.


            The first incarnation of the Scooby-Doo franchise set the blueprint for everything that followed.

Those meddling kids.


The gang, originally known as the Scooby-Doo Detective Agency before eventually becoming Mystery Incorporated, would somehow end up in a location being terrorized by some kind of mysterious supernatural entity. They would endeavor to investigate and solve the mystery of the creature by looking for clues. Scooby (Don Messick) and Shaggy (Casey Kasem) would typically play it safe head off in search of food or to have fun, encountering the entity by chance and leading to one of several elaborate chase sequences. Velma (Nicole Jaffe) would uncover enough clues to deduce the true identity of the culprit, and after catching them in a Rube Goldberg-like trap (that tended to backfire), Fred (Frank Welker) would unmask them; revealing them to be someone they met during the investigation trying to scare people away from their illegal activities. As they were carted away by the police, each villain would utter the same closing remarks: “And I would have gotten away with it too, if it hadn’t been for you meddling kids!” 

The Mystery Machine chugs towards the next mystery.

            The original voice cast included veteran actor Don Messick as the cowardly Scooby-Doo, using a similar vocal performance from his time as Astro from The Jetsons. Messick would perform the role until 1994 when he lost the ability to do so. Radio DJ Casey Kasem was cast as Scooby’s owner, the equally cowardly Shaggy, who also shared an extreme love of food with his dog. Despite originally wanting to be Fred, Kasem was selected as Shaggy after three auditions and would play him until 1995 when he, a strict vegetarian, disputed voicing a Burger King commercial. He returned to the role in 2002 after Shaggy was made a vegetarian and finally retired from it for good in 2009. Shaggy’s trademark became the exclamation “ZOINKS!” 
 
Shaggy, Velma, Daphne, Fred and Scooby look for clues.

Frank Welker was discovered by an executive while doing a dog and cat routine for his comedy show. Welker was invited to audition for the show in what would end up being his first voice role in a long and prolific career spanning television and movies. Originally desiring the role of Shaggy, Welker ended up as Fred and also provided many of the monster and supporting character voices. To date, he is also the only remaining original cast member through all animated incarnations of the show as of this writing (except for A Pup Named Scooby-Doo when the character was depicted as younger). Rounding out the cast was Nicole Jaffe as the brainy Velma, who would often exclaim “Jinkies!” in surprise or discovery, and musician Indira Stefanianna Christopherson as the lovely and trouble-prone Daphne, who usually ended up captured and in need of rescuing.


Promotional artwork.

            Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! debuted on CBS on September 13, 1969. The show quickly became a hit, leading to Hanna-Barbera, as well as some of their competition, to begin production on a slew of clones that followed the same basic formula to try and duplicate that success. It also became one of the first Saturday morning cartoons to feature a laugh-track (which would become a Hanna-Barbera trademark). The laugh-track was later removed in 1980s syndication but restored during 1990s reruns. The theme was written by David Mook and Ben Raleigh and performed by Larry Marks and Paul Costello. Ted Nichols composed the rest of the series’ music.


Scooby-Doo was renewed for a second season of eight episodes with some revisions. The “chase sequences” were set to bubblegum pop songs produced by LaLa Productions, written by Danny Janssen and Austin Roberts, and recorded by Roberts. Roberts also re-recorded the opening theme. Christopherson married during this time and retired from voice acting. Jaffe encouraged her roommate, Heather North, to audition for the part. North ended up taking over as Daphne in all incarnations of the show (except Pup) until 1997.         

Ad for ABC's Saturday morning line-up in 1978.

The third season was actually split between two shows on a new network. CBS had allowed their option for the franchise to lapse since its sole supporter, Fred Silverman, had moved over to ABC. He snatched it up and ordered production on a new series. In 1978, ABC was running a block of programming called Scooby’s All-Stars which featured Laff-A-Lympics, Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels, and The Scooby-Doo Show. Attempting a revival of the classic series, nine episodes were aired earlier with the original Where Are You! opening and format before it was cancelled. The remaining episodes of the revival were aired as The Scooby-Doo Show during the All-Stars block. In the interim, Jaffe had also married and decided to retire from acting in 1973, although she would return to the role for the direct-to-video movies Scooby-Doo! And the Legend of the Vampire and Scooby-Doo! And the Monster of Mexico in 2003. Pat Stevens assumed the role of Velma after Jaffe’s departure.

Scooby runs afoul of a ghost miner.

The first season was written by Ruby and Spears, along with Bill Lutz. Ruby and Spears also served as story supervisors. For the second season, Lutz was joined by Larz Bourne and Tom Dagenais. For the revival, Bourne was joined by David Ketchum, Norman Maurer and Willie Gilbert, with Ray Parker assuming the role of story editor as Ruby and Spears had left the studio to become producers at rival DePatie-Freleng.

 
Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? #18.

            In 1970, Gold Key Comics began publishing a series based on the show. Initially sharing the same title, it was renamed Scooby-Doo Mystery Comics after the 16th issue. After acquiring the license in 1997, DC Comics published a comic book titled simply Scooby-Doo for 13 years. In 2010, they ended that series and began a new one making use of the Where Are You? title. While many video game translations of the franchise usually feature the classic theme and character models, in 2002, 2004 and 2005 the video games Night of 100 Frights, Mystery Mayhem and Unmasked by THQ featured faithful recreations of the opening sequence, a laugh-track, and the then-current voice cast.

 
Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! Complete Series (original release).

            Beginning in 1996, Turner Home Entertainment began releasing a series of VHS tapes under the name Classic Scooby-Doo that included two episodes from the series and an additional Hanna-Barbera short. In 2002, Scooby received its first DVD release of four episodes on Scooby-Doo’s Creepiest Capers. In 2004 and 2007, the complete series was released in two collections before getting a full-series release in 2010 with a bonus disc and special Mystery Machine packaging. The complete set was soon discontinued but reissued in 2012. Between 2009 and 2010, four compilation DVDs were released each containing four episodes from the series and a bonus episode from Shaggy and Scooby-Doo Get a Clue. In 2019, for the franchise’s 50th anniversary, a limited-edition Blu-ray set was released that came in packaging that resembled a haunted house and with a miniature Funko POP! of Scooby.



EPISODE GUIDE:

Season 1:
“What a Night for a Knight” (9/13/69) – The gang delivers a black suit of armor they found to the museum, but find they need to investigate when they learn the suit has come to life.

“A Clue for Scooby-Doo” (9/20/69) – The gang investigates the disappearance of several boats tied into the appearance of a ghost in a diving suit.

“Hassle in the Castle” (9/27/69) – Running aground on Haunted Isle during a boating expedition, the gang encounters a transparent phantom.

“Mine Your Own Business” (10/4/69) – Shaggy accidentally leads the gang to a ghost town haunted by a ghost miner looking for the last vein of gold in the old mines.

“Decoy for a Dognapper” (10/11/69) – Scooby-Doo serves as a decoy to catch some dognappers, leading the gang to discover the dognappers work for a Native American witch doctor.

“What the Hex is Going On?” (10/18/69) – The gang helps their friend Sharon Weatherby find her Uncle Stuart, who has been kidnapped by the ghost of Elias Kingston.

“Never Ape an Apeman” (10/25/69) – The gang serves as extras on Daphne’s Uncle Maxwell’s movie set, which is haunted by an apeman who threatens to keep the movie from being finished.

“Foul Play in Funland” (11/1/69) – The gang discovers a robot running around the closed Funland carnival.

“The Backstage Rage” (11/8/69) – The gang discovers a counterfeiting operation hidden inside the local puppet theater.

“Bedlam in the Big Top” (11/15/69) – The gang investigates reports of a ghost clown haunting a circus, but gradually fall victim to his hypnotic powers.

“A Gaggle of Galloping Ghosts” (11/22/69) – Carlotta the Gypsy warns the gang they’ll meet their doom if they continue on to Franken Castle.

“Scooby-Doo and A Mummy, Too” (11/29/69) – A 3,000 year old mummy comes back to life and begins turning people into stone.

“Which Witch is Which?” (12/6/69) – The gang ends up lost in a swamp and encounters a zombie brought to life by a witch to scare all the locals away.

“Spooky Space Kook” (12/13/69) – The gang runs out of gas near a farmhouse where the owner tells them about a ghostly UFO haunting the nearby abandoned airfield.

“Go Away Ghost Ship” (12/20/69) – The ghost of the pirate Redbeard is destroying ships and stealing their cargo, prompting the gang to investigate.

“A Night of Fright is No Delight” (1/10/70) – Scooby stands to inherit some money if he can stay the night in a haunted mansion.

“That’s Snow Ghost” (1/17/70) – An abominable snow creature’s ghost puts the kibosh on the gang’s ski vacation.

Season 2:
“Nowhere to Hyde” (9/12/70) – The gang tracks the jewel thief ghost of Mr. Hyde to the home of Dr. Jekyll, who fears he may be transforming into the ghost.

“Mystery Mask Mix-Up” (9/19/70) – Daphne buys a golden mask from a curio shop that ends up having been stolen from the crypt of Zen Tuo and desired by two zombies.

“Jeepers, It’s the Creeper” (9/26/70) – The gang stumbles into a mystery involving the zombie-like phantom called the Creeper who has been robbing the local bank.

“Scooby’s Night with a Frozen Fright” (10/3/70) – Shaggy and Scooby discover a frozen caveman while fishing, which seemingly comes back to life after being accidentally thawed out.

“Haunted House Hang-Up” (10/10/70) – The Mystery Machine overheats, stranding the gang by a spooky mansion haunted by a headless specter.

“A Tiki Scare is No Fair” (10/17/70) – The gang’s Hawaiian trip is interrupted by a witch doctor who warns the tourists and natives they are trespassing on the sacred grounds of Mano Tiki Tia.

“Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Werewolf?” (10/24/70) – While camping, the gang encounters a werewolf that could have come from the open grave of suspected werewolf Silas Long.

“Don’t Fool with a Phantom” (10/31/70) – The gang participates in the Johnny Sands Dance Game Show when a wax phantom steals a safe full of money and kidnaps the station manager.

Season 3:
“Watch Out! The Willawaw!” (9/9/78) – The gang investigates the disappearance of Velma’s uncle Dave.

“A Creepy Tangle in the Bermuda Triangle” (9/16/78) – Ending up in the Bermuda Triangle reveals an airplane-snatching flying saucer and a trio of Skeleton Men.

“A Scary Night with a Snow Beast Fright” (9/23/78) – A Snow Beast kidnaps people intruding on sacred land in the North Pole.

“To Switch a Witch” (9/30/78) – A witch killed in Salem returns to terrorize the town, and her resemblance to the gang’s friend Arlene Wilcox lands Arlene in trouble with the townspeople.

“The Tar Monster” (10/7/78) – A Tar Monster terrorizes the natives in Byzantius, Turkey.

“A Highland Fling with a Monstrous Thing” (10/14/78) – The gang travel to Scotland to investigate an anti-social ghost of a relative haunting their friend’s family castle.

“The Creepy Case of Old Iron Face” (10/21/78) – Old Iron Face haunts the prison on Skull Island where he was held, and the gang heads there to find their missing guide.

“Jeepers, It’s the Jaguaro” (10/28/78) – An emergency landing in a Brazil jungle puts the gang between headhunter natives and the half-jaguar, half-ape Jaguaro.

“Make a Beeline Away from That Feline” (11/4/78) – Daphne’s aunt Olivia Dervy believes that she turns into a cat creature every night.


Originally posted in 2014. Updated in 2019.

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