January 15, 2020

SATURDAY MORNING MASTERS: DON MESSICK


DON MESSICK
(September 7, 1926-October 24, 1997)

Notable Roles: Ruff, Professor Gizmo, Ricochet Rabbit, Scooby-Doo, Scrappy-Doo, Muttley, Spike, Boo Boo Bear, Ranger Smith, Dr. Benton Quest, Mumbly, Godzooky, Bamm-Bamm Rubble, Papa Smurf, Azrael, Dreamy Smurf, Astro, R.U.D.I., U.N.I.B.L.A.B., Hamton J. Pig, Droopy Dog

Messick originally wanted to be a ventriloquist and made a living at it early on. After performing in front of the program manager and chief announcer of radio station WBOC in Salisbury, Maryland, he was given his own weekly show at age 15 where he performed all of the voices and sound effects. After serving in the U.S. Army’s Special Services unit, Messick was hired by the Mutual Broadcasting radio station in Los Angeles to play Raggedy Andy and Farmer Seedling on The Raggedy Ann Show. At the suggestion of Daws Butler, director Tex Avery hired Messick to perform the voice of Droopy Dog when his regular actor, Bill Thompson, was unavailable, giving Messick his start in animation. He and Butler joined Hanna-Barbera as regular players in 1957 and were often paired together. Messick typically played sidekicks like Boo Boo Bear, provided the narration for various shows, or sound effects for various creatures. He became a major headliner when he was cast as the voice of Scooby-Doo, which would turn out to be the studio’s most enduring character. However, after A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, he retired from the role, claiming quitting smoking robbed him of the rasp he needed to perform it (although he did perform one more time in a 1996 Burger King commercial). After suffering a stroke while recording in 1996, Messick retired from voice acting altogether. He died from a second stroke the following year.

Saturday Credits:
The Ruff & Reddy Show
The Secret Squirrel Show
The Atom Ant Show
Frankenstein, Jr. and the Impossibles
Space Ghost & Dino Boy
Super President
Moby Dick and the Mighty Mightor
The Atom Ant/Secret Squirrel Show
Space Kidettes
Fantastic Four (1967)
Herculoids
Shazzan
Birdman and the Galaxy Trio
Wacky Races (1968)
The Adventures of Gulliver
Cattanooga Cats
The Archie Comedy Hour
Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines
The Perils of Penelope Pitstop
H.R. Pufnstuf
Sabrina, The Teenage Witch (1969)
Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!
Doctor Dolittle (1970)
The Banana Splits Adventure Hour
Josie and the Pussycats (1970)
Help!... It’s the Hair Bear Bunch!
Harlem Globe Trotters
The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show
The Funky Phantom
The Flintstone Comedy Hour
The Barkleys
The Houndcats
The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan
Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space
The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie
Jeannie
The Addams Family (1973)
Bailey’s Comets
The New Scooby-Doo Movies
Inch High, Private Eye
Yogi’s Gang
Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch
Hong Kong Phooey
These Are the Days
The New Tom & Jerry Show
The Oddball Couple
Jabberjaw
The Mumbly Cartoon Show
Dynomutt Dog Wonder
The Skatebirds
Scooby’s Laff-A-Lympics
CB Bears
Fred Flintstone and Friends
Baggy Pants & the Nitwits
Yogi’s Space Race
Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels
The New Fantastic Four
The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour
Challenge of the Superfriends
Dinky Dog
The New Fred and Barney Show
ABC Weekend Specials
Fred and Barney Meet the Thing
The Super Globetrotters
Godzilla (1978)
Fred and Barney Meet the Shmoo
The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show
Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo (1979)
The Flintstones Comedy Show
Drak Pack
The Richie Rich/Scooby-Doo Show
The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang
Space Stars
Heathcliff (1980)
Trollkins
The Kwicky Koala Show
Spider-Man (1981)
The Smurfs
The Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Puppy Hour
The New Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo Show
Saturday Supercade
The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries
The Mighty Orbots
Get Along Gang
Yogi’s Treasure Hunt
Pink Panther and Sons
The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo
Galtar and the Golden Lance
Scooby’s Mystery Funhouse
Popeye and Son
The Real Ghostbusters
Foofur
Pound Puppies (1986)
DuckTales (1987)
A Pup Named Scooby-Doo
Garfield and Friends
Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue
The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera
Tom & Jerry Kids Show
Tiny Toon Adventures
Bobby’s World
Yo Yogi!
The Plucky Duck Show
Droopy, Master Detective
Freakazoid!


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