June 20, 2020

BUFORD AND THE GALLOPING GHOST


BUFORD AND THE GALLOPING GHOST
(NBC, February 3-September 1, 1979)

Hanna-Barbera Productions




MAIN CAST:
Frank Welker – Buford, Nugget Nose
Pat Parris – Cindy Mae Boggs, Rita
Dave Landsburg – Woody Boggs
Henry Corden – Sheriff Muletrain
Roger Peltz – Goofer McGee
Hal Peary – Fenwick Fuddy


            Yogi’s Space Race was a 90-minute program featuring the titular Yogi Bear (Daws Butler) and a cast of returning and all-new Hanna-Barbera characters. The program was comprised of four unrelated segments that shared some of those characters. It failed to perform on the struggling NBC and was cancelled halfway through its sole season. In order to make it more maneuverable on their schedule, all of the segments were broken up into three separate programs. Buford and the Galloping Ghost was a combination of the two 11-minute segments of Space Race: The Buford Files and The Galloping Ghost. 






            The Buford Files was the latest clone of Hanna-Barbera’s Scooby-Doo franchise. It followed the adventures of lazy bloodhound Buford (Frank Welker). Buford lived in Fenokee Swamp with twins Cindy Mae (Pat Parris) and Woody Boggs (Dave Landsburg). Together, the three of them solved mysteries that baffled local law enforcement: Sheriff Muletrain (Henry Corden) and Deputy Goofer McGee (Roger Peltz). Buford, when actually active, could move his ears around like radar dishes and had a nose that worked like a Geiger counter when looking for clues. However, two things often stood in his way: his penchant for howling at the moon (usually at the worst times), and an antagonistic raccoon that knew karate.



            The Galloping Ghost was about the ghost of a gold prospector named Nugget Nose (Welker), who had taken a shine to two young girls who worked at the Fuddy Dude Ranch: Wendy (Marilyn Schreffler) and Rita (Parris). They met Nugget when they accidentally crashed into his resting place (think bed rather than grave) in a cavern in an abandoned mine. Nugget took great delight in tormenting their grumpy old boss, Fenwick Fuddy (Hal Peary), whenever he did something mean towards the girls. Wendy could summon Nugget whenever they needed help by rubbing the special gold nugget necklace she wore. Along with having traits typical of a ghost, including levitation, Nugget got around by riding his invisible horse.

The Buford Files character models.

            Buford and the Galloping Ghost debuted on NBC with the rest of Space Race on September 9, 1978. When NBC began breaking up the show, it remained paired with Space Race in an hour-long block until February 3, when it was finally broken off into its own program. Of the three resulting programs, Buford and the Galloping Ghost lasted the longest; remaining on NBC’s schedule until that September when it was removed for the new season. The series was written by Herb Armstrong, George Atkins, Jack Bonestell, Doug Booth, Chuck Couch, Gary Greenfield, Len Janson, Mark Jones, Glenn Leopold, Ray Parker, Sam Roeca, Jim Ryan and Susan “Misty” Stewart, with music by Hoyt Curtin and Paul Dekorte. The series was animated at Filman in Madrid, Spain and the characters were designed by Bob Singer.

Layout drawing of the Fuddy Dude Ranch.

            Following the conclusion of Buford and the Galloping Ghost and Yogi’s Space Race where the characters also appeared, Buford, Nugget Nose and their friends all largely disappeared. The series was seen again in reruns as part of USA Cartoon Express and on Cartoon Network and Boomerang



EPISODE GUIDE:
“The Swamp Hermit / Phantom of the Horse Opera” (9/9/78) – Buford, Woody and Cindy Mae discover their friend has been kidnapped by escaped convicts. / Wendy and Rita dream of stardom when a Hollywood producer visits the ranch.

“The Vanishing Stallion / Too Many Crooks” (9/16/78) – Buford, Woody and Cindy Mae witness a horse disappear during a race. / An escaped convict takes refuge at the ranch.

“The Swamp Saucer / Sagebrush Sergeant” (9/23/78) – Buford, Woody and Cindy Mae investigate a UFO that landed in the swamp. / Fuddy’s army sergeant sister visits the ranch and puts everyone on a strict exercise and work regiment.

“The Man with Orange Hair / Bad News Bear” (9/30/78) – Buford, Woody and Cindy Mae investigate the theft of silver skates stolen by someone with orange hair. / Nugget and the girls try to hide a bear from Fuddy and a safety inspector.

“The Demon of Ur / Robot Round-Up” (10/7/78) – A statue disappears from a train under Goofer’s watch. / Fuddy hires a robot to work at the ranch, threatening the girls’ jobs.

“The Missing Bank / Pests in the West” (10/14/78) – Goofer sends off $10 million in an armored car, but the bank claims it never arrived. /

“Scare in the Air / Rock Star Nuggie” (10/21/78) – An amphibious plane goes missing. / Nugget becomes jealous when the girls fawn over a visiting rock star.

“Buford and the Beauty / Frontier Fortune Teller” (10/28/78) – Buford, Woody and Cindy Mae must investigate the kidnapping of a movie star dog. / The girls turn to Nugget to help expose phony fortune tellers looking to steal Fuddy’s furniture.

“Peril in the Park / I Want My Mummy” (11/4/78) – Buford, Woody and Cindy Mae try to get a job at the amusement park, but the park is shutting down due to sabotage. /

“The Magic Whammy / Mr. Sunshine’s Eclipse” (11/11/78) – Banks are being mysteriously robbed. / Nugget is called to scare away an annoying TV prankster visiting the ranch.

“The Haunting of Swamp Manor / Klondike Kate” (11/18/78) – Burford, Woody and Cindy Mae investigate a haunted mansion. / Nugget is reunited with the ghost of an old girlfriend he promised to marry when he struck gold.

“The Case of the Missing Gator / A Ghost of a Chance” (11/25/78) – Smugglers go through the swamp looking for stolen diamonds. / Fuddy tries to capture Nugget in order to get $1 million from a guest looking for proof ghosts exist.

“Don’t Monkey with Buford / Elmo the Great” (12/2/78) – Duchess’ diamond collar is stolen during a parade by a chimp. / The girls buy Fuddy a horse for his birthday, but he ends up being too much trouble.

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