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) who 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.
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