|Promotional pamphlet about the show.
|The Space Racers in their ships.
Newly-created for the series was the
trio of Nugget Nose (Welker), the gold-obsessed ghost of a prospector who was
very protective of his partners, Wendy (Marilyn Schreffler) and Rita (Parris).
There was also the racing quartet of Captain Good and his pet cat sidekick,
Clean Kat (both Welker). No, that’s not a typo or a case of seeing double. See,
Captain Good and Clean Kat seemed to be the ultimate personifications of
good sportsmanship and defenders of everything right, but with the push of a
button the pair became Phantom Phink and his pet dog sidekick, Sinister Sludge.
In their dastardly dual identities, the pair would stop at nothing to achieve
victory in the race. And, unlike with Dick Dastardly and Muttley in Wacky Races—whom they were clearly modeled after—they actually won some
races. Although they never went out of their way to make everyone believe their
dual identities were separate people, none of the racers or the narrator (Gary
Owens) knew they were the same. Other Hanna-Barbera characters made
appearances, such as the gigantic Grape Ape (Bob Holt),
Fred Flintstone (Henry Corden) and Barney Rubble (Blanc). Bob Singer and Willie Ito served as the show’s
|Jabberjaw activating Buford power.
Space Race debuted on NBC
on September 9, 1972 as a 90-minute program. Along with the Space Race segment, the show included Galaxy
Goof-Ups, which saw Yogi, Scare, Huckleberry and Quack-Up as inept
intergalactic police officers; The
Buford Files, starring Buford and his owners solving mysteries ala Scooby-Doo;
Galloping Ghost, highlighting the adventures of Nugget and his friends.
The running gag of Space Race was
that the prize the race’s winner won was usually terrible in some way; such as
a self-massaging bed that beat the stuffing out of whoever used it, winning a
trip somewhere where they actually had to work, or a trip with less-than-ideal
travel accommodations (makes you wonder why they kept racing). Despite being
the title character, Yogi only won two races. In fact, the winningest racing
team was Captain Good and Clean Kat with three victories (five if you count the
two from their alter egos). Although, considering the prizes, maybe it was no
mistake the series’ villain was the ultimate “winner”.
|A tale of split personalities: Captain Good and Clean Kat vs. Phantom Phink and Sinister Sludge.
|Nugget Nose re-evaluating why he hangs out with a couple of teenagers.
NBC cancelled the series before it
concluded airing its only season. To make it more maneuverable on the schedule,
Galaxy Goof-Ups was broken off into its own series on November 4,
reducing Space Race to a 60-minute program for the remainder of its
initial run. When the series entered the rerun cycle, it was further broken up
into the half-hour Yogi’s Space Race and Buford and the Galloping
Ghost that February. Space Race left the NBC schedule that March,
with Goof-Ups following shortly after. Buford and the Galloping Ghost
lasted until the debut of the 1979 season. Beginning in the late 1980s, Space
Race was seen in on USA
Cartoon Network and Boomerang. Although it hasn’t been
released to DVD, the entire Space Race segment is available to stream on