January 28, 2023



(NBC, September 8-December 1, 1973)
Hanna-Barbera Productions


Lloyd “Chip” Hand II – Butch Cassidy
Micky Dolenz – Wally
Kristina Holland – Stephanie
Judy Strangis – Merilee
John Stephenson – Mr. Socrates
Frank Welker – Elvis, various


            Surprisingly, this wasn’t Hanna-Barbera’s attempt to adapt the 1969 film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid into a kid-friendly animated romp—heck, it wasn’t even a western. No, instead this was another Scooby-Doo clone—with mystery-solving teenagers and a pet sidekick—and a dash of Josie and the Pussycats.

Meet the band: Stephanie, Merilee, Butch, Wally and Elvis.

        Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kids were a teenaged rock band that worked as secret government agents for the World-Wide Talent Agency; solving crimes as they toured around the world with the help of local agents (although you’d think being famous musicians would make keeping a low profile for investigating difficult). The band was comprised of lead singer and guitarist Butch Cassidy (Lloyd “Chip” Hand II), tambourine player Merilee (Judy Strangis), bass guitarist Stephanie (Kristina Holland), and drummer Wally (Micky Dolenz), as well as Wally’s trusty anthropomorphic (though non-speaking) dog, Elvis (named after The King, voiced by Frank Welker). They were given assignments and advised by a giant supercomputer named Mr. Socrates (named for the Greek philosopher, voiced by John Stephenson using a stereotypical robotic voice), who was housed inside the WWTA and could communicate with Butch, codenamed “Sundance 1”, through the device in the ring he wore. Despite being an artificial intelligence, somehow Mr. Socrates had a strong allergy to dogs which meant Elvis had to be kept out of the lair. A running gag featured Elvis managing to find his own way in or Wally forgetting about Socrates’ allergy and bringing Elvis in with them. The characters were designed by Takashi Masunaga.

Mr. Socrates.

        Butch Cassidy (also known as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kids) debuted on NBC on September 8, 1973, running only a single season of 13 episodes. The series was written by Bill Raynor, Fred Fox, Seaman Jacobs, Bernie Kahn, Myles Wilder, Norman Hudis, Ed Jurist, Sam Roeca and Dick Wesson, with story direction by Joe Bruno, Earl Klein, Paul Sommer, Carl Fallberg, Don Sheppard and Ken Southworth. Similarly to Josie, Butch Cassidy featured a musical number in each episode performed by the band. These songs were produced by Universal Presentations, with Buddy Buie as executive producer. Four of these songs were released as singles by Romar Records. A full album was announced, but never materialized. The rest of the series’ music was composed by Hoyt Curtin.  

Hanna-Barbera Fun-In #11.

        The episode “The Pearl Caper” was adapted into comic form for Gold Key ComicsHanna-Barbera Fun-In #11 in 1974 (with Elvis given a “voice” in the form of thought bubbles). In 2013, Warner Archive released the complete series to DVD as part of their Hanna-Barbera Classics Collection. It’s also been made available to stream on Prime Video and iTunes

The Hex Girls poster in Scoob! baring the Sundance Kids' name (among others).

The characters would go on to make appearances in several episodes of Sealab 2021: playing as a band in “All That Jazz”; as residents of SeaLab Pod Six in “Let ‘Em Eart Corn!” (with Butch and Wally sporting mustaches); “Butchslap”, where the character of Marco (Erik Estrada) was revealed to have been a Sundance Kid; and the character models for Butch and Wally were recycled for the appearances of writer John Miller and creator/writer Adam Reed, respectively, in the episodes “Swimming in Oblivion” and “Return to Oblivion”. The band was also listed as a featured act for the Hex Girlsthe fictional goth female group within the Scooby universe—on a poster in the 2020 film, Scoob!


“The Scientist” (9/8/73) – The band must smuggle a scientist out of a foreign country without being discovered.
“The Counterfeiters” (9/15/73) – The band investigates a Latvanian baron for his connection to a counterfeiting ring.
“One of Our Ships is Missing” (9/22/73) – The band ride on a cruise ship that’s targeted by a group of boat thieves.
“Double Trouble” (9/29/73) – The band must expose an imposter prince put in place to hide his kidnapping.
“The Pearl Caper” (10/6/73) – The band heads to Honolulu to search for pearl thieves and their stolen loot.
“The Gold Caper” (10/13/73) – The band goes to London to uncover a gold smuggling ring.
“Road Racers” (10/20/73) – A diamond theft coincides with The Grand Prix Cross-European race that begins in Venice.
“Hong Kong Story” (10/27/73) – The band deals with both their fan club and the theft of a priceless jade statute.
“Operation G-Minus” (11/3/73) – An anti-gravity device is stolen from a Munich toy expo.
“Orient Express” (11/10/73) – Mr. Socrates is taken over by an enemy agent while the band is off delivering an important document.
“The Parrot Caper” (11/17/73) – The band escorts a parrot that memorized an important formula to Switzerland.
“The Super Sub” (11/24/73) – The band sets out to retrieve a stole experimental submarine.
“The Haunted Castle” (12/1/73) – Wally inherits a castle that appears to be haunted.

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