Thursday, May 03, 2007

Scooby Doo and the case of the Oft Copied Formula!

Scooby Doo was never one of my favorite H-B productions; i would take a Flintstone, Yogi, or Magilla over that boring mystery solving dog any day. i did have to watch it a lot, however, as i was the youngest kid in the house and "was made" to watch what my brother wanted to watch on Saturday morning, which happened to be the older-skewing Mystery Inc. gang. My favorite episodes were the ones with Scooby Dumm, with his battlecry, "Dumm-dumm-dum-duuuuuummmm!" Seems like many of the characters at Hanna Barbera had a catch phrase or battlecry of some sort but this show outpaced them all. besides the mantra of Scooby Dumm, Scrappy warbled, "Puppy Power", Shaggy yelped, "Zoinks" Velma hailed "Jinkies" and of course the top dog had his own, "Scooby Dooby DOOOOOOO!!!!" This formula, that became very popular in 1969, obviously had to spawn copies of its successful format; right down to the signature send-offs by the main character. The other mainstay is what i like to call the "Shaggy Effect" and "Fred Syndrome." Let's look at a few shall we?

  • Goober & the Ghostchasers. This one is funny because they didn't even bother trying to differentiate this spooky mystery solving group from the Scooby gang, and put the "ghost" in the friggin title! In this show, a nameless, faceless ghostbusters like outfit, would send the group of teens to hunt ghosts and get a story for a magazine. Goober's trademark...whenever he got scared, her dissapeared. this was great for the animator's who, already in "limited animation" mode, didn't have to animate this blue/green dog during the best bits of the show. (for more on limited animation, type it into google and find out) For some unknown reason, i really like this dog Goober. Yes, the stories are second rate, but the Dog, the disappearing dog with the funny laugh...him i like. Catchphrase: "That's Ridiculiculiculiculous!" Shaggy Effect: Gilly the photographer takes the Shaggy role but is way less endearing and completely unmemorable. Fred Syndrome: The bulky brave Ted. TED, friggin rhymes with FRED!!!

  • Jabberjaw. Another favorite of mine. this show incorporated not only the mystery solving aspect, the cumbersome pet aspect, AND the futuristic aspect, but also, they were a band! And the shark? played the drums. Really, that's enough said. Catchphrase: "No respect, no respect!" Shaggy Effect: Clamhead...i think he even caught a scared Jabber once or twice like the indelable image of Shaggy holding Scooby in his arms, knees a quakin!. Fred Syndrome: Biff - good looking, stocky and BLAND!!

  • Clue Club: Crime solving team in a small town. Only this time, they have two dogs, Woofer and Whimper. They also take all their jobs from an 8 year old girl named Dotty. She's not old enough to go with the team of teens, but is old enough to man the police blotter and happens to be a tech whiz. Woofer and Whimper's look smacks of Jerry Eisenberg and are actually endearing; so much so they had their own adventures alone during the Skatebids show. Catchphrase: Was there one on this show? Shaggy Effect: D.D. was this freaky looking, Charles Nelson Reilly like bafoon. Fred Syndrome: Larry. Oh dear larry, your short fro was something to be desired. There really is nothing to say here except he must have been cloned from Fred and slapped with a short jeri-curl.

the last one i will touch on..

  • Speed Buggy. Okay, so here is another beloved character of mine, but really, i guess H-B would stop at nothing to get a show on the air. Here we have a talking car. hey, guess what, its scared most of the time, weird huh? his pal is a lanky red headed fellow named Tinker who happens to sound exactly like Gomer Pyle, for those of you who remember him from Mayberry. Catchphrase: "Va-ROOM-A-ZOOM-ZOOM" or something like that. Shaggy Effect: Obviously Tinker. Fred Syndrome: Mark was the hunka hunka burnin love here. P.S. after Daphne, and Betty Rubble, Debbie here was my third crush!

there were many more i could go into, but it has been done, and probably better than i could do it anyway. suffice it to say, i did not talk about the shows whose catch was a phantom, a rock band, a caveman, another rock band, 2 rock bands in outer space, a Karate dog (somewhat of a departure) a giant ape (another departure) and a familiar sounding female Genie.


J.E.Daniels said...

Speed Buggy was one of my favs too!
I liked that one episode of the Scooby-Doo Movies where they teamed up!

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