The Baron Re-Watches "Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!" (SPOILERS)

I thought I'd try something low-maintenance. We begin with...

"What a Night for a Knight"

Scooby-Doo and the gang investigate the mysterious Black Knight, who turns out to be Mister Wickles the curator, who is running an art forgery ring.

Notes:

  • We get the first appearance of Scooby-Snacks.
  • Velma loses her glasses for the first time.
  • Daphne describes Shaggy as "the swingingest gymnast in school".
  • Shaggy can do ventriloquism.
  • Freddie is not named during this episode.
  • Scooby and the gang break into a museum and trash several exhibits, without any apparent consequences.

Overall: An OK episode.  Not much of a mystery, even by cartoon standards. Mister Wickles is the only possible suspect.

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A lot of these cartoons only lasted a season and there were no vcr's back then, you couldn't really watch them all so a few are bound to slip through either the cracks of memory or because they were on against something you really did enjoy watching.

I remember the Jacksons and the Osmonds both had cartoons around the same time. I've heard that there was a Beatles cartoon series, too, but I never saw it.

There was in fact a Beatles cartoon, and I remember that WSNS Channel 44 in Chicago showed reruns of it when I was in high school. It appeared and ran primarily in the mid '60's so likely before Scooby Doo, Where Are You? premiered--more Funky Phantom perhaps. There would be two shorts per episode about the wacky adventures of the Fab Four including one of their songs. The Beatles themselves had little to actually do with the series, however, as the voices were done by someone else.

WSNS was where I saw a lot of old(er) cartoons and other things like Ultraman, Spectreman, Space Giants and Johnny Sokko's Flying Robot.

I found the Beatles cartoons on youtube a while back.  The most interesting one I saw was the one for Eleanor Rigby. The song is a very sad one but the cartoon video built around it has a happy ending for it.

I wonder how much HB was limited in who they could get for the cartoon?  Price, or maybe they just didn't think of it. 

The  Beatles cartoon led to some later merchandising, like this set:

That's how they look in the 'toon, though they were past that look in reality.

Yeah, the old American cartoons didn't have a lot of non-white representation. I do recall The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan, a Scoobified version of the Biggers series with Keye Luke as the voice of Chan and Jodie Foster as one of the Chan kids. At least the children were cartoon teen and kid stereotypes (and played in a rock band, of course), rather than racial stereotypes.

Is there a thread on the spawn of Scooby-doo, all of those mystery-solving 'toons that aired as a result of Scooby's success? I recall quite a few existing.

I'll go now before I diverge again.

Scooby was a trend setter, but 1969 it was a year like that.  Interestingly I was just checking the adds and while the first run of Scooby Doo was going on CBS, ABC was running a Hardy Boy's cartoon. I don't remember that at all.  It also occurs to me that while Scooby and the gang met the Addams Family the never met the Munsters.

Good call for a team-up.

Scooby set the trend, but he had a lot of influences: the Famous Five with more Hardy Boys/Hound of the Baskervilles mysteries, and the four British teens of the Famous Five replaced by the cast of Dobie Gillis.

(Image courtesy of Dial B for Blog)

The network especially asked that the show increase the role of the dog. Given that Hot Dog entered Archie's world at the same time and also because of the cartoon, I suspect the contemporaneous runaway success of Snoopy had an influence on the 'Doo, too.

Maybe the Scoobies should have solved a mystery in Charlie Brown's neighbourhood. They certainly needed to meet the Archies.

Incidentally, the actress who played Zelda on Dobie came out after years of speculation and rumor, which may have been a factor in the frequent speculation about Velma's sexual orientation.


Mark S. Ogilvie said:

Scooby was a trend setter, but 1969 it was a year like that.  Interestingly I was just checking the adds and while the first run of Scooby Doo was going on CBS, ABC was running a Hardy Boy's cartoon. I don't remember that at all.  It also occurs to me that while Scooby and the gang met the Addams Family the never met the Munsters.

From what I've read, there was an initial push to make the gang a band, like the Archies. Maybe that explains those insipid pop songs that turned up in the second season, perhaps they were originally going to be songs that were supposedly sung by the gang themselves.

  When you come down to it though Fred was no Archie

The Baron said:

From what I've read, there was an initial push to make the gang a band, like the Archies. Maybe that explains those insipid pop songs that turned up in the second season, perhaps they were originally going to be songs that were supposedly sung by the gang themselves.

"The Loch Ness Mess"

Featuring: The Harlem Globetrotters

Would A Kid Back Then have Known Who They Were?:   See above

Having toured Boston, the gang goes to visit Shaggy's Great Uncle Nathaniel. They encounter the Globetrotters along the way, who join them.  They meet up with three ghosts and a sea serpent. The culprits turn out to be Winslow, Selby and Morgan, three locals who are trying to obtain a sunken treasure for themselves.

Notes:

  • Uncle Nat has a huge house. Shaggy says it has 75 rooms.  Perhaps it's Shaggy's family who has the money.
  • This is one of those episodes that shows up the premise of the series a bit. Why? Because there's eleven of them here - four healthy young adults, six athletes and a Great Dane.  They should not be terrorized by three guys in "ghost" outfits. There should be  a scene where they surround these guys and pummel the living crap out of them.

Overall; An OK episode.

"The Mystery of the Haunted Island"

Featuring: The Harlem Globetrotters

Would A Kid Back Then have Known Who They Were?:  Saw them on TV once or twice. Never got to see them live.

The gang are headed for Picnic Island. They meet the Globetrotters and persuade them to come along. They are sea-jacked to Haunted Island, where they encounter ghosts. These turn out to be the owner, coach and trainer of the Trotters' next opponents, who want them to be tired out for the big game.

Notes: 

  • This is like the second or third time that the Mystery Machine runs out of gas.  I've been driving over thirty-five years, and I've only run out of gas once.  Even if your gas gauge is broken, there's no excuse for it, if you're careful.
  • There's no way that the heels shouldn't have been arrested here.
  • There's a scene where Gip carries Velma, for no apparent reason. She's not hurt, or anything.  Velma doesn't seem to mind, however.

Overall: Another OK episode.

"The Exterminator"

Featuring: Don Adams

Would A Kid Back Then have Known Who They Were?:  I certainly did, both as the star of Get Smart! and as the voice of Tennessee Tuxedo.

In Hollywood, the gang encounter Don Adams, who is working as an exterminator.  He takes them on as assistants as he goes to work on the home of horror star Lorne Chumly, who tries to spook them away so that the bank can't foreclose on his house before he completes his comeback movie.

Notes:

  • Even as a little kid, I wondered why big-name actors were doing side jobs the way Adams is in this episode.
  • Shaggy and Scooby's cowardice seems to have been really ramped up for this episode, he's downright obnoxious here.

Overall; A so-so episode.

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