1 9 6 9 – 1 9 7 0 (USA)
17 x 30 minute episodes
Let’s get one thing straight: Drugs! This show is about drugs, conceived by people on drugs, written by people on drugs and mostly watched by people on drugs.
Shaggy is a drug addict, Scooby Snacks are drugs, Scooby-Doo is probably a drug-sniffer dog gone wrong . . .
That’s why they saw edible doughnut-shaped fog, fish in empty buckets, levitating ham sandwiches, eyes peering from behind portraits in empty mansions etc etc etc
Every week the same thing happened: Scooby and the gang would rock up in their van, The Mystery Machine, to visit some relative who lived in an old house near a swamp or disused mine.
Upon arriving at the house, said relative would be acting odd, evil and/or absent, and the house would be haunted.
The ghosts would chase a terrified Scooby and Shaggy (real name, Norville Rogers) all over the house – and through secret tunnels and passageways – usually to the accompaniment of a groovy 70s bubblegum pop song.
In the meantime Fred (the hunky one), Daphne (the babelicious one) and Velma (the brainy one) would’ve found a box of balloons and a canister of helium.
This would lead them to deduce that the ghost is nothing but a helium-inflated puppet operated by the evil local sheriff/real estate agent who would then reveal a scheme to dig for gold in the disused mine or dredge for diamonds in the lake at the back of the house, which he would’ve gotten away with if it wasn’t for “You meddling kids”.
The show was extremely popular when it first aired in 1969 and was renewed for a second season in 1970. Since Indira Stefanianna had married and retired from voice acting, Heather North provided the voice of Daphne in the second season.
24 new 60 minute episodes were produced in 1972 and 1973, which aired as The New Scooby-Doo Movies. This format had the kids meeting up with such guest stars as Mamma Cass, the Harlem Globetrotters, Sonny and Cher, and Don Knotts (all playing themselves) to solve more mysteries.
Moving from CBS to ABC, the gang became half of The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour in 1976, sharing the bill with the “robonic” Dynomutt and his human superhero partner, The Blue Falcon.
From 1977 to 1979, Scooby appeared under the title Scooby’s All-Star Laff-A-Lympics (later renamed Scooby’s All-Stars). This show featured a plethora of Hanna-Barbera characters – dating as far back as the 1950’s – engaged in a variety of competitions.
Scrappy-Doo was introduced in 1979 and managed to annoy Iranian students so much that they took hostages to get him removed from the show, thereby leading to higher gas prices, the defeat of Jimmy Carter, and all sorts of other stuff. (It’s all true – just hasn’t been declassified yet.)
The entire show was overhauled in 1980 to focus more on Scrappy-Doo, with Scooby-Doo beginning to walk and run anthropomorphically on two feet more often, rather than on four like a normal dog as he did previously. Fred, Daphne, and Velma were dropped from the series, and the new Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo format now consisted of three seven-minute comedic adventures starring Scooby, Scrappy, and Shaggy – first appearing between 1980 and 1982 as part of The Richie Rich/Scooby-Doo Show.
From 1982 to 1983, Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo were part of The Scooby-Doo/Scrappy-Doo/Puppy Hour, before being restored to a standalone half-hour in 1983 with The New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show.
This version of the show lasted for two seasons, with the second season airing under the title The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries. The 1984–85 season episodes featured semi-regular appearances from Fred and Velma, with Frank Welker and Marla Frumkin resuming their respective roles for these episodes.
It’s interesting to note that while the show itself underwent many changes, the characters did not. Aside from a modified Daphne appearing in The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo (1985), the gang retained their late-sixties garb well into the eighties and nineties.
This included knee-highs, a mini-skirt and lumpy turtleneck sweater for Velma, a rockin’ minidress and headscarf for Daphne, and groovy bell-bottoms for the guys.
In The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo, Scooby, Scrappy, Shaggy and Daphne were joined by nine-year-old Flim Flam. The group, helped by warlock Vincent Van Ghoul (Vincent Price), fought off wicked sorcery.
That season the Great Dane could also be seen in another rerun collection, Scooby’s Mystery FunHouse. In 1986 Scooby could only be seen in reruns of Laff-a-Lympics.
The airwaves were deprived of Scooby for two years. Then, in 1988, a new show called A Pup Named Scooby-Doo was produced. Like many cartoons of the time, this show took familiar characters back to their early years.
Thus, Shaggy, Freddy, Velma, and Daphne were now preteens. Scooby, of course, was but a pup. This version had the kids constantly running into the character Red Herring (wink, wink), whom the gang always suspected of committing crimes.
This show ran in reruns until 1993 when it finally left network television. The character of Scooby-Doo continues to appear semi-regularly in direct-to-video cartoon features, reboots and even live-action movies (2002 and 2004).
Norville ‘Shaggy’ Rogers
Indira Stefanianna (1)
Heather North (2)