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Wacky Races

1 9 6 8 – 1 9 6 9
52 x 25 minute episodes

One of the most popular cartoon series to come from the prolific studio of Hanna-BarberaWacky Races was loosely based on the Jack Lemmon/Tony Cutis movie The Great Race (1966).

Eleven daredevil racers lined up each week to claim the title of ‘World’s Wackiest Racer’ and each week produced a different winner.

This caused quite a stir in Great Britain when one school headmaster revealed that he had discovered his 12-14-year-old pupils ‘running a book’ on the weekly result.

Nevertheless, the drivers drew up to the starting line each week regardless, and they were:

01 – The Slag Brothers (Rock and Gravel) in the Bouldermobile
02 – The Gruesome Twosome in the Creepy Coupe
03 – Professor Pat Pending in the Ring-A-Ding Convert-a-Car
04 – Red Max in the Crimson Haybailer
05 – Penelope Pitstop in the Compact Pussycat
06 – Sergeant Blast and Private Meekly in the Army Surplus Special
07 – The Ant Hill Mob (Clyde, Ring-a-Ding, Danny, Mac, Rug Rug Benny, Willy and Kirby) in the Bullet-Proof Bomb
08 – Luke and Blubber Bear in the Arkansas Chug-a-Bug
09 – Peter Perfect in the Turbo Terrific
10 – Rufus Ruffcut and Sawtooth in the Buzz Wagon
00 – Dick Dastardly and his sniggering canine sidekick, Muttley, in The Mean Machine

Dick Dastardly and Muttley were the villains of the piece, whose sole aim was to win every race by hook or by crook. Drat and Double drat!

As the first “gang” cartoon, Wacky Races established what would become a Hanna-Barbera tradition. With such a multitude of characters, the show could bounce from scene to scene with enough speed to please kids with even the shortest attention spans.

Two spin-off serials followed – The Perils of Penelope Pitstop and Dastardly and Muttley In Their Flying Machines.

Dick Dastardly
Paul Winchell

Don Messick
Penelope Pitstop

Janet Waldo
Peter Perfect

Daws Butler
The Boulder Brothers

Don Messick
Big Gruesome

Daws Butler
Little Gruesome

Don Messick
Professor Pat Pending

Don Messick
The Red Max

Paul Winchell
The Ant Hill Mob

Mel Blanc
Rufus Ruffcut

Daws Butler

Daws Butler

John Stephenson
Blubber Bear

John Stephenson

Dave Willock