Friday, September 13, 2019

Happy 50th Anniversary To Scooby-Doo!

Happy 50th Anniversary to Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, which premiered way back on Friday, September 13, 1969. Kind of fitting for a show about ghosts and mysteries to debut on Friday the 13th.

Also, not sure why there's an exclamation point in the title instead of a question mark, but there you go.

The series ran for two seasons, ending on October 31, 1970 (another apt date!). It was so popular it's still being shown to this day, and spawned a successful franchise of spinoff series.

The show featured four teens— Fred Jones, Daphne Blake, Velma Dinkley, Shaggy Rogers and his Great Dane Scooby-Doo— as they investigate various spooky occurrences and solve mysteries.

Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! was created by Hanna-Barbera studios in order to appease parent watchdog groups, which were protesting what they considered violent children's TV programming. Seems odd that jittery soccer moms would approve of a show about monsters and ghosts (even if they turned out to be fake), but what do I know.

The show was originally titled Mysteries Five, then changed to Who's S-S-Scared? During this period, Scooby's name was actually "Too Much (?), and he was more of a side character rather than the main focus. In early versions of the script Too Much was a bongo playing sheep dog!

Eventually Too Much was changed to a Great Dane, and it was decided he's be a cowardly character whose over the top reactions could be played for laughs. Fred Silverman, who at that time was the head of CBS daytime programming, changed the name of the character and the show to "Scooby-Doo." According to Silverman, he got the idea after listening to Frank Sinatra's Strangers In The Night, in which Ol' Blue Eyes sang the nonsense line, "Doo-be-doo-bee-doo."

The original voice cast consisted of Frank Welker as Fred, Stefanianna Christopherson (Season 1) and Heather North (Season 2) as Daphne, Nicole Jaffe as Velma, Casey Kasem as Shaggy and Don Messick as Scooby.

Never in the history of television has a series endured so long by relying on just one plot. In EVERY episode, the gang travels to an area being plagued by a monster. After being chased by the creature for most of the runtime, they invariably capture it and reveal it to be a local resident who's trying to scare everyone away from some sort of treasure. 

Note that this happened in literally every single episode. I guess kids like repetition. 

Happy 50th to Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!

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