Scooby-Doo is a popular children's cartoon and billion dollar media franchise produced by twin animators Hanna-Barbera. The series was famous for its gutsy tackling of sensitive issues of the 1960s such as bullying, war, drug usage, and sexual repression.
Uniquely for a cartoon, Scooby-Doo was filmed live. The Productions Productions production team chose to employ and film the antics of an array of two-dimensional men and women for the show; furthermore, the characters portrayed by these individuals were named after them. This, more than anything else, has given rise to the internet rumour that the show was filmed based on true enough events. Further discussion of this and other rumours --- fallacious, retarded and otherwise --- can be found at the bottom of this article.
- Fred Jones – Fred is the leader of the Scooby Gang, who always pulls the others together when times got tough (roughly five times per episode). He was always portrayed as a stern but fair leader; the only exception was in Episode 33, "The Ghost in the Shell," where he smokes some serious doobie and tells Velma Dinkley that she needs to lighten up twelve times in a row.
- Velma Dickley – Velma is the brains of the gang, and is always the one who does the thinking and pieces together the clues in order to solve the mystery. Many viewers suspected that she was a lesbian, due to her butch glasses, tomboyish mannerisms, and habit of leaving her dirty laundry all over the Mystery Machine.
- Daphne Blake – Fred's dull-as-dishwater girlfriend who always ends up getting kidnapped by the villains, and is later rescued by the gang. She is often used as the 'bait' for the 'hilarious' 'traps' that the 'gang' set in order to 'snare' the 'ghosts.'
- Shaggy Rogers – Shaggy is the comic relief of the gang. His style of dressing and manner of speech are obviously designed to parody the "stoner" hippies of the 1960s. He is Scooby's best friend, and the action generally follows the two of them as they stumble from misadventure to misadventure, returning periodically to the gang to sponge some more money from them.
- Scooby Doo – Scooby Doo is a straight up G out of Compton. He was born in Compton to some stupid ho that got knocked up working the corner. Shortly after Scooby was born his mom ditched his ass and hit up Top Cat for some good ol' fashioned inter-species lovin'. He spent his early days as a drug dealer and that's where he met Shaggy. who introduced him to the rest of the group. Shaggy was trying to solve the mystery of who sold him the bad weed. The two became friends and are now solving mysteries and always eating everything in site. They're always high that's why they're always hungry.
In episode 193 ("I'm Going To rape Scooby And There's Nothing You Bastards Can Do About It", aired without title) a new character, Scrappy Doo, is introduced. Scrappy is a four-foot tall puppy with the face, hands and feet of a human and the ears of George Bush, and is characterised by his catchphrases "P-P-P-Puppy power!", "I'll splat him!" and "This'll fuck you up but good!" and his tendency to urinate on Daphne. Voice actor Lemmon Pppritt was specially brought on for the task of bringing life to Scrappy, and - unexpectedly - chose to do so by screeching out all of his lines in a warbling falsetto.
This, combined with the scripts' new Scrappy-centricity, the renaming of the show to "The Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show" (later to become "The Scrappy Doo And Pals Show"), and N. Rafferty's insistence that all employees kneel before a nine-foot tall gold leaf-plated statue of Scrappy Doo before starting work each day, was to lead to a great deal of resentment among the show's fans. It was this, combined with the show's cancellation and burning, that is believed to have lead to the downfall of Scooby-Doo.
Mr Black was a doctor who lived in the black estate. In one of the most recent episodes, the gang split up to find clues to who killed him. Daphne incorrectly accused Proffesor Plum with the Candlestick in the Library, when he was actually out on his fifth unsuccesful date.
Planner of devious and humiliating traps. Occasionally the gang will ask him for help in trapping their "Monster", often to the reply "Well aah shure am glad you kids asked me, cos' I've been workin on the most darndest rootin-tootin trap lately!", much to everyones general annoyance.
Manager of the hotel the Scooby Gang usually stays at. He rotates between Hotels and appears to be the only employee on the job. He also usually ends up being The Phantom that is haunting the hotel as well. Trying to scare off the guests so he can get at the gold hidden in the hotel. Mr. Jeevers became so common that they recorded the same phrase so it can be repeated over and over again in the show. "And now let's see who The Phantom really is," the pull the mask off The Phantom, "Jinkies, it is Mr. Jeevers from the hotel!" Eventually Mr. Jeevers joins the Scooby gang as part of his rehabilitation for parole and helps them uncover other Phantoms.
Don Knotts was constantly used in Scooby Doo more than any other famous person. More than Batman and Robin or Phyllis Diller and The Three Stooges. Don Knotts played himself as a bumbling detective who often accuses the Scooby Gang of being relatives to the missing person he is looking for, and accuses them of kidnapping that person so they would get their share of the estate.
A rapist who is a frequent villain on the series. He and Scrappy Doo were caught "behind closed doors" in at least two episodes.
Your first impression of the ghost may be that he is one of the goony (but extremely campy) monsters who the gang is always investigating. Actually, he's a streaker, as well as a "partner-in-slime" (literally) to the Creeper.
Like many cartoons at the time, each episode of Scooby-Doo followed roughly the same format, with only minor alterations between them.
In the first act, the gang, traveling in the Mystery Machine (a time-travelling Volkswagen minibus, converted from a former pedophile's van, which has the "mysterious" ability to appear bigger on the inside than on the outside) are observed traveling in no particular direction for no apparent reason (many believed it was due to Daphne's secret gypsy lifestyle) when they come across a place supposedly haunted by a ghost. Often the "hook" used to pull them in is that the Mystery Machine breaks down and they need to stop for repairs, or that an old friend of Fred's requires their help, or (as is the case in Episode 56, "The Mystery of Mystery Island") Shaggy's near-endless supply of Scooby Snacks has run dry to the point where the floral designs on the Mystery Machine stop moving, and they need to refill.
The gang then begin investigation of the area. They find clues, and—inevitably—Daphne becomes owner of the house, deserted amusement park, or wherever the episode takes place. This will happen through some sort of inventive misunderstanding, often involving the Thirteen Lawyers. At the end of the first act, the ghost will put in an appearance by sneaking up behind somebody and playing some sort of hilarious practical joke.
The second act always consists of Shaggy's extensive psychiatric counseling. There is comical doubletalk between him and his psychotherapist (who always remains unnamed and off-camera; all we ever see of the psychotherapist is his enormous hat) which seems to be building to a recovery on Shaggy's behalf, but is interrupted at the last minute, causing Shaggy to relapse. The reason for the interruption is different every episode. In Episode 6, "The Trouble with Tribbles", for example, the psychotherapist steps outside to get a cup of coffee and is gunned down by Mafioso goons.
In the third act, the gang move into their new property and begin tidying up the mess left after the horror movie. The horror itself always happens off-camera, before the third act begins. (As the series went on, the references to the wild excesses that occurred on the movie set became more and more extravagant; for example, in Episode 242, "The King in Yellow", Daphne complains at having to clean horse entrails from the living room.) Hilariously, the ghost prevents the gang from properly tidying the house. At first, the gang blame Shaggy for this, but eventually - through Velma's keen deduction or Fred's ability to "mind-meld" - become convinced that they are being taunted, and set a trap to catch the ghost.
In the fourth and final act, the trap is sprung, but thanks to Shaggy's blundering—it fails and they get caught in the trap themselves. They then start a fucking retarded music montage in which they run away like pussies, which usually results in the fucking guy in a suit appearing right behind them. In desperation, the gang are forced to shoot the ghost with a gun instead. At this point, the ghost is revealed to, in fact, be a former minor character in a costume. The gang abandon their new digs and flee as wanted murderers across the state line.
The Big Question
Many fans have wondered why the gang seem to be the only people in the world ever to wonder if the monsters are fake. Why does every other person believe the ghosts, phantoms and spectres encountered on a regular basis are real? Is everyone else the world an idiot? Couldn't somebody else piece together the puzzles for once? And why do the police always show up AFTER the criminal's been caught?
One attempt to answer this has been the novel, authored by Wendy Teasdale, "Scooby-Doo and the Illuminati." Set between Series 4 and 5 of the official series, Scooby-Doo and the Illuminati tells the epic story of the gang's discovery of a secret and shadowy conspiracy devoted to hiding all evidence of the gang's doings and wiping the minds of all those who encounter "monsters".
The position of this piece within series canon is hotly debated. The most contested points are:
- Given the events in Chapter 7, why is it that we never see the relationship between Fred and Leonard the Lawyer explored further - or even referred to - in Series 5?
- The character of Mindy Easdale appears as an old friend of the gang and proceeds to seduce and marry Shaggy and save the gang's skin several times, despite the fact that she is never mentioned in the series or any of the officially licensed merchandise.
- In the animated series, no mention is made of Twinkle, the gang's flying pony.
Hannah and Barbara productions have not released any official comment on Scooby-Doo and the Illuminati, and have insisted that writer J. Lindisfarne was speaking metaphorically when he vowed to "shoot that goddamn stalker bitch right in the face" upon being presented with a copy of the manuscript.
A series as successful as Scooby-Doo inevitably attracts all manner of rumours and theories. Some of the most common are:
- The concept behind the series was based on a set of real-life events witnessed by Hannah and Barbara. FACT. Not only was Hannah a psychic investigator between the ages of 23 and 30, but production manager N. Rafferty was a ghost.
- Episode 276 was written as a result of bitterness between writer J. Lindisfarne and the censors. FACT. Many fans are confused by the sudden, ending to Episode 276. J. Lindisfarne later revealed in his autobiography "I'm Sorry for Scrappy-Doo, All Right?" that a long and bitter vendetta had existed between him and Lobo Morecock, head censor at Productions Productions inc. Knowing that episode 276 was the last to be broadcast, and that Morecock would be on the sauce that day celebrating not having to read another page of lines of "P-P-Puppy Power!", Lindisfarne inserted an entirely unsuitable ending and rushed the animators into producing it before Morecock could come round.
- Scrappy-Doo was inserted into the series as a poorly-thought-out attempt to bolster flagging ratings. MYTH. Memos from the Productions Productions Inc. production offices, where the productions of Scooby-Doo were produced, reveal that production manager N. Rafferty had insisted on putting Scrappy-Doo into the cartoon to deal with accusations from the Christian Right that the gang were "a bunch of no-goodnik hippies with no morals or responsibilities". In demonstrating that Mister Doo was capable of looking after a child, N. Rafferty hoped to prove these accusations false.
- Velma is a "huuuuuge dyke". MYTH. Following public uproar in response to "The Sign of Four", the guest-edited Episode 132, Hannah and Barbara Productions explained at a press conference that Daphne had been bitten on her inner thigh by a cobra, and that Velma was simply sucking the venom out.
- Freddy's absence from the series was not by choice. FACT. It was during the filming of Episode 102, "Cometh the Shoggoth", that other members of the cast became aware of Freddy's increasing abuse of the steroid Wisterol. Thanks to the help and understanding of the cast and crew Freddy was able to return to work until the "Evelyn Waugh's Country Cottage Rent Boy With His Bum Full Of Broken Glass Found Dumped In The Bins" Scandal of 1982 when he was rendered unemployable. Freddy now works as a choreographer in San Francisco and lives with his best friend Raul, his former cravat designer from the series. Oh wait, he's supposed to be dead. Erm...look, a ghost!