13 Facts About 'Scooby-Doo' That Make Us Say 'Zoinks!'
Since 1969, Scooby-Doo has provided comedic fun, solved countless mysteries with his friends, and introduced us to a host of other canine pals. As one of Hanna-Barbera's most successful Saturday morning cartoons, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? set the foundation for an entire Scooby-inspired universe.
From the theme song that gets stuck in your head to some of the famous lines from the show (those meddling kids! and "Zoinks!"), Scooby-Doo has created throngs of enthusiastic fans - ones who adore the show and those who aren't shy about things they don't like. No matter what, that cowardly, clumsy dog still has a special place in hearts. Every time Fred, Velma, Daphne, and Shaggy pile into the Mystery Machine with Scooby-Doo, we know we're in for a fun ride.
There's a lot more to know about the show and all things Scooby, although the recipe for Scooby Snacks still seems to be a mystery.
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'Scooby-Doo' Was The First Saturday Morning Cartoon With A Laugh Track
To make sure television audiences laughed at the "right" moments and did so at proper levels and volumes, producers decided to substitute their own canned laughter. This developed through the 1950s in large part thanks to Charles Douglass, a sound engineer who created a laughing machine used throughout Hollywood. The Laff Box, as it was known, became a staple on prime-time TV, continuing into the 1980s, common even on animated shows like The Flinstones.
Hanna-Barbera then added a laugh track to Saturday morning cartoons in 1969.
The first to use artificial laughter was Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?
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The (Human) Characters On 'Scooby-Doo' Are Based On Ones From A 1950s Sitcom
The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis was a sitcom that aired from 1959 to 1963. Dwayne Hackman played the titular role, one of many teenage characters presenting stories about their lives from their own points of view - rather than those of adults.
Other characters included Maynard G. Krebs (played by Bob Denver), Thalia Menniger (played by Tuesday Weld), and Zelda Gilroy (played by Sheila James Kuehl). Together, Dobie, Maynard, Thalia, and Zelda were prototypes for Fred, Shaggy, Daphne, and Velma, respectively.
As Scooby-Doo went through different stages of development, the would-be names of the characters came to fruition - as did the name of the show itself. At first, Scooby-Doo was called Mysteries Five and W-Who's S-S-Scared? but the latter was determined to be too frightening for a children's show. In the end, they decided to name the show after the dog they'd worked into the mystery-solving group, Scooby-Doo.
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The Same Actor Has Voiced Fred For Over 50 Years
Frank Welker is one of the most prolific voice actors in the history of animation, with as many as 850 credits to his name. Welker started voicing Fred on Scooby-Doo from the outset and, after the voice actor for the titular character (Don Messick) perished, took on voicing the big dog, too.
Welker was only 23 years old when he started voicing Fred Jones in 1969 and, although the show had some brief hiatuses from airing, has remained a constant as the man who drives the Mystery Machine. Welker takes joy in the fact that, over the decades, "Fred was the only one who had a license... As long as nobody took the van away from me, that gave me four-wheel power."
When Welker auditioned for Scooby-Doo, however, he wasn't trying for the role of Fred. Welker, rather, wanted to voice Shaggy - which ultimately went to Casey Kasem. Kasem actually auditioned for Fred but, when the voices were finally assigned, the two men had been swapped. Welker explained:
I really liked Shaggy, and tried to have fun with that, and I know Casey wanted to do Fred because he wasn't really comfortable doing that kind of goofy Shaggy part. But then Joe [Barbera] [switched us], and Casey came up with that crazy, wonderful voice for Shaggy.
Joe said that Fred was the all-American hero type and that I should just do my own voice. I was like, "I never saw myself as the hero type, but OK!"... I’m kind of a comedian goofball, so it was a little bit hard being restricted, but I was just happy to be a part of the [group].
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'Scooby-Doo' Was Once The Longest-Running Animated Series
Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? debuted on television in 1969 and has had many names and versions for decades. Through the years and in the many new and reshaped Scooby shows and movies, Shaggy and Scooby were the only characters present at every step.
Scooby-Doo's longevity once earned it the distinction of the longest-running animated series. In 2004, Scooby-Doo became the longest-running animated comedy, according to Guinness World Records.
Scooby-Doo no longer holds that title. Currently, the longest-running animated series in the Western world is The Simpsons, while Sazae-San from Japan ran continuously from 1969 to 2020.
- Photo: The Scooby-Doo Show / ABC54,499 VOTES
Scooby-Doo Is A Triplet - And Part Of A Really Big Family
Throughout the many Scooby-Doo cartoons, movies, and merchandising worlds, numerous relatives of the lovable Great Dane have been introduced. Scooby, perpetually 7 years old, is a triplet - with siblings named Skippy-Doo and Dooby-Doo.
During the run of the show, audiences also met Scooby's cousins - Scooby-Dum and Scooby-Dee. According to Scooby-Doo artist and character developer Iwao Takamoto:
[There were] all variations on Scooby presented as nephews and cousins. We had big Great Danes, little Great Danes, female Great Danes, stupid ones, smart ones, old ones, young ones, it just became crazy.
- Photo: Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated / Cartoon Network65,269 VOTES
Shaggy's Real Name Is Norville, And The Whole Crew Has Last Names
Every member of the original group of Scooby-Doo mystery solvers has a full name, but Shaggy is the only human who goes by a nickname. While his given name is Norville Rogers, his characterization as a shaggy-haired, "like"-saying, cowardly food hound earns him an appropriate descriptor.
Fred Jones takes his first name from that of television executive Fred Silverman, while Daphne's last name is Blake and Velma's is Dinkley.
Even Scooby has a full name - Scoobert. Arguably, "Doo" is his last name.