8 things you never knew about Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!

Without Frank Sinatra and Dobie Gillis, we might not know the Great Dane the same way.

The Flintstones turned Hanna-Barbera into a powerhouse. Sure, Yogi Bear and Huckleberry Hound had been popular with kids on Saturday morning in the late Fifties, but with The Flintstones, the animation studio proved it could appeal to adults in primetime. 

That led William Hanna and Joseph Barbera to get a little more creative, a little bolder. Just as The Flintstones had copied the formula of The Honeymooners, their Top Cat soon emulated The Phil Silver ShowThe Magilla Gorilla Show, Jonny Quest, Atom Ant, Space Ghost and more followed in the 1960s.

Hanna-Barbera mastered the art of adventure, talking animals, toon musical numbers. So what if they combined all of that — again taking influence from a popular live-action sitcom — and blended it all together?

Thus, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! was born in 1969. Well, there were some growing pains along the way. Let's take a look…

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1. The original title was 'The Mysteries Five'

Talent borrows; genius steals. So they say. Hanna-Barbera was brilliant at taking established concepts and applying a cartoon gloss over the top. Rival studio Filmation had created a pop sensation with The Archie Show in 1968, turning a classic comic strip into a hip beat band with a No. 1 single. So, CBS asked Hanna-Barbera to come up with another version of "The Archies." Their answer was a musical group called "The Mysteries Five" — Geoff, Mike, Kelly, Linda and W.W. The kids would tour around in a van, solving supernatural mysteries along the way with the help of a dog. It was either going to be a large, cowardly dog or a tiny, gusty dog.

2. It was later called 'Who's S-S-Scared?' — and deemed too scary for children!

The animators then whittled the group down to a quartet of humans, fusing Geoff and Mike into one character named "Ronnie." The show was retitled Who's S-S-Scared? and an animated demo was prepared for the network. Well, to answer the question of the title, CBS was s-s-scared. The suits felt that the horror elements were too extreme; they feared the monsters would terrify children on Saturday morning. So CBS asked Hanna-Barbera to go back to the drawing board.

3. The characters were based on 'The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis'

Just as Fred and Barney had been based on Ralph and Ed from The Honeymooners, this band of teenage detectives found inspiration in another classic sitcom. The youthful sleuths of Mystery Inc. were copies of the core characters in The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. This is most noticeable in Shaggy (or "W.W." as he was originally called) who is a dead ringer for the work-allergic beatnik Maynard G. Krebs (Bob Denver). "Velma" even sounded a good deal like the bookish Zelda (Sheila James). Fred was modeled on Dobie himself. Daphne mimicked Thalia Menninger (Tuesday Weld). 

4. The dog's original name was Too Much

Let's get back to the dog. Obviously, the animators decided a big, frightened dog was comedy gold. However, the pooch was originally named Too Much. And he played the bongos. Somebody had to add percussion to the band. Once the musical-group angle was dropped, so went the bongos. But what to call the dog…?

5. You can thank either Frank Sinatra or Randy and the Rainbow's for the name Scooby-Doo

There is some debate as to which smash song of the Sixties inspired the name "Scooby-Doo." It is probably a combination of the two. Frank Sinatra's 1966 hit "Strangers in the Night" featured Ol' Blue Eyes scatting, "Doo-bee-doo-bee-doo." Scooby-Doo's catchphrase certainly echoes that refrain. But the 1963 teen doo-wop sensation "Denise" by Randy and the Rainbows likely played a big part, too. You have undoubtedly heard it at some point in a diner: "Oh Denise, shooby doo / I'm in love with you, Denise, shooby doo!"

Image: Discogs

6. There was a different theme song at the very beginning

Speaking of catchy tunes, every kids known that immortal theme song: "Scooby-Dooby-Doo, where are you? We got some work to do now." However, much like "Meet the Flintstones," the song did not debut at the start of the series. When Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! premiered in September 1969, it opened with an eerie instrumental. The song appeared in the second episode, too, "A Clue for Scooby Doo," but was scrapped quickly after.

7. Fred did not have a name in the first episode

Let's rewind to that premiere episode again, "What a Night for a Knight." Every character is mentioned by name in the episode except for Fred — and he was technically not yet Fred! The storyboards for the episode still referred to the blond boy as "Ronnie."

8. There was later an Andy Griffith Show spoof

The Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! cartoon evolved into The New Scooby-Doo Movies, which welcomed celebrity guest stars. In 1972, Knotts twice returned to cartoon form for a couple New Scooby-Doo Movies, "Guess Who's Knott Coming to Dinner?" and "The Spooky Fog." In the first, he dressed like Sherlock Holmes in a caped raincoat and deerstalker cap. But in "The Spooky Fog," the cartoon Knotts appeared in more familiar clothing. He was back in his familiar tan deputy's uniform. This deputy lived and worked in "Juneberry" for "Sheriff Dandy."

Image: Warner Bros.

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Ghoskins 2 months ago
Scooby has been around for over 50 years in some form. Secretly, I have always been proud that I was there in the very beginning. I remember it's premiere, me sitting in front of the tv with my Capt n Crunch.
Today, I do voiceovers and in my studio, if you look around you'll see all kinds of memorabilia, autographs, photos and you might even notice a little stuffed Scooby-Doo 😁👍
daDoctah 2 months ago
That Randy & the Rainbows song was covered by Blondie with the title changed to "Denis", and one verse translated into French to go along with the resultant French male name.
BobbyGlasspie 3 months ago
Scooby-Doo Where Are You? Is my favorite cartoon. I wish MeTV did an old cartoon Saturday morning lineup that would be so cool.
Uh Saturdays would belong to The Weird and Wacky World of Sid & Marty Krofft, while Sundays would belong to The Funtastic World Of Hanna-Barbera.
Barbara1956 BobbyGlasspie 2 months ago
I think that is a great idea!
Diz 3 months ago
I'd love to see Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear, Quick Draw McGraw, Deputy Dawg, Tennessee Tuxedo...
Doom 3 months ago
A classic cartoon block on Saturday or Sunday (or both) would be fantastic.
Saved By the Bell was literally the death knell of Saturday morning cartoons. To this day I have never seen an episode because of that.
LittleMissNoName Doom 3 months ago
The corrupt EI initiative also played a big hand in tearing down Saturday mornings.
VaughnBaskin Doom 2 months ago
Uh don't you mean Funtastic?!
AEDC49 3 months ago
Loved all the H&B shows of 50's-early 70's I've been saying they should just recreate a classic Saturday Cartoon setting by showing any of those and maybe some of these favorites of mine! My Dad knew William Hanna at the neat period of late 50's to circa '61 so I always like many watched the very entertaining shows they did and real life like the Banana Splits etc! I can see how "The Simpsons" really emulates the format of "Wait Till Your Father Gets Home"! check it out!- list follows!!
The Atom Ant Show (1965–1967)
Birdman and the Galaxy Trio (1967–1969)
Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines (1969–1971)
FANTASTIC FOUR (1967-1969)
The Herculoids (1967–1969, 1981–1982)
The Jetsons (1962–present)
Jonny Quest (1964–1965)
Josie and the Pussycats (1970–1972)
Moby Dick and the Mighty Mightor (1967–1969)
The Perils of Penelope Pitstop (1969–1971)
The Roman Holidays (1972)
Shazzan (1967)
Wacky Races (1968–1970)
Wait Till Your Father Gets Home (1972–1974)
Where's Huddles? (1970)

KathrynJordan 3 months ago
I couldn't get enough of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! when I was a child. I loved my Saturday morning cartoons. I hope that MeTV creates a Sunday Morning cartoon power morning cartoons that includes Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, The Yogi Bear Show, Tom and Jerry, Space Ghost, Herculoids and even the Smurfs. Thanks for the Scooby-Doo trivia.
VaughnBaskin 3 months ago
Wow! MeTV you should definitely create a Sunday Morning cartoon power hour with Tom and Jerry, The Flintstones, The Yogi Bear Show, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, and The Smurfs!
I wish MeTV would do a Sunday morning cartoon power hour with Tom and Jerry, The Flintstones, The Yogi Bear Show, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! as well. I would not even mind if they would put Space Ghost on Sunday morning as well. We don't need all the crud they put on in the morning before the two hours they currently have with the Flintstones.
But what about The Smurfs?
PeterGuerin 3 months ago
Trivia: Heather North--who was the second person to voice Daphne--appeared alongside Kurt Russell in the Disney movie "The Barefoot Executive".
Barry22 3 months ago
Put on Moby Dick, Space Ghost, Herculoids and Mighty Mightor, and I will be happy.
MarioKlein 3 months ago
Scooby-Doo is a great cartoon, thanks for the interesting trivia. Hope to see it back on MeTv.
Stoney 3 months ago
Our family loves Scooby-Doo! Great trivia!
LittleMissNoName 3 months ago
The New Scooby Doo movies would help cross promote all the other shows on METV.
Stoney LittleMissNoName 3 months ago
That's a great idea!
dmagoon 3 months ago
What about the likes of "Tennessee Tuxedo..." and "Saban's Why Why Family"?
MrsPhilHarris 3 months ago
Put it on Sunday morning. Get rid of Alf and Saved By The Bell. Time for a change!
I Agree! But i think that both ALF and Saved By The Bell should be on Weekday Mornings along with Diff'rent Strokes and The Facts Of Life.
LucyImHome1951 3 months ago
I hope that they start putting some more cartoons on. How about on Saturday morning. Boy, I can see it now. I wake up in my PJs and run downstairs, make myself some cereal and watch Yogi Bear! A man can dream.
ME could do a pajama party promotion. The pics could be posted on Twitter, with the most creative picrure qualifying for a small prize.
Naw! Give me a Hanna-Barbera Funtastic Sunday Morning lineup instead, and give the Saturday Morning shift to the Sid and Marty Krofft superstars!
BrianMoore 3 months ago
Is Scooby Doo coming to MeTV!? Please say yes! Put it on Sunday mornings with The Flintstones. Oh, and Animaniacs! Animaniacs is awesome. I'm sure many viewers will identify with Slappy Squirrel.
LucyImHome1951 BrianMoore 3 months ago
How about Secret Squirrel?
VaughnBaskin BrianMoore 3 months ago
And Jonny Quest too!
I've been waiting years for Me to air Jonny Quest.
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