Updated on April 24, 2023
Today’s package show/cartoon nostalgia look is “The Scooby-Doo Show.” The show is the syndicated name for a group of 40 “Scooby-Doo” episodes that ran across several shows during the late 1970s.
The episodes originally debuted as “The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour” on ABC during the 1976-77 TV season. As the name indicates, the stars are Scooby-Doo (in his first new episodes since “The New Scooby-Doo Movies” ended in 1974) and newcomer Dynomutt. 16 episodes aired under this incarnation.
The 1977-78 season saw the above series replaced by a new package show, “Scooby’s All-Star Laff-a-lympics.” Eight new Scooby episodes were made under the “All-Star Laff-a-lympics” name. For the 1978-1979 TV season, 16 more episodes were made; nine ran as a short-lived third season revival of the original “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!,” while the other seven ran under “Scooby’s All-Stars” (a shortened, renamed “Scooby’s All-Star Laff-a-lympics”).
Finally, in 1980, all 40 Scooby-Doo episodes entered syndication under “The Scooby-Doo Show” title, which they’ve aired under to this day. The theme music is the same as that for “The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour,” with new lyrics and footage.
Below, I’ll look at Scooby-Doo, as well as Dynomutt (since those episodes featured several crossovers from the Mystery, Inc. gang).
These episodes see the gang solving mysteries in the traditional format. As per tradition, the various monsters are all people in costumes. Noteworthy monsters from this version of the show include:
- The 10,000 Volt Ghost: an “electrical” ghost, seen in the opening credits of “The Scooby-Doo Show.”
- The “No-Face Zombie,” a faceless zombie haunting a toy factory.
- The ghost of Dr. Coffin: the ghost of a mad scientist, supposedly haunting a sanitarium on the Canadian side of the Niagara Falls region.
- The Technicolor Phantoms: a trio of ghosts (in “chocolate,” “vanilla,” and “strawberry” colors) haunting an ice cream factory.
- Old Iron Face: the ghost of a prisoner, who rides a group of sharks like water skis while wearing a metal mask.
- The Jaguaro: a half-ape, half-jaguar creature the gang meet in the Amazon in Brazil. (However, they also meet some “headhunters,” reflecting the era when the show was made.)
- The Gator Ghoul: a swamp creature in the American South.
- The “cat creature”: Daphne’s aunt in New York City thought she was turning into one.
- The Tar Monster: a monster the gang meet in Turkey.
- A bug-like monster supposedly from 5,000 years in the future.
- The “Spirits of ’76,” the ghosts of several colonial-era figures. Yes, this show aired during the height of the US’ bicentennial hype.
This series also sees the introduction of Scooby-Doo’s dopey country cousin, Scooby-Dum. Dum is the first of the numerous Doo family relatives to appear through the rest of the 70s and 80s incarnations of the franchise. Dum lived up to his name—for starters, he’d keep trying to help “solve” the mystery after it ended. While Scooby-Dum only appears in a handful of episodes, he’s frequently seen on “Laff-a-lympics,” as a teammate on the Scooby-Doobies.
One episode (“The Chiller Diller Movie Thriller”) features a distant cousin of both Scoobys, canine actress Scooby-Dee. After this series, Hanna-Barbera apparently decided that “Doo” was a family last name, and so gave different first names to Scooby’s relatives in all future spin-offs.
Not a Scooby-Doo relative, but among the gang’s relatives in this series is Shaggy’s “Uncle Shagworthy,” a wealthy uncle from the episode “Scared a Lot in Camelot.” (The villain of the episode, the ghost of Merlin, appears in the show’s opening credits.) Uncle Shagworthy made a return appearance years later, as an alternate version of Shaggy in the video game “MultiVersus.”
Other elements, as well as the animation style, reflect the mid-to-late 1970s. One episode (“The Diabolical Disc Demon”) features a “phantom” dressed like a rogue member of the rock group KISS. Another episode (“The Harum-Scarum Sanitarium”) has Shaggy reference Stevie Wonder.
“The Scooby-Doo Show” makes up the last of the pre-Scrappy-Doo episodes. At 40 episodes, it was the longest-running Scooby-Doo incarnation before the franchise’s 2000s revival. Between that, as a continuation of the original series’ format, and the popularity of its monsters, it’s still often referenced in modern Scooby-Doo incarnations. For example, the 10,000 Volt Ghost appears in the 2004 live-action film “Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed” and the 2022 direct-to-video film “Trick or Treat, Scooby-Doo.” The Tar Monster, Jaguaro, and Old Iron Face appear alongside the Creeper (from the original series) in the 2001 direct-to-video film “Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase.”
Dynomutt, “Dog Wonder,” is a goofy, bumbling robotic dog superhero. He’s the sidekick to the stoic, Batman-like superhero of “Big City,” Blue Falcon. Similar to the later 80s hero Inspector Gadget, Dynomutt is capable of pulling all sorts of gadgets from his body, as well as stretching his limbs.
The two heroes defend Big City from various supervillains. This is in spite of Dynomutt’s “malfunctions” and bumbling. As such, Blue Falcon sometimes refers to his sidekick as “Dog Blunder.” The Scooby-Doo gang, who apparently live within driving distance of Big City, appear in a few episodes to help the heroes.
Blue Falcon never had an origin story, but did have a secret identity, millionaire art dealer Radley Crown. Radley lives in a penthouse apartment, which also secretly doubles as the Blue Falcon’s headquarters. Dynomutt lives with Radley, and serves as his assistant/companion. Similar to Launchpad in “Darkwing Duck,” nobody comments on Dynomutt working for Radley and the Blue Falcon.
After the late 70s, “Dynomutt” entered syndication under its own title. Blue Falcon and Dynomutt continue to make various appearances in modern productions to this day. The duo also appear in “Scooby-Doo: Mystery, Incorporated,” where Blue Falcon is a Frank Miller-Batman-style grimdark superhero, despite Dynomutt being the same. A 2012 direct-to-video movie, “Scooby-Doo: Mask of the Blue Falcon,” oddly treats the superheroes as in-universe fictional characters. A version of the Blue Falcon and Dynomutt star in the 2020 movie “Scoob!,” where Dynomutt is the serious one, versus a bumbling version of the Blue Falcon (the son of the original).
Gary Owens of “Space Ghost” and “Laugh-In” fame voiced Blue Falcon, while Frank Welker voiced Dynomutt. Larry McCormick was the voice of Big City’s mayor. McCormick was best known as one of the first African American local TV news anchors, working for Los Angeles TV station KTLA for most of his career.
“The Scooby-Doo Show” is available in its entirety to purchase on digital video, as well as on the Boomerang streaming service.
Its release on physical media, however, is something of a mess. Warner Brothers insists on releasing the episodes to DVD as how they originally aired in the late 70s, despite that they’re now mainly known by “The Scooby-Doo Show” name (and include that version of the opening credits on video). The DVD releases also don’t include all of the episodes. Still, if you want the Scooby-Doo episodes on physical media, the available options:
- The entire “Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour” season is available on DVD as a box set. The DVD set uses the standalone “The Scooby-Doo Show” and “Dynomutt” opening/closing titles for each segment; I assume the original “Hour” introduction (featuring Scooby and Dynomutt together) is missing or unavailable.
- The 16 episodes that aired under “Scooby’s All-Stars” and “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!” are on the “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!: The Complete Third Season” DVD set, as well as the complete series DVD/Blu-ray set for the original “Where Are You!” series.
- Unfortunately, of the remaining eight “Scooby-Doo Show” episodes, four aren’t available on DVD; the other four are scattered across a handful of Scooby-Doo DVDs as extras.
As for “Dynomutt,” all of “The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour” episodes are available on DVD as part of that box set. However, four episodes that were made for its “Laff-a-lympics” run aren’t available on DVD. There’s no digital or streaming release for “Dynomutt” as of this time.
Here’s the opening credits for “The Scooby-Doo Show.” It’s anyone’s guess just what it is that “Shaggy is a-doing what he does the most”… eating? Panicking? Running from monsters?
Here’s the opening credits for “Dynomutt.”
And here’s the original opening for “The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour.” Or at least its audio (recorded from a broadcast in the 70s), spliced together with some old film footage clips and stock images. Again, it’d be nice if the original opening could be made available.
Image from “The Scooby-Doo Show.” (Warner Bros.)