The New Scooby-Doo Movies?

Bloggified by Jake on Saturday, April 5, 2008

Nearly thirty years ago, I came home from kindergarten every day eagerly anticipating watching Scooby-Doo. Tuesday and Wednesday were the most exciting days because those were always when the local Toledo station showed the two-part episodes in which the Mystery Machine crew ran into celebrities, officially titled The New Scooby-Doo Movies.

Granted, I had no idea who they were more than ninety percent of the time (and it should be noted my uncle's love of "Get Smart" and the Three Stooges is the only reason that number isn't higher), but Scooby and the gang sure seemed excited to meet Davy Jones and Phyllis Diller, so I reckoned that I should be excited too.

I remember a day when my grandmother walked into the room while I was watching and was shocked to see Laurel and Hardy running away from the ghost of bigfoot. She and my mother then had a conversation about how baffling it was that a children's show would feature characters whose popularity had peaked nearly forty years prior and who had both been dead for two decades.

Today, The New Scooby-Doo Movies still air on Cartoon Network and my daughter watches them, leaving me to play the role my mother and grandmother did. Why would a six-year-old want to see Mama Cass Elliot making fat jokes about herself less than a year before she died? How many times can Jerry Reed sing "Pretty Mary Sunlite" before Hanna and Barbera admit he might not be the caliber of celebrity they'd hoped to attract? Sandy Duncan's in one episode and I have to admit even I'm not exactly sure what she did other than make some commercials for Wheat Thins (and now that I've checked Wikipedia, I'm still not really sure).

Incidentally, the most baffling of all Scooby-Doo celebrity appearances has to be that of Don Knotts. When the gang shows up at a haunted house (or castle or ski lodge or whatever was haunted that time), a mysterious shadow is lurking behind them. Scooby see it, gets scared, and tells everyone he's seen "Ron Rotts."

A moment later, they meet a Don Knotts-ian looking figure in a Sherlock Holmes costume. He introduces himself by some other name, claiming to be a detective. The thing is NO ONE questions the fact he looks exactly like Don Knotts.

I understand that most times a guest star appears on a sitcom, he is playing a character other than himself and that's what was happening here. However, when Bruce Willis came on "Friends," Joey didn't look out the window and tell everyone, "Hey, I think I just saw Bruce Willis!" right before he made his entrance. Furthermore, The New Scooby-Doo Movies guest appearances were always celebrities starring as themselves.

The true mystery of this entire hour was why no one ever noticed that their talking dog was more observant than they were.

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