September 13: Scooby-Doo Day

Posted on September 13, 2016

What a debut! Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! made its debut on this date in 1969.

And the cartoon series went on to lead to more series, reruns, and revivals, movies, videos, puppet shows, Lego shorts, video games, stage plays, and even comic books!! And don't forget merchandising: lunch boxes, a board game, coloring books, underwear, and on and on.

In 2013, TV Guide rated Scooby Doo as the fifth greatest TV cartoon of all time.

What's so good about a Saturday-morning cartoon with four teenagers and a talking Great Dane?

Well....there were mysteries to solve. There were monsters to search for and spooky supernatural-seeming stuff to explore. There were humorous missteps. And antics. And the occasional shenanigan, an even a few romps into tom-foolery!

I missed all of that – I have literally never seen a single episode or movie of Scooby-Doo – but I have heard some great things about the series. My hero, the dearly departed scientist and science-explainer Carl Sagan, admired the series's skeptical stance and even wished that an adult show with a similar bent would be a great public service.

You may wonder what Sagan meant by “skeptical stance.” Apparently, whenever there seemed to be a ghost haunting a town or a not-of-this-world monster terrorizing the countryside, the gang would eventually track down the ghost or monster – and it would always turn out to be a criminal playing tricks in order to make off with some loot or some scoundrel in a mask trying to frighten people for his own nefarious purposes.

After being unmasked by the kid detectives, the criminal would often say something like, “I would've gotten away with it if it wasn't for you meddling kids!!”

Apparently, however, at least one of the newer Scooby-Doo retreads has a totally different – and disappointing – feel. Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island is a betrayal to the original show and in fact is just like most TV shows that deal with so-called paranormal activity: it ends up with the idea that supernatural creatures like ghosts, zombies, and werewolves do exist. One reviewer asked, “Scooby-Doo, how could you?” 

(I read that Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated gets back to its skeptical roots – hooray!)

Try watching an episode or two of Scooby-Doo. Here is one – and you can find links to many more on that page!

Also on this date:

Librarians' Day in Argentina

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