It's officially been 350 weeks in a row of fun facts, and to celebrate, we have a very special guest with us today! Roger Eschbacher, a writer for Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, joins us for this interview-style fun fact about the show! Below is my conversation with Roger about his work on Scooby:
ScoobySnax.com: How did you get into writing?
Roger Eschbacher: I was in a Los Angeles comedy group called "The Groundlings" back in the 90s, and the animation studios often recruited us as writers and voice actors. The first animated show I wrote for was "Aaahh!!! Real Monsters" on Nickelodeon.
ScoobySnax.com: Before you began writing Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, were you a fan of Scooby-Doo? If so, do you have a favorite episode, movie or villain?
Roger Eschbacher: I was! I grew up watching the original Scooby-Doo every Saturday morning. It was kind of a ritual back then. Also, DVRs weren't invented yet so if you missed an episode, you missed an episode unless you happened to catch a rerun.
ScoobySnax.com: How did you get involved with writing Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated?
Roger Eschbacher: I mentioned to a friend that I was looking for a job and he said I should talk to Mitch Watson who was hiring writers for SDMI. I went in and talked to Mitch and we hit it off and he hired me to write a bunch of episodes.
ScoobySnax.com: Can you describe the process for writing an episode of Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated from start to finish?
Roger Eschbacher: I would get an episode assignment and go in and talk to Mitch and some of the other producers about it. I'd make copious notes and suggestions and as we worked out the episode. Then I'd go home and write the first draft. I would incorporate notes given by the producers and eventually turn in the final draft which was then distributed to the artists and the voice actors.
ScoobySnax.com: What was the most difficult part of working on Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated?
Roger Eschbacher: I had a lot of writing experience under my belt by the time I got hired, so SDMI was fun and easy to work on.
ScoobySnax.com: What memorable responses or feedback have you received about your work on SD:MI?
Roger Eschbacher: It's always fun to get feedback from fans. The two shows I get the most love for are "Littlest Pet Shop" and " Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated." People seem to really like my episodes on both shows and my Scooby episodes in particular. I'm proud of that!
ScoobySnax.com: If you could work on any show or movie in the world, what would it be?
Roger Eschbacher: In addition to all kinds of animated shows, I watch a lot of science fiction and fantasy-related movies and TV shows, so it would be awesome to work on cool shows in those categories.
ScoobySnax.com: Do you have a favorite show or project that you’ve worked on?
Roger Eschbacher: Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, of course!
ScoobySnax.com: What was the most rewarding part of working on Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated?
Roger Eschbacher: The SDMI crew (writers, artists, producers, etc) are super talented, so it was rewarding to work with such a gifted group of people. Also, Scooby and friends are like animation royalty to me. How could I not love writing for those characters?!
ScoobySnax.com: What project(s) are you working on now?
Roger Eschbacher: I've been writing YA fantasy and sci-fi novels for years and have used the recent slowdown in animation to work on those. If you're interested, search for my name on Amazon and see if there's anything you might like to read.
ScoobySnax.com: Do you have any advice for anyone who is looking to go into the world of animation writing?
Roger Eschbacher: I do. I've got an Animation FAQ on my website that has lots of info on that topic and on writing books. If you have a question that's not answered on my page, feel free to ask me! Check it out here: https://www.rogereschbacher.com/p/blog-page_93.html
ScoobySnax.com: Do you plan to continue working on Scooby-Doo related things in the future?
Roger Eschbacher: The Scooby-Doo franchise is so much fun. I'd be more than happy to work on any new Scooby projects.
ScoobySnax.com: What is one “fun fact” (behind-the-scenes tidbit) that people might not know about your work on Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, or the show in general?
Roger Eschbacher: True story: I was asked for my T-shirt size because the show wanted to send me a Scooby-Doo crew shirt, but . . . (sniff) . . . they never sent it.
I'd like to thank Roger so much for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer my questions! You can follow him @RogerEschbacher on Instagram and Twitter. You can also check out rogereschbacher.com for updates about Roger's latest projects.
Here are the results from last week's poll. Surprisingly, it looks like "Hang in There, Scooby-Doo" just barely got edged out by the second live action film!
Which of the following episodes/films with a pterodactyl as one of the main villains?
Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed - 36
Hang in There, Scooby-Doo - 34
Scary Christmas - 14
Scooby-Doo and the Sky Town Cool School! - 13
Courtesy of GamesRadar, here are the Scooby-Doo comic solicitations for August 2021.
SCOOBY-DOO, WHERE ARE YOU? #111
story by DEREK FRIDOLFS
pencils by VALERIO CHIOLA
inks by VALERIO CHIOLA
cover by DEREK FRIDOLFS AND VALERIO CHIOLA
ON SALE 8/17/21
$2.99 US | 32 PAGES | FC | DC
After the Mystery Machine gets into a fender bender while chasing a phantom race car, the gang winds up in traffic school while their van is in the shop—only to come face-to-face with a mummy that is trying to scare this class into cancellation! Can the gang solve both mysteries before they are wrecked for good?
THE BATMAN AND SCOOBY-DOO MYSTERIES #5
story by IVAN COHEN
pencils by RANDY ELLIOTT
inks by RANDY ELLIOTT
cover by RANDY ELLIOTT
price: US $2.99 pages: 32 FC|DC
On Sale Date: 8/10/21
5 of 12
When Bane kidnaps Ra's al Ghul, only one detective can help the assassin's daughter, Talia, track him down. But it's not Batman or guest-star Huntress. It's…Velma? Mystery Inc. joins the chase in a globe-spanning adventure!
Firstly, I know this news is several days old and a lot of people know about this by now, so I apologize for the late post on this. I apparently picked the worst time to travel (and not just because it randomly snowed where I was), because I wasn't able to check the Internet very much and thus didn't see the news until now. Thank you so much to everyone who messaged me, emailed me, or left a comment letting me know about this! You all are very appreciated! <3 Anyway, here's the big news:
A one-hour Scooby-Doo reunion special is being produced for the CW according to Variety, and will air at the end of this year. Jonathan Stern from WB will be the executive producer, and the special will be produced by Warner Brothers Unscripted and Warner Brothers Animation. The special will feature the gang reuniting at Warner Brothers Studios to talk about their favorite cases over the years, and how they were all filmed. However, a monster appears at the studio, and the gang has to solve another mystery while they celebrate the legacy of the franchise.
The special sounds incredibly meta and like it will be similar to Scooby Goes Hollwood, which also made the gang stars of their own mystery-solving TV show. I'm so excited to watch this and I hope it's as good as it sounds!
This announcement is coming alongside announcements for other specials coming to the CW this year, including The Waltons' Homecoming and Beebo Saves Christmas. I know this isn't what it's going to be, but would it not be cool if "Beebo Saves Christmas" was a spin-off giving the backstory for the ghost ape from Boo Brothers, who was also named Beebo? Somebody needs to make this someday lol.
Last review, we had a special guest review the episode with me and I'm happy to say I have another even specialer guest this time! It's none other than Frank Welker...oh wait, I've just been handed a note. It seems Frank won't be able to make it today, so I guess it's just me reviewing it.
This was an incredible episode and one of my favorites of the series. Everything felt so meta all throughout the episode with the various character gags (i.e. Shaggy complimenting Matthew Lillard, Scooby helping Frank Welker make a dog sound, etc.). It was honestly a Scooby fan's dream to watch the voice actors interact with each of the gang members. The voice actors seemed super energized about their roles and were full of personality, which made for an amazing episode. I also liked all the various references they sprinkled throughout, and the reimaginings of old scenes such as Shaggy and Scooby messing with Redbeard's picture and Frank getting swiped at near the beginning of the episode in the same way that Daphne was in "Hassle in the Castle." There were a lot of enjoyable moments and character interactions in general in the episode, notably Frank's conversation with the gang at the beginning about what voice acting is, and Kate's song during the door scene which I found to be very cute.
While it was fun to see the old villains again, there's a small part of me that wishes we would have gotten some lesser-remembered classic villains. It feels like any time we get references to old villains now, it's kinda just the same ones over and over again. I would have liked to see something like the Wax Phantom, the Headless Spectre or Zen Tuo appear, since we never see those. I also didn't love the voices for Captain Cutler or The Creeper as much as the originals, but they weren't bad by any means. I also thought it was odd that Velma called The Creeper "The Ghost of the Creeper" during the unmasking scene. It seems like they love making all the villains ghosts in this series, especially given we're getting a villain called the "Ghost Monster" according to the credits of the Carol Burnett episode lol.
Speaking of the villains, I thought it was kind of interesting how the gang never really acknowledged they had met these villains before. They sort of indirectly said that the villains seemed "familiar" to them and that seeing these villains again felt "close to home," but never directly said that they had captured or run into these villains before.
The culprits were super easy to guess for me. Given the voice actors were the only four people there, and a villain always seemed to appear whenever one of the voice actors wasn't there, it seemed obvious that the villains were the guest stars almost from the beginning. I thought the voice actors' motive that they wanted to voice each other's characters was super fun haha. It made me a little surprised that they didn't choose to switch characters at the end, given there was no overlap where two people wanted to play the same character, so it easily could have been done haha. The scene at the end where Scooby thanks Frank Welker after his typical "Scooby Dooby Doo!" line was sooo adorable! That was the best way that they could have possibly ended the episode, IMO.
The line "It's not just a cartoon, cartoons are serious business!" also resonated with me so much. I think many of us Scooby fans have likely heard the line "it's just a cartoon!", which I hate, because I feel like people say that sort of comment in attempt to make it seem like cartoons are only for young kids. Cartoons can definitely make you feel all the emotions, even as an adult, so I'm super happy they put that line in this episode. So many adults enjoy cartoons as well, and you definitely don't have to be a kid to like watching cartoons.
Overall, I think I can safely say that this is my second favorite episode of the series. The Hex Girls still edges this out a little bit for me, but this was such an incredible, entertaining, heartwarming episode that I will definitely be watching again and again. I feel like this should have been the last episode of the series, because it would have made for an amazing series finale.
1. I Put a Hex on You!
2. A Haunt of a Thousand Voices!
3. Total Jeopardy!
4. The Horrible Haunted Hospital of Dr. Phineas Phrag!
5. The Last Inmate!
6. The Dreaded Remake of Jekyll & Hyde!
7. Dark Diner of Route 66!
8. The Sword, The Fox and the Scooby-Doo!
9. One Minute Mysteries!
10. Dance Matron of Mayhem!
11. Returning of the Key Ring!
12. Cher, Scooby and the Sargasso Sea!
13. Elementary, My Dear Shaggy!
14. Too Many Dummies!
15. When Urkel-Bots Go Bad!
16. The Feast of Dr. Frankenfooder!
17. Falling Star Man!
18. The Internet on Haunted House Hill!
19. What a Night, for a Dark Knight!
20. Attack of the Weird Al-osaurus!
21. The Cursed Cabinet of Professor Madds Markson!
22. A Run Cycle Through Time!
23. The Nightmare Ghost of Psychic U!
24. A Fashion Nightmare!
25. The Wedding Witch of Wainsly Hall!
26. The 7th Inning Scare!
27. The Crown Jewel of Boxing!
28. Scooby On Ice!
29. Lost Soles of Jungle River!
30. Caveman on the Half Pipe!
31. A Moveable Mystery!
32. Revenge of the Swamp Monster!
33. The Scooby of a Thousand Faces!
34. Scooby-Doo and the Sky Town Cool School!
35. Now You Sia, Now You Don't!
36. The High School Wolfman's Musical Lament!
37. The Tao of Scoob!
38. The New York Underground!
39. The Phantom, the Talking Dog, and the Hot Hot Hot Sauce!
40. The Lost Mines of Kilimanjaro!
41. Hollywood Knights!
42. Fear of the Fire Beast!
43. The Hot Dog Dog!
44. Quit Clowning!
45. Peebles' Pet Shop of Terrible Terrors!
46. Space Station Scooby
47. Ollie Ollie In-come Free!
48. The Fastest Food Fiend!
49. A Mystery Solving Gang Divided
Remember the Scooby-Doo Werewolf Soda that came from Funko a little while ago? Funko has just announced they are making another soda, which they call "Space Ghost Soda." I believe it is just a collectible soda can and does not have any actual soda in it. I'm not really sure why they couldn't use the real name, "Space Kook," with this soda. The release date is currently unknown. The announcement of this soda also comes with the announcement of a few others - a Peter Venkman soda (from Ghostbusters), an Ash soda (from Ash vs. the Evil Dead) and a Dwight Schrude soda (from The Office).
In addition, we are also getting some Hex Girls Funko Pop figures according to Funko Pop News!
Update: The Hex Girls Funko Pops completely sold out within nine minutes.
Although many fans pegged "Space Station Scooby" being listed 14th on the Scooby-Doo and Guess Who? season 1 set as wrong, given it was the season finale, the copyright date for the episode lists 2018 whereas all others after it list 2019, so the placement on the set may actually reflect the order in which it was produced in. In addition, given "The High School Wolfman's Musical Lament!" features a clip show of scenes from the series, that episode may have been intended as the true season finale.
James, who inspired this week's fun fact again, also pointed out that there is an astronaut suit in "Dance Matron of Mayhem!" that looks exactly like the gang's in "Space Station Scooby." It's probably more likely that the "Dance Matron of Mayhem!" astronaut suit was designed to look like the gang's, not the other way around, which would serve as further evidence for "Space Station Scooby" airing 14th rather than 26th.
Note I didn't include any of the minor times a pterodactyl appeared where it wasn't the main villain (i.e. SCOOB!, Cyber Chase, etc.).
Here are the results from last week's poll:
Which of the two guest star covers from The New Scooby-Doo Movies was your favorite?
I Can Make You Happy by Davy Jones - 43
Pretty Mary Sunlight by Jerry Reed - 37
Those of us who were bummed when SCOOB! was pulled from theaters due to the COVID-19 pandemic are finally getting our wish this weekend. It appears that SCOOB! is popping up in many people's local theatrical listings for this coming weekend (May 21-23) in the United States, now that the mask mandates have for the most part been lifted. There will be limited showings for this weekend only, and this is only happening in select theaters, so be sure to check your local listings to see if you can finally see SCOOB! in a theater!
On a recent Saturday Night Live skit about a fictional Icelandic television show, Steve Buscemi guest stars (played by Pete Davidson), in which they immediately refer to him as a "Scooby-Doo kind of guy." Steve Buscemi very recently guest-starred on Scooby-Doo and Guess Who?, in the episode "Fear of the Fire Beast!", which possibly inspired the Scooby-Doo reference in this skit.
In addition, oddly, YouTube completely glosses over the "Scooby-Doo" line in their subtitles, and reportedly the streaming service Peacock (which full episodes of Saturday Night Live are posted on) omits the line from the captions as well.
A big thank you to James for sharing this information with me.