Scooby-Doo is the first animated show that Don Knotts ever provided a voice for. Don wouldn't go on to do any more voice acting work until 1987's The Little Troll Prince, where he played an evil professor who taught his students to "cause disorder and inflict pain." Don also only voiced himself in one other animated work, in the 2004 Johnny Bravo episode "Johnny Makeover."
The U.S. Copyright Office shows the first 19 episodes of Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! were written and produced, and possibly intended to air, in a very different order than they actually aired. The United Kingdom and Canada aired the episodes in this order, however, the US chose to air them in a very different order.
This order of the episodes also resolves a continuity error that resulted from the United States airing, in which Shaggy says he'd never seen snow in "Be Cold, Scooby-Doo!", yet he had just seen it a few episodes before in "Scary Christmas." "Scary Christmas" was actually the episode written and produced right after "Be Cold, Scooby-Doo!," despite that "Scary Christmas" aired 14th in the US and "Be Cold, Scooby-Doo!" aired 19th.
Here is the order that the U.S. Copyright Database lists for the first 19 episodes:
1. Mystery 101
2. Party Like It's 1899
3. Game of Chicken
4. Poodle Justice
5. Be Quiet Scooby-Doo
6. All Paws on Deck
7. Screama Donna
8. If You Can't Scooby-Doo the Time, Don't Scooby-Doo the Crime
9. Trading Chases
10. Kitchen Frightmare
11. Area 51 Adjacent
12. Grand Scam
13. Me, Myself and A.I.
14. Gremlin on a Plane
15. When There's a Will, There's a Wraith
16. Sorcerer Snack Scare (incorrect title listed - should be "Sorcerer Snacks Scare")
17. Saga of the Swamp Beast
18. Be Cold, Scooby-Do! (incorrect title listed - "Scooby-Doo" is misspelled)
19. Scary Christmas
It seems Scooby Goes Hollywood may not have premiered on December 13, 1979 like we all thought! A reference book titled Animated TV Specials: The Complete Directory to the First Twenty-Five Years, 1962-1987 lists the special as airing December 23, 1979. This book pre-dates any Internet records, as it was published in 1989. On top of this, a TV guide listing site lists Scooby Goes Hollywood as airing December 23, 1979 at 7:00pm. I couldn't find any evidence to support that December 13, 1979 other than what other non-historical sites have posted, meaning it's possible that somewhere along the line, somebody confused the dates (maybe even by accidentally typing a '1' instead of a '2') , and more and more sites posted that incorrect information until it became widely accepted.
Granted, I suppose none of this is official "fact" since it's just speculation, but I thought it was super interesting and wanted to share. Thanks so much to James for researching this fun fact!
Several Scooby-Doo DTVs were originally given different names than they ended up being released with. Goblin King was originally titled Scooby-Doo and the Magic Castle; Samurai Sword was initially called Scooby-Doo! Sword of the Samurai; Abracadabra Doo startedout with the name Scooby-Doo and Whirlen Merlin's School of Magic; and lastly, Music of the Vampire originally had several names dating back to as far as 2009, including Scooby-Doo and the Circus of Vampires and Scooby-Doo! Lights! Camera! Vampire. The particularly interesting thing about that last title is that to date, Amazon lists this incorrect description for the film: "When Daphne becomes the star of a vampire film, the production is thrown into chaos by a real vampire, forcing the Scooby-Doo team to investigate who's behind this monstrous mayhem." The "Lights! Camera! Vampire!" title leads me to believe that this was an early draft of the Music of the Vampire film that was later scrapped and turned into a musical.
Here are screenshots from various resumes and LinkedIn profiles showing this information:
Hello from New York! I'm visiting New York this week, so this is actually just a pre-scheduled post, and it's past me talking to you (how's the future, btw? Is it nice? haha). Similarly to what I did when I traveled to Italy a few years ago, I thought it might be fun to write a New York themed fun fact while I'm here, especially since the gang has traveled to New York so many times over the years.
"The Ransom of Scooby Chief" from The Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show (which is about the gang being in New York) is the only episode in the entire franchise that Velma appears, but does not speak at all. This was very likely because the lines were recorded in between "When You Wish Upon a Star Creature" and "The Ghoul, The Bat and the Ugly," when Velma's voice actress Pat Stevens suddenly quit her role of voicing Velma due to a health issue.
Given Guess Who has now concluded, once again through somewhere other than the US, I thought it might be interesting to do a detailed rundown of how many episodes in the past three series aired in other countries before the United States.
21 episodes of Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated aired in Canada and the UK before they aired in the United States.
The last 12 episodes of season 1 aired on Teletoon in Canada about two months before they did in the US. "The Wild Brood" (episode 15) aired March 15, 2011 on Teletoon Canada. Episodes 16-18 continued to air every day that week through March 18, 2011. "Nightfright" (episode 19) aired on March 24, 2011. Beginning April 30, 2011 with "The Siren's Song," new episodes aired every Saturday until the season concluded with "All Fear the Freak" on June 11, 2011. Note that episode 14, "Mystery Solvers Club State Finals" would have also technically aired in Canada before it did in the US, had Cartoon Network not forgotten to notify iTunes and Amazon after their sudden airdate switch from January 31, 2011 to May 3, 2011. Due to the lack of notification, iTunes and Amazon posted the episode the next day for purchase, despite the fact that the episode had not aired, but they quickly took it down the next day.
After Cartoon Network accidentally messed up and posted the season 2 premiere on their own site in error on March 30, 2012 (they meant to post the season 1 premiere, which is what quickly replaced the season 2 premiere once the error was discovered the following Monday), the UK aired four more episodes (episodes 28-31) of season 2 between June 3-6, 2012, the US finally caught up and aired episodes 32-41 before any other country. Another lengthy hiatus occurred after episode 41, which allowed Teletoon Canada to slip in airing episodes 42-45 between every Sunday March 3, 2013 and March 24, 2013 before they did in the US. Episodes 46-52 aired in the US first.
Moving to Be Cool, Scooby-Doo!, a few episodes of season 1 aired elsewhere before their US airings. Episode 15, "If You Can't Scooby-Doo the Time, Don't Scooby-Doo the Crime," aired in the UK on October 27, 2015, whereas the US aired the episode on February 6, 2016. Starting with episode 22, "I Scooby Dooby Do," every single episode aired in another country before the US airing, in many cases over 6 months earlier. The UK aired episode 22 first in May 2016, followed by Canada airing episodes 23-41 (episodes 23-26 were aired in August 2016, episodes 27 and 28 were aired in April 2017, and episodes 29-41 were aired between May 28, 2017 and June 13, 2017). Ironically, Canada had finished airing through season 2, episode 15 one week before season 1 finally concluded in the US on June 20, 2017. Episodes 42-49 aired in Australia in July 2017, while the two-part finale aired September 14 and 15, 2017, and the episode comprised of two shorts aired November 13, 2017 in the UK. This adds up to 32 episodes aired elsewhere long before they aired in the US.
Finally, with Scooby-Doo and Guess Who?, while the first 13 episodes aired in the states before anywhere else, "The Nightmare Ghost of Psychic U!" aired in the UK in October 2019, 9 months before the US. Boomerang UK got episodes 15-18 in February 2020, and HBO Max in Spain got the rest of the season with the exception of Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson (possibly due to an active sexual harassment investigation against Neil at the time). On May 9, 2020, "Space Station Scooby" aired in Australia. A season 2 episode, "Lost Soles of Jungle River!" aired in the UK on July 25, 2020. For once, the US aired the first half of season 2 before anywhere else on October 1, 2020, as well as "Total Jeopardy!" on November 13, 2020 to honor the late Alex Trebek's memory, but they fell back into old patterns when Turkey began airing episodes 41-45 in January 2021 (they'd later air in Canada in English between March 7, 2021 and April 4, 2021). One episode did air on the Boomerang service as a publicity stunt of sorts, that being the Axl Rose episode on February 25, 2021. The final episodes aired on a special pop-up channel in Australia on April 7, 2021, and then in Canada every Sunday between May 9, 2021 and June 6, 2021. Overall, 24 episodes of Guess Who aired in other countries before they aired in the United States.
To sum it all up, of the 156 episodes from all three series, collectively, 77 episodes have aired outside the United States long before they would ever air here. This seems to be a pattern with the past three Scooby series, which is unfortunate because it would be nice if all the countries could get these episodes at approximately the same time, to save people either having to wait months (or years, in some cases) or having to watch them in other ways.
The 2019 horror film The Curse of La Llorona, featuring Linda Cardellini as the main character Anna, has a scene from "Hassle in the Castle" playing on TV during one of the scenes. This is quite ironic, given Cardellini played Velma in the first two live-action Scooby-Doo films (and Marcie in Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated).
Thanks to The Cop for suggesting this fun fact idea!
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.
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.
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.