Fun Fact of the Week #435
Between all the promotions with food products, toys, Wendy's, LEGO, and even 1-800-COLLECT, Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island had the largest marketing campaign of Warner Brothers Family Entertainment's history at the time of release in 1998. Even Nascar joined in on the fun by having the #9 racer at the time, Jerry Nadeau, have his car painted with a promotional image from Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island at the 1998 NASCAR Winston Cup on September 12, 1998. Scooby-Doo Another surprising promotional tactic is that according to an AWN article from 1998, Scooby fans were treated to a live chat on AOL with an animated version of Shaggy and Scooby.
Fun Fact of the Week #434
The controversy over whether the Ship Captain is one of the 13 ghosts is well known, since it's never explicitly stated in the episode whether he is one of the demons from the chest. However, one interesting fact I observed upon rewatching the series is that Vincent and the other main characters never mention Rankor by name at any point in the episode, or even acknowledge him for that matter (with the exception of the end scene when they put him in the chest, and when Vincent is turned to stone).
Fun Fact of the Week #433
Prior to Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated's "Mystery Solvers Club State Finals," many Scooby-Doo fans wanted Scooby to crossover with more clones than just Josie and the Pussycats. However, what a lot of Scooby fans don't realize is that there was a crossover with Captain Caveman in the 1970s! Despite not being advertised at all on the cover, Marvel Comics' Scooby-Doo #9 featured a crossover with Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels.
Thanks to Tom Holste for coming up with the idea for this fun fact, and providing these images!
Fun Fact of the Week #432
Laurel and Hardy were already both deceased before "The Ghost of Bigfoot" from The New Scooby-Doo Movies aired. These were the only two celebrity guest stars in the franchise that had passed away prior to their episode being written and produced. (The Ghost of Abraham Lincoln was a historical figure instead of a celebrity, so I'm not including him here).
It's perhaps worth noting that a few guest stars also passed away shortly after their episodes aired. Both Larry and Moe of the Three Stooges both passed away in 1975, three years after their episode aired. Cass Elliot passed away in 1974, two years after her episode aired. Alex Trebek died after the production process on "Total Jeopardy!" had already finished, but before the episode aired.
Fun Fact of the Week #431
While exploring an idea for another potential article, someone sent me a link that shared a bunch of examples of real-life Scooby-Doo hoaxes where people dressed up as fake monsters. I thought this was such a cool concept that I'd never explored before, so I wanted to highlight some of the most interesting examples. Obviously this isn't an exhaustive list of every instance in the world where someone has tried to pull off a Scooby-Doo like hoax, but I pulled out the most interesting ones that I found and wanted to share them with you all.
As far back as the 1200s, a castle near modern Luxembourg was abandoned due to legends of it being haunted by sinister sounds and eerie lights. King Louis IX hired some Carthusian monks to rid the place of ghosts, but the monks reported back that the "hauntings" were nothing but a group of criminals trying to scare people away from their hideout.
In 1926, an ape-man was sighted on an old farm in North Stonington, Connecticut. Two young girls had recently inherited the farm from their father who tragically passed away. The neighbors theorized that someone was trying to scare the young girls into selling their father's farm, and planned a stakeout to catch the ape-man. It was then discovered that the girls themselves were the ones who created the ape man legend. They created a homemade ape man suit, because they were being pestered by solicitors. The girls wanted to scare the solicitors into thinking the place was unsellable due to being haunted.
In a similar case, Ray Wallace was the boss of a logging crew who was the first person to ever sight Bigfoot's footprints in 1958. After Ray died, the Wallace family divulged that Ray actually faked the whole thing in hopes of scaring away hooligans who were pranking his work vehicle.
Ivan T. Sanderson, a private investigator, uncovered some evidence that the Jersey Devil of 1909 was actually just real estate developers who dressed up to incentivize people to sell their properties by tricking them.
During the Vietnam War, the US used an exercise called Operation Wandering Soul to scare away their enemies. The US Military used tape recordings of eerie moaning and creepy voices to weaken their enemy's morale. The tactic saw varied success. Sometimes the enemy would be frightened away, but other times, the enemy would quickly realize it was a recording and attack anyway.
A British ghost hunter was called by a hotel owner to investigate a haunting. The ghost hunter found no signs of anything, but the hotel owner begged him to just "make up a haunting" because he felt the image of owning a haunted hotel would drive up business.
Fun Fact of the Week #430
A Nancy Drew book from 1957 called The Haunted Showboat has an extremely similar premise as The New Scooby-Doo Movies episode "The Haunted Showboat" from 1973. Nancy Drew #35 follows Nancy and her friends solving the mystery of a haunted showboat. The showboat is being renovated for a big gala event, but a ghost attempts to stop the event. Without providing any spoilers, the culprit's motivation also involves making money illegally as it does in the Scooby-Doo episode.
Fun Fact of the Week #429
The New Scooby-Doo Movies episode "Sandy Duncan's Jekyll and Hydes" has a reference to Charlotte's Web in it. In Charlotte's Web, Charlotte the spider weaves the words "some pig" into a spiderweb to prevent her pig friend Wilbur from being killed. The newspaper in which Mr. Hyde cut the letters out of for Sandy's ransom note has a picture of a pig with the words "some pig" as the headline. While this could be shrugged off as simple coincidence, Hanna-Barbera produced and released the first-ever Charlotte's Web film on February 22, 1973, just a few months after "Sandy Duncan's Jekyll and Hydes" aired. This undoubtedly confirms that this was intended as a reference to Charlotte's Web.
It's also worth noting that the paper the ransom note is cut out of, The Daily Bugle, is a reference to the newspaper in Spider-Man.
Fun Fact of the Week #428
The Scooby-Doo, Where Are You Now! special showed some very early designs for Scooby, which shows him as a much smaller dog.
In Iwao Takamoto's autobiography, My Life with a Thousand Characters, he disagrees with Fred Silverman's story that Scooby-Doo's name come from the song "Strangers in the Night" by Frank Sinatra. His reason for disagreeing is that there were designs for a dog Scooby long before "Strangers in the Night" ever came out. Given Takamoto's book came out in 2009 - 12 years before the general public knew about these designs from Scooby-Doo, Where Are You Now! - it is possible that these are the designs Takamoto was referring to. This would mean Silverman's story about Scooby's name is incorrect.
As most fans likely know, one draft of the original Scooby-Doo series was a knockoff of The Archies. Given the Archies had a song released in 1969 called "Feelin' So Good (S.K.O.O.B.Y. Doo)," this further complicates things a bit. This may be further proof that there was a previous version of Scooby before Fred Silverman's "Strangers in the Night" story could have happened.
A big thanks to Lance for suggesting and helping research this week's fun fact!
Fun Fact of the Week #427
It's common knowledge among the fandom that Supernatural crossed over with Scooby-Doo for the one-hour special Scoobynatural. However, it's lesser known that there are actually tons of Scooby-Doo references throughout the fifteen seasons of Supernatural. In two episodes, "Regarding Dean" and "The Rising Son," the characters are seen watching "Hassle in the Castle" and "That's Snow Ghost," respectively.
There are also a ton of Scooby-Doo references related to Dean, as he's a Scooby-Doo fan in the series. In the season 2 episode "Playthings," Dean mentions "Might even run into Fred and Daphne while we're inside. Mhm, Daphne. Love her." when they go into a haunted house. One character says "This ain't Scooby-Doo" in the season 3 opener "The Magnificent Seven." In season 6's "All Dogs Go to Heaven," Dean asks "where's this little Scooby gang of yours?" In the season 8 episode "The Great Escapist," Dean comments that the hotel manager looks like a Scooby-Doo villain. In "Dog Dean Afternoon" from season 9, Dean exclaims "Ruh-roh!" In "#thinman" from season 9, Dean threatens the villains by saying "You two clowns are gonna get into that Mystery Machine outside, and you're gonna leave town." Season 11's "Form and Void" has Dean commenting "Listen Velma, this isn't the Scooby gang, okay. So either shut up or get out," to which Crowley comments he's "more of a Daphne." Lastly, in the final season, Dean mentions in "Golden Time" that he pulled an all-nighter just to watch Scooby, and in "Last Holiday," Dean is shown to own Scooby-Doo underwear.
Fun Fact of the Week #426
Scooby-Doo! Legend of the Phantosaur marks the longest gap of a Scooby-Doo film airing in a country outside of the US before its US release. The film aired on the week of June 16, 2011 on Boomerang UK. A leak of this film was posted online shortly after, allowing fans in other countries to see the film nearly three months in advance of its US DVD release on September 6, 2011.
~ WildwindVampire ~