Scooby-Doo has officially been on the air for 51 years as of 10:30am EST this morning! To conclude the fan profiles, the spotlight is on a very special person today!
That person is Bradford N. Smith, who has quickly become my new Internet bestie! Bradford reached out to me through email back in late February, right before the pandemic hit. With more time to talk being stuck at home, we found we had so much in common and hit it off immediately. We've continued to talk to each other every day since we met.
Bradford is also an aspiring screenwriter who wants to write for Scooby-Doo in the future, and has written a whole series of Guess Who fan scripts which you should absolutely check out, because they are amazing! He's also written one with a guest star I suggested today, Sabrina Carpenter, which you should totally read here!
Take us away, Bradford!
1. What is your name?
Bradford N. Smith
2. How did you get into Scooby-Doo?
I got into Scooby-Doo by being a restless baby. Rather than sit in the dark to calm me down, my dad would take me into the living room and turn on Scooby-Doo (since that's what was between 1 and 3 AM apparently). And things just grew from there…
3. What is your favorite Scooby-Doo episode and film? Why?
Favorite episode.... I think I want to go with "Hassle in the Castle" just because it's such a classic and a perfect representation of the Scooby-Doo formula. Favorite film. That's a tougher one. If I'm forced into a corner, I'll pick "Witch's Ghost" because I love the Hex Girls too much not to pick that.
4. What ways are you involved in the Scooby fandom online?
I've only been involved in the Scooby fandom since about the end of 2019, but I've contributed a bit to Scoobypedia (especially when it comes to the plethora of Scooby commercials out there) and I've been really active on Twitter (and Instagram a little too). I've also been writing Scooby-Doo fan scripts, with the intention of trying to one day write for the franchise. *insert shameless plug* Those scripts can all be read at bradfordwritesscooby.com!
5. In your opinion, what is the best series or era of Scooby?
I would actually split those. In my opinion the best era for Scooby-Doo was the 70s. The early episodes are irreplaceable and the original series lays the groundwork for the franchise, with The Scooby-Doo Show in the later half of the decade really perfecting the formula. But if I were to select the best series of the franchise, I would have to say Be Cool, Scooby-Doo. I know that's a controversial pick, because the character designs are nobody's favorites, but the way the characters are developed and the storylines are put together (minus the last couple episodes), I'd say there's no other series in the franchise that does better in matching what the intent of Scooby-Doo was all along.
6. If they could make a sequel to one Scooby-Doo series or film, what would it be?
I think I'd like to see a sequel to Laff-A-Lympics. It wasn't the greatest series, but I'd love to see all the characters get together again in the modern era and compete in a series of athletic competitions across the globe, as long as there was still a lot of humor and gags involved. And it might be kinda cool if they threw in some Cartoon Network characters, now that those universes cross over (Johnny Bravo, Dexter, etc.)
7. What direction would you like to see the franchise go in the future?
I mean, if I'm being selfish, the direction I want to see it go is my own, because I'd really like to write for it. But without me attached, I'd just like to see it continue taking some bigger risks with the series, while holding onto the "safer" stuff for the DTV films. Mystery Incorporated and Be Cool were both such terrific departures from what everybody had gotten used to, which is why I think I like them both so much. So more of that would be good. As would be the return of Scooby-Dum. He needs to be brought back…
8. Who is your favorite member of the gang and why?
Daphne. I love Scooby and the rest of them, but Daphne never gets the credit she deserves for all the terrible stuff she's had to put up with over the decades. She finally got to shine in Be Cool, which I was thrilled about. Before that, she got pushed into the background too much, constantly overshadowed by the hilarity of the others. But she's a boss. I really hope her personality gets to be explored more in future installments. Honorable mention to Fred in Mystery Incorporated though. That version of him is hilarious.
9. What is your favorite villain? Why?
Love Space Kook, but the Beast of Bottomless Lake is probably my favorite. That design has always appealed to me and I think it was cool that it turned out to be a woman, not another dude, behind the mask. Honorable mention to the Ghostly Gondolier.
10. In your opinion, who is the best recurring (non-gang) character in the franchise?
Scooby-Dum. End of discussion.
11. Do you have a Scooby-Doo collection? If so, what’s in it?
I do! I've been collecting things since I was a little kid. So I've got a wide assortment of toys and VHS tapes and other random household things (phone, lamp, etc)... I've also got a ton of books and comics, all of the LEGO sets, nearly all the blu-rays and a bunch of the DVDs. I've started trying to collect the Funko figures, but that's a slow process.
12. What do you think has made the franchise so popular that it’s still going strong after 50 years?
The wholesome family comedy of it is likely the biggest element that's kept it alive. There are few shows entertaining enough that multiple generations can sit down and watch any episode together and all be into it. I'd also be willing to bet that the mystery aspect plays a factor too. The solvable mysteries at least. People love being able to solve stuff and Scooby's mysteries aren't usually too complicated, but even when you're stumped, that surprise when the villain is unmasked is usually enough to still bring a smile to your face.
13. What is one fun fact about you in real life?
Because I used to listen to the Scooby-Doo's Snack Tracks cassette every night as I was going to bed, throughout most of elementary school (and even sometimes after that), whenever I would run at recess, I would play a chase song in my head so I could pretend I was in a Scooby-Doo chase. This continued after Zombie Island came out and I switched over to playing those songs in my head. Especially "It's Terror Time Again".
14. Please feel free to share anything else you’d like to here!
Gosh... I can't think of anything else super important to share. I'd love it if people could check out my scripts though and whether you like them or not, I'd love to hear from you, so don't be afraid to reach out on Twitter or Instagram! Beyond that, the only thing I can think to say is.... Scooby Dooby Doo!
I can’t think of a more perfect way to conclude this year’s fan spotlights! Thank you so much, B, for your detailed responses and for being such an amazing bestie!
And thank you so much, readers! I hope you all enjoyed these fan spotlights, and that you got to meet at least some cool new Scooby fans over the course of these 13 days! These fan spotlights seem to be very highly requested, so who knows, maybe I’ll do some again another time! :)