It’s officially the weekend, and that also means there’s only one weekend left until Scooby’s 51st anniversary! Today with us is Ashton, who runs the YouTube channel smASH and is a Super Scooby fan with an inspiring history of getting into the franchise.
Here’s Ashton’s profile:
1. What is your name?
Ashton, some know me as smASH from my YouTube channel.
2. How did you get into Scooby-Doo?
Funny story actually so here it goes. I was about 3, maybe 4, I don't remember any of this but it's what my parents have told me all my life. I was in the car with my dad as we were driving (who knows where) when we came across a farm that had caught on fire. My dad pulled over to see if he could help get the animals out at least. Neighbors had come out to see what was going on and my dad asked a lady if she could get me away from the smoke. After all that is said and done, they were able to get the fire under control and the lady brought me back to my dad, she told him that she had taken me to her house and turned on Scooby-Doo and I just sat and watched it. From that moment on Scooby and the gang became a part of my DNA, and to this day I wish we knew who the lady was because she has no idea what she did to my life.
3. What is your favorite Scooby-Doo episode and film? Why?
For a favorite episode I'll probably go with 'A Clue for Scooby-Doo' from the original series. It's one of the earliest episodes I remember watching and one of the first I ever owned to watch again and again. As for my favorite film, it has to go to Scooby-Doo 2 Monsters Unleashed. When it released I wanted to go see it so bad, I reminded my parents when it was coming out for months on end. Now I am the youngest of my three siblings, I have two sisters and one brother. My brother being the oldest, he surprised me and my siblings and his girlfriend at the time, one night with tickets to go see it. This was the first, and last, Scooby anything I saw on the big screen at a theater. I remember going in and seeing all the banners and promotional pieces for the film as we went to our seats. The movie wowed me, seeing these villains I had been watching for a few years now come alive right before me. It just felt so right. Although I love the movie to death and the story it tells, it's not the reason that it's my favorite. My brother as I said is the oldest in the family, we are the furthest apart in age. When I was super young he got addicted to drugs of all kinds, had to be put into rehab, and came home most nights yelling at my parents. I never got to see him, or ever make memories with him because he was never mentally there. As I got older I felt more and more like I never had a brother, and to this day I see my family as my two sisters and I. Going to see this film with him is one of the only memories I have with him, and actually him. He was there mentally, he was excited to surprise me with the tickets and take me, and made sure it was an experience I wouldn't forget. That is why it is my favorite movie, it's the closest thing I have to feeling like I have a brother when all these years I have never gotten to know mine.
4. What ways are you involved in the Scooby fandom online?
I try to get involved anywhere I can. I'm on many forums, listen to all the podcasts there are, and interact through social media. But I have my own YouTube channel called smASH which isn't exclusively Scooby-Doo related content, but it has leaned towards that more and more as I continue to grow, which I am not against of course. I also have made my own Scooby-Doo podcast called Scooby-Doo Legend of the Podcast. The purpose of my podcast is to dive into the continuity of the Scooby cinematic universe. There's this unspoken timeline of Scooby that I feel like everyone gets too scared or overwhelmed to figure out and that is what my podcast is doing, going through every episode and film to determine how everything connects as one cohesive timeline.
5. In your opinion, what is the best series or era of Scooby?
This is hard because I love each series of Scooby for a different reason, but I have to say The Scooby-Doo Show. I feel like that is the series they figured out how to blend creepiness and comedy so well together. It's a series I often will put on for some 'Saturday Morning Cartoons' feelings. But I also feel like they figured that out within the early 2010 films as well.
6. If they could make a sequel to one Scooby-Doo series or film, what would it be?
Oh boy I usually stray away from talking about sequels after so much hate was put on last year's two films (which I quite enjoyed actually) but there's actually two sequels I would actually like to see. The first one doesn't necessarily have to be a sequel but I have always wanted the return of Crystal and Amber from 'Aliens Invaders.' I feel like they were perfect for Shaggy and Scooby, and I would love for them to come back and ask for the gang's help. The other one is more of just me wanting an explanation for something that can be ignored, but the end credits scene of 'Camp Scare' reveals there is a real banshee, can we please get 'Camp Scare 2' and answer that mystery.
7. What direction would you like to see the franchise go in the future?
I would love some spin off series for the franchise. They don't have to be long at all, one season per side character, but I want to get to know The Hex Girls more, get a spin off series for them and see the band growing up and forming. I also would love a 'Mystery Incorporated,' spin off where either each episode or each season, we see the previous mystery solvers stories get told more in depth leading up to the events of the Mystery Inc. we know.
8. Who is your favorite member of the gang and why?
My favorite member of the gang is Shaggy. He is always just laid back, goes with the flow, and who doesn't want to own a talking dog? Him and I look very similar, I always get told I look like him and I have just embraced it at this point. I say I am the red shirt Shaggy of this universe. I wouldn't say I am always hungry like him and Scooby, but I would always know there's going to be food about every hour if I ever roomed with him and Scoob.
9. What is your favorite villain? Why?
This is always a hard one, I love the villains! It's what I look forward to most about any new Scooby, but recently I kind of "rediscovered" a villain I loved. That is the Yowie Yahoo from 'Legend of the Vampire.' He is just so big and not what you think of as a vampire at all. I love that would appear, take care of business and leave. It never talks, and neither does any of its minions. It's this creature you hope to witness and yet when you do you never want to speak about it. I also really enjoyed the fact that at the end of that film there was an "end battle" of sorts between the gang and the vampire, something we don't often see I feel like. Plus Australia is my dream place to go.
10. In your opinion, who is the best recurring (non-gang) character in the franchise?
Scooby-Dum! I miss him so much. I loved his story of wanting to become a police dog despite the fact that he was clumsy. I felt like he got to live out his dream whenever he was with the gang. He was so passionate about finding clues and didn't let any villain stop him from trying to figure it out. He's so cute and a character I think is long overdue for a return.
11. Do you have a Scooby-Doo collection? If so, what’s in it?
I have quite a few Scooby items, besides DVD's and VHS. I have a handful of the Funko Pop figures, one of which is the green flocked Scooby. I have a handful of fan arts I found at conventions, and a picture signed by Freddie Prinze Jr. Toys, rare VHS, coloring books, blankets, stuffed animals, it goes on and on.
12. What do you think has made the franchise so popular that it’s still going strong after 50 years?
There are so many factors to Scooby-Doo that I don't think there is one in particular. I think a big part of it is that there is one of us in each member of the gang. We can relate to one of them and even pieces of each of them that make it feel like we are a part of the gang as well. They are that misfit group of kids that do what they love and don't care what others think. When we feel we don't have anywhere to fit in we can go right into the Mystery Machine with the gang and road trip with them anywhere. I also feel though that the spooky element has kept it resonating for years. It's not scary necessarily but a good introduction to the horror genre, enough to make your mind wander for a moment and then realize it's all fake in the end with the gang pulling off the mask. Yes there are a few where the beings are real, but they are taken down and proven to be not as big of a threat as we imagined in our minds. I think also there is just a Scooby for every generation, whether you grew up with the original, the early 2000's, there are levels of Scooby so you can watch as young or as old as you are and find enjoyment throughout the entire franchise.
13. What is one fun fact about you in real life?
Not everyone knows this about me, but I was born with only half a heart. I have a condition called Congenital Heart Defect and I have a form called Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome which means I am missing the right side of my heart. My parents were told that I wouldn't be born alive or that I would only live for 24 hours. When I was born my family took "family pictures" before they were to believe I would be gone. I won't go into detail otherwise you will be here for hours, but I have had many surgeries throughout my life to help maintain my heart. I wasn't born with a pulmonary artery (which is the vein that pumps blood to the lungs from the heart) so a doctor made me one out of a cow's jugular vein when I was 13, so yes, I am part cow. I have gone into heart failure twice already in my life, the most recent being my junior year of high school. This isn't something that can be 'fixed' so I will have to always go to have surgeries to help maintain my heart and alter how I care for it. It has limited me in my physical activity, I have never been able to run. play sports, or even ride a bike because I don't have the energy to keep up. I was always told I wouldn't make it to adulthood but I am now 22, almost 23 and still going. Scooby-Doo has become a comfort for me, something to turn on whenever I was recovering from surgeries having my chest cut open and my heart played with. When I couldn't go out and play with my friends, I could have adventures with the gang and go wherever they did. Being in the hospital I have seen so many different patients and all their different struggles. It has helped make me be very open minded and accepting of others thoughts and trials. Within Scooby, it has made me very open minded and accepting of what is brought to the table with Scooby-Doo. Like I said earlier, I quite enjoyed last year’s two films, and the Be Cool Scooby-Doo series, and it makes me sad to see so much hate for those recent projects within the Scooby universe. It's not how you envisioned 'Return to Zombie Island,' but we shouldn't bash on it for being different. Now I am just rambling lol, but I hope that all makes sense.
14. Please feel free to share anything else you’d like to here!
I think that does it for me, I appreciate you thinking of me and reaching out.
Thank you so much to Ashton for his thoughtful and inspiring responses. I really appreciate him participating and being so open to sharing his story!
Be sure to check back tomorrow to meet another awesome Scooby-Doo fan!