You can call him Samuel. You can call him Sam. You can also call him today’s fan spotlight!
The wonderful Mr. Samuel Kirkwood is a big Scooby fan who often comments on this very site! He wrote the 161st edition of the long-running Fun Fact of the Week series, which discovered that Scooby’s birthday is April 7, through context clues in the series.
Here’s Samuel’s profile:
1. What is your name?
I have many nicknames for all the different social circles and fandoms I'm in but let's just keep it simple and stick with Samuel or Sam.
2. How did you get into Scooby-Doo?
Born in 92 I grew up watching classic episodes on Cartoon Network when we had cable in my early years. I remember full days specially dedicated to the Great Dane that my mum would record for me on VHS alongside the three late eighties TV specials. Then there were the visits to the grandparents, visiting the video shop and renting a VHS from the kiddies section that often would be Scooby based. such as Scooby Doo meets Batman. Later down the years as I moved into my teenage and adult years feeling I may be getting too old for Scooby, new series, movies and old ones released on DVD have pulled me back in. I think the lovable Great Dane will always be a big part of me and I'll still be re-watching episodes when the 100th anniversary rolls on by!
3. What is your favorite Scooby-Doo episode and film? Why?
A tricky one. Episode wise it would have to be one of the very first 25 episodes of the Scooby Doo Where Are You series because nothing even comes close to that season in my eyes, the comedy is superb and I know numerous quotes of by heart such as when out walking with family and we're deciding which route to take I'll say something like "well the left fork is the long route, right fork is the short, but it also takes us past the haunted mansion". The background music is also superb and really sets the mood whilst the chase scenes are hilarious. As for best episode, Scooby Doo and a Mummy too is probably my stand out favourite, from a rampaging mummy turning characters to stone left, right and center to in my eyes the best quote from the entire Scooby franchise, "Zoinks, it's the creepy coin collector again", still has me in stitches every time I hear it, superb voice acting by Kasem combined with superb animation of Shaggy's reaction. As for movie in a close second it's the three late eighties flicks which I once again grew up watching on VHS, each standing out for different merits. The Boo Brothers for the mystery and treasure hunt, the Reluctant Werewolf for its comedy and the Ghoul School for some brilliant characters who would almost certainly have got a sequel of their own if the film was released now. Still, as the first new true Scooby media produced after I was born (excluding Arabian Nights) and for bringing Scooby back from the brink of extinction, Scooby Doo on Zombie Island has to be my favourite, especially with all those expertly animated zombies. Once again my mum recorded it on VHS so I could watch it time and time again. Let's just hope the sequel isn't as bad as the 13th Ghost is.
4. What ways are you involved in the Scooby fandom online?
Not much really, I just like ScoobySnax's awesome website and will occasionally pop in and see what new Scooby stuff is coming up and giving my view on certain intriguing topics, my biggest claim to Scooby fame being the source behind fun fact of the week 161, I need to make more of an effort in celebrating Scooby's birthday on April 7th. I'm also always happy to discuss Scooby so feel free to find me on Facebook, Twitter or Snupps or through my comments on ScoobySnax.
5. In your opinion, what is the best series or era of Scooby?
As I said in question 3, Scooby Doo Where Are You wins paws down. As for era I think I had it the best being born in the 90's. There may have been no new Scooby Doo series till the early noughties but I had a whole backlog of classic Scooby to catch up with before What's New Scooby Doo aired plus the release of Zombie Island and some other awesome direct to video movies. I've got the soundtracks to both Witch's Ghost and Alien Invaders on CD along with a soundtrack of Scooby theme music and songs from different series.
6. If they could make a sequel to one Scooby-Doo series or film, what would it be?
Aside from 13 Ghosts I think all other series ran their course before going stale and got the closure they deserved. Even 13 Ghosts has been wrapped up now. A third season of Mystery Incorporated with the gang fighting real monsters for Harlan Ellison would be pretty cool. As for movies, most post 2000 ones are usually nicely wrapped up by the end and there isn't much scope for a sequel, leaving in my view the Ghoul School, which definitely deserved a sequel and/or TV series, Reluctant Werewolf which ended on a cliffhanger and could certainly have birthed a sequel, a return to Beauregard manner and the Boo Brothers or one of the first 3 direct to video films. If I had to choose just one though I'd go for Scooby Doo and the Goblin King, there is just so much scope for a sequel and I'd love to see the Spirit realm and Princess Willow again, the Amazing Krudsky is also pretty hilarious.
7. What direction would you like to see the franchise go in the future?
Around 400 episodes and 40 or so movies later of course the idea of 4 kids and a dog catching bad guys in masks is going to need some variation here and there, from sports to apocalypses to Zombie Nazis and satanic cults, the Scooby franchise has explored so much it's hard to say where it could possibly go next or where. The upcoming movie S.C.O.O.B and the idea of a Hanna Barbera world does sound promising and intriguing, whilst returning to a more classic style in Scooby Doo Guess Who? is certainly appeasing to fans of the original Scooby series. Even so, in my eyes there is one big thing in 50 years each Scooby series has failed on, longevity. I would personally love a future series like My Little Pony or Steven Universe that goes on for years and into hundreds of episodes without having to reset. Mystery Incorporated had the opportunity to do this but sadly was cancelled before it really got going. Include in that series a mixture of real and fake monsters to liven things up so we don't know week in week out if it's a person in a suit or an actual werewolf, for example, and I'd be really pleased. The only other thing I'd really like to see is Frank Welker still voicing Fred when he's 100. Sorry, Frank you can never retire.
8. Who is your favorite member of the gang and why?
I love Scooby but Shaggy wins hands down. With Scooby’s vocabulary limited he’s the one who often provides the witty remarks and humorous dialogue when the two inevitably encounter the monster again and again. His reactions are priceless. 5 years Casey, you may be gone but you’ll never be forgotten, thank you for all the laughs you’ve bought me and continue to do so.
9. What is your favorite villain? Why?
Way too many villains to remember one in particular, then the Creeper pops into my head. I haven't mentioned him once yet and he totally deserves the award for best villain and what I think most people look like the morning after a night out.
10. In your opinion, who is the best recurring (non-gang) character in the franchise?
There aren’t that many and I’m not a big fan of any of them really, I’d probably go for the Hex Girls, awesome looks, wicked personalities and great songs.
11. Do you have a Scooby-Doo collection? If so, what’s in it?
Although it’s my number one TV show besides the usual DVDs I don’t have much else. One super large plush of Scooby, the CDs that I mentioned earlier, some comics, all the lego sets plus lego dimensions figures and numerous video games but that’s pretty much it. Probably the coolest Scooby Doo things I own are the Scooby Doo Monopoly and Clue(do) sets. Although this may have changed, for a long time this Cluedo set was the only one to feature outside locations, mystery machine and graveyard, and where no character died, rather a character is kidnapped by a ghost/monster and you had to work who was abducted, where it took place and what the monster left behind. It’s long been discontinued, I was lucky to get a slightly battered set reasonably cheap a number of years back, and in my eyes an awesome item to possess.
12. What do you think has made the franchise so popular that it’s still going strong after 50 years?
A few reasons. The first is a lot of kids cartoons, especially earlier ones, follow the same premise of a good guy vs. a bad guy. You always know the good guy will win in the end, but what makes Scooby different and keeps you entertained is you have to try and follow along with the gang to try and work out who that villain is. Although you know who the villain may be when re-watching the episode, this inclusion of the audience within the show along with the humour, low level danger and the character's personalities are what has kept it going strong for so long. Combine that with its flexibility in both its format, from real monsters, to the gang as kids, to the introduction of new characters and more recently overarching plots, and in incorporating changes from the real world, most notably technology, it’s unsurprising it has been a fan favourite for so long.
13. What is one fun fact about you in real life?
I share my bed with a growing army of nearly 40 My Little Pony Friendship is Magic Plushies, sorry ponies are just more cute and adorable than most characters in Scooby Doo, although this questionnaire has now made me want to Ponify Scooby. Maybe I'll add him to the list.
14. Please feel free to share anything else you’d like to here!
Don't think anybody wants me to yak on anymore. Thanks for letting me reminisce and remember just why I love Scooby so much!
Thank you, Samuel, for your very detailed answers! Check back tomorrow for another fan profile!