How ‘Scooby-Doo’ Has Stuck Around For 52 Years
The CW has ‘Scooby’ Halloween special on Oct. 29
Scooby-Doo, Where Are You Now! is on The CW Friday, Oct. 29. The special sees Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and, of course, Scooby investigate a mystery related to a monster on the Warner Bros. lot while celebrating the 52-year legacy of the franchise.
Jonathan Stern is the writer, director and executive producer. He talked about the special on the podcast Series Business.
“In the vein of all the reunion specials going on TV right now, we created our own reunion special for the Scooby gang,” said Stern. “It’s an excuse to look behind the scenes both in a fictional way and in a real way too.”
The special is a mix of animated and live action. Frank Welker voices Fred, as he has done for 52 years, as well as Scooby. Grey Griffin portrays Daphne, Kate Micucci handles Velma and Matthew Lillard voices Shaggy. Weird Al Yankovic and Cheri Oteri turn up in the special, as do some Hanna-Barbera characters beyond the Scooby gang.
Yankovic was in a Scooby-Doo episode, playing a guy who runs a summer camp, teaching kids accordion. The camp turns out to be haunted. “He’s just terrific,” said Stern. “Everything Weird Al does is great.”
Weird Al and Scooby-Doo both appeal to people of all ages, he added. “Kids love Weird Al, adults love Weird Al,” said Stern.
Janel Parrish, who was in the cast of Pretty Little Liars, hosts.
Stern spoke about why people still want some Scooby 52 years after the show premiered. “It’s just good character creation,” he said. “There was something going on in 1969 in a group of creative people at Hanna-Barbera that designed and wrote and created just really strong characters.”
He said Scooby-Doo borrowed some character traits from late ‘50s/early ‘60s comedy The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. Shaggy was based on Maynard Krebs, played by Bob Denver before he took on Gilligan. Fred was based on Dobie.
“Everyone has their initial archetype,” said Stern.
Scooby-Doo, Where Are You Now! comes from Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Bros. Unscripted Television in association with Warner Horizon and Abominable Pictures.
It is “Scoobtober” over on Cartoon Network and HBO Max.
Stern suggested watching the CW special by Oct. 31. “It’s Halloween-themed,” he said. “It is best to watch during the Halloween season.”
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.