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Scooby Doo

Scooby Doo, the ultimate cartoon, each Saturday morning our intrepid gang would throw a monkey wrench into what seemed an unending roster  of nefarious fiends,  who were all proponents of the theory that if you dressed up like  a monster, the police would simply be too frightened to investigate. There was a formula to each show, that each episode followed religiously. The Mystery Machine would pull up to some spooky locale, a variety of possible suspects would be introduced, Fred would declare the need to look for clues, the group would split up, there would a montage of chase scenes, Fred would make a trap for the bad guys using Shaggy and Scooby as bait, the bad guy would be unmasked, his evil plot revealed by Fred and Velma, and the bad guy would make some comment about those "meddling kids".  And oh, what an ensemble cast of meddling kids they were!

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Danger-prone Daphne, forever falling through trap doors and fake walls. The bad guys always kidnapped Daphne, probably because they had heard those rumors about Velma (see below). Not the brightest of girls, she probably only stayed around because of Fred. And what about Fred? The leader of the group. Always devising those Rube Goldberg like traps for the bad guys which Shaggy and Scooby would predictably screw up. No doubt he was an engineering school drop-out who felt that he could better service society by volunteer sleuthing. And let's not forget one thing, when the other males in the group include Shaggy and a talking dog, you gotta think Fred's chances with Daphne were pretty good. Notice that when the group split up, Fred and Daphne were always together. Well Velma was with them too, but well, you know about Velma. Some people say she was television's first lesbian, and I'm inclined to agree. Fred all but ignored Velma, only consulting with her, when it was time to review the inventory of clues, and at the wrap up at the end, when revealing the identity of the bad guy. Velma was the brains of the group, though when you consider the membership of the group, that's not saying much. Velma's other main function was official supplier of the blessed Scooby Snacks. The only way to motivate Shaggy and Scooby. What exactly were the Scooby Snacks? Well considering the series took place in the sixties, the psychedelic colors of the Mystery Machine, and the effect of instant courage they gave Shaggy and Scooby - it all leads to some bizarre pharmaceutical concoction that you probably need a prescription for.

And finally the stars of the show Shaggy and Scooby. They were the comedic engine driving the show. Shaggy the hippie and Scooby the talking dog with the speech impediment. One wonders why the rest of the group would have anything do to these two. They eat all the food, take all the Scooby Snacks, and usually cause more problems than the bad guys themselves. Shaggy may have once been the intelligent, studious sort, but those days are long behind him. Too many drugs and too many chases with men dressed as monsters, have permanently frazzled Shaggy's mind. The fact that Shaggy eats like a pig, and only weighs about ninety pounds, is more evidence of his junkie status. But perhaps more compelling evidence is the fact that his best friend is a talking dog. We can only guess as to the origins of Scooby Doo. A lab experiment gone horribly wrong. Too many Scooby Snacks altering his brain chemistry? Or maybe a drug-induced hallucination that the entire group shared. Who knows? Scooby is coherent only half the time, relying the other half of the time on a set of charades skills that any one would envy. The only thing we can say definitively is that when it comes to finding clues, there is no better dog.

Who is your favorite character in Scooby Doo?