Scooby Doo is everyone’s favourite lovable, snack eating Great Dane and mystery solving dog. From his first appearance all the way back in 1969 to the films and video games he’s starred in since, Scooby is a true cultural icon. We’ve compiled 15 of the spookiest Scooby facts (Or should that be Scooby snacks) for you to enjoy, like, did you know Scooby originally played the bongos?! Or why Freddie Prinze Jnr. had to shave his head? Which facts did you know, and which ones were a surprise?
The show has been going since 1969
Yes, that’s over 50 years! During that time Scooby and the gang have been in films, TV shows, video games and more! The show has gone through many different iterations over the years, including Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo, The 13 Ghosts of Scooby Doo, Shaggy & Scooby Doo Get a Clue! and The Scooby Doo Show. Phew! That’s a lot of Scooby Doo!
The gang was originally called ‘The Mysteries 5’
The show has come quite a long way from it’s original conception, which was all about a band who solved mysteries. All the characters names were different too. They were: Geoff, Mike, Kelly, Linda, as well as an extra character, Linda’s brother ‘W.W’. The show went through several changes (Including Fred being renamed ‘Ronnie’, and other alternative show titles included ‘Who’s S-S-scared?’
Scooby is named after a Frank Sinatra lyric
Frank Sinatra was a popular singer when the show was being developed, and he was famous for his scatting (making up words) between lyrics. There is a lyric in the song ‘Strangers in the Night’ where Sinatra sings ‘Doobie do bee do’ and the writer misheard it as ‘Scooby Doo’. He liked it, the name stuck and the rest is history! Can you think of any other cartoons names after song lyrics?
Scooby was originally called ‘Too Much’
As mentioned, in earlier drafts, all the characters had different names. Scooby’s was ‘Too Much’, for some reason, perhaps a nod to the his larger than life personality? It get’s weirder though – apparently he also played the bongos in the band!? Well, a dog who plays the bongos isn’t THAT much less believable than a dog who solves mysteries and makes sandwiches!
Scooby is 7
According to the creators, Scooby is always 7 years old, although they haven’t specified if that’s in dog or human years…probably dog, he looks pretty big for a puppy! This also explains why the show has always retained it’s distinctly late 60s/early 70s style, like Shaggy’s bell bottoms and Fred’s neckerchief.
Fred has had the same voice for over 40 years
Frank Welker has voiced the character of Fred since the first episode in 1969. Welker was in his 20s when he started, and is still going strong now in his 70s! As well as voicing Fred, Welker is a comedian and actor who had done hundreds of voice roles throughout his career, including other cartoons like Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.
Fred and Daphne are a real life couple
In the 2002 film, Fred and Daphne are played by Freddie Prinze Jnr and Sarah Michelle Gellar. In real life, they are a couple and have been since they met on the set of another movie in the 1990s. In the original show they were never meant to be a couple, but over time, and due to fan popularity, they became one.
Shaggy and Scooby’s real names are Norville and Scoobert
Yes, Scoobert Doo. Of course. Much more sensible than ‘Scooby’. Norville ‘Shaggy Doo’ was apparently based on a character called Maynard, who also sported a goatee and a laidback attitude, from a 60s sitcom called The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. He’s also from Coolsville, Ohio, which no, isn’t a real place, sadly.
Freddie Prinze Jnr. had to shave his head after the film
In order to get Fred’s luscious blonde locks for the film, Freddie Prinze Jnr. bleached his own hair, and kept bleaching it so it would stay blonde throughout filming. Unfortunately, this led to some unfortunate side effects, and damaged his hair so much that after filming ended he decided it was probably best just to shave the rest off!
Lots of celebs guested on the show
The show was well known for having guest voice actors, often playing versions of themselves. When the show started, lots of the guests were well known celebs of the day, including Mama Cass from the band the Mamas and the Papas, Dick Van Dyke, who had his own show, and horror legend Vincent Price, who’s character was aptly named ‘Vincent Van Ghoul’. Other more recent celeb guests include Tim Curry, Mark Hamill and Sia, as well as the star-studded live action films.
Scrappy first appeared in 1983
Love him or hate him, there’s no getting away from Scooby’s notorious nephew Scrappy, who first appeared in an episode in 1983. Apparently the network executives were’nt too keen on Scrappy originally, and found him too feisty and independent (and, well, scrappy!) The 2002 film nods towards his general unpopularity with viewers, who often see him as annoying, but younger children are apparently big fans!
The creators thought Daphne and Fred were too boring
In early episodes, when the gang would do their classic ‘Split up and look for clues’, we often followed Shaggy, Velma and Scooby on their missions. But we rarely saw Daphne and Fred. Fans have speculated about the reasons behind this, but it turns out there’s a very simple explanation – the creators found them too boring! They didn’t think Fred or Daphne would be doing or saying anything very interesting, and so that’s why we don’t see more of them! Luckily Fred and Daphne got more screen time as the show went on, and nowadays they are two of the most popular characters!
Scooby was going to be a sheepdog
Scooby is meant to be a Great Dane – a very large breed of dog, but originally, he was planned to be a shaggy sheepdog. In the end though, he was changed into the dog we know! According to the animator, he was designed to look like the very opposite of a perfect breed of Great Dane, in order to make him seem goofier and more clumsy. Poor Scoob!
Scooby was never meant to be the star
When creating the show, the writers admitted that Scooby was really just a big of an extra character to make things more interesting. The four teens were meant to be the focus of the show, but Scooby and his snacking, scaredy cat antics were a huge hit, and he became the unexpected star! Lots of other cartoons followed suit and became about gangs of teens and their weird sidekicks, such as cavemen, dinosaurs and even ghosts!
Scooby is a triplet
Yes, that’s right – there are three Scoobys! Scooby’s triplet brothers are called Skippy Doo and Dooby Doo. Very creative on their parents part…he also has a sister (Scrappy’s mother) and three other brothers! There’s also his cousin, Dixie Doo, his ancestor Yankee Doodle Doo, his cousin Dooby Doo, and Great-Grandpa Scooby, who is a ghost! That’s a lot of Great Danes! Wonder if they all got into mystery solving?