Wacky Races (1968 TV series)

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This article is about the 1968 TV series. For the 2010s reboot, see Wacky Races (2017 TV series).
Wacky Races
WR 1968 title card.png
On-screen title card.
Network: CBS
Production company: Hanna-Barbera
Heatter Quigley Inc.
Distributor: Taft Broadcasting
Original release: September 14, 1968January 4, 1969


Starring: Paul Winchell
Don Messick
Janet Waldo
Daws Butler
John Stephenson
Dave Willock
Producer(s): Alex Lovy
Art Scott
Music composed by: Hoyt Curtin
Writer(s): Larz Bourne
Tom Degenais
Mike Maltese
Dalton Sandifer
Director(s): William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
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Wacky Races is an animated racing comedy TV series produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions and Heatter-Quigley Inc. for CBS' Saturday morning children's programming. It ran from 1968 to 1969, airing 17 episodes. Despite only lasting one season, the characters continued to live on in different forms, with two equally as popular spin-offs, The Perils of Penelope Pitstop and Dastardly & Muttley in Their Flying Machines.

The entire series has also been released on DVD.

Production

Development

Music

The score was composed by Hoyt Curtin, who was credited as music director.

Episodes

Episode Number Air date
"See-Saw to Arkansas" / "Creepy Trip to Lemon Twist" 1x01 September 14, 1968
"Why Oh Why Wyoming" / "Beat the Clock to Yellow Rock" 1x02 September 21, 1968
"Mish-Mash Missouri Dash" / "Idaho a Go-Go" 1x03 September 28, 1968
"The Baja-Ha-Ha Race" / "Real Gone Ape" 1x04 October 5, 1968
"Scout Scatter" / "Free Wheeling to Wheeling" 1x05 October 12, 1968
"By Roller Coaster to Upsan Downs" / "The Speedy Arkansas Traveller" 1x06 October 19, 1968
"The Zippy Mississippi Race" / "Traffic Jambalaya" 1x07 October 26, 1968
"Hot Race at Chillicothe" / "The Wrong Lumber Race" 1x08 November 2, 1968
"Rhode Island Road Race" / "The Great Cold Rush Race" 1x09 November 9, 1968
"Wacky Race to Ripsaw" / "Oils Well That Ends Well" 1x10 November 16, 1968
"Whizzin' to Washington" / "The Dipsy Doodle Desert Derby" 1x11 November 23, 1968
"Eeny, Miny Missouri Go!" / "The Super Silly Swamp Sprint" 1x12 November 30, 1968
"The Dopey Dakota Derby" / "Dash to Delaware" 1x13 December 7, 1968
"Speeding to Smogland" / "Race Rally to Raleigh" 1x14 December 14, 1968
"Ballpoint, Penn, or Bust!" / "Fast Track to Hackensack" 1x15 December 21, 1968
"The Ski Resort Road Race" / "Overseas Hi-Way Race" 1x16 December 28, 1968
"Race to Racine" / "The Carlsbad or Bust Bash" 1x17 January 4, 1969

Cast

Legacy

Another TV series Yogi's Treasure Hunt also starred Dick Dastardly and Muttley as villains with Penelope Pitstop making a cameo in the episodes "Snow White & the 7 Treasure Hunters" and "Goodbye, Mr. Chump," respectively, while Blubber Bear guest-starred on The New Yogi Bear Show.

When Cartoon Network tasked its Senior Vice President, Mike Lasso, with creating its first cost-effective series in 1993, he originally envisioned a marathon-like version of Wacky Races, which had all the episodes edited together to make it look like one long race across America. This was quickly replaced with a greater desire to turn Space Ghost into a nighttime talk show host in Space Ghost Coast to Coast.[1]

The series has been revived a couple of times by Warner Bros. Animation. In 2006, there was a five-minute pilot pitch called Wacky Races Forever, which acted as a sequel, but was not picked up. The second was a comparatively more successful reboot/quasi-sequel once again called Wacky Races, which lasted between 2017 to 2019 on the Boomerang SVOD service.

In 2016, DC Comics published their own take called Wacky Raceland, which is a somewhat more realistic and much darker turn in comparison.

Life-size replicas of the show's vehicles are a popular attraction at the annual Goodwood Festival of Speed; located in West Sussex, England. New additions have occurred each year, with 2008 seeing the last of the cars (the Bulletproof Bomb) added to the now-completed set.[2]

In 2004, Vauxhall's unveiled its ads patterning its new Corsa line after Wacky Races. In 2013, Peugeot Brazil did the same for their Peugeot 208, with high production values and live actors playing them for the first time.

On June 15, 2022, it was announced at the Annecy Film Festival that a stop motion series based on Wacky Races was in the works.[3]

In popular culture

  • In the South Park episode "Handicar," the series was a subject to parody, including its intro sequence. Dastardly and Muttley also appear here as well, albeit aged.
  • Dastardly and Muttley made a cameo in the Uncle Grandpa episode "Uncle Grandpa Retires."
  • In the Lucifer episode "Yabba Dabba Do Me," a young Jimmy Baines watches Wacky Races.

References

  1. ^ Kenyon, Heather (July 1998). "Late Nite With Space Ghost". Animation World Magazine, issue 3.4. Retrieved June 6, 2022.
  2. ^ Joseph, Noah (June 8, 2009). "Hanna-Barbera's Wacky Racers take to the street ahead of Goodwood Festival of Speed". autoblog.com. Retrieved October 2, 2022.
  3. ^ Hopewell, John (June 15, 2022). "‘Unicorn,’ ‘Fionna and Cake,’ ‘Gumball’ Reboots, ‘Bye Bye Bunny’ Fascinate at Annecy". Variety. Retrieved June 15, 2022.