For our final (for now) look into the long-running Scooby-Doo franchise through its logos, we find the series returning to a previous gimmick–the celebrity guest star. The New Scooby-Doo Movies wasn’t the last time for celebrities playing themselves and meeting with the gang. What’s New Scooby-Doo had the occasional guest appearance while the direct-to-video movies has a huge stretch of just teaming up with everyone from the Flintstones to WWE wrestlers to KISS, and even more unusual parings like Bobby Flay and the TV series Supernatural. You know, the adult show where people die rather gruesomely, I hear. Not only has the gang showed up on that show but a direct-to-video Scooby movie had the traveling brothers (I know so little about this show) joining the gang. (I think the TV episode had them traveling into a Scooby cartoon, not unlike that one episode of The 13 Ghosts Of Scooby-Doo where the team went into a Frankenstein sequel parody or that other time where they were sucked into the Sunday newspaper strips.)
Scooby-Doo And Guess Who? would go all-in on this, bringing some of the old celebrities back and teaming the sleuths with current celebs and even DC heroes. For October 2022 Cartoon Network posted a bunch of episodes to the main Cartoon Network channel but usually it’s a Boomerang show, because the station intended for old cartoons would naturally air new ones. I haven’t seen many episodes. My YouTube and DVR backlog was just too heavy. However I have seen enough to know that this really wasn’t as good as the show that inspired it. The modern intro isn’t helping.
And now we’re not even trying anymore. Use the theme music from Scooby-Doo Where Are You?, slap on lyrics that tell you nothing so you have to be aware of the series to even care, and call it a day. As short as Be Cool, Scooby Doo‘s intro was at least they tried to get something about the characters over. Instead it’s nostalgia bait with the bats flying out of the house and then the gang running while silhouettes of the celebrities and famous fictional characters (in public domain or owned by Warner Brothers) zoom behind like a movie on the wall, and then logo. That’s followed by a title card in the vein of The New Scooby-Doo Movies but a new design showing this episode’s title and guest celebrity…who probably showed up in the cold open anyway so we already know who the famous person for that episode is. When there’s more to talk about with the Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get A Clue intro than this one, you know you’re a lazy creator!
There’s not much to say about the show either. It’s a half-hour version of Scooby Movies which means there’s less time to focus on the celebrity and the mystery. The celeb usually just has some new quirk, like Sandy Duncan now being obsessed with flying on a rope harness, a possible nod to her stage performance as Peter Pan in what’s otherwise a rehash of her more interesting previous appearance right now to the same costume being used. They just changed who was wearing the mask. There was more comedy in this as the actors just got to be silly. That’s fine when “Weird Al” Yankovic is running a accordion camp, but even the comedian guest-stars aren’t funny. The episode where Steve Urkel (Warner Brothers owns Family Matters and they got Jaleel White to come back for the role) tries to protect his Urkelbot when it goes on a rampage feels like the writer just watched the early episodes. Steve should be married to Laura, even if she doesn’t show up in the episode, not showing off for the girls. None of his growth as a character was really in the episode.
It’s kind of disappointing that this is what I’m ending on for this October article marathon, but in the end Scooby-Doo & Guess Who was better done in the CBS years. A better intro, better use of the celebs, and the only thing going for Guess Who is the better animation. Still it could be worse. The mysteries were decent enough and the celebs were usually good in their roles. It didn’t devolve into just chase scenes and it isn’t trying to retcon previous parts of the franchise. I heard about some other Scooby show for kids involving puppies so we’ll see if that goes anywhere…not that I’ll be able to watch it because it will be on HBO Max. Otherwise this is where the Mystery Machine reaches the end of the road. So what’s you’re favorite Scooby intro?