After Olympic fever swept the nations, especially the United States in 1976 (the nation's bicentennial), the worldwide sporting competitions would be sorely missed until 1980, as well as 1984, when the U.S. would be the host nation for the Summer Games. Fortunately Hanna-Barbera provided a worthy substitue in animated form as up to 45 of their cartoon characters (classic and otherwise) were featured on this show competing for the gold medal. While some events were similar to real-life Olympic events, most were pretty offbeat and quite unusual, and could only be done on cartoons like this. Among these weird events were racing on ostriches, camels, kangaroos, rickshaws and unicycles, as well as scavenging for creatures like the Abominable Snowman, vampires, and the Loch Ness Monster. With events like these, each Laff-A-Lympic was bound to be a major adventure!
As indicated, up to 45 of Hanna-Barbera's characters were featured in this classic series. They were divided into 3 teams:
THE SCOOBY DOOBIES are the coolest assembled team of crime fighters and mystery solvers. They were featured in various shows that debuted in the late 1960's to mid-1970's. Here are the team members:
Team Captain Scooby-Doo, with longtime sidekick Shaggy (from several Scooby-Doo series), and cousin Scooby-Dum (featured in only 4 episodes of The Scooby-Doo Show).
Dynomutt, Dog Wonder (from the same-titled show), and superhero companion Blue Falcon. The World's First Superhero and his mystery-solving sidekicks Dee Dee, Brenda, and Taffy of Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels.
Speed Buggy (featured in the same-titled series) and his mechanic sidekick Tinker. Babu, the bumbling apprentice genie, featured in Jeannie.
Hong Kong Phooey, featured in the same-titled show.
THE YOGI YAHOOEYS consist of the wacky animal characters featured in hundreds of shorts from several series that originally aired from the late 1950's to the early 60's. Originally featured on The Huckleberry Hound Show, Yogi Bear's popularity exploded into the latter decade and was the lead character of his own show in 1960, as well as various spinoff shows well into the 1970's. Laff-A-Lympics, however, was a rare exception since Scooby-Doo's popularity began skyrocketing from this decade on well into today. In this show, Yogi was a secondary character though he indeed had significant screen time. Below are his team members:
Team Captain Yogi Bear, with sidekick Boo Boo, and co-stars from his series Yakky Doodle, and Yogi's on/off girlfriend, southern belle Cindy Bear.
Huckleberry Hound, along with other co-stars from his series, Hokey Wolf, Pixie, Dixie, and Mr. Jinks. Quick Draw McGraw, with his co-stars, detectives Snooper and Blabber, and son and father duo Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy.
Wally Gator, originally featured in The New Hanna-Barbera Cartoon Series (1962).
The Great Grape Ape, the 40-foot purple gorilla, featured as part of H-B's Tom and Jerry Show in the mid-70's.
THE REALLY ROTTENS are the ultimate team of cheats. Unlike the other teams, they obviously resorted to cheating in efforts to win, either by sabotaging their opponents' chances to win, or with whatever other dirty tricks they had up their sleeves. Of course, they rarely got away with with their efforts and were usually penalized in the form of point deductions. It's really no surprise that they always ended up with the bronze medal in most episodes. The majority of Rottens were featured only on this show. The lone exception was team captain Mumbly, who like Grape Ape, was featured in H-B's Tom and Jerry Show. Ironically, he was the good guy in his segments since he was a relentless detective. But since he has many similarities to Muttley from The Wacky Races, it was reasonable to make him just as conniving as the shaggy mutt sidekick to Dick Dastardly. Speaking of Dick, he seemed to be the basis for Dread Baron, a pilot and Mumbly's devious sidekick. This pairing was just as similar since they competed (and usually cheated) in most events together. The rest of the Rottens are listed below: The Dalton Brothers: Cheating cowboys Dinky (the big one), Dirty (short with dark hair and moustache), and Dastardly (short with blond hair).
Mr. and Mrs. Creeply, and their son Creeply Jr. Sort of resembled the Gruesome family on The Flintstones. Their descendants, perhaps?!? Included in their bizarre family is their creepy pet Orful Octopus, who can provide 8 times as much trouble with his tentacles at any given time.
The Great Fondoo (a bad magician whose poor-quality magic usually does his team more harm than good) and his Magic Rabbit.
Daisy Mayhem (a bad, barefoot, yet spirited hillbilly girl with a lot of split ends in her hair) and her eyepatch and sneaker-wearing porcine pet, Sooey Pig.
Other stars featured in this fine series were Snagglepuss (featured on The Yogi Bear Show) and Mildew Wolf (featured in the It's the Wolf segments of The Cattanoga Cats Show) as the show's commentators, as well as Flintstones stars Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble, and Jabberjaw (from his self-titled series), who made occasional appearances to either explain the rules and/or judge particular events. The main objective for each team in this series was to score the highest number of points in four events (sometimes more) in two locales to earn the gold medal. The majority of events had the simple scoring process of 25 points for the winner, 15 for second, and 10 for third place. There were occasional 50-point bonus events which could help a team get back into the competition or pull them well past the others depending on whoever was trailing or leading at the time. While the Scooby and Yogi teams played fairly most of the time, you could always count on the Rottens to pull off some major cheating to wreck the other teams' chances of winning. With rules and regulations, however, they very rarely got away with their dirty deeds and only really hurt their own chances of winning. Of course, without them, Laff-A-Lympics certainly wouldn't have been the entertaining series it was, just as The Wacky Races would have been just an ordinary show without Dick Dastardly and Muttley cheating most of the time. They were clearly the stars of that show. But unlike the terrible twosome, the Rottens actually did win a couple of times, which proved if they kept trying, their efforts would pay off. Overall though, everybody featured on the show were winners as were William Hanna and Joseph Barbera for this great addition to the 1970's Saturday morning schedule.
Scooby's All-Star Laff-A-Lympics is among many Hanna-Barbera shows that air on Boomerang from Cartoon Network