Wacky Races (CBS 1968, Paul Winchell, Don Messick) (1968)
A group of 11 wacky racing teams with highly singular and just plain vehicles take each other on in a cross country race in order to be crowned “world’s wackiest racer”.
You only have to say the words Arkansas Chucgabug to anyone of a certain age to immediately send them off on a major nostalgia riff. Wacky Races obviously drew inspiration from the movie The Great Race and is great fun whether you are 8 or 38 and is surely one of the most well remembered animations of all Hanna-Barbera’s cartoons, major villain of the piece of course is the moustache twirling Dick Dastardly and his sniggering hound Muttley. Dick was determined to win every race at any cost but always managed to fall flat on his face; Wacky Races inspired two spin-offs in the shape of Penelope Pitstop and Dastardly and Mutley, neither quite managed to reach the hieghts of surrealness achieved by Races though.Part of the fun of the show is trying to guess which of the Racers would cross the finish line first in any given episode, the writers were careful to spread the wins around a fair bit, except for Dastardly of course.
The stars and their cars:-
DASTARDLY AND MUTTLEY (The Mean Machine)
PENELOPE PITSTOP (The Compact Pussycat)
SARGE AND MEEKLY (Army Surplus Special)
THE SLAG BROTHERS ( Bouldermobile)
THE GRUESOME TWOSOME (Creepy Coupe)
RUFUS RUFFCAT AND SAWTOOTH ( The Buzz Wagon)
PETER PERFECT (Varoom Roadster)
PROF PAT PENDING ( Convert-A-Car)
RED MAX (Crimson Haybailer)
THE ANT HILL MOB (Roaring Plenty )
LUKE AND BLUBBA (The Arkansas Chugga-Bug)