Saturday mornings were a laugh a minute for kids, especially when parody came into play with the creation of Scooby’s All-Star Laff-a-lympics.
Produced by Hanna Barbera Productions, Scooby’s All-Star Laff-a-Lympics was created in 1977 as a morning series that would highlight its well-known characters.
Since ABC TV had been the network of the 1976 Montreal Summer Olympics and Battle of the Network Stars in the previous year, this production was a spoof for the kids.
Sixteen episodes were created for the first season and eight more for the next season, and for the first time, Hanna Barbera didn’t include a laugh track.
Organizing the Hanna Barbera characters into three groups, the 45 favourites of the small screen became three teams: the Scooby Doobies, Yogi Yahooeys and the Really Rottens, each competing for gold, silver or bronze.
Points were awarded for each competition and could be subtracted for mischievious doings (such as the Really Rottens meddling).
Each episode was modeled on the Olympic TV coverage with announcers Snagglepuss and Mildew Wolf, who would wear similar attire to the ABC correspondents.
Each competition was similar to an Olympic race or scavenger hunt and would be held in different places on the planet. From Israel to Japan, India to Switzerland and England to Mexico – the teams travelled all over the planet.
Guest announcers included Fred Flintsone, Barney Rubble and Jabber Jaw as colour commentators for the competitions. The culmination of each episode was the rocket race to the moon and the final competition would be held on the moon.
As a kid I loved these shows – the combination of silly actions, dastardly deeds, and a string of jokes was a perfect lure for this young child. It was laugh out loud funny – and even smarter than I realized since it was a parody, and very, very well-done.