- This article is about the TV series. For the event, look here.
Laff-a-Lympics was the co-headlining segment, with Scooby-Doo, of the package Saturday morning cartoon series Scooby's All-Star Laff-A-Lympics, produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions. The show was a spoof of the Olympics and the ABC television series Battle of the Network Stars, which debuted one year earlier. It featured 45 Hanna-Barbera characters organized into the teams (The Scooby Doobies, The Yogi Yahooeys, and The Really Rottens) which would compete each week for gold, silver, and bronze medals. One season of 16 episodes was produced in 1977-78, and eight new episodes combined with reruns for the 1978-79 season as Scooby's All-Stars.
The sporting competitions that the characters would be called upon to perform in would often be comical and offbeat versions of Olympic sport and scavenger hunts. Each segment took place in a different location somewhere on the planet, including excursions to Africa, Italy, Canada, Washington D.C., and even the North Pole, apart from one event in the last episode, which occurred on the Moon as a climactic ending after a rocket race to the moon was held as the previous event. Each episode was presented in a format similar to an Olympic television broadcast, with hosting/announcing duties and color commentary provided by Snagglepuss and Mildew Wolf from the It's the Wolf segments of The Cattanooga Cats (though unlike It's the Wolf, Mildew was no longer voiced by Paul Lynde; he is now voiced by John Stephenson). Non-competing Hanna-Barbera characters such as Fred Flintstone, Barney Rubble, Jabberjaw and Peter Potamus made appearances as guest announcers and judges. Since the show was airing on ABC, Snagglepuss and Mildew wore the then-traditional yellow jackets of ABC Sports announcers.
The Laff-A-Lympics competition was based upon a point system. Various events were worth a certain point total for the first, second, and third place winners (usually 25, 15, and 10 respectively, but the last event usually was worth either double points or a larger point bonus for the winner), and the team that had the most points by the end of the half-hour—usually the Scooby Doobies or Yogi Yahooeys—was declared the winner and received the gold medal. Points could also be subtracted for treachery and sabotage, which were the specialties of the villainous Really Rottens team.
The "good guy" teams, the Scooby Doobies and the Yogi Yahooeys, were good friends and their respective team members gladly helped each other whenever they got into a jam. The Really Rottens, however, always cheated and pulled dirty tricks—and ultimately they would wind up the losers in most episodes. Much like Dick Dastardly typically the Really Rottens would be just on the verge of winning, before they would make a fatal error at the very end that allowed one of the other two teams to end up at the top. Occasionally, though, the Rottens' cheating technique wouldn't actually be against the rules, with them actually winning in a few episodes (there was even one episode where they won through sheer chance). The final episode, climaxing on the moon, was a three-way tie.
Only one complete season of Laff-A-Lympics episodes were produced, with eight new episodes combined with reruns for the second season of Scooby's All-Star Laff-A-Lympics (billed as Scooby's All-Stars). When it premiered in the fall of 1977, the series consisted of several segments, including "Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels" (which led off the two-hour program and later was spun off onto its own half-hour show), "Scooby-Doo" and "Dynomutt" (both of which featured a small number of newly-produced segments alongside repeated segments from earlier seasons) and the "Laff-A-Lympics" segments themselves. The show resurfaced in 1980 as a half-hour series on its own (sans the "Captain Caveman," "Scooby-Doo" and "Dynomutt" cartoons) and titled Scooby's Laff-A-Lympics, and was rerun at various other points during the 1980s on ABC. It has also been frequently re-run in later years as Laff-A-Lympics on USA Cartoon Express, Cartoon Network and Boomerang.
This team drew mainly from the 1970s Hanna-Barbera cartoons, particularly the "mystery-solving" series derived from Scooby-Doo, whose titular character served as team captain. The early production art for the series showed Jeannie and Josie and the Pussycats as members of the "Scooby Doobies" team, but legal problems with Columbia Pictures Television, Screen Gems' successor, prevented it. Hanna-Barbera owned Babu, but Columbia controlled all rights to Jeannie's image. As a result, Babu appeared alone as a member of the "Scooby Doobies". Among its members are:
- Characters from The Scooby-Doo Show:
- Characters from Dynomutt, Dog Wonder:
- Characters from Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels:
- Characters from Speed Buggy
- Hong Kong Phooey
- The Swiss Alps and Tokyo, Japan
- Acapulco and England
- Florida and China
- The Sahara Desert and Scotland
- France and Australia
- Athens, Greece and the Ozarks
- Italy and Kitty Hawk, North Carolina
- Egypt and Sherwood Forest
- Spain and the Himalayas
- India and Israel
- Africa and San Francisco
- The Grand Canyon and Ireland
- Hawaii and Norway
- North Pole and Tahiti
- Arizona and Holland
- Quebec and Baghdad
Scooby's All-Stars (1978-79)
- Russia and the Caribbean
- New York and Turkey
- South America and Transylvania
- French Riviera and New Zealand
- New Orleans and Atlantis
- Morocco and Washington, D.C.
- Canada and Warsaw, Poland
- Siam and the Moon
- Julie Bennett - Cindy Bear
- Joe Besser - Babu
- Mel Blanc - Barney Rubble, Captain Caveman, Speed Buggy,
- Daws Butler - Yogi Bear, Augie Doggie, Blabber Mouse, Dirty Dalton, Dixie, Hokey Wolf, Huckleberry Hound, Mr. Jinks, Quick Draw McGraw, Scooby-Dum, Snagglepuss, Super Snooper, Wally Gator
- Scatman Crothers - Hong Kong Phooey
- Bob Holt - Dinky Dalton, Grape Ape, Orful Octopus
- Casey Kasem - Shaggy Rogers.
- Don Messick - Scooby-Doo, Mumbly, Announcer, Boo Boo Bear, Mr. Creeply, Creeply Jr., Dastardly Dalton, Pixie, Ranger Smith
- Gary Owens - Blue Falcon
- Laurel Page - Mrs. Creeply, Taffy Dare
- Alan Reed - Fred Flintstone
- Marilyn Schreffler - Brenda Chance, Daisy Mayhem
- John Stephenson - Doggie Daddy, Dread Baron, Mildew Wolf, Great Fondoo
- Vernee Watson - Dee Dee Skyes
- Frank Welker - Dynomutt, Jabberjaw, Magic Rabbit, Sooey Pig, Tinker, Yakky Doodle
In March 1978, Marvel Comics produced a comic book series based on the cartoon. Creative staff for the comic book included Mark Evanier, Carl Gafford, Scott Shaw, Jack Manning, Owen Fitzgerald and others. The series lasted 13 issues.
Laff-A-Lympics was parodied in the Robot Chicken episode "Ban on the Fun." In a segment that parodies Laff-A-Lympics in the style of the 1972 Munich massacre, the Yogi Yahooeys are taken hostage and murdered by the Really Rottens. In retaliation, the Scooby Doobies alongside Snooper and Blabber arm themselves and kill the Really Rottens. The sketch itself lampoons the theatrical trailer for Steven Spielberg's 2005 film Munich.
Home Media Releases
In 1996, four VHS editions of the show were released, each containing two episodes for a running time of approximately 50 minutes:
- Yippee for the Yogi Yahooeys!
- On Your Marks, Get Set—Go Scoobys!
- Something Smells Really Rotten
- Heavens to Hilarity, This is it, Sports Fans!
The first four episodes were released on DVD on January 19, 2010, as Scooby's All-Star Laff-A-Lympics, Volume 1. Target released an exclusive second volume with the next four episodes on the same day titled Scooby's All-Star Laff-A-Lympics, Volume 2.