A dog with a speech impediment following four teenagers who solve seemingly supernatural mysteries does not sound like the sort of thing that would make for a television classic. But can you argue against the merits of that concept when its name is Scooby-Doo — especially if it’s been around for nearly half a century? Nope, neither can we.
Debuting in 1969, the Saturday morning animated series Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? immediately hit a chord with its audience. Over the decades, it spawned everything from spin-off shows to made-for-video animated adventures, four live-action films (with a fifth on the way), unbelievable amounts of licensed merchandise, a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon, and so much more. All of which came together on the CW series Supernatural, which, on March 29, 2018, actually had a crossover episode called “Scoobynatural,” in which the lead characters enter the world of animation to team up with Scooby and the teens. It’s such an absolutely bonkers idea, and fans of both shows couldn’t wait to see it.
What follows is our guide to the world of Scooby-Doo in all of his incarnations, from who voiced the characters to each and every iteration of the Scooby gang. When it’s all over, you’ll likely never have to ask “Scooby-Doo, where are you?” ever again.
Scooby Doo Where Are You
In the beginning, there was Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?
How long has Scooby-Doo been around? It debuted in 1969 (almost 50 years ago, for those keeping track of that sort of thing), and it set the stage for all that was to follow in the decades to come, from the characters to the formula of seemingly supernatural threats that ended up having a far more earthly explanation. It's pretty much a guarantee that way back when, no one could have ever imagined that Scooby would still be a part of pop culture.
Scooby Doo Don Messick
Meet Don Messick, the original voice of Scooby-Doo.
When you listen to Scooby-Doo talk — especially in the character's first couple of decades — you may notice that he sounds very similar to Astro, the family dog on the futuristic animated series The Jetsons. Now, it's possible that that's because Scooby-Doo is actually Astro's great-great-great-great-great grandfather. More likely, however, it probably has something to do with the fact that they were voiced by the same guy. His name was Don Messick, and other characters he voiced that you may be familiar with are Muttley, the dog with the wheezy laugh in Wacky Races and Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines; Boo-Boo and Ranger Smith on The Yogi Bear Show; Sebastian the Cat in Josie and the Pussycats; Hamton J. Pig in Tiny Toon Adventures; and, well, the list goes on. After Messick's passing, the character has been voiced by Scott Innes, Neil Fanning, Frank Welker, Dave Coulier (from Full House), and Seth Green.
Scooby Doo Superheroes
If it weren't for these guys, there would be no Scooby-Doo.
In the mid-to-late 1960s, Hanna-Barbera ruled Saturday mornings with a variety of superhero cartoons featuring characters like the Herculoids, Birdman, Frankenstein Jr., Space Ghost, and numerous others. A group of parents objected to the violence they seemingly depicted (a charge as ridiculous now as it was then) and, in response, CBS canceled the lot of them. In their place, they came up with The Archies, and that show's success led to the desire for another show about kids, this time being in a rock band and solving mysteries between concerts.
What they came up with was a group called "The Mysteries Five," who were accompanied by their dog — who could play the bongos — named Too Much. That dog was originally a sheepdog, but fear of a lawsuit over the fact that Jughead on The Archies had a sheepdog named Hotdog resulted in them changing it to a Great Dane — and we all know where it went from there.
Scooby Doo New Scooby Doo Movies
Then came The New Scooby-Doo Movies.
This was certainly an interesting idea, and pretty innovative at the time. The adventure was expanded to an hour, and it would have Scooby and the gang interacting with fictional characters, real-life actors, and kind of a combination of the two to solve mysteries. Fictional characters they encountered included Batman, Jeannie, and the Addams Family, while real-life personalities included Don Knotts, Tim Conway, Dick Van Dyke, Sandy Duncan, and Sonny & Cher. And then they had installments in which imitators played classic comedians like The Three Stooges and Laurel and Hardy. The show ran from 1972 to 1973 for a total of 24 episodes.
Scooby Doo Scooby And Casey
That's right, it's Casey Kasem you'll recognize as the voice of Shaggy.
Known largely for hosting the syndicated radio series Casey's Top 40 and American Top 40, Casey actually began his career as a voice actor. He voiced the character of Shaggy from 1969 to 1997, and was followed by Billy West, Scott Innes, and Scott Menville. And for those asking, "What is Shaggy's real name?" you'll be happy to learn that his full name is actually Norville "Shaggy" Rogers. Oh, and because we can't stop ourselves, here's an interesting bit of trivia: Kasem was also the voice of Robin the Boy Wonder in The Batman/Superman Hour and the Super Friends animated series. Impressive, huh?
Scooby Doo The Scooby Doo Show
Enter The Scooby-Doo Show.
This ran from 1976 to 1978 for a total of 40 episodes, which were broken down as follows: 16 of them were part of 1976's The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour, eight episodes for 1977's Scooby's All-Star Laff-A-Lympics, nine for 1978's Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, and seven for that same year's Scooby's All-Stars. It sounds like an awful lot of Scooby-Doo, doesn't it? Apparently, the audience felt the same way, as the ratings fell pretty rapidly.
Scooby Doo Frank Welker
Frank Welker was the one and only Fred.
All these years later, Frank Welker is still voicing the character of Fred Jones, the de facto leader of Mystery, Inc. Additionally, he's voiced Scooby-Doo since 2002 and brought Megatron to vocal life in Transformers G1 and Transformers: Prime. The only other person to voice the character of Fred was Carl Stevens in A Pup Named Scooby-Doo (be patient, we'll get to it).
Scooby Doo Scrappy Doo
Now it's all about Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo.
There was a real possibility that Scooby-Doo could have been canceled, and in an attempt to shore up those falling ratings, the decision was made to downplay Fred, Daphne, and Velma and change the focus to Shaggy, Scooby, and the latter's previously unseen nephew, Scrappy. You'd be hard-pressed to find someone who actually likes Scrappy (voiced by Lennie Weinrib). These days, he's pretty much universally seen as more of an annoyance than anything else. But back then, the audience took to the pup and, the following year, the show was back in a new incarnation that consisted of two short adventures an episode. The show ran from 1979 to 82.
Scooby Doo Heather North
Heather North is the face behind the voice of Daphne.
Although actress Stefanianna Christopherson originated the role of Daphne Blake in the first season of Scooby-Doo, Heather took over in 1970 and continued until 1997. Kellie Martin voiced the character in A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, and Grey DeLisle is the current actress lending her voice to the role.
Scooby Doo 13 Ghosts Of Scooby Doo
Say hello to The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo.
In 1985, it was time to shake things up again. Veteran horror star Vincent Price (who was enjoying some renewed fame for his involvement with Michael Jackson's Thriller) joined the cast in animated form. He played Vincent Van Ghoul, who teamed up with the Scooby Gang as they travel around the world attempting to capture 13 terrifying ghosts. It ran for a single season.
Scooby Doo Nicole Jaffe
Nicole Jaffe was the first actress to voice Velma.
Nicole voiced Velma from 1969 to 1974. Her successors have included Pat Stevens, Marla Frumkin, B.J. Ward, Mindy Cohn (from The Facts of Life), and Kate Micucci. Nicole did return to play the character again in the 2003 made-for-video adventures Scooby-Doo and the Legend of the Vampire and Scooby-Doo and the Monster of Mexico. And just because we're sure you're curious, she had parts in Disney's The Love Bug and Elvis' The Trouble With Girls.
Scooby Doo A Pup Named Scooby Doo
Going back in time with A Pup Named Scooby Doo.
Back in the day, network honchos became obsessed with taking popular characters and telling stories about them when they were young. We had Muppet Babies, Flintstones Kids, and needless to say, A Pup Named Scooby-Doo. The show was a success, and it ran from 1988 to '91. Its tone was pretty different from previous versions, and much of that came from the creative team — many members of which would move over to Warner Bros. to develop shows like Steven Spielberg Presents Tiny Toon Adventures and Animaniacs, which sharpened that irreverent style even more.
Scooby Doo Bob Denver
Bob Denver actually influenced the creation of Shaggy.
Prior to starring in Gilligan's Island, Bob Denver had played beatnik Maynard G. Krebs on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. That was the same character writers based Shaggy's personality on. Who knew?!
Scooby Doo Made For Video Movies
Time for the Scooby-Doo animated movies.
There have been many made-for-video animated movies based on the Scooby Gang, and trust us when we say there are a ton out there you're most likely still watching if you have any little ones in your life. It kicked off with 1987's Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers and has spanned (so far) to 2018's Scooby-Doo! & Batman: The Brave and the Bold, with a total of 38 produced.
Scooby Doo Scooby Snacks
So just what are Scooby Snacks?
We don't know — and they're not real... not exactly, at least. The idea is that they were special treats that would be used to get Scooby and Shaggy (!) to behave. Producers Joseph Barbera and Willian Hanna had previously used a similar snack for a dog named Snuffles on the TV show Quick Draw McGraw. Eventually, Warner Bros. licensed out Scooby Snacks as separate dog and human treats. That said, you can purchase real-life Scooby Snacks for your kids and grandkids ($13.50, Amazon).
Scooby Doo Movie
Scooby-Doo got the live-action, major-motion-picture treatment.
In this first live-action movie based on the franchise, it seems that the gang has been apart from each other for two years. But what better way to bring them back together than with a mystery? That's exactly what happens when they are drawn to investigate "Spooky Island." The film starred Freddie Prinze, Jr. as Fred, Sarah Michelle Gellar (you know, the Buffy lady and Freddie's real-life wife) as Daphne, Matthew Lillard as Shaggy, Linda Cardellini as Velma, and Neil Fanning as the voice of Scooby-Doo. Two years later, they were back in Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, trying to solve the mystery of a town plagued by monsters while a reporter (Alicia Silverstone) is out to prove that they're phonies.
Scooby Doo Mystery Machine
Ladies and gentlemen, we present to you the Mystery Machine.
Put simply, this is the vehicle by which Fred, Daphne, Wilma, Shaggy, and Scooby make their way around the world so that they can solve mysteries — an amazing piece of machinery considering it's been out there for nearly half a century and has never needed an upgrade. Let's hope they've been keeping up with those oil changes.
Scooby Doo Whats New Scooby Doo
What's New, Scooby-Doo? keeps the gang's stories going.
You can call it a Doo-enaissance: With a renewed popularity of all things Scooby in 2002 came a new series that ran until 2006. The premise was essentially back to the original series in approach, and there was nothing wrong with that.
Scooby Doo Thanksgiving Parade
Scooby-Doo made it into the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, officially becoming an icon.
You know Scooby had really made it in 2005 when he had his first balloon as part of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Aww, he looks so happy.
Scooby Doo Shaggy And Scooby Get A Clue
And another new show entered the Scooby universe, Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue!
Annnnnnd we're back to shaking things up. The focus of this one was primarily on the two title characters, with Shaggy inheriting a mansion and wealth from an uncle who had gone into hiding along with a secret weapon of sorts that villains are after. You didn't really think Shaggy and Scooby would be lounging around, eating Scooby Snacks, did you? It ran from 2006 to '08.
Scooby Doo The Mystery Begins
Scooby-Doo's next step was live-action TV movies.
When a successful film franchise shows signs that it's running out of steam, it frequently continues on the small screen. Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins (2009) shows how the gang came together, while its sequel, Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster (2010) has them investigating a large frog-like creature that is terrifying the locals. Both films starred Robbie Amell as Fred, Kate Melton as Daphne, Hayley Kiyoko as Velma, Nick Palatas as Shaggy, and Frank Welker as the voice of Scooby-Doo.
Scooby Doo Mystery Incorporated
And then the characters got serialized in Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated.
It's back to the early days for the gang as they are still solving mysteries in their hometown. While the writers have some fun with the formula, what's different this time out is that the storyline is serialized, continuing from one episode to the next with some pretty dark overtones. That was unexpected. The show consisted of 52 episodes between 2010 and 2013.
Scooby Doo Frank Sinatra
You can thank Frank Sinatra for the name Scooby-Doo.
Network programming chief Fred Silverman reportedly had come up with the idea to call the show Who's S-S-Scared?, but while flying to a development meeting for the project, he suddenly remembered Frank Sinatra's "Strangers in the Night," taking the singer's "doo-be-doo-be-doo" and turning it into "Scooby-Doo." At that moment, a bit of TV history was born.
Scooby Doo Be Cool Scooby Doo
Mystery, Inc. grows up in the Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! series.
The gang has graduated high school and they're looking to spend their summer having fun, driving around the country in the Mystery Machine. Not unexpectedly, they seem to find mysteries everywhere they turn. Fifty-two episodes were produced between 2014 and 2015.
Scooby Doo Scoobynatural
The gang hit TV screens again for Scoobynatural.
On March 29, 2018, the CW's long-running series Supernatural actually did a crossover with Scooby-Doo with an episode called "Scoobynatural." In it, series stars Jensen Ackles, Jared Padelecki, and Misha Collins find themselves animated as they attempt to solve a mystery involving a ghost with the Scooby Gang. Besides just being a fun idea, you've got to figure that after 13 years, the producers of Supernatural have begun to say, "What the heck?"
Scooby Doo Thelma Daphne
Daphne and Velma got their own film.
On May 22, 2018, the made-for-DVD live-action prequel Daphne & Velma was released, with Sarah Jeffrey as Daphne and Sarah Gilman as Velma. The plot's official description from the studio is as follows: "Daphne and Velma are high school students who are brought together when they suspect their fellow students are being turned into zombies or mindless drones."
We'll let you know about any new Scooby-Doo movies coming out as the Mystery Machine rolls on and on. And truthfully? We wouldn't have it any other way.