Remember when they made a bunch of Scooby Doo mashups, with Laurel & Hardy, the Three Stooges, and Batman? Genius.

Image © Hannah Barbera

Scooby-dooby-doo, where are you? You’ve got some work to do now. You’ve got to go check out all the great cartoons you helped create!

Remember when they made a bunch of Scooby Doo mashups, with Laurel & Hardy, the Three Stooges, and Batman? Genius. Image © Hannah Barbera

Remember when they made a bunch of Scooby Doo mashups, with Laurel & Hardy, the Three Stooges, and Batman? Genius.
Image © Hannah Barbera

The cartoon mystery genre has always been wicked. It’s an easy format, it’s usually pretty repetitive, it’s the goofiest, most absurd thing out there, and it’s somehow timeless. If I come across an episode of Scooby-Doo nowadays, I truly believe that I enjoy watching it just as much as I did when I was a kid, even though I’m watching it in a whole different way now. I used to just dig the funny stories. Now I dig how ridiculous every single episode is, from start to finish.

But Scooby-Doo ain’t the only mysterious marvel out there, and that’s even better. After Scooby-Doo made it big, a lot of other similar shows came to be, for indefinite periods of time, with crazier and crazier premises, but always centered around some sort of mystery-solving team. I don’t know how people came up with these shows, but I guess they may have just combined random ideas and run with it. Like, what do you get if you teach a cowardly shark to play drums, solve underwater mysteries, and do a Rodney Dangerfield impression? JABBERJAW!

My favourite of these post-Scooby-Doo weirdo mystery cartoons has to be The New Schmoo though. Ever heard of Shmoos? They’re a species that were created in the classic cartoon strip Li’l Abner. They’re basically little white blobs that have eyes, a mouth, two legs, but the ability to stretch themselves into any form. They also reproduce asexually, don’t eat anything, and are very aware that they are delicious to eat. They’re so eager to please others that they’ll even commit suicide so that they can be prepared as meals for those who wish to eat them. Think I’m making this up? I’m most definitely not.

So I don’t know who was looking at a Shmoo one day and thought “hey, let’s make one of these things solve mysteries with a skinny nerd, a big dumb yokel, and a lady with an unidentifiable accent”, but I’m happy somebody did. Because now I get to watch stuff like this:

Unfortunately, that’s the only full episode I’ve ever seen. Like most failed cartoons from that time period, there hasn’t been a DVD/VHS/Anything release of the show, so it can’t really be watched anymore. Bummer.

The mystery-solving cartoon format, however, is alive and well! Adult Swim launched a new show called Mike Tyson Mysteries in late 2014, which stars Mike Tyson as a dumber version of himself, Norm Macdonald as a foulmouthed pigeon, Jim Rash as a gay ghost, and Rachel Ramras as Tyson’s adoptive daughter. If you have Netflix, go watch this show – it’s hilarious.

-Al
(Follow me on Twitter, maybe?)

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