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When I was little (and still now to be honest) I adored cartoons. I had dozens and dozens of video tapes of old classic cartoons: Woody Woodpecker, Barney Bear, Tom & Jerry, The Three Stooges, Mr Magoo…you have no idea who these characters are do you? And of course the collected ensemble characters of Loony Tunes and Hanna-Barbera. In fact I was one of those few people who actually preferred H&B to the more popular and well-known Loony Tunes, well, with the exception of one…

I HATED Scooby Doo!

And for one very simple reason: Every single episode is the same! Sure the same can be said for many different cartoons over the years, but only in Scooby Doo was it so obvious and made everyone in the show look so stupid.

The setup is a fairly simple one; Four teenagers – Fred JonesDaphne BlakeVelma Dinkley, Norville “Shaggy” Rogers and their talking Great Dane, “Scooby-Doo”, travel around solving mysteries involving supposedly supernatural creatures. They each fill a particular role in the group – Fred’s the leader, Daphne’s the pretty one, Velma’s the smart one, and Shaggy & Scooby are the comic relief running being scared of whatever monster is about this week and eating ridiculously large sandwiches. It’s all very kooky & madcap as they run away from the monster/ghost/creature that’s terrorising the area. But after careful investigation they find out it’s actually some local villain in disguise creating a hoax in some way to cover up their evil schemes. They catch them using some kind of elaborate trap (that Shaggy & Scooby always mess up but it always seems to work anyway), locals always thank them as the villain is lead away by the authorities, quoting the immortal line “…and I would’ve gotten away with it if it wasn’t for those meddling kids”.

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Then they head off in their van into the sunset and proceed to do the same thing next week. The exact same thing…EVERY…WEEK. Wherever they go there’s always a monster terrorising a town and each time they always do the same thing: Run away from it repeatedly, find some clues, investigate further, run from it again, capture it in an elaborate trap then reveal in front of everyone that it’s actually a guy in a costume. It’s always a guy in a costume. So you would think that wherever they go they would use this previous experience and say to themselves “Hey, this is probably another guy in a costume” and just get on with nabbing them. But no, they run away from the ‘Pirate Ghost’ scared out of their wits. It’s as if the it’s actually Memento and every single one of them is Guy Pearce! It’s stupid!

This used to drive me nuts as a kid, I remember screaming at the screen “IT’S NOT A SWAMP MONSTER, IT’S JUST A GUY IN A SUIT. GRAB HIM!” What kind of investigators are they? There’s no development with them at alI, they all just look stupid. I mean sure their methods work out in the end, but I can’t help but feel they would be a lot more efficient if they just tackled the Space Monster to the ground the first time they saw him.

Then again there’s always the chance that it could be a real monster for once…maybe next week…

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By Phil Mason.

Phil Mason is a comedian with improv group Monkey Butler based in Sheffield.
You can follow him on twitter: @VikingPip
You can follow Monkey Butler on their official twitter: @MBImprov
For more articles like this follow Goats In The Machine on twitter: @GoatsInMachine

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