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Wacky Races

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Wacky Races
Wacky Races.jpg
Premiere September 14, 1968
Finale January 4, 1969
Creator Larz Bourne
Network/Provider CBS
Style 30-minute animated comedy
Company Hanna-Barbera Productions,
Heatter-Quigley Productions
Seasons 1
Episodes 17
(List of episodes)
Origin USA

Wacky Races is an animated comedy that aired on CBS.

Eleven screwball drivers engage in countrywide cannonball runs to determine "the world's wackiest racer." It's catch-as-catch-can racing, with Dick Dastardly scheming week in and week out to find a way to thwart the other drivers in order to win the race himself, which he never does. Dastardly's Mean Machine obviously is of superior power to overtake the others legitimately, but as the token villain, he resorts to chicanery along with his canine sidekick Muttley.

The show was to originally have had a live game show segment prior to each race with children predicting the winner of each race. CBS nixed the idea, but Hollywood Squares producers Merrill Heatter and Bob Quigley, who were to have produced the game segment, were given on-screen credits anyway. Peggy Charren, of Action For Children's Television, blackballed the show, charging that it enticed kids to make monetary wagers on the races. (Poetic justice: Wacky Races went on to notch a 52.0 Neilsen score nationally.) It spawned two spinoffs, Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines and The Perils of Penelope Pitstop. Dastardly and Muttley would show up in three other Hanna-Barbera shows, Yogi's Treasure Hunt, "The Fender Bender 500" (segment of the syndicated Wake, Rattle and Roll), and Yo, Yogi!.

A made-for-TV animated movie, Around the World with the Wacky Racers, was proposed in 1988 as part of the Hanna-Barbera Superstars 10 series of animated movies, but it was never produced. More recently, a revival--Wacky Races Forever, featuring the sons and daughters of the original racers--had a pilot made for Cartoon Network but the pilot never aired and the show never made. A revival of the series premiered on Boomerang's SVOD service in the U.S. in 2017. It premiered overseas and in Canada through the rest of the year.

Hanna-Barbera Productions and Heatter-Quigley Productions co-produced Wacky Races. Warner Bros. Television distributes the show.



Actor Character
Main Cast
Daws Butler Rock Slag
Red Max
Peter Perfect
Rufus Ruffcut
Sgt. Blast
Big Gruesome
Don Messick Muttley
Professor Pat Pending
Little Gruesome
Gravel Slag
John Stephenson Luke
Blubber Bear
Janet Waldo Penelope Pitstop
Paul Winchell Dick Dastardly
Pvt. Meekley
Dave Willock Narrator


Season  Premiere Finale #
Season One September 14, 1968 January 4, 1969 17


DVD Releases

Title Release Discs
Complete Series  (Region 1)
The Complete Series October 19, 2004 3
The Complete Series (re-release)
Through Warner Archive
February 14, 2017 3

External Links