An exciting treasure from the Hanna-Barbera vaults finally made it's way to DVD this week. Scooby's All Star Laff-A-Lympics Volume 1 features four episodes from the fondly remembered 1977 - 1979 Saturday morning series. This has always been one of my favorites from the guys at H-B and I was pretty excited to see the show get a DVD release. Judging from the cover art, Warner Bros. is hoping to ride off the immense popularity of Scooby-Doo. He's featured prominently in the show's opening segment and in most of the episodes but for most H-B fans Laff-A-Lympics stands out due to it's cast of dozens of cartoon superstars.
The Laff-A-Lympics is an Olympics style event, actually a parody of ABC's Battle of the Network Stars. In each episode, three teams compete in an assortment of athletic events at venues all over the world. The teams are: the Scooby Doobies - made up of Hanna-Barbera characters from half hour mystery shows like Scooby Doo, Dinomutt, Speed Buggy and Captain Caveman; the Yogi Yahooeys - featuring the gang from H-B's classic animated shorts like Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, Wally Gator and Quick Draw McGraw; and there's the Really Rottens - who look similar to other Hanna-Barbera bad guys but are mostly all original creations for this show. The teams compete in different events and are awarded points throughout the competition. Of course, the Really Rottens always try to cheat and it always backfires on them!
One of the coolest aspects of the show was the guest cameos that pop up from time to time. In the four episodes on this collection there are brief appearances from Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble and Jabber Jaw. The other fun thing about this show is how much my kids got into it! They both really got behind the Scooby Doobies and were cheering them on and hooting and yelling like they were watching something on ESPN. Myself, I'm a life long Yogi Yahooeys fan so the line was drawn down the middle of our house and the kids took great delight in seeing their team squash mine. I really like when my children appreciate the simpler cartoons from the past.
I also have to add that "Laff-A-Lympics" is a totally great title! I'm a big fan of 70's programing that incorporates the words "Laugh", "Comedy", or "Smile" into their title.
Here's a rundown of who's who on the Laff-A-Lympics teams: