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Groovie Goolies is an animated television show that had its original run on network television between 1970 and 1972. Produced by Filmation, Groovie Goolies was a spinoff of Sabrina the Teenage Witch (itself a spinoff of The Archie Show). Like most Saturday morning animated series' of the era, Groovie Goolies contained an adult laugh track.

The Goolies were a group of hip monsters, many of whom were, in look and sound, pop-culture echoes of the classic horror-film monsters created in the 1930s and 1940s, mostly by Universal Pictures including Frankie (Frankenstein's Monster), Wolfie (The Wolfman, who talks like Wolfman Jack), Mummy, Drac (Dracula), Batzo and Ratzo (two mean green-skinned kids), Boneapart (an animated skeleton that might have been Napoleon Bonaparte), Dr. Jekyll & Hyde (bicephalous, a reference to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde), Hagatha (a witch), Bella La Ghostly (who looks very much like Drac and like Lily Munster, and whose name is a play on "Bela Lugosi"), Broomhilda, Hauntleroy (an often whiny, goody-two shoes kid patterned after Little Lord Fauntleroy), and Orville (a take on the man-eating plant from The Little Shop of Horrors). The group sang a pop song each episode.

Premise and Plot

Sabrina's cousins, the Groovie Goolies, all reside at Horrible Hall, a haunted boarding house for monsters. Heading the operation was the short-tempered Count Dracula; the other residents included Frankie, a Frankenstein's Monster who headed the Muscle-leum Gymnasium ("great for body building"); Wolfie, a hippie werewolf who supervised recreation, often getting on Dracula's nerves; Hagatha, a plump witch who served as resident cook; Bella La Ghostly, a vampiress switchboard operator; Dr. Jekyll and Hyde, the two-headed resident doctor who often fought as to which one of them was Jekyll and/or Hyde; Mummy, who worked as a T.V. announcer; Boneapart, a skittish skeleton in a Napoleon hat who had a tendency to go to pieces (literally!); Ghoulihand, a giant, disembodied glove (no Irish brougue); Batso and Ratso, two fanged, impish brats with a penchant for playing mean practical jokes that often backfired; Hauntleroy, a rotund, sissy kid in a sailor suit who was often the primary foil for Batso and Ratso's tricks; Tiny, a diminutive, long-haired mummy (Mummy's cousin) with a high-pitched voice (a parody of the then-popular entertainer Tiny Tim), and his enigmatic girlfriend Missy, an enigmatic spook whose face was a large, single eye, and whose body was hidden by her long, pink hair. Additional fixtures at Horrible Hall included Orville, a large, man-eating plant, the gargoyles, the Ask-it Casket, Rover, Frankie's pet dinosaur, the Lovesick Love Seat, the Skelevator, Wolfie's Wolf Wagon, and many others.

The show was structured very much like the then-popular show Laugh-in, with several short segments of one-liner jokes and riddles. This was most shown by the "Weird Windows Time", a take off on Laugh-In's famous Joke Wall. Every so often one of the Goolies had a special segment in which they instructed the audience in the finer points of one thing or another, such as Dracula's Schoolhouse, providing the finer points of (mad) science, and Wolfie's theater, in which Wolfie re-enacted a popular fairy-tale.

Every episode featured at least two musical segments; one by the Groovie Goolies with Drac on the organ, Wolfie playing a lyre-like stringed instrument, and Frankie on a xylophone made of bones, and the second musical segment by one of the other resident bands, including the Mummies and The Puppies, a takeoff on the folk/pop group The Mamas & The Papas led by Tiny, with Mimi on tambourine, The Spirits of '76, three ghosts all dressed as colonial soldiers, The Rolling Gravestones, a takeoff of the Rolling Stones that are performed by three animate tombstones, and the Bare Boned Band, a band consisting of three skeletons.

History

The show originally aired on CBS as Sabrina and the Groovy Goolies, and also featured Archie Comics character Sabrina the Teenage Witch with her aunts Hilda and Zelda. Sabrina had had previous appearances as a supporting character on The Archie Comedy Hour the previous year. In 1971, Sabrina was spun off into her own show.

Never a critical success, the Goolies had appeal, reappearing in 1971 as The Groovie Goolies on their own solo show. After one season with Sabrina, executives decided that the Goolies were strong enough to make it on their own, and thus Sabrina and the Goolies both received their own separate shows. The following year they had a feature entitled Daffy Duck and Porky Pig Meet the Groovie Goolies (which was part of The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie), teaming them with the Looney Tunes stars. ABC later rebroadcast the original series for one season in 1975. They finally entered syndication in 1978.

The syndicated version became an anthology series, entitled The Groovie Goolies and Friends, with the Goolies introducing rotating episodes of many other Filmation series, including The Adventures of Waldo Kitty (minus the live-action sequences), Lassie's Rescue Rangers, The New Adventures of Gilligan, My Favorite Martian, and former Uncle Croc's Block segments M.U.S.H., Fraidy Cat, and Wacky and Packy. M.U.S.H. standing for "Mangy Unwanted Shabby Heroes"; a parody of the very adult Korean War dramedy M.A.S.H., but starring dogs working in an arctic military fort.

The cartoon aired with the UKmarker version of Hanna-Barbera's Banana Splits in the early 1980s, and as of May, 2009, the show can be streamed in the US in Minisode form on Crackle.

Music

Adding music to the series, Filmation hoped that lightning would strike twice : the previous success of The Archie Show produced several musical hits. The song "Chick-a-Boom" was first featured on the show, and became a hit two years later for Daddy Dewdrop (actually one of the show's producers).

The music of the some of the later Groovie Goolie segments was produced by Jackie Mills, who had also produced Bobby Sherman, the Brady Bunch Kids, and some of the Archie programs. Tom McKenzie, a former member of the Doodletown Pipers, who was also the vocalist for the U.S. of Archie show, sang the vocals for these shows.

The show’s theme song, titled "Goolie Get-Together", was written by Linda Martin and Janis Gwin.

A cover of the show’s theme song, performed by The Toadies, is included on the 1995 tribute album Saturday Morning: Cartoons' Greatest Hits, produced by Ralph Sall for MCA Records.

DVD release

All 16 episodes were released on DVD on October 24 2006 and titled the Saturday Mourning Collection.

Special features include:
  • "Goolians"—brand new, 45 minute "docu-comedy" created by producer and voice over artist Wally Wingert (Family Guy, Invader Zim) and Daniel Roebuck (Lost, The Fugitive), featuring interviews with Alice Cooper, Forrest J. Ackerman, Ron Chaney, Lou Scheimer, Oscar winning make-up artist Bill Corso, "Goolie" head writer Jack Mendelsohn, and more. Includes new original rock song "True Blue Goolian," and a music video with the Sacramento punk band The Groovie Ghoulies.
  • Audio commentary tracks for two episodes, featuring producer Lou Scheimer, "Goolie" head writer Jack Mendelsohn, Filmation historian Darrell McNeil, and Hollywood monster expert Bob Burns. Hosted by Wally Wingert.
  • Image gallery featuring original model sheets, animation cels, storyboards, backgrounds and PSAs
  • "Goolie-Get-Together Sing-a-Long"
  • Candid story from producer Lou Scheimer about "The Creation of Filmation"
  • Trivia and episode guide
  • DVD-ROM extras, including scripts and the original Series Bible for "The Kookie Spookies"


Credits

Produced by
Lou Scheimer, Norm Prescott
Directed by
Hal Sutherland
Animation Directors
Rudy Larriva, Don Towsley, Anatole Kirsanoff
Written by
Jack Mendelsohn, Jim Mulligan, Bob Ogle, Chuck Menville, Len Jansen, Jim Ryan, Bill Danch
Production Manager
Rock Benedict
Art Director
Don Christensen
Key Assistants
Mike Hazy, George Carey, John Tucker
Layout
Kay Wright, Alberto De Mello, Don Bluth, Herb Hazelton, Ray Jacobs, Carol Marshall, Mel Keefer, Enrique Arnau
Storyboard
Sherman Labby, Mike O'Connor, Dale Hale, Jack Miller, Paul Fennell
Background Director
Erv Kaplan
Background Artists
Paul Xander, Maurice Harvey, Bill Loudenslager, Patricia Frye, Phil Lewis, Doug Stevenson
Animators
Amby Paliwod, Kaem Wong, Ben Shenkman, George Waiss, Louise Sandoval, Russ Von Neida, Virgil Ross, Ralph Somerville, Len Rogers, Ed Solomon, Ed Rehberg, Hank Smith, Lenn Redman, Larry Silverman, Virgil Raddatz, Bill Pratt, Norm McCabe, Barney Posner, Marsh Lamore, Rod Parkes, Paul Krukowski, Jack Ozark, George Kreisl, Casey Onaitis, Les Kaluza, Bill Nunes, Lou Kachivas, Larry Miller, Marie Jursic, Bob Matz, Karen Haus, Laverne Harding, Butch Davis, Lee Halpern, Emil Carle, Dick Hall, Herman Cohen, Z. Gasparovic, Bob Bransford, Frank Gonzales, Jim Brummett, Fred Grable, Ted Bonnicksen, Otto Feuer, Bill Ackerman, Ed Friedman
Checking Supervision
Marion Turk, Jane Philippi
Ink and Paint Supervision
Martha Buckley, Betty Brooks
Xerography
John Remmel
Prints by
Technicolor
Camera Supervision: Sergio Antonio Alcazar, R.W. Pope, Frank A. Parrish, John D. Aardal, Ted C. Bemiller, Mike Kinney, Luis Melendez Jr., Tony Rivetti, Dennis M. Lady
Editorial
Joseph Simon, Jim Blodgett
Film Coordinator
June Gilham
Music and Sound Effects by
Horta-Mahana Corporation, Jan Moore
Groovie Goolies Songs Produced by
Richard Delvy, Ed Fournier, Dick Monda
Background Music
Jeff Michael, Yvette Blais
Publisher
Shermley Music Corporation A.S.C.A.P.


Notes

  1. CD liner notes: Saturday Morning: Cartoons' Greatest Hits, 1995 MCA Records


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