The Ultimate Guide to Christmas Specials

Christmas TV specials, limited series and movies are bigger than ever these days from now until the New Year, you’ll be able to find some festive yule-tide programming every night of the week. From the traditional viewing of It’s a Wonderful Life, the different versions of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, to baking shows and live music specials, we’ve got them all listed on the new Christmas TV Specials page. (Since not all of the networks list their specials early, this list will be updated throughout the coming weeks, so check back often for new additions!)

'Laff-A-Lympics': The Animated 'Battle of the Network Stars'

(Hanna-Barbera/Warner Bros.)


Since ABC has revived (at lease for this summer) The Battle of the Network Stars, I thought I might showcase another show that was loosely based and/or inspired by the twice-yearly TV special: Laff-A-Lympics (also known as Scooby's All Star Laff-A-Lympics). Don't remember it? Watch the video after the jump and see if that brings back some memories for you.

Though Laff-A-Lympics only lasted for two seasons, it was a fairly popular limited animated cartoon series sandwiched between episodes of Scooby-Doo, Captain Cavemen and the Teen Angels and Dynomutt. The show aired on ABC from September 1977 to July 1979. Videos of the two seasons are available on DVD.

Like the Battle of the Network Stars, which featured one team from the three national networks (ABC, NBC and CBS), this cartoon pitted well-known Hanna-Barbera characters against one another divided up into three teams: The Scooby Doobies, The Yogi Yahooeys and the Really Rottens. At the time, most kids were well aware of all of the team players on the Scooby Doobies, but not as many were familiar with some of the Yogi Yahooeys. Worse though was the decision to create almost all new characters for the Really Rottens.

Originally, Dick Dastardly and Muttley were going to lead the team, but those characters were co-owned by Heatter-Quigley Productions. So, Hanna-Barbera created the Dick Dastardly look-alike, Dread Baron and gave him Mumbly as his pooch. Though he had a strong resemblance to Muttley complete with the same distinctive laugh, Mumby was actually an existing character who played a detective years earlier. Apparently, somewhere down the line he choose a life of crime.

The cast of the Laff-A-Lympics

The Teams

The Scooby Doobies
Scooby-Doo, Shaggy Rogers, Scooby-Dum, Dynomutt, Blue Falcon, Captain Cavemen, the Teen Angeles (Brenda Chance, Taffy Dare and Dee Dee Sykes), Speed Buggy, Tinker, Babu (from Jeannie) and Hong Kong Phooey.

The Yogi Yahooeys
Yogi Bear, Boo-Boo Bear, Cindy Bear, Quick Draw McGraw, Huckleberry House, Pixie, Dixie, Mr. Jinks, Hokey Wolf, Yakky Doodle, Snooper, Blabber, Augie Doggie, Doggie Daddy, Wally Gator and Grape Ape.

The Really Rottens
Mumbly, Dread Baron, Dinky Dalton, Dirty Dalton, Dastardly Dalton, Mr. Creepley, Mrs. Creepley, Junior Creepley, Orful Octopus, the Great Fondoo, Magic Rabbit, Daisy Mayhem and Sooey the pig.
Snagglepuss and a fairly obscure character, Mildew Wolf, served as commentators wearing the traditional gold jackets. Occasionally, Fred Flintstone, Barney Rubble, Jabberjaw and Peter Potamus would make brief appearances as well.

Now that Warner Bros. owns all of the characters created by Hanna-Barbera, who would like to see compete if the animation studio was to revive the show again?

promote my blog BrandBacker Member