Scooby Doo is a cartoon character made famous for starring in a series of cartoons highlighting the cowardly dog and his teenage friends who solve mysteries. Scooby Doo made his first appearance on the CBS television station. Perhaps Scooby never would have been created if not for a man by the name of Fred Silverman.
Silverman was in charge of daytime programming for CBS in 1969. He wanted a cartoon that didn't rely on superheroes to air on television. Silverman envisioned the future show as a cross between the 1940s radio program I Love a Mystery and the popular TV sitcom The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, a program that aired from 1959 to 1965 and featured the story of a silly teenager and his friends.
In response to Silverman's request, animation studio Hanna-Barbera chose writers Joe Ruby and Ken Spears to create characters, plots, and story lines for the new cartoon. The initial concept devised by the writers involved four teen detectives who traveled in a van called The Mystery Machine. The teens would solve mysteries as they drove around the country accompanied by their pet Great Dane. At that time, the large dog was not a crucial character to the story.
The show was first called Mysteries Five, but was soon changed to Who's Scared? Eventually, the show was revealed to CBS executives and president Frank Stanton. The creators of the mystery cartoon wanted to schedule its airing for the fall of 1969.
Unfortunately, Stanton thought the artwork was too scary for young viewers and rejected it. On the flight back home, Silverman was listening to Frank Sinatra music on his earphones. The song Strangers in the Night was playing. One section of the song inspired Silverman to come up with a new phrase, "Scooby Dooby Doo." He re-approached executives and told them that the show could be called Scooby Doo, Where Are You?. The dog named Scooby Doo would take his place as the central character of the program.
Hanna Barbera's new version of the cartoon was more comical than mysterious. The distinctive voice of Scooby Doo was given by Don Messick, who perfected the dog's laugh and sound. Popular DJ Casey Kasem voiced the character of Shaggy, Scooby Doo's perpetually hungry best friend. Group leader Freddy was played by Frank Welker, while Nicole Jaffe voiced the intellectual Velma. Rounding out the cast of characters was the beautiful Daphne who was voiced by actress Heather North.
In 1972, the cartoon featuring Scooby Doo began to feature special guest stars like Tim Conway, Phyllis Diller, Don Knotts, Jonathan Winters, the Addams Family, and comic duo Laurel and Hardy. After seven years at CBS, the cartoon switched to the ABC network, gradually introducing new characters like Scrappy Doo. The show continues in various forms and has spawned television specials, feature length films, video games, and licensed merchandise.