One of the most popular cartoon series to come from the prolific studio of Hanna-Barbera, Wacky Races was loosely based on the Jack Lemmon/Tony Cutis movie The Great Race.
11 daredevil racers lined up each week to claim the title of 'World's Wackiest Racer' and each week produced a different winner. This caused quite a stir in Great Britain when one school headmaster revealed that he had discovered his 12-14 year old pupils 'running a book' on the weekly result.* Nevertheless, the drivers drew up to the starting line each week regardless, and they were: The Slag Brothers in the BoulderMobile, The Gruesome Twosome in the Creepy Coupe, Professor Pat Pending in the Convert-a-Car, Red Max in the Haybailer, Penelope Pitstop in the Compact Pussycat, Sarge and Meekly in the Army Surplus Special, The Ant Hill Mob in the Roaring Plenty, Luke and Blubber in the Arkansas Chugga-Bug, Peter Perfect in the Varoom Roadster, Rufus Ruffcut and Sawtooth in the Buzz Wagon, and lastly, the villains of the piece in their Mean Machine...Dick Dastardly and his sniggering canine sidekick, Muttley, whose sole aim it was to win every race by hook or by crook. Drat and Double drat!
Two spin-off serials followed The Perils of Penelope Pitstop and Dastardly and Muttley In Their Flying Machines.
Published on February 11th, 2019. Written by Laurence Marcus *"It was our school what did it" for Television Heaven.