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Mar 182015
 

Of all the superheroes Hanna-Barbera featured, who could forget one of the true classics, Captain Caveman (Cavey for short). His amazing abilities include super strength and hidden objects that he keeps in his fur, which include live dinosaurs big and small. I always found that strange. Where does he keep those?

Cavey also has flying ability that comes from his club, but it’s very limited. At least he can easily activate it with his battle cry, “Captain CAAAAVEMAAAANNN”.

Cavey started out in Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels (1977-1980), which is one of many mystery solving spooky adventure cartoons that came from the success of the Scooby-Doo franchise. However, this one always stood out to me because of Cavey’s lovely companions.

The teen angels are a trio of mystery solvers. They are Deedee the inquisitive leader, Taffy the brilliant excitable beauty, and Brenda the coward. Although she doesn’t run and hide like Scooby-Doo and Shaggy, she tends to dwell on the scary situations.

I’d also like to point out that the teen angels make mystery solving look easy. All it takes is finding a few clues and they already know who did the crime, or who the monster behind the mask is. Then when the crook tries to run off, it leads to an exciting chase as Cavey goes after him.

Cavey and the teen angels were also part of the Scooby Doobies team on Laff-a-Lympics (1977-1978). They have always been the characters I most looked forward to see compete. However, there are episodes when Cavey doesn’t talk. He just grumbles and growls like a caveman. I find that confusing sometimes because he talks just fine on his own show.

In later years, Captain Caveman became part of the Flintstones franchise, starting with his own segment on The Flintstone Comedy Show (1980-1982). This version is more on the level of Superman and Cavey has a secret identity, Chester the office boy. The disguise isn’t much, but requires an elaborate transformation sequence behind a coat rack.

Another big difference was that Wilma Flintstone and Betty Rubble were often the damsels in distress Cavey ends up rescuing from peril. As exciting as that is, I end up wondering where the teen angels are. Then it dawned on me. This series takes place in the Stone Age long before the teen angels found Cavey in that block of ice. So maybe these were Cavey’s past adventures before joining the mystery solving group.

After that, Cavey had a segment on The Flintstone Kids (1986-1988) called, Captain Caveman and Son. Here he was a TV superhero instead of a real one and has adventures with his son Cavey Junior. Although these adventures provide good lessons to learn, they’re not as exciting as before.

There you have it, another classic superhero that stands out as one of the greats in both crime fighting and comedy. Do you suppose there’s a chance of Captain Caveman ever making a comeback after having such a long run?

Mar 092011
 

Welcome back. So far, I have listed some great canines in pop culture. Whatever the breed, they are capable of many great things from comedy to nobility. Now let’s resume my list of favorite dogs with the top ten.

#10) Pluto from Classic Disney cartoons: He is one of Mickey’s main companions and tends to find trouble. Pluto is comedic while dealing with pests like clams, seagulls, and the chipmunks Chip and Dale. Because Pluto has a planet for a name, it became a trend that people believed dogs actually live on the planet Pluto. Would you believe I used to think that the distant planet was a home for celebrity dogs, which you could visit, like a Hollywood tour?

#9) Cooler from Pound Puppies: This noble dog is the leader of the Pound Puppies, who has escaped the pound and was recaptured more times than any other stray dog. According to the original Pound Puppies animated special from 1985, it was mentioned to be a record of 762 escapes. “It’s a nasty habit. I’m trying to quit.” Although Cooler is a smooth talking goofball, he is always dedicated to helping other dogs get adopted.

Special Note: I still have a Cooler doll, which is also a cassette tape player. Its mouth moves as it tells a story. Isn’t that unique?

#8) Big Dog and Little Dog from 2 Stupid Dogs (A Hanna-Barbera cartoon from the 90s): These stray dogs are hilarious, due to the fact that they are, well… stupid. The Little Dog is hyperactive and the Big Dog is more calm and slow witted. These two may be nameless, but they are well known for their fast paced humor and quests for food everywhere they go.

#7) Sprocket from Fraggle Rock: This dog lives with his owner Doc in an old workshop, which the Fraggles call “Outer Space”. Sprocket is the main threat Gobo must face when he picks up his Uncle Matt’s postcards from the wastebasket. However, Sprocket is a good dog. He wouldn’t hurt anyone.

#6) Rush from Mega Man: This robotic dog is Mega Man’s canine companion and transportation. Rush can easily transform into any kind of small vehicle, which only needs battery biscuits for fuel. He can be clumsy at times, but is a devoted sidekick. Rush is the perfect type of dog for anyone who has to travel a lot. Just make sure you travel light.

#5) Rowlf from The Muppet Show: Dog acts have always been popular, but this dog is a very talented performer. Rowlf is a top-notch piano player. He can play in any key and to warm up, he chases cars. Rowlf is also a comedic actor, best known for his reoccurring character Dr. Bob. It’s too bad Rowlf hasn’t played that role in a long time, but his piano playing is always reliable.

#4) Hotdog from The Archie Show: He is Jughead’s dog, who always joins the Archie gang in their misadventures. Hotdog doesn’t speak, but provides hilarious commentary while observing each situation, usually with one-liners. Don’t you just love it?

#3) Brain from Inspector Gadget: Here’s an intelligent dog, who is very helpful, even more than Gadget realizes. Brain is a master of disguise and always keeps Gadget out of trouble under Penny’s direction. He even has a radio in his collar to keep Penny informed. Brain must be very devoted to his owners because he always has to do most of the fieldwork.

#2) Dudley Puppy from T.U.F.F. Puppy: He is one of the newest Nick Toons and one of the most hilarious. Dudley has many features of other dogs combined, which include the fleet feet of a greyhound, the nose of a bloodhound, and the brave heart of a German Shepherd. However, the silliest things easily distract him. For instance, Dudley took out three criminals when his only ambition was to chase down his chew toy. That’s how he first fell into the spy business. Even though Dudley isn’t very bright, he always comes through when the chips are down.

#1) Scooby-Doo from Scooby-Doo: Yes, it’s the comedic mystery solving Great Dane himself. Over the years, Scooby has been on many spooky adventures, but is always scared easily. Like Garfield, he has a huge appetite for people food. Scooby isn’t exactly the brightest member of Mystery Inc., but always manages to get the job done, even if he has to be bribed with Scooby Snax.

In addition to Scooby’s success, he was once a team captain on the Laff-A Lympics. I guess running around at all of those spooky places paid off. That’s all part of what makes Scooby-Doo a long time favorite.