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scooby doo weed references

Scooby doo weed references

While researching blog topics, and trying to find something entertaining, I somehow went down the rabbit hole of an interesting Internet theory: Scooby Doo has tons of references to marijuana.

Here’s the 411 (420?):

A 2017 post in Green Rush Daily , “7 Reasons Scooby-Doo Was Made For Stoners,” brought forth some pretty convincing tidbits from the cartoon. The author, Ab Hanna, declares, “If you have an innocent mind you may have watched Scooby-Doo and never realized it was made for stoners.”

In a scene from the live action movie, Shaggy is sitting next to a blonde woman on an airplane, and they are talking about Scooby Snacks. When she introduces herself as Mary Jane, Shaggy replies, “like, that’s my favorite name!” Ab Hanna’s take: “If that isn’t proof that Shaggy loves weed we don’t know what is.”

In another scene, Shaggy and Scooby are in the mystery machine, grilling “munchies.” Smoke is coming out of the top of the van. The duo start to panic when detectives bang on the door. Hanna comments, “Typical reaction of anyone that smokes weed if you ask us.”

What about the constant obsession with snacks and munchies? Ab Hanna analyzes, “We don’t see why the creators would emphasize this so much, especially with the most dazed and confused characters. In a nutshell, Shaggy and Scooby were simpletons with bottomless stomachs. They sure sound like the stereotypical stoner.”

It’s in the name: Scooby DOOBIE doo – it’s literally his middle name. Ab Hanna theorizes, “You know when you’re so about something you tell someone it’s your middle name? For example, if one hippy asks “Hey man, can you roll us a doobie?” another might reply, “Ya man, Doobie is my middle name.” The writers were probably trying to clue us in on what Scooby was all about.”

Other clues Ab Hanna brings forth: a scene where Shaggy and Scooby actually put pots on their head; Shaggy with a huge appetite, always talking to the dog, and the Mystery Machine Hippie Van.

A September 2019 article , “Conspiracy theories and pot brownies: the secret history of Scooby Doo,” in the Telegraph also delves into this mystery. The author, Martin Chilton, “The way that Shaggy was always giggling in the back of the Mystery Machine (a flower-power painted ‘stoner’s van’ modelled, according to Scoobypedia, on a Ford Taunus Transit van), and was constantly suffering from “the munchies”, fueled rumours about pot-smoking undertones in the show. Shaggy’s personality was said to be that of a stereotypical hippy pothead.”

Chilton went on to describe some of the same scenarios as above: the Mary Jane name, the Scooby snacks (“there have also been claims that ‘Scooby snacks’ were not really dog biscuits, but were pot brownies.”)

But, Chilton says, in creator Iwao Takamoto’s memoir, “My Life with a Thousand Characters,” Takamoto “states categorically that there are no hidden or veiled drug references in Scooby Doo.” Heather North, voice of Daphne, also insisted that there were never any drug innuendos in the show.

Ed Liu , moderator and reporter for animesuperhero.com, has an interesting analysis : “ In his autobiography , Iwao Takamoto stated uncategorically that there are not hidden or veiled drug references in Scooby-Doo . He noted that in the late 60’s, you simply did not do anything that could be construed as a drug reference if you wanted to stay on the air, and added that ‘drugs of any kind were an anathema to Joe Ruby; he hated them’ (Ruby being half of Ruby-Spears, who wrote the earliest Scooby-Doo episodes and a whole lot more for H-B before spinning off into their own studio). The hunger thing was just that Shaggy and Scooby-Doo were teens with bottomless pits for stomachs. He also points out that Shaggy was loosely based on Maynard G. Krebs, who was a beatnik, not a hippie, and beatniks weren’t known for heavy drug use.

Just for some context, when the show first aired in 1969, Cheech and Chong were still at least 2 years away from their slice of fame, and even they raised quite a ruckus at the time for their overt pot humor. I’m inclined to take Takamoto at his word that drug jokes or references just wouldn’t have occurred to anybody at Hanna-Barbera, and would have been shot down by any number of people in power if it had been brought up directly or even suspected.

Of course, contradictory evidence of the conspiracy is often just more proof of how deep the conspiracy really goes, and I’m sure some will think Takamoto is just covering himself after the fact. I’m inclined to take him at his word, though.”

What do you think? Do you think Scooby Doo purposely referenced marijuana throughout its run? Do you think Takamoto is giving us the runaround? Or do you think it’s all a big coincidence, just another Internet theory?

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MyCureAll's Weekly Blog

Scooby-Doo is 50: Yes it really was all about drugs

Growing up on cartoons that soaked up psychedelia as blotting paper soaked up LSD

Daphne, Velma, Shaggy, Fred and Scooby in the original Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, which premiered in 1969 and ran for three seasons. Photograph: Hanna-Barbera

Imagine an alternative universe in which children’s television of the early 1990s was taken up with references to ecstasy. The Adventures of Mandy and Molly ends with the heroes, bears in hooded tops, blowing whistles while dancing on a podium in rural Hertfordshire. If the shows got truly daring they could make reference to Scooby Snacks. That was, after all, an occasional nickname for MDMA.

Which brings us neatly to the 50th anniversary of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! The Hanna-Barbera show was conceived to fill a gap after Action for Children’s Television (ACT), one of those endless busy-body organisations concerned with filth on telly, forced the cancellation on US TV of several cartoons deemed too violent. ACT had, in the era of the Altamont rock festival, no problem with a bunch of young weirdos travelling the country in a brightly coloured van.

Fred (cravat), Daphne (damsel in distress) and Velma (intellectual with Agnes Varda’s haircut) bounced off outer levels of the counterculture. But Shaggy and Scooby were something else. Voiced by popular DJ Casey Kasem, Shaggy spoke in, like, the unmistakable patois of the dope fiend, man, and moved with a lobotomised languor that suggested he should stay away from heavy machinery. Both he and Scooby, apparently a great Dane, were always hungry. It’s almost as if they were in the grip of something the uninformed ACT wouldn’t balk at hearing described as “the munchies”.

The creators all expressed bewilderment about the subsequent associations drawn by stoned students

The American television of my childhood was permeated with now-bewildering allusions to the just-expired counterculture. It soaked up psychedelia as blotting paper soaked up LSD. Documentaries about the era describe how the rise of the hippie drove the firmest of wedges between generations. Novels such as Philip Roth’s American Pastoral wax movingly on that often painful divide. Yet the kids (and I do mean kids) were revelling in the reflected, smoky glow of Haight-Ashbury.

Just two months ago, streaming services welcomed The Banana Splits Movie to their menus. The enjoyable horror spoof revolves around a similarly titled show that, from 1968 to 1970, ranked up the chemical surrealism to dizzying levels. The eponymous Splits, a power-pop rock band, comprised four creatures of terrifying aspect – Fleegle, Bingo, Drooper, and Snorky – who, when not blasting out their theme tune, talked back to a sentient cuckoo clock or parried comments from a stuffed moose head.

Children’s entertainment had touched on surrealism before, but the crash zooms and swirling dissolves made it clear than we were in neighbouring territory to drug-culture movies such as Roger Corman’s The Trip. Everybody was involved in the same addled conversation.

HR Pufnstuf

The spookiest and trippiest series of that era was, however, the still ineffably strange HR Pufnstuf. I know middle-aged people who, to this day, shudder at the thought of the Krofft brothers’ series concerning a boy shipwrecked on island inhabited by talking trees, singing frogs and a talking flute. Of course, such things appear throughout fairy tales, but the tone of HR Pufnstuf rooted it firmly in the acid penumbra. The colours were exhausting. The camera angles were freaky. The puppets all seemed on the point of pharmaceutical breakdown. The show was actually called HR Pufnstuf, for Pete’s sake. Puf-n-stuf? Get it?

Inevitably the creators all expressed bewilderment about the subsequent associations drawn by stoned students. Then again, John Lennon always claimed that, rather than referencing LSD (perish the thought), Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds got its title from a drawing by the Beatle’s young son. Yeah, right. “We did not intentionally do anything related to drugs in the story,” Marty Krofft, co-creator of Pufnstuf, said years later. “They may have lent themselves to that culture at the time, but we didn’t ascribe that meaning to them.” The folk behind Scooby-Doo were similarly appalled at such accusations.

A bit of this made its way across the Atlantic. Dylan, the rabbit in the Anglo-French production The Magic Roundabout, was always suspiciously stoned of speech. Lord knows what was going on in Wanderly Wagon. But the more explicitly psychedelic stuff tended to be an American phenomenon. We must take the makers at face value when they say they weren’t trying to lure children towards hashish dens, but they cannot have been entirely unaware that they were drawing influences from a controversial, sometimes notorious counterculture.

What surprises now is that there was so little fuss from conservative curtain-twitchers. We are wrong to assume retrospective wisdom when re-evaluating popular entertainment – plenty of writers saw the problem with Friends 20 years ago – but the shifts in culture were, in the late 1960s, so jarring that it was hard for gate-keepers to maintain focus. Maybe the dog was just hungry. Maybe the Banana Splits were just everyday aliens. It hardly mattered. By the time of Watergate, the brief, weird riot was over. It was a trip while it lasted.

Growing up on cartoons that soaked up psychedelia as blotting paper soaked up LSD