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Wacky Races is an animated TV series, aired in 1968 to 1970 on CBS. The series was possibly inspired by the 1965 slapstick comedy The Great Race, as it consists of eleven drivers racing across North America in order to win the title of "World's Wackiest Racer". The cartoon has a large number of regular characters, with 23 people and animals spread among eleven race cars. After its release, the show yielded two spin-offs the following years: Dastardly & Muttley in Their Flying Machines and The Perils of Penelope Pitstop. Many of the characters of the series also make some appearances and cameos in other different Hanna-Barbera shows and in other media.


HB-HQ (Wacky Races)

Initially, the cartoon was planned as part of a live-action game show in which contestants would bet on which of the Wacky Racers would finish first. Although the game show plans were scrapped, the series still retained a dual production credit of Hanna-Barbera and game show producers Merrill Heatter and Robert Quigley, who at the time were known for creating and producing The Hollywood Squares, and in the 1970s, would produce more hit shows, including Gambit and High Rollers.

Like Orion's back catalog from the 1978–1982 joint venture period and some post-1982 films, it is one of the few Heatter-Quigley series not currently owned by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's subsidiary Orion Pictures Corporation since September 11, 2014. In 1988, a made-for-television movie, Around the World with the Wacky Racers, was planned as part of the Hanna-Barbera Superstars 10 series of telefilms, but it never got past the concept stage.



Some of the regular characters of Wacky Races.

The vehicles and their drivers were

Voice Cast[]


Episode # Episode title Original airdate
WR-1 See Saw to Arkansas / Creepy Trip to Lemon Twist 9/14/1968
WR-2 Why Oh Why Wyoming / Beat the Clock to Yellow Rock 9/21/1968
WR-3 Mish-Mash Missouri Dash / Idaho a Go-Go 9/28/1968
WR-4 The Baja-Ha-Ha Race / Real Gone Ape 10/5/1968
WR-5 Scout Scatter / Free Wheeling to Wheeling 10/12/1968
WR-6 By Rollercoaster to Upsan Downs / The Speedy Arkansas Traveller 10/19/1968
WR-7 The Zippy Mississippi Race / Traffic Jambalaya 10/26/1968
WR-8 Hot Race at Chillicothe / The Wrong Lumber Race 11/2/1968
WR-9 Rhode Island Road Race / The Great Cold Rush Race 11/9/1968
WR-10 Wacky Race to Ripsaw / Oils Well That Ends Well 11/16/1968
WR-11 Whizzin' to Washington / The Dipsy Doodle Desert Derby 11/23/1968
WR-12 Eeny, Miny Missouri Go! / The Super Silly Swamp Sprint 11/30/1968
WR-13 Dash to Delaware / The Dopey Dakota Derby 12/7/1968
WR-14 Speeding for Smogland / Race Rally to Raleigh 12/14/1968
WR-15 Ballpoint, Penn. or Bust! / Fast Track to Hackensack 12/21/1968
WR-16 The Ski Resort Road Race / Overseas Hi-Way Race 12/28/1968
WR-17 Race to Racine / The Carlsbad or Bust Bash 1/4/1969

Spin-Offs and similar series[]

The basic ideas behind Wacky Races and some of the characters were reused by Hanna-Barbera in later years:

  • Penelope Pitstop and the Ant Hill Mob were spun off into another cartoon series in 1969 titled The Perils of Penelope Pitstop. In the same year, Dick Dastardly and Muttley were given a spin-off series titled Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines. The series is sometimes mistakenly known as Stop the Pigeon, after the show's working title and theme song. Both series ran for two seasons.
  • Sawtooth appeared on the characters cast of Yogi's Ark Lark 1972 movie.
  • The new character of Mumbly (star of the 1976 The Mumbly Cartoon Show) bears a strong resemblance to Muttley.
  • The new character of Captain Caveman (star of the 1977 Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels series) bears a strong resemblance to the Slag Brothers.
  • In 1977, Mumbly (who, in contrast to his role as a detective on his solo series, is now depicted as a villain) and Dread Baron (who strongly resembles Dick Dastardly) became the leaders of the Really Rottens team on the Laff-A-Lympics cartoon, which featured three teams of Hanna-Barbera characters (including Mumbly's villainous Really Rottens team, Yogi Bear's Yogi Yahooeys team that consisted of many of his friends from Yogi's Gang, and Scooby-Doo's Scooby Doobies team that included many of the crime-solving characters from that era, including Captain Caveman) competing in races and competitions around the world. However, in the Latin American version of Laff-A-Lympics, Mumbly was credited as Muttley.
  • The 1978 series Yogi's Space Race featured Hanna-Barbera stalwarts such as Yogi BearHuckleberry Hound and Jabberjaw racing against each other throughout outer space while fending off a tall, bearded villain (Phantom Phink) and his snickering dog (Sinister Sludge).
  • Dick Dastardly and Muttley returned in the 1985 series Yogi's Treasure Hunt as they competed in a treasure hunt against Yogi Bear and many of his prior Yogi Yahooeys teammates. Instead of driving the Mean Machine, Dastardly piloted a submarine called The SS Dirty Tricks and a World War I biplane in this series.
  • Dread Baron and Mumbly (once again replacing Dick Dastardly and Muttley) return to antagonize Yogi and many of his Yogi Yahooeys teammates in the 1987 film Yogi Bear and the Magical Flight of the Spruce Goose.
  • Blubber Bear appeared in The New Yogi Bear Show in 1988.
  • The 1990 syndicated series Wake, Rattle & Roll featured a segment called Fender Bender 500. In it, Dick Dastardly and Muttley drove a revamped Mean Machine that was renamed the Dirty Truckster. They raced against Yogi Bear, Winsome Witch, Quick Draw McGraw, and other Hanna-Barbera stars. Although Dastardly continued to rely heavily on traps and schemes, he and Muttley did manage to win one of these races.
  • In 1991, teenage versions of Dick Dastardly and Muttley appeared on the Yo Yogi! series with Yogi Bear, Boo BooCindy BearSnagglepuss, and Huckleberry Hound.
  • In 2006, the pilot for a spin-off series titled Wacky Races Forever was produced for Cartoon Network. The series depicted a roster of both new and returning racers competing against each other. Penelope Pitstop and Peter Perfect had created Perfect Industries, the corporate sponsor of the new Wacky Races, whereas their children Parker and Piper competed in the race. Other characters included the Slag Brothers, Professor Pat Pending, a teenage version of the Gruesome Twosome, and Dick Dastardly and Muttley (working for a new villain named Mr. Viceroy, who sought to steal Perfect Industries). This series wasn't picked up by Cartoon Network.
  • In 2015, a Cartoon Network promo for 2016 revealed a logo for a new Wacky Races series. The new series aired on Boomerang from 2017 to 2019.
  • In 2016, DC Comics launched a comic series called Wacky Raceland. It is a dark and gritty re-imagining of the series set after the apocalypse in a similar vein to the Mad Max franchise. The comic ran for six issues, from May to December 2016.
  • In 2022, there were plans for a stop-motion reboot of the series produced by Hanna-Barbera Studios Europe. It would have aired on Cartoon Network. However, the reboot was scrapped in 2023.[1]


In other media[]

  • Life-size working replicas of the vehicles have been built in the UK and appear annually at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, with new additions each year. 2008 saw the last of the cars (the Ant Hill Mob in the Bulletproof Bomb 07) added to the collection, making a complete set.
  • In 1992, the Japanese studio Artmic released an OVA with the title Tsuppashire! Genom Trophy Rally (internationally: Scramble Wars) as a comedic take on Wacky Races, featuring characters from the anime series Gall ForceBubblegum CrisisGenesis Survivor Gaiarth and other characters from miscellaneous Artmic productions.
  • In 2003, Dexter's Laboratory parodied Wacky Races in an episode where several characters of the show participate in a cross country race.
  • In 2006, the car manufacturer Vauxhall launched a TV commercial for the British market, parodying Wacky Races with a similar setup featuring Corsa cars. The commercial made several references to the cartoon as well as utilizing the show's theme music and Muttley's iconic laugh.
  • The English adult comic Viz had a one-off parody strip called "Wacky Racists" with David Irving as Dick Dastardly, Unity Mitford as Penelope Pitstop and comedian Bernard Manning as Muttley.
  • A story arc in the online game City of Heroes has villains named after Wacky Races characters (Rufus of Perez, Slag of Skywyay, etc.).
  • In 2013, the car manufacturer Peugeot launched a TV commercial for the Brazilian market, featuring the cartoon characters in a real-life universe. The video became an instant hit in YouTube, with more than two million views.
  • In 2014, South Park referenced Wacky Races as something that had to be banned by international convention in the episode "Handicar" and in which a Wacky Race was broadcast live on CNN.
  • The couch gag to The Simpsons episode "Gone Abie Gone" is an obvious parody of the series.
  • Dick Dastardly and Muttley make a cameo appearance in the Uncle Grandpa episode "Uncle Grandpa Retires".



A two-and-a-half-hour VHS video was released in 1996.

Warner Home Video released the entire series with commentaries and other extras in a DVD box set 19 October 2004.

All 34 episodes can be purchased on the iTunes Store.

Wacky Races: The Complete Series DVD
  • 34 Episodes
  • Additional information
  • Commentary on various episodes
  • Rearview Mirror: A Look Back at Wacky Races (retrospective documentary)
  • Spin-Out Spin-Offs (featurette on the spin-off shows Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines and The Perils of Penelope Pitstop)
  • Wacky Facts Trivia Track (pop-up trivia over episodes See-Saw to Arkansas and Creepy Trip to Lemon Twist


  • Produced and Directed by: William Hanna and Joseph Barbera
  • Sequence Director: David Detiege
  • Executive Producer: Hal Geer
  • Associate Producers: Alex Lovy, Art Scott
  • Story: Larz Bourne, Tom Dagenais, Mike Maltese, Cliff Roberts, Dalton Sandifer
  • Story Direction: Art Davis, Earl Klein, Paul Sommer, Irv Spector
  • Voices: Daws Butler, Don Messick, John Stephenson, Janet Waldo, Dave Willock, Paul Winchell
  • Animation Director: Charles A. Nichols
  • Production Design: Iwao Takamoto
  • Production Coordinator: Victor O. Schipek
  • Character Design: Jerry Eisenberg
  • Layout: Bert Freund, Don Jurwich, Jack Manning, Al Wilson, Willie Ito, Phil Lewis, Grace Stanzell, Jerry Eisenberg, Martin Strudler
  • Animation: Ed Aardal, Frank Andrina, Ed Barge, Bob Bransford, Emil Carle, Patsy Crudden, Jim Davis, Isadore Ellis, Jerry Harrison, Jerry Hathcock, Hicks Lokey, Tony Love, Robert Maxfield, Norm McCabe, Kenneth Muse, Casey Onaitis, Frank Onaitis, Jack Parr, Morey Reden, Veve Risto, Carlo Vinci, Tim Walker
  • Backgrounds: Walt Peregoy, Barbara Begg, Daniela Bielecka, Bill Butler, Robert Gentle, Mike Kawaguchi, Richard H. Thomas, Don Watson, David Weidman
  • Title Design: Bill Perez
  • Titles: Robert Schaefer
  • Music Director: Hoyt Curtin
  • Additional Music by: Bill Lava
  • Technical Supervisor: Frank Paiker
  • Ink and Paint Supervisor: Roberta Greutert
  • Xerography: Robert "Tiger" West
  • Sound Direction: Richard Olson
  • Film Editors: Richard Allen, Milton Krear, Jim Champin
  • Camera: George Epperson, Gene Borghi, Cliff Shirpser, Charles Flekal, Frank Parrish, Clarence Wogatzke
  • A Hanna-Barbera Production
  • in association with Heatter-Quigley, Inc.
  • This Picture Made Under the Jurisdiction of IATSE-IA Affiliated with A.F.L.-C.I.O.
  • RCA Sound Recording
  • Copyright © 1968 Hanna-Barbera Productions, Inc.