AWESOME-tober-fest 2017: Goober and the Ghost Chasers (1973)

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Today I’m going to talk about the cartoon series Goober and the Ghost Chasers.  It was produced by Hanna-Barbera and aired in late 1973.  It was created to capitalize on the popularity of Scooby-Doo.

Much like Scooby-Doo, the show involved a group of teenagers and their dog driving around solving mysteries.

Goober, obviously, was the dog.  He had similar mannerisms to Scooby.  Sort of a coward.  Very goofy and jokey.  He talked.  But it’s interesting, it’s not directly acknowledged in the cartoon if the teens can understand Goober when he talks.  They talk to Goober, but when Goober talks, it’s usually directly to camera and the teens never give any indication that he talked or that they heard he talked.  It’s weird.  The teens were Ted, Tina and Gilly.  The teens worked for a supernatural investigation magazine called Ghost Chasers.  Obviously Ted = Fred.  Tina is very much a cross between Daphne and Velma.  And Gilly is sort of his own thing.  He’s Goober’s closest human companion.  He’s not a stoner or a coward.  He doesn’t love to eat.  He’s the photographer for the magazine.  In some ways like Shaggy but in most ways he’s different.  Gilly is probably the most annoying.  I like everyone else.

The mysteries this crew investigate usually wind up having a real supernatural aspect to them. As in real ghosts and real monsters as opposed to Scooby in which the mysteries had a basis in reality.  Plus, for some reason, Goober can turn invisible. He can’t control it, and it usually happens when he gets scared, but it happens.

Like Scooby, many episodes would have “special guests” show up to help solve crimes.  For at least half of the one and only season the Ghost Chasers crew were joined by the Partridge Kids (Danny, Laurie, Tracy, Chris, seen below in the middle).

The Partridge kids were voiced by the actual actors; Danny Bonaduce, Susan Dey, Suzanne Crough and Brian Forster.  For some reason, around episode 11, the Partridge Kids disappear and never make another appearance.  However, don’t feel bad for them, about a year later they would get their own cartoon series.

I watched a few episodes, let’s take a look at episode 3, The Galloping Ghost.

There was only a title card for the overall cartoon (see above) and not one for the episode title which is weird. Especially because this particular episode had a special guest.  Here’s the Ghost Chasers crew driving in their awesome Ghost Chasers vehicle which looks like the Battle Ram from He-Man with a new coat of paint.  I love that the magazine’s name is stenciled on the side!

This episode’s special guest is none other than NBA superstar Wilt Chamberlain. Apparently Wilt owns a dude ranch in the off season.  Around this time, in late 1973, Wilt had left the LA Lakers and was player-coach of the ABA’s San Diego Conquistadors.  However litigation by the NBA prevented him from actually playing.  So I guess it’s possible that while he waited out the litigation resolution, he bought a dude ranch in the California hills.  The problem in this episode is that the dude ranch is haunted by what looks like a headless horseman.

Here’s Goober going invisible after being scared.

Wilt of course spins the teens’ luggage on his finger because, you know, he’s a basketball player.

When Wilt needs to ring for a bell hop, the shoots a basketball across the lobby through a mini hoop to have it land on a bell.  Because, again, BASKETBALL.  What makes this funny is that Wilt was notorious for being a terrible free throw shooter and if this wasn’t a cartoon it’s possible that ball would have hit one of the teens and knocked them unconscious.

Wonder why the cook stacked that one coffee cup in the middle of the dishes? That can’t be stable.

Of course there’s a gratuitous scene of Wilt shooting hoops on a court that I guess he installed on the grounds of the dude ranch. It would be a heck of a coincidence if that court existed before he bought the place.  And again, we see Wilt making free throws in which it’s widely known he’s terrible (51% career free throw percentage).

At the end of the episode Wilt pulls a “Fastball Special” with Goober to catch the ghost. Which honestly is a baseball reference, but Wilt has been making terrible sports references all episode, many not even from basketball so I let that pass.

So, the verdict, the show isn’t very good.  I like what they were trying to do and I like Ted and Tina a lot.  I even liked seeing Wilt Chamberlain show up as special guest because you never see cool stuff like that outside the Harlem Globetrotters on Scooby (which they were one of my fav guests on that show and Wilt was originally a Globetrotter back in the day).  This show is an interesting curiousity, but I wouldn’t say that it’s wholly recommendable.

Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.


One Response to “AWESOME-tober-fest 2017: Goober and the Ghost Chasers (1973)”

  1. caffeinatedjoe Says:

    I remember watching this show. I can’t recall if I liked it. I for sure don’t recall the Partridge kids being involved. The 70s were such a weird time.

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