THE GROOVIE GOOLIESMedium: Television animation
Produced by: Filmation
First Appeared: 1970
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Whenever three classic monsters get together, it's always Frankenstein, Dracula and the Werewolf. Among other things, Dell Comics did them in 1966 with superhero versions of Frank, Drac and Wolfie; Hanna-Barbera did them in 1980, closer to their original forms, as a do-gooding adventure team called Drak Pack; and General Mills did them as sugary breakfast cereals, Frankenberry, Chocula and Fruit Brute. Here, Filmation Studios (Fat Albert, Quackula) puts
them in a rock'n'roll band. The Groovie Goolies first appeared on CBS, on September 12, 1970 in a segment by cartoonist Jack Mendelsohn (Jackys Diary).
Franklin Frankenstein, Wolfgang Wolfman and Tom Dracula started out sharing a show with Sabrina the Teenage Witch, who was being promoted from the back segments of Archie's various 1960s shows, to this more prominent gig. In Sabrina & the Groovie Goolies, the three were residents of Horrible Hall, a rooming house that catered to monsters. Tom was the proprietor. Others who lived there included (but were far from limited to) Hagatha (Tom's wife, a witch), Broomhilda (Hagatha's broom, and no relation), Doctors Jeckyl and Hyde (a two-headed mad scientist), Ghoulihand (similar to Thing in The Addams Family) and Bela LaGhostly (who ran the house's telephone switchboard).
Howard Morris (Atom Ant, Beetle Bailey did the voices of both Frankie and Wolfie. Tom was played by Larry Storch, who also did the TV version of Koko the Clown and The Joker in The Batman/Superman Hour. Other voices included (but again, were not limited to) Larry D. Mann (Crazylegs Crane), John Erwin (He-Man) and Don Messick (Scooby Doo).
In the 1971-72 season, Sabrina and the Goolies split into two separate shows. Also, Filmation tried a stunt that had worked with Archie — spinning the characters off into a real-life rock band. The Groovie Goolies, with musicians wearing monstrous make-up, recorded a few minor songs and then faded from view.
On December 16, 1972, they made what is perhaps their oddest appearance. ABC aired an hour-long special titled Daffy Duck & Porky Pig Meet the Groovie Goolies, where they met not just the two Looney Tunes stars named in the title, but also Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn and about a half-dozen others. Critics have responded to this unlikely crossover with near-unanimous disdain.
The Goolies held down their own show for a season, then went into reruns. In 1978, they were resurrected into Groovie Goolies & Friends, a package of syndicated reruns aired daily, which they shared with Waldo Kitty, Fraidy Cat and other Filmation stars. Despite their origin as part of the Archie Comics animation franchise, they never did appear in comic books.
Tho at least some of the characters are undead, they haven't been seen on TV for years.