Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels is an american animated mystery comedy series created by Joe Ruby and Ken Spears and produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions for ABC. The series aired during the network’s Saturday morning schedule from September 10, 1977 to June 21, 1980.
Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels centers on the mystery-solving adventures of the Teen Angels—Brenda, Dee Dee and Taffy—and their friend Captain Caveman (or Cavey for short), a prehistoric caveman whom the girls discovered and thawed from a block of ice. The concept and general plot for the show was seen as a parody of Charlie’s Angels (which also aired on ABC). It also borrowed heavily from other Hanna-Barbera shows such as Scooby-Doo and Josie and the Pussycats, among others. Captain Caveman’s powers include super-strength, a variety of useful objects hidden inside his hair, and a club that allows him to fly and from which pop out different tools he uses to fight crime. His trademark is his battle cry of “Captain CAAAAAVEMAAAAAAANNNN!” Captain Caveman’s voice was provided by Mel Blanc.
A total of forty 11-minute episodes ran for three seasons from 1977 to 1980: sixteen episodes were produced as segments of Scooby’s All-Star Laff-A-Lympics in 1977, eight episodes were produced as segments of Scooby’s All-Stars in 1978 and sixteen episodes were produced in 1980 when Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels were given their own half-hour show which combined new episodes and reruns from 1977–79. Cavey and the girls also participated in sporting competitions as part of “The Scooby Doobies” team on the half-hour Laff-A-Lympics segment. Like many animated series created by Hanna-Barbera in the 1970s, the show contained a laugh track, one of their last productions to do so.
Captain Caveman, or “Cavey” for short (voiced by Mel Blanc), is the protagonist of the show, billed as “the world’s first superhero.” He is a caveman who is millennia old (his exact age is never disclosed, although in an episode he is carded by a doorman who is unsure Cavey is old enough to let in, to which Captain Caveman responds, “I’ll be 2 million next month.”) He can pull various objects from his long body hair that covers his body except for his nose, arms, and legs. He can also fly, but his flying power always seems to fail him at the worst possible moment. Sometimes he would attribute this mishap to an energy shortage (“Uh oh! Bad time for energy crisis.” CRASH!), which was a reference to the gasoline rationing shortages of the late 1970s. He speaks in stereotypical “caveman-talk”, replacing subject pronouns with their object equivalents and dropping articles such as “the” (for example, “Me know where bad guys are hiding.”), and often mumbles the nonsense phrase “unga bunga”. He also has a bad habit of occasionally eating large non-food objects in one gulp (i.e. bicycles, TV sets, safes, table lamps), and the Teen Angels occasionally have to stop him from eating potential clues that will help them to solve the mystery.
Dee Dee Skyes (voiced by Vernee Watson) is the brains of the Teen Angels, is the group’s sole African-American, and acts as their unofficial leader. Dee Dee and the rest of the Teen Angels found the frozen Captain Caveman and defrosted him. She wears her hair in an afro and usually wears a red turtleneck sweater with a blue skirt and red knee high boots. Both her dress style and her knack for solving mysteries make her similar to Velma Dinkley of Scooby-Doo fame, while she also bears a resemblance to Valerie from Josie and the Pussycats. She is misidentified as Brenda in the opening credits.
Brenda Chance (voiced by Marilyn Schreffler) is a nervous brunette who is always scared of the demons, monsters and phantoms that she encounters and always tries to back out of a scary mystery, but always ends up getting captured or the short end of the stick. She wears a purple striped tank top and a pair of hot pink flared trousers with a white belt. She also acts as Dee Dee’s sergeant of the Teen Angels. She is misidentified as Dee Dee in the opening credits.
Taffy Dare (voiced by Laurel Page) is the blonde member of the group, renowned for her cry of “Zowie!” whenever she comes up with a plan (or “Another Daffy Taffy Plan” as Brenda and Cavey would call it) to catch the culprits, has a distinct, flirtatious, childlike persona and a New York-influenced/Southern accent. In spite of her usually zany plans and ditziness, Taffy is actually very capable and clever. She has the ability to seduce Caveman into acting as bait for her plans to capture the culprit. She wears a green dress with matching shoes. She also acts as Dee Dee’s second-in-command of the Teen Angels. It is revealed that Captain Caveman has a crush on her and vice versa.
Cavey Jr (voiced by Charlie Adler) is Cavey’s son who appears in The Flintstone Kids. He can fly just like his father, wears a blue hat, and has black dots for eyes. While he isn’t quite as powerful as his father, he is a lot smarter. Despite being a child, he has hair all over his body (even his grandmother does). It is unknown what became of Jr when his father got frozen.
Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels was broadcast in these following formats on ABC:
- Scooby’s All-Star Laff-A-Lympics (September 10, 1977 – September 2, 1978, ABC Saturday)
- Scooby’s All-Stars (September 9, 1978 – September 8, 1979, ABC Saturday)
- Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels (March 8, 1980 – June 21, 1980, ABC Saturday)
- September 10, 1977 – July 1978, ABC Saturday 9:00-11:00 a.m.
- July 1978 – September 2, 1978, ABC Saturday 9:30-11:30 a.m.
- September 9, 1978 – November 1978, ABC Saturday 10:00-11:30 a.m.
- November 1978 – May 1979, ABC Saturday 8:00-9:30 a.m.
- May 1979 – September 8, 1979, ABC Saturday 8:30-10:00 a.m.
- March 8, 1980 – June 21, 1980, ABC Saturday 11:30-12:00 noon
The opening credits for each episode consisted of voice-over narration by Gary Owens:
Set free by the Teen Angels from his prehistoric block of glacier ice, comes the world’s first superhero, Captain Caveman! Now the constant companion to the Teen Angels—Brenda, Dee Dee and Taffy—in their hilarious, and sometimes scary mystery missions. Get ready for Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels!
The music heard in the closing credits is the CB Bears theme. After the first three screens, the end credit roll is from the original two-hour version of Scooby’s All-Star Laff-A-Lympics.
In November 1980, Captain Caveman began to star in segments of his own on The Flintstone Comedy Show, one of many spin-offs of Hanna-Barbera’s popular prime-time show The Flintstones, often in a role similar to that of Superman. Captain Caveman worked at The Daily Granite newspaper with Wilma Flintstone and Betty Rubble. His “secret identity” was Chester, the office boy. To disguise himself as Chester, Captain Caveman wore a pair of glasses and a tie. Despite the simplicity of his disguise, he required a coat rack and an elaborate transformation sequence to become Captain Caveman.
In 1986, Captain Caveman appeared in a backup segment of The Flintstone Kids called Captain Caveman and Son with his son, Cavey Jr. (voiced by Charles Adler). In this case he appeared on a show-within-a-show that the younger versions of Fred, Barney, Wilma, and Betty enjoyed watching; the Captain’s mumbled “unga bunga” became a catchphrase that the kids would shout before watching each “episode” of the show. The show would involve a lesson the Flintstone kids were trying to learn in the prologue. The whole “secret identity” idea was also ignored or forgotten.
- Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels appeared in all 13 issues of Laff-A-Lympics (Marvel Comics, 1978–79) as members of the Scooby Doobies.
- Cavey and the Angels appeared in the first issue of the short-lived Hanna-Barbera TV Stars (Marvel, August 1978).
- The Captain and the Angels team up with Mystery, Inc. in Scooby-Doo #9 (Marvel, February 1979).
- In 2018, Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels appeared in a backup story in the DC comic Aquaman/ Jabberjaw Special #1; in this story, the wizard Shazam transports the powerful hominid from prehistoric times to the present, to settle an argument with The Spectre about whether heroism is strictly a trait of modern man or also of early man.
A PAL videocassette of Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels (Bumper Edition) containing 13 episodes was released only in Europe on May 11, 1998. On July 23, 2013, Warner Archive released Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels: The Complete Series on DVD in region 1 as part of their Hanna–Barbera Classics Collection. This is a manufacture-on-demand (MOD) release, available exclusively through Warner’s online store and Amazon.com.