Wacky Races is an American animated television series produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions. The series features 11 different cars racing against each other in various road rallies throughout North America, with each driver hoping to win the title of the “World’s Wackiest Racer”.
The cartoon had a large number of regular characters, with 23 people and animals spread among the 11 race cars. Wacky Races ran on CBS from September 14, 1968, to January 4, 1969, and in syndication from 1976 to 1982. 17 episodes were produced, with each episode featuring two different races.
The villain of the series drives The Mean Machine (00), a purple, rocket-powered car with an abundance of concealed weapons and the ability to fly. Dick Dastardly is an archetypal mustache-twirling villain; Muttley is his wheezily snickering dog henchman. Dastardly’s usual race strategy revolves around using the Mean Machine’s great speed to get ahead of the other racers, and then setting a trap to stop them and maintain the lead; but most of his plans backfire, causing him to fall back into last place. Dastardly never sees victory.
The other racers include
- The Slag Brothers, Rock and Gravel, in a cavemen-themed racer called The Boulder Mobile (1);
- The Gruesome Twosome, Big Gruesome and Little Gruesome, who are monsters, in The Creepy Coupe (2);
- Professor Pat Pending, a scientist, in The Convert-a-Car (3);
- Red Max in a car/plane hybrid called The Crimson Haybailer (4);
- Penelope Pitstop, the lone female, in a 1930s racing costume in The Compact Pussycat (5);
- Sergeant Blast and Private Meekly in an tank/jeep hybrid with a small steamroller wheel attached to the front called The Army Surplus Special (6);
- The Ant Hill Mob, seven dwarf gangsters, in The Bulletproof Bomb (7);
- Lazy Luke, a hillbilly, and Blubber Bear, in The Arkansas Chugabug (8);
- Peter Perfect, a gentlemanly racer, in The Turbo Terrific (9);
- Rufus Ruffcut, a lumberjack, and his companion Sawtooth, a beaver, in The Buzz Wagon (10).