Scooby Doo, What Gender are You?

 

Today is my birthday (sure, fill the comments with well-wishes), and on such days I reflect on important touchstones of my life. Such as the debut of a TV show about a crime-solving canine.

As a kid, I loved monsters. Particularly the Universal Movie Monsters (Frankenstein’s Monster, Dracula, the Mummy, the Wolf Man, etc.), but the problem was, I rarely got to see any horror movies. They tended to play past my bedtime (8 p.m.), and even when they played during daytime hours, my parents sometimes refused permission to watch.

There was the daytime soap opera, Dark Shadows, which I loved, but was banned when it gave my older brother nightmares. The one time I could see my dark heroes was early on Sunday morning, before church, when KGO played Abbott and Costello films, and the comedy team would meet Frankenstein or the Invisible Man or Jekyll and Hyde. (Sadly, they rotated with Ma and Pa Kettle and Francis the Talking Mule films… and Bud and Lou didn’t always meet monsters.)

Then in 1969, something pretty great happened. I was at a friend’s house and CBS ran a special (as was their custom back in the day) about the new cartoons premiering that season. And to the delight of my seven-year-old (very soon to be eight-year-old heart), they showed clips from a new show titled Scooby Doo, Where Are You?

The preview made it clear that there would be ghosts and ghouls and monsters every week in this new cartoon. Happily, my parents didn’t monitor my Saturday morning cartoon watching. They either slept late or were busy with projects. My brother and I could agree this new show was worth a watch. And we kept watching. I loved the show, albeit with reservations.

Of course, Scooby and Shaggy were comedy gold. They were cowards in the business of solving mysteries. Such a humorous juxtaposition. AND they were always hungry, so their fear could be overcome with a Scooby snack and/or pizza. (Scooby loved his snacks, but wouldn’t mind eating a pizza. And Shaggy wasn’t above eating a doggy treat.)

Fred and Daphne and Velma were fine. Velma’s great comic bit was losing her glasses and awkwardly searching for them (making for an easy act of imitation, once I was a teen with glasses of my own.)

My one problem with the show was the monsters were never real. At the end of the show, it was always revealed that the banshee or poltergeist was really Old Farmer Simmons or Rich Banker Jones. Admittedly, the reveal was always done with panache, as Fred pulled the mask and the villain cursed the meddling kids that foiled his plan to find the treasure or lower the price of real estate.

But I wanted the monsters to be real! That was my one complaint.

Eventually, Scooby would encounter real monsters in the movie Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island, but that was in 1998, and by that time I have to admit I had moved on.

One thing I never wondered about when I first watched that show back in the day was the sexuality of any of the characters. Sure, when we talked about the show in high school, we all agreed that Fred must be gay from his lack of interest in the incredibly hot Daphne. And that Velma was probably a lesbian. (And that Shaggy might be smoking something funny in the van when no one was looking, explaining the munchies.)

But when I watched that first wonderful, magical season of Scooby, even during the musical interludes (with songs like “Daydreaming…I’m in love with an ostrich“), I never once wondered whether any of the characters would have participated in the Stonewall riots because they hadn’t happened yet.

You will be so relieved to know that young children will no longer be ignorant about the most important of matters. In the new film, Trick or Treat, Scooby Doo, will officially out Velma as a lesbian.

I’m glad I was a kid when I was a kid.

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There are 23 comments.

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  1. The Great Adventure Coolidge
    The Great Adventure
    @TGA

    Happy Birthday Scrubb! 

    Mine was Monday, but I didn’t have  any particularly profound thoughts  to share.  And my reflections this year harkened back only a month to when I suffered a medical malady.  You see, this was a landmark birthday – I was turning 21 for the third time!  Time to celebrate, right?  Alas, said malady convinced the state of Oregon and  my doc that I can’t drive and shouldn’t consume alcohol for 90 days.  

    But I did get to enjoy a lovely dinner out with Mrs TGA, my lovely daughter, and her fiancé.  And my daughter is not a Velma.  The fiancé is a pretty great young MAN. 

    • #1
  2. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Eustace C. Scrubb: In the new film, Trick or Treat, Scooby Doo, will officially out Velma as a lesbian.

    I’m surprised they made the chubby chick a lesbian (stereotype).  Of course, it would take real guts to make Daphne a lesbian.  Wait . . . there’s still time to make her trans . . .  

    • #2
  3. Mad Gerald Coolidge
    Mad Gerald
    @Jose

    Yeah.  I enjoyed the show when I was a kid.  And the sexuality of the characters or the possibility of drug use never entered my mind.  I doubt I would have comprehended it at that age. 

    I do remember that classmates had to define what a prostitute was when I was in 8th grade.  I don’t think that was necessarily a bad thing.

    • #3
  4. davenr321 Coolidge
    davenr321
    @davenr321

    Velma has curves, this is horrible!

    There is no telling what these meddling kids will do these days.

    Wait until beastiality comes into vogue. Gives new meaning to a “Scooby Snack”, no?

    • #4
  5. GrannyDude Member
    GrannyDude
    @GrannyDude

    Stad (View Comment):

    Eustace C. Scrubb: In the new film, Trick or Treat, Scooby Doo, will officially out Velma as a lesbian.

    I’m surprised they made the chubby chick a lesbian (stereotype). Of course, it would take real guts to make Daphne a lesbian. Wait . . . there’s still time to make her trans . . .

    True, dat. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Eustace!

    • #5
  6. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    Anybody who’s ever seen the show and is shocked that Velma is a lesbian probably also thinks that Liberace, Paul Lynde, Richard Simmons and Elton John are straight.

    • #6
  7. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Anybody who’s ever seen the show and is shocked that Velma is a lesbian probably also thinks that Liberace, Paul Lynde, Richard Simmons and Elton John are straight.

    Oh no, not Paul Lynde!

    • #7
  8. Eustace C. Scrubb Member
    Eustace C. Scrubb
    @EustaceCScrubb

    Barfly (View Comment):

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Anybody who’s ever seen the show and is shocked that Velma is a lesbian probably also thinks that Liberace, Paul Lynde, Richard Simmons and Elton John are straight.

    Oh no, not Paul Lynde!

    He still left us Charles Nelson Reilly…

    • #8
  9. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Velma was totally not gay in Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed.

    • #9
  10. Charlotte Member
    Charlotte
    @Charlotte

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Anybody who’s ever seen the show and is shocked that Velma is a lesbian probably also thinks that Liberace, Paul Lynde, Richard Simmons and Elton John are straight.

    Sure, but I guess the thing that gets under my skin is why does Velma (or whoever) have to be anything sexual at all? It’s a children’s cartoon for Pete’s sake. Why do adults’ sexual identity politics need to be shoehorned into every piece of popular entertainment?

    • #10
  11. Eustace C. Scrubb Member
    Eustace C. Scrubb
    @EustaceCScrubb

    Charlotte (View Comment):

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Anybody who’s ever seen the show and is shocked that Velma is a lesbian probably also thinks that Liberace, Paul Lynde, Richard Simmons and Elton John are straight.

    Sure, but I guess the thing that gets under my skin is why does Velma (or whoever) have to be anything sexual at all? It’s a children’s cartoon for Pete’s sake. Why do adults’ sexual identity politics need to be shoehorned into every piece of popular entertainment?

    Really the point of the post.  Yes, as teens we speculated on such things because that age has its own stupidity. Adults can choose to continue a sophomoric approach to life. But why do so many people have a perverse drive to pull children into the ruination of their innocence? 

    • #11
  12. Manny Coolidge
    Manny
    @Manny

    Eustace C. Scrubb:

    I’m glad I was a kid when I was a kid.

    Exactly!  I used to love this show as a kid.  This continues to prove my point that this is a center-left country now, and I believe has been for some twenty years.  Who in their right mind would have ever put made a kid’s cartoon a lesbian fifty years ago?  No one.  Who would ever have profited from such a cartoon?  No one.  But they do today.

    • #12
  13. Manny Coolidge
    Manny
    @Manny

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Anybody who’s ever seen the show and is shocked that Velma is a lesbian probably also thinks that Liberace, Paul Lynde, Richard Simmons and Elton John are straight.

    That’s beside the point.  They had to hide their homosexuality.  Today not only is it out in the open but it’s spoon fed to kids.

    • #13
  14. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Velma was totally not gay in Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed.

    And she went on a date with Johnny Bravo in a Cartoon Network commercial, long ago.

    • #14
  15. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    Charlotte (View Comment):
    Sure, but I guess the thing that gets under my skin is why does Velma (or whoever) have to be anything sexual at all? It’s a children’s cartoon for Pete’s sake.

    It was. Now it’s repurposed retrotainment for eternal adolescents who never saw the original but grew up on excerpts and memes.

    • #15
  16. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    Charlotte (View Comment):

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Anybody who’s ever seen the show and is shocked that Velma is a lesbian probably also thinks that Liberace, Paul Lynde, Richard Simmons and Elton John are straight.

    Sure, but I guess the thing that gets under my skin is why does Velma (or whoever) have to be anything sexual at all? It’s a children’s cartoon for Pete’s sake. Why do adults’ sexual identity politics need to be shoehorned into every piece of popular entertainment?

    This current thing that everyone’s talking about is not a Saturday morning children’s cartoon. It’s a Prime members-only special aimed at adults with wink-wink, nudge-nudge comic nostalgia. I don’t like it either when old established characters are suddenly made gay, but the joke here is that isn’t the case: everyone over the age of 13 or so knew that there was something “off” about Velma. Unlike, say, Dumbledore in Harry Potter, they aren’t superimposing something that wasn’t there to begin with. 

    • #16
  17. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Velma is not “curvy.”

    What they call “curvy” now, is Lizzo.

    • #17
  18. Charlotte Member
    Charlotte
    @Charlotte

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Charlotte (View Comment):

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Anybody who’s ever seen the show and is shocked that Velma is a lesbian probably also thinks that Liberace, Paul Lynde, Richard Simmons and Elton John are straight.

    Sure, but I guess the thing that gets under my skin is why does Velma (or whoever) have to be anything sexual at all? It’s a children’s cartoon for Pete’s sake. Why do adults’ sexual identity politics need to be shoehorned into every piece of popular entertainment?

    This current thing that everyone’s talking about is not a Saturday morning children’s cartoon. It’s a Prime members-only special aimed at adults with wink-wink, nudge-nudge comic nostalgia. I don’t like it either when old established characters are suddenly made gay, but the joke here is that isn’t the case: everyone over the age of 13 or so knew that there was something “off” about Velma. Unlike, say, Dumbledore in Harry Potter, they aren’t superimposing something that wasn’t there to begin with.

    Oh.

    • #18
  19. GlennAmurgis Coolidge
    GlennAmurgis
    @GlennAmurgis

    Next, you will tell me Peppermint Patty and Marcie from Peanuts are a couple (Charlie Brown was a beard)

    • #19
  20. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Eustace C. Scrubb: In the new film, Trick or Treat, Scooby Doo, will officially out Velma as a lesbian.

    I’m surprised they made the chubby chick a lesbian (stereotype). Of course, it would take real guts to make Daphne a lesbian. Wait . . . there’s still time to make her trans . . .

    True, dat. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Eustace!

    Oops, I forgot: Happy Birthday!

    • #20
  21. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    GlennAmurgis (View Comment):

    Next, you will tell me Peppermint Patty and Marcie from Peanuts are a couple (Charlie Brown was a beard)

    Well, Marcie does call Jen Psaki Peppermint Patty “Sir” . . .

    • #21
  22. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    Leave Scooby alone – he’s a boy for God sake and he’s not going in for a change!

    • #22
  23. TeamAmerica Member
    TeamAmerica
    @TeamAmerica

    Charlotte (View Comment):

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Anybody who’s ever seen the show and is shocked that Velma is a lesbian probably also thinks that Liberace, Paul Lynde, Richard Simmons and Elton John are straight.

    Sure, but I guess the thing that gets under my skin is why does Velma (or whoever) have to be anything sexual at all? It’s a children’s cartoon for Pete’s sake. Why do adults’ sexual identity politics need to be shoehorned into every piece of popular entertainment?

    Seems like most of the Wokerati have never read ‘Brave New World.’

    • #23
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